For many people, working out is inextricably linked to technology. Whether it’s a wearable, a scheduling app or a virtual personal trainer, the technology is as much a part of the workout as the exercise itself. (Although they still haven’t developed an app that burns calories!) It’s no wonder fitness technology is such a booming industry with major growth potential.
Let’s take a closer look at all that potential. According to Global Industry Analysts, the fitness equipment industry is expected to reach $18.5 billion by 2026. And fitness wearables alone are expected to reach 19.26 billion by 2026.
Want to get in on all that market growth? For entrepreneurs who love fitness, those who already have a fitness business or tech-savvy fitness buffs, it might be time to finally start your fitness tech industry business.
What Is a Fitness Tech Business?
A fitness tech business can be any technology-based business that helps people exercise. Some of the most popular fitness tech businesses that you can feasibly start in 30 days include:
Live online class streaming
Recorded fitness classes
Gym workout scheduler
Virtual personal trainer
Virtual reality workouts
Wearable fitness tracking
In this guide, we’ll provide a detailed plan that will take any fitness tech entrepreneur through a day-by-day calendar on how to start their fitness technology business. We will cover everything from how to choose the right small business fitness software and how to navigate the legalities of starting your own fitness tech business to how to test your fitness tech and what type of content you should provide — all within the first 30 days!
If you follow this day-by-day guide, which is broken down into three phases, you will have started your fit tech business in one month. Incfile helps make the process faster and easier with our quick business formation to get you in business sooner.
How Do I Start a Fitness Business? Fit Tech Startup Guide: Day 1- 10
Starting a fit tech business doesn’t happen overnight. Once you’ve decided you’re ready to go all-in on your fitness technology business dream, it’s time to get to work. The first 10 days will include a lot of planning, research and strategizing.
Download our business startup checklist to help you keep organized and on-task during these important planning days. Below, we’ll share specialized tips and insights for fit tech businesses. Let’s get started.
Days 1-2: Develop Your Fitness Tech Business Strategy
At this stage, you’re going to want to really focus on the details of your business strategy. There are a large variety of fitness apps and technologies on the market, and you’ll want to pick the category where you can provide the best value for your customers.
Ask yourself the following question to find your true fit tech fit: What fitness tech resources, talents or expertise do you have right now?
Typical answers may include:
An existing gym or equipment
Personal training expertise with a following
Existing tech platforms
Available trainers and coaches
Existing online content (recorded classes, workout regiments or nutrition plans)
Expertise in a type of exercise
Additional questions to find your fit tech strategy include:
What are you most known for in the fitness industry?
What do your existing clients love about working out with you?
What type of exercise do you like to do for fun?
What are your strengths?
What are you more knowledgeable about than your peers in the fitness industry?
What technology do you wish was available on the market right now to make fitness easier/more fun/more accessible?
What fit tech app or device would make your job or business easier to do?
What fit tech app or device would make it easier for consumers to exercise and stay fit?
Days 3-4: Choose Your Content
There are many types of content available via fitness technology, and which kind of content you offer will depend largely on your answers to the questions you answered above. You’ll want to get specific now so that you can develop the most accurate business plan and isolate key competitors later on for your market research.
Let’s take a look at the 10 main types of online fitness content so that you can pick which area you would like to focus on.
There are many more fit tech content ideas out there, but these 10 options can help you choose your path if you’re unsure where to start. It is perfectly okay to mix a few different types of content, but just be very clear in your business plan now so that you are sure to cover all your bases for later.
Days 4-5: Set Your Goals
If you’re a fitness expert already, then you know how important setting goals is for achieving success. The key to a great business plan will include setting goals before you get started. Here we will look into what you would like to achieve with your fitness app in the near and long term. These goals will help you decide on the details that you will include in your app and what you need to do to get it developed.
Days 6-8: Understand Your Finances
Now that you have developed a strategy and set goals, it’s time to get realistic about your finances. How much does it cost to start a fitness brand? Truthfully, a fit tech business is going to cost money, so you will need to fully understand where you stand financially before you launch the business. There are a few questions you will need to answer at this stage in your startup calendar before moving forward. They include:
How much money do you need right now to start this fit tech business?
Do you currently have enough money to start this business?
With the money you currently have, how long can you keep your fit tech business running before turning a profit?
Can you afford to quit your day job or will you keep it while you start your fit tech business?
Once you have a clear picture of your financials and know whether or not you will need to pursue outside funding such as a loan, angel investors or crowdfunding, get started on that course of action right away.
Days 8-10: Pick a Business Name
The first part of picking your business name can be really fun. There are tons of ways you can get creative and find a unique business name, from brainstorming to making a mood board. You will want to vet your business name against your competitors and ensure that the business name has not been used already. Make sure it is legally available by conducting a business name search. Your business name must be unique in your state, so don’t skip this important step.
Finding the right business name now will help ensure the success of your fitness technology business later on. You don’t want to have to go through the headache of changing your business after you’ve launched so take the time to get this step right.
Fit Tech Startup: Days 11-20
Days 1-10 were busy setting up strategy and planning ahead for the future, plus you now have your business name! The next 10 days will be more detail-specific and include setting up the nuts and bolts of your business. It’s during this time when you should legally set up your business, get your technology platform set up and begin testing your fit tech on some consumers. What are you waiting for? Let’s go.
Days 11-12: Do Your Competitive Research
As a prospective fitness business owner, you’re already well accustomed to the motivation that a little friendly competition can provide! Now it’s time to check out the competition for your business. You’ll want to become an expert on the market landscape for your particular fit tech niche so that you can make your business plan as specific and focused as possible.
Who’s your competition? You might have a very clear idea of who your top three competitors are. Or you might have no idea at all. Set aside a full day to conduct market research and really get into the weeds. You are going to want to have a clear picture of your niche in the fit tech industry, and then you’ll begin your research into all the other companies that offer similar content and services.
Not sure where to start? Some key players in the fitness app market include Adidas, Fitbit, FitnessKeeper, Azumio, MyFitnessPal, Nike, Noom, Peloton, Under Armour and Aaptiv.
Now, identify your top 3-5 competitors and answer the following three questions for each of them:
What is working for this competitor?
What is not working for this competitor?
How can I be better than this competitor?
You should come out of this day with a list of your top 3-5 competitors as well as your top 3-5 differentiators.
Days 13-14: Pick Your Platform
This is a key step in the fit tech startup calendar. If you already have a technology business or an app, you might already have your platform set up. However, if you’re coming from outside the tech industry, then you’ll need to spend some time researching the platforms available to you and picking the best one for what you’d like to offer.
By now you’ve already narrowed down on a business strategy and decided which type of content you will provide. The logical next step is to choose the appropriate platform to deliver that content on.
The key to this step will be answering the question: How exactly do you envision your customers using your technology? Remember, it doesn’t have to be too complicated to get your high-quality content out there.
Some choices you have include:
Developing a website with Zoom classes integrated
Using social media to build your fit tech empire
Recording content from home and offering it through a paid subscription
You won’t need super complicated software right away if you don’t want it or don't feel comfortable with it. The options above can provide high-value content without getting too technologically advanced. When you’re ready to go after some high-tech software, just make sure it’s software that you can use, which will save you time (not add time) and which can support your growth. Make sure you test out a few different options. Sometimes software companies will provide free trials to make that step even easier.
Days 15-16: Choose Your Business Entity
It’s never too early in your business plan to decide which type of entity is right for your fit tech business. Now that you have a clear understanding of your offering and your long-term goals, you will have a clear picture of the type of business entity you will need to form. Forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC), an S corporation (S Corp) or a C corporation (C Corp) will impact your liability and taxation as a business owner.
Limited Liability Company (LLC): Registering your business as an LLC provides you with liability protection, meaning that you cannot be held personally liable for issues pertaining to your business.
S Corp: An S Corp has a slightly more complex corporate structure than an LLC, with more legalities, rules and compliance issues than an LLC.
Sole Proprietorship: Some entrepreneurs may choose not to register their business as an entity and simply operate as a sole proprietor. Operating as a sole proprietor means that you personally do not have any liability protection from your business.
The nature of a fitness technology app is that it includes the need for expertise in technology and the need for expertise in fitness. It’s not likely that you, as an entrepreneur, will have expertise in both of those areas. The majority of fit tech entrepreneurs will need to enlist the help of contractors to get started.
At this stage in your startup process, you might need to hire a reliable partner to help bring your tech to life. Look for an app development team that has expertise and experience in the fitness industry. You might also want to hire teachers and trainers to make your content options more diverse and to serve a wider variety of customers.
This is the time when you will want to gather resumes and start hiring those team members. If you are an LLC, you will be able to hire team members as independent contractors or as LLC employees.
Fit Tech Startup: Days 21-30
During the final days of your startup calendar, you will be testing your fit tech business out, fixing any kinks in the technology, tweaking your content and getting ready to launch your business!
Of course, we’ll also be guiding you through the important steps you will need to take to ensure your business stays compliant and is paying business taxes throughout the year. You’re in the home stretch now!
Days 21-25: Prototype and Test
Prototyping is a fancy way to say testing out your technology. You can embark on a more polished prototyping step by hiring an agency that specializes in UX/UI (User Experience) and can guide you through the testing process.
If you’ve partnered with an app developer, they will probably already include prototyping in your package. However, if you’ve chosen a simpler form of technology, you might need to manage your prototyping step on your own. Here’s how:
Get your content ready to stream/watch/go.
Find a group of about 10 test customers.
Ask your test customers to use your technology and consume your content within a specific timeframe.
Have your test customers provide you with feedback. A survey with specific questions and room for their responses can be very helpful. Google Survey is an easy way to manage feedback.
Tweak your content/technology per feedback.
For some businesses, the prototyping phase can take many months of testing, tweaking and re-testing. If you don’t have that kind of time, aim to go through at least two rounds, soliciting detailed and honest feedback from your test customers to ensure you work out any bugs before your launch date!].
Day 26: Check Your Business License Requirements
As a business owner, you are responsible for making sure your business has the permits and licenses needed to operate legally. Start by researching the nearest Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to see what sort of zoning and operating laws pertain to your business.
We offer a Business License Research Package that can help you through this step. Or, start with our Business License Search Tool to see which requirements are needed for your fit tech business. In most states, personal trainers do not need a business license; however, some organizations, such as NASM, offer certifications. In addition, it is a good idea to look into insurance to provide more liability to you and your team.
Days 27-29: Plan for Paying Your Business Taxes
Filing for your fit tech business taxes can be complicated, so it’s best to plan ahead to make sure you don’t get caught off guard closer to the filing deadline. Filing a business tax return will be part of the annual requirements for managing your fit tech business.
Now that your fitness technology business is ready to launch, it’s time to make sure you plan ahead. You will have ongoing filing requirements to keep track of. Keeping up with your ongoing filing requirements will ensure that your company remains in good standing and is compliant throughout the year.
Don’t let all your hard work go to waste by not keeping up with this important step. Ongoing filing requirements usually include filing an Annual Report and making sure you have a Registered Agent and file your tax reports. Each state has different requirements, so start by checking our handy tool to see what your state requires.
Starting a Fitness Technology Biz with Ease
This guide is intended to give you a step-by-step calendar to follow toward getting your business launched. Some of these steps may take longer, and that’s ok. It’s important to be methodical and careful as you prepare for success. That’s why we’ve put together a full list of resources to help entrepreneurs like you make educated decisions as they start their businesses.
Start with our business entity comparison list to make choosing the right business entity so much easier. Rather than spending the time doing all that research, use our guide to cut back on time so you can focus on your fit tech business instead.
Nicole Bowman is a freelance writer who thinks turning research into stories is the best gig ever. She started writing billboards back in 2002, worked in book publishing in New York for many years and now she creates all sorts of engaging content for the web. Nicole lives in Rehoboth Beach, DE, with her husband, two sons and their poodle, Tootsie. She loves the great outdoors, bookstores and tennis.