Interested in starting an online fitness business? Whether you run a gym, are a freelance personal trainer, or have a cool product idea, online channels open up new and exciting opportunities. So, how can you turn this kind of dream into a reality?

In this article – learn how to start an online fitness business in five simple steps, from idea generation to a successful launch.

Over the years we’ve built several successful fitness businesses online, from health blogs to this marketing agency! We’ve also helped lots of new online businesses to launch in the wellness industry, including fitness equipment manufacturers, supplement companies, and online personal trainers. So, we have first-hand experience of the start-up approaches that work best across a variety of health and fitness business models.

The 50K Fitness Blog Blueprint [Waitlist]

Why Start an Online Fitness Business?

There are lots of great reasons to build an online business. For some, it’s about generating extra income, either as a secondary revenue stream or to replace a full-time job. But there are many other reasons to consider starting your own venture…

  • More flexibility with your time so you can work when you want.
  • Ability to work from home instead of having to train clients in person.
  • Earn a salary while travelling or living the digital nomad lifestyle.
  • Generate passive income instead of trading your time for money.
  • Reach a wider geographic audience beyond people in your local area.

It’s important to think about your ‘why’ upfront because not all online business models will tick every box. For example, if you want to earn passive income or travel, then starting an e-commerce website that requires you to pack and ship products may not be ideal.

The beauty of starting your own online business is that you can design it to fit your lifestyle goals. While can always find ways around challenges – in the above example, drop shipping or outsourcing could be solutions. But doing so will likely involve extra money and processes, so it’s important to factor it in from the start.

If you’re more tempted by founding a bricks and mortar studio, you might like to learn how to start a gym business or build a successful yoga business instead.

Fitness Business Startup Kit [EARLY-BIRD OFFER]

Starting an Online Fitness Business

Here’s an overview of how to start an online fitness business in five simple steps…

  1. Come up with a winning idea
  2. Validate demand for it
  3. Build your online platform
  4. Launch your business
  5. Continue to drive growth

Now let’s dive into each of these in more detail…

Steps To Start An Online Fitness Business

1 – Online Fitness Business Ideas

The first step is to come up with a winning business idea. For some people, this is the hardest part – you may know that you want to start something but have no clue what that ‘something’ is. Others will have a very clear concept that they want to turn into reality.

If you fall into the first category, then are some online fitness business ideas to inspire you… 

  • Fitness blog monetised through ads, training programs, sponsored posts, or other digital products
  • Online personal training or fitness classes through Zoom, Skype, or Microsoft Teams
  • E-commerce website selling fitness equipment, workout apparel, or nutritional supplements
  • Instagram or TikTok influencer monestised through sponsorships, digital products, or merchandise
  • Online fitness training programs, ebooks, or courses
  • YouTube vlogger monestised through ads, affiliate commissions, or digital products
  • Authoring Amazon Kindle ebooks on health and fitness topics
  • Online fitness certifications and industry training 
  • Develop a health and wellness mobile app
  • Membership site offering workouts, nutrition plans, recipes, etc.

Get more inspiration with 22 Profitable Fitness Business Ideas That You Can Start Today.

Fitness Business Ideas List Pinterest
Our Fitness Business Start-Up Kit includes a list of profitable and fun fitness business ideas.

2 – Validate Your Business Idea

Once you have an idea for your online fitness business, you’ll need to validate it. This step is crucial before diving straight in (no matter how tempting this may be). Validation helps you to quantify demand for your business idea before you invest money into developing it.

There are a few ways you can validate your fitness business idea…

  • Google keyword plannerthis tool allows you to see how many people are searching online for something each month. For example, you can check how many people Google ‘surf fitness online course’ to see if there’s a market for this idea.
  • Offer presales – just like you would before opening a new gym, try to generate advance sales of your product or service (this can also help you fund development). Use a tool like Shopify or Podia to set up a sales page and promote it to your network or social media followers.
  • Build an MVP – create a minimum viable product (MVP for short) that you can sell to validate your idea before creating the complete final product. For example, an ebook on surf fitness training would be a good MVP to validate a more comprehensive online course or membership idea.
  • Write a business plan – prepare an online fitness business plan that outlines your strategy, marketing, and financials, so that you’re clear everything stacks up and is likely to be profitable. Download a cheatsheet checklist and sample marketing plans as part of our Business Bundle.
Fitness Business Plan PDF Template

Validation might seem like an annoying extra step when you’re excited to push ahead with your idea, but it’ll save you time and money in the long run. For more detail on how to do this, Smart Passive Income’s great value book (as an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases) is worth checking out. 

If you find that there isn’t much demand for your business idea, then think about how you can adapt your approach. Could you target a different audience, tweak the product, or package it up in another way? You don’t need to give up on your initial idea altogether – just come at it from a different angle by considering different business models, platforms, and promotional channels. 

3 – Build Your Online Fitness Business

Once you have a proven concept, it’s time to turn it into a reality. This is where you translate your fitness business plan into a functioning online operation. It’s time to build your business!

This stage will differ depending on the type of fitness business and platform that you’re building. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution – you could need a website, social media channel, or simply a Zoom account! So, we’ve created some dedicated guides with detailed instructions on how to start some of the most popular online fitness businesses…

Whichever type of online fitness business you choose to start, there are core elements that most will have in common…

  • Structure – how products, services, and content are laid out, and how users navigate between them. Drawing a spider diagram or hierarchy list is good for drafting this.
  • Content – you’ll need to create images, videos, product descriptions, blog articles, sales page copy, and anything else that’s relevant to your platform.
  • Payment processor – a system for accepting payments is vital for making money online (PayPal, Shopify, and Podia are all easy to use).

You might also like… 20 Name Ideas For Online Fitness Businesses.

Next, it’s time to launch your new fitness business to your customers…

The 50K Fitness Blog Blueprint [Waitlist]

4 – Launch Your Online Business With a Bang

The launch stage is vital because it can make or break your online business. People are unlikely to simply stumble across your website or platform – you’ll need to get the word out. 

You need to put as much effort into driving traffic towards your website, social account, or app as you did into building it. There are lots of different ways to do this and the marketing section of your business plan will should have your approach outlined. Here are some ways to launch your online business initially…

  • Set up your social accountscreate compelling bios and post sneak peeks of your product or service that builds anticipation.
  • Email list – start a waiting list as soon as you have your idea so that you can email interested people when you launch.
  • Website – you may want to build your website in advance but wait until the launch day to publish the content and make it live.
  • Educational content – if you’re launching a new product or service, then you may need educational content such as how-to videos or infographic guides to teach people how it works (this is particularly important for fitness equipment).
  • Partnerships – collaborate with complementary brands with existing audiences to get the word out about your new venture.
  • Influencer marketing – work with influencers and leverage their audience relationships to promote your new business (this is a great tactic for startups).
  • Online advertising – run ad campaigns on Google, Facebook, and Instagram to raise awareness of your brand and generate leads.

These marketing tactics are particularly suited to new businesses that don’t yet have an established presence. It can be hard when you’re starting from zero, but these approaches help you build brand awareness, drive leads, and generate online sales quickly.

Fitness Marketing Roadmap Hero

Fitness Marketing & Lead Generation Roadmap

Your All-in-One Toolkit to Attract, Engage & Convert More Clients

5 – Grow Your Online Fitness Business

Once you’ve launched, you’ll need to continue to run your online fitness business successfully. This is often a balancing act between managing inventory, generating sales, and ensuring positive cashflow.

If you want to grow your online business, then you’ll need to continually find new customers while keeping existing ones loyal. There are endless ways to do this and many of the ideas listed in step 4 will continue to work. But if you’ve established your business then some of the most effective ways to grow it include…

  • Search engine optimisation – so that Google knows what your website or blog is about and can send relevant traffic to it.
  • Social media – pick one platform, whether that’s Facebook, TikTok, or Instagram, and focus your efforts on building an engaged following (check out these ideas for personal trainers and gym social strategies).
  • Competitions – run competitions where people can win prizes for sharing your brand with their networks as this is a great way to drive referrals and word of mouth.
  • Blogging – write weekly blog posts to help you website rank for more keywords and drive search engine traffic, remembering to promote your articles after writing them (try this blog promo checklist).
The 50K Fitness Blog Blueprint [Waitlist]

You might also like… This case study on How ONO Protein Oats Grew Their Online Business.

Online Fitness Business Start-Up Tips

Starting an online fitness business is a great way to generate income on your own terms. Coming up with profitable ideas and validating that there’s consumer demand are the first crucial steps to success. From there, you’ll need to build, launch, and continue to grow your business longterm. We can wait to hear how you get on!

Fitness Business Startup Kit [EARLY-BIRD OFFER]
Start Online Fitness Business Pinterest

Caroline @ Wellness Creative Co

Qualified personal trainer (BSc Sports Science) & nutritionist (MSc Human Nutrition) with 15+ years of fitness & wellness marketing experience working with global brands.