How to start a boxing gym

By Salon Gold on June 26th, 2023

Hate it or love it, YouTube boxing has sparked a resurgence in the popularity of the age-old sport. Influencers now regularly sell out arenas by going toe-to-toe both with each other and pro boxers, earning millions of views and millions of pounds in the process. The phenomenon has inspired the TikTok generation to fall in love with boxing, leading to renewed interest among Brits in picking up a pair of red gloves themselves. 

Because of this, there’s never been a better time to open a boxing gym. With boxing offering bountiful benefits for participants too, from improving cardiovascular health and building strength, to boosting mental health and supporting a healthy weight, you’ll stand to not just thrive as business owner, but improve the lives of your many customers. 

So with that in mind, how exactly do you open a boxing gym? Allow us to take you through the most important steps. 

1. Find your niche

As is the case with any type of new business, carving out your niche is vital. In order to do so, you’ll want to research your target market to establish things like what type of boxing gym to launch (for example, an amateur vs a professional boxing gym, or a luxury vs a conventional boxing gym), the best location, and how to create something better than your competitors.

It’s recommended that you obtain information on both the boxing gym industry as a whole and your direct competitors. There are many ways you can do this, from conducting surveys to reading sector reports. Among the main questions you want answering include:

Industry research

  • What are the sector’s main trends? For instance, we’re currently seeing a rise in luxury gyms in the UK, while more boxing trainers are using technology in their sessions, such as tracking watches.
  • Why are people going to boxing gyms? Is it for fitness or for amateur or professional training?
  • How much do people typically pay for boxing gym memberships, and how often do they visit?

Competitor research

  • How many boxing gyms are there in your area?
  • What services do they provide and how much do they cost?
  • How are your potential competitors marketing themselves?

2. Consider costs

The next stage is to think about how much launching and running a boxing gym will cost, and how you’re going to fund this.

Boxing gym costs

The main costs of running of a boxing gym include:

  • Rent for commercial premises: What your rent will set you back depends on aspects such as the type and size of property, and where it’s located. 
  • Staff: How much your employees cost you is impacted by factors such as how many you hire, where you’re located, and what exactly they’ll be doing. For example, a professional boxing trainer will cost more than a receptionist. 
  • Equipment: The cost of your equipment is also massively variable. For instance, if you were to run a luxury boxing gym, then you’d have to spend a lot more on your equipment.
  • Marketing: According to HubSpot, businesses dedicate 13.6% of their total budget to marketing. However, this number is likely to be higher for a new venture. 

Other costs to think about include taxes, training costs, and insurance — more on the latter soon. 

How to finance your business 

Some of the main ways to fund your boxing gym include:

  • Bank loans – Traditional bank loans are a useful way for businesses to finance themselves, with low interest rates. However, it’s not the easiest route to obtaining funds. 
  • Angel investors – Business angels fund businesses in return for a share in them, which obviously isn’t ideal if you want full control over your venture. 
  • Incubators and accelerators – These programmes are tailored specifically towards startups, though again involve foregoing equity in the business.

Other potential funding routes include crowdfunding, small business grants, and asking family or friends.

3. Deal with the legalities 

After sorting out your finances, it’s time to register your business and ensure your operation is legal.

Your business structure 

How you register your boxing gym will depend on your business structure — either a sole trader, limited company, or partnership. Each one has its own reporting, management and accounting responsibilities.

  • Sole trader: Sole traders are entirely responsible for their company. Though you’d get to legally take home all of the profits you make after tax, you’d be personally liable for its financial obligations, including repaying debts. 
  • Limited company: Establishing a limited company enables you to trade as if you’re self-employed, while not being personally liable for your boxing gym’s finances. That said, it is expensive to set up a business this way.
  • General partnership: In a general partnership, multiple parties share responsibility for a business. Profits tend to be shared equally, with each partner responsible for their own tax liabilities but jointly liable for any debts. 
  • Limited partnership: This is similar to a general partnership, but only requires one partner to have personal liability. The other partner’s input is purely financial, who only has liability for their investment.

In addition to registering your business structure, you will also need to register for VAT if your VAT taxable turnover is going to be over £85,000.

Legal considerations

There are other legalities you must consider, including the following:

  • Licences: Boxing gyms require a number of licences to operate legally, from a general business licence to permits to do things like play music and sell food. 
  • Trainer qualifications: The only formal qualifications you or your members of staff will need to practise as boxing trainers revolve around working in public spaces like parks. However, it’s recommended that you or they secure recognised level 2 or 3 qualifications in boxing coaching, have a recognised first aid certificate, and undergo a background check by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). 
  • Employment legislation: In order to hire employees, you must adhere to a range of employment laws, covering everything from illness and employment contracts, to holidays and discrimination. 

 Other legal considerations include health and safety laws, data protection, taxes, and insurance.

4. Obtain the right insurance 

Insurance is vital to protecting your business’s finances, ensuring incidents like client accidents, theft or property damage don’t eat into your funds. 

Owning a boxing gym comes with unique risks that may not necessarily be covered by a standard insurance package, which is why having a dedicated gym policy is crucial. Here at Fitness Gold, our gym insurance automatically includes the following covers.

  • Public liability insurance: Public liability insurance protects businesses in the event they cause injury or property damage to a third party, whether it’s a client or member of the public. It’s not only useful from a financial standpoint, but helps show others that you’re trustworthy, which can lead to more clients.
  • Products liability insurance: The next part of our package safeguards you if a faulty product — such as a punching bag or boxing gloves — you sell or supply to a customer harms them. Products liability insurance ensures us as the insurance provider, and not you, will pick up the bill for any legal or compensation costs. 
  • Treatment risk insurance: Treatment risk insurance covers boxing gym owners against claims made for injuries or property damage not covered by public liability insurance, which doesn’t protect against harm caused by professional services. Visit our treatment risk insurance page to find out more.
  • Financial loss insurance: Our final automatic cover is financial loss insurance, which covers your boxing gym business if somebody claims against it for a financial loss that wasn’t caused by injury or property damage. Learn more on our financial loss insurance page. 

In addition to the above types of insurance, Fitness Gold also offers a number of optional covers, including everything from employer’s liability insurance (a legal requirement if you hire staff) and buildings insurance, to contents insurance and business interruption insurance. Check out our full list of covers here.

We offer some of the most comprehensive and affordable insurance policies in the health and fitness sector, with businesses across the UK — including boxing gyms — trusting us for over 35 years. Get a quote today to protect your business’s future for less.

5. Market your boxing gym

To get word out there about your business and attract customers, an effective marketing strategy is essential. Some of the main steps to take here include:

  • Launch a website: With most people now using the internet to find new businesses, having a good website is critical. This gives you a hub where the public can easily find you and learn more about your business and what it offers, as well as book boxing sessions.
  • Harness the power of SEO: SEO, which is short for search engine optimisation, is the process of optimising your website to ensure it’s visible in search engine results pages. An effective SEO strategy involves various aspects, including a user-friendly website, useful and high-quality content, and keyword optimisation.
  • Make the most of social media: With so many people on social media, using it to your boxing gym’s advantage is key to maximising your marketing success. From interacting with your customers to advertising on social media platforms, there are numerous ways to use social media to boost your business.
  • Market your business offline: As well as marketing your boxing gym online, there’s still plenty of value in offline tactics too. Everything from business cards and coupons, to press releases and events can help entice customers to your gym.

We hope this article helps you on your way to success, and wish you the best of luck in your venture. Be sure to get in touch if you’d like to discuss insurance packages for your boxing gym.

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