With a simple business model that can quickly pay dividends, considering opening your own 24-hour gym is an enticing idea.

24-hour gyms have become immensely popular with people from all walks of life because of the convenience of being able to exercise on their own time. The market is hot, so if you’re considering on opening one, now just might be the time.

This article will highlights the desirable aspects of owning a 24 hour gyms as well as lays out the challenges, so you can make the most informed business decision.

Benefits of 24 Hour Gyms

There are a ton of benefits that can come with opening up a 24-hour fitness gym. Increased revenue, positive brand recognition, and expanding your professional and personal network are a few positive aspects that will be made possible once you decide to open your doors to the public. 

Convenience for members

While general society stays busiest during the day, people themselves tend to be nocturnal as well. This depends on a range of factors like genetics and work schedules. It is quite common for people to begin their workouts at 5:00 am just as it is for them to begin at 10:00 pm. Some people do so because they want to avoid large crowds during the busier daytime or afternoon hours while others simply prefer that time of day regardless of crowd size.

Members will also greatly appreciate the convenience of a new 24-hour gym if there isn’t already one in their neighborhood. Dealing with traffic on busy streets for too long can be enough to dissuade anyone from going to the gym, especially if the location is already enough of an inconvenience for them. 

Accommodates different schedules

The normal routine of working a standard 9-5 job has long since passed us by. From trade jobs to tech jobs, many people have work schedules that make it virtually impossible for them to get to the gym during open hours or make it challenging by rushing through a workout before closing time. 

People also have different schedules based on their personal activities. Many artists, musicians, activists, volunteers, and others are involved in their own affairs outside of their normal jobs which makes it difficult to work out when it is convenient for them.

Accessible for those with time constraints

Many people in general lead busy lives regardless of their work or personal schedule. Those with very little free time appreciate the convenience of having access to a gym when daily plans and routines are subject to change. Rushing through a workout late at night is better than not being able to work out at all during the day.

Increased membership and revenue

Opening a 24-hour gym will likely end up generating a substantial amount of revenue over time, but a lot of that is contingent on how your business plan is structured. If you want people to sign their names on the dotted line, they are going to need incentives for choosing your gym over others.

Targeting shift workers

Medical professionals, retail employees, police officers, and firemen are a few of the most common jobs that function using shift rotations. This means that a lot of them get off work when everything is closed, so providing them with a safe environment to relieve the stress from their jobs will give them a good reason to join. 

More options for customers

What can you offer people if they decide to become a member of your gym? Offering classes like yoga, Zumba, pilates, spin, boot camps, and martial arts will catch many people’s attention. Advertising sign-up specials and discounts will also go a long way.

People will simply appreciate the freedom they have with 24-hour access and being able to operate on their own schedule instead of yours. 

Improved brand reputation

Standing out from the competition is tricky, but it is possible if your brand has the right appeal. Successfully marketing your brand is vital to the success of your gym, and one of the best ways of advertising is through word of mouth. A gym with satisfied members means that people will be talking about it to others in ways that are favorable to your brand. 

Positive impact on customer loyalty

A good reputation is crucial for attracting and maintaining new customers and employees. If your members are happy with how they are treated when they go to a popular gym, they will be more likely to renew their membership and less likely to cancel. 

Competitive edge over other gyms

If you have a gym with 24-hour access then you will already have a competitive edge over the gyms that close down for the night. Once your gym becomes popular within the community is when you will gain momentum that could set you apart from the competition.

Looking for better Gym software?

Everything you need to run a profitable gym — and we integrate with remote access systems, too.

take a tour

Challenges of offering 24-hour gym access

Even though owning a gym can be a lucrative decision, there are many obstacles that come from offering members 24-hour access. One of the biggest challenges is assessing the safety issues of the neighborhood and deciding on which type of security system you feel is necessary without going overboard on spending. 

Security concerns

Determining which kind of security system to install will mostly depend on the location of the gym and the overall safety of the neighborhood. You don’t want to go overboard with your spending, but you also want to make sure that your property and staff are safely protected. 

Gymdesk integrates with Kisi, an internationally award-winning security platform that uses cloud-based technologies. Kisi is an app-based keycard system that will be talked about in more detail below.

Vandalism and theft

The chances of property destruction and thievery dramatically increase once the sun has been gone for several hours and the streets begin to clear out for the night. If there is no night staff available, how are you going to mitigate the increased risk of theft and vandalism to your gym? If you do have night staff, what actions can be taken to reduce those risks while also ensuring their safety? 

Safety risks

Considering every possible security concern is vital if you want your members to feel comfortable by having peace of mind. It’s also important to remember that while a lot of people do possess an increased sense of awareness once they find themselves in a dark and quiet parking lot, many will also become distracted by their phones or be too exhausted from working out that they sometimes let their guard down when they shouldn’t. 

Staffing issues

The employees are the backbone of the workplace and are essential for maintaining the gym’s positive image. Friendly and responsible staff will make sure members feel safe and comfortable, but those who are qualified can be hard to come by.

Increased labor costs

Opting to hire staff for night shifts will mean an increase in your overall labor costs. Convincing people to work the boring overnight shifts will need to come with an enticing wage hike. 

Difficulty in finding qualified staff for overnight shifts

Hiring for overnight hours can be challenging because they are typically more boring and dangerous. It’s hard to convince someone to work graveyard shifts if the money isn’t right, and the odds of neglecting cleaning and maintenance duties increase if the gym is open but empty. 

Maintenance and cleaning

With increased membership comes increased responsibility. Making sure that the gym is being cleaned with frequency and consistency is one of the biggest hurdles you will encounter. 

Difficulty in maintaining cleanliness and upkeep of the facility

General maintenance of a gym is a job that never ends. People often run through paper towels and toilet paper like there is an infinite supply in the holder. Sweat and spilled water can quickly create safety hazards. Laundry bins fill up fast and need to be put in the washing machine. Success with maintaining a clean gym will be facilitated with a competent work staff.  

Increased wear and tear on equipment

New gym equipment will start to look old fast once a lot of people begin using it. Careful and frequent monitoring of cables, fasteners, and safety pins will decrease the chances of any accidents and lawsuits.

Ways to mitigate challenges and maximize benefits

Taking proactive measures when dealing with security and maintenance concerns will help reduce the stress of the myriad responsibilities facing you as a business owner. Anything can happen at any time, which means that it’s better to prepare for all possible scenarios.

Implementing security measures

One of the best investments you can make as the owner of a gym is to install a stellar security system on the property. Security cameras and keycard requirements for access are two of the best options available.

Surveillance cameras

Placing surveillance cameras inside the gym and around the perimeter will deter a lot of potential crime. People are far more likely to behave if they know or even believe they are being monitored. 

Keycard access systems

Installing a keycard system is the best way to ensure that only current members are using the equipment and facilities. Doing so also makes the employees’ job easier since they can simply listen for a beeping sound confirming that a member is allowed entry instead of stopping what they were doing to manually check someone in.

One option that comes highly recommended is a Kisi keycard system for not just gym security but also as another convenience. Once members have joined your gym, all they need to do is download the Gymdesk app, submit the pin code, and they will then be able to simply scan their smartphones at the door for access. It is also an environmentally friendly option since there is no more need to purchase plastic keycards that tend to get worn out and lost.

Adjusting staffing schedules and duties

While hiring people for specific job duties is common, it would also be prudent to have them become familiar with other important responsibilities in case an employee can’t make it to their shift. Not only will the staff become more knowledgeable and versatile, but also the odds of keeping the place adequately maintained increase because more people will be trained to recognize when something needs repairing or cleaning.

Cross-training staff for multiple roles

Training the staff so they can become familiar with other job duties is a great way to ensure that multiple people are capable of assuming other positions in case of emergencies. Members will be happy that they are still able to attend a scheduled class even if someone from the front desk has to substitute for the trainer.

Offering incentives for overnight shifts

If you do decide to hire staff for overnight shifts, you will need to offer them a few incentives. This can come in various forms, but a couple of common ones are offering increased pay and product discounts.

Scheduling regular maintenance and cleaning

An ugly truth is that there will be a lot of time spent on cleaning and general maintenance. A clean gym will keep people coming back but making sure that the air conditioning is working and the gym equipment is safe for use is key to staying in business.

Hiring additional cleaning staff

Even though the gym employees are capable of keeping the gym clean, it’s always a good idea to hire a professional cleaning crew for regular cleaning appointments since they will have more modern and powerful cleaning supplies.

Conducting regular equipment inspections and repairs

Faulty gym equipment can lead to injuries which can lead to lawsuits. It’s crucial that the staff are aware of how to conduct proper inspections on every piece of equipment in the gym. Cables on compound machines, faulty safety pins, and broken treadmill buttons are a few of the most common problems when it comes to unsafe gym equipment. Hot water heaters, saunas, swimming pools, and air conditioners also all require frequent upkeep and attention. 

Conclusion: Should you offer 24-hour gym access?

Making money, expanding your professional and personal network, and satisfied customers are just a few benefits that can come with successfully owning and operating a 24-hour gym, but it is not without its notable trade offs of increased labor costs, security issues, and general maintenance.

Even though there is a great deal of responsibility that comes from owning a gym with 24-hour access, those challenges will be much easier to deal with if you choose to remain proactive and prudent with your decision making.

Looking for better gyms software?

We can help you run a more efficient and more profitable business.

Learn more

Get Our Best Content In Your Inbox

Insights on how to manage and grow your gym

Subscribe Now

Get more articles like this directly in your inbox.

Learn how to make your gym or martial arts school a profitable business.

* Unsubscribe at any time