6 Most Popular Fitness Business Types

During my time in the fitness industry I’ve encountered dozens of different business types. Each one had unique challenges and opportunities, and helping them required me to understand who they were and where they wanted to go. The following are the primary types of businesses I found.

Before you move forward, you need to understand what your business is in order to figure out where you need to go. While your business could fit into multiple categories, your revenue breakdown should clearly show what type of business you really are.


The Guru Business is a service-based company that is focused on a single trainer, coach, or mentor. The basis of the business is that this person knows their stuff and in order to understand what they have achieved, you need to buy their product or service. It is usually information based and centers on one specific methodology or product. The goal of this business is to make the “guru” as popular and famous as possible.


The Inventor Business is focused on a single product or a line of related products. It is usually a new fitness invention, or an existing product that is being used/offered in a unique configuration. This business is product based, meaning that the end goal is to get people to buy the product, as well as accessories and future products produced by the business.


The Supplier Business is a middleman that provides other companies’ products or services to an end consumer. This could be a franchise, fitness product reseller, or affiliate marketer (someone who simply sends traffic to an end supplier in return for a commission). The goal of this business is to become a resource for a certain type of product or service and thereby achieve repeat business from a customer who regularly needs what they offer.


The Brand Business is a complicated beast that appears to do everything and nothing at the same time. They usually market their name more than any individual product or service, relying on a hidden revenue stream that most people wouldn’t guess if they observed the company from an outside perspective. The goal of this business is to make the brand as popular as possible, gaining a loyal following that will purchase their offerings on a repeat basis.


The Gym Business is a facility or chain of facilities that makes money primarily off memberships, fitness classes, or personal training. The ideal Gym Business has an extremely well defined fitness system which they repeat to great effect. The goal of this business is to maximize the amount of clients and expand as much as possible, either through larger facilities or multiple locations.


The Online Service Business offers nothing but access to exclusive information online in return for a monthly fee. It’s usually related to workout or diet plans, but could be more tailored to fitness professionals who want to make money online with webinars, podcasts, affiliate marketing, etc. The goal of this business is to sign up and retain as many people as possible as members.


While any company hoping to grow their business through Content Marketing needs to be an information provider, there are businesses that exclusively provide information in exchange for followers (social media followers, email newsletter subscribers, magazine subscribers, etc.). They usually make their money off of standard advertising agreements with companies looking to target their following or through affiliate marketing.

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