Do you want to start a zumba class business? If YES, here is a 20-step guide on how to start a profitable zumba class business with no money and experience. If you intend starting this type of business, it is advisable to first look at the existing laws and zonal regulations in the country or state you reside in to know what is expected of you.

You would also need to pay a visit to the regulatory bodies in your country to get all the information you need before you can legally open your Zumba studio business in your city. You can start your Zumba studio business from a small town in the United States and if you are good at what you do, it won’t be too long before your brand becomes a nationally recognized brand especially if you go into franchising.

20 Steps on How to Start a Zumba Studio Business in the United States

1. Understand the Industry

Zumba is an exercise fitness program created by Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto “Beto” Pérez during the 1990s. Zumba is a trademark owned by Zumba Fitness, LLC. The Brazilian pop singer Claudia Leitte has become the international ambassador to Zumba Fitness.

Zumba studio fall under the Gym, Health & Fitness Clubs industry and this industry operates fitness and recreational sports facilities that feature exercise and other active physical fitness conditioning or recreational sports activities, such as swimming, skating or racquet sports. Operators are also involved in facilities management and fitness instruction.

Zumba classes are typically about an hour long and are taught by instructors licensed by Zumba Fitness, LLC. In one Zumba class, a person can burn up to 600 kcal, depending on the energy put forth. The music comes from the following dance styles: cumbia, salsa, merengue, mambo, flamenco, chachacha, reggaeton, soca, samba, hip hop music, axé music and tango. Zumba is one of the most versatile fitness workouts, as classes can be geared for any fitness level.

The Gym, Health & Fitness Clubs industry of which Zumba studio line of business is subset of is indeed a very large industry and pretty much thriving in all parts of the world especially in developed countries like the United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, South Africa, Czech Republic and Italy et al.

Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 111,055 licensed and registered gym, health & fitness clubs facilities responsible for employing about 808,932 employees and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $36 billion annually with an annual growth rate projected at 3.5 percent between 2014 and 2019. It is only Fitness International LLC that can boast of having a giant market share in this industry.

Recent research published by IBISWorld shows that the Gym, Health and Fitness Clubs industry has benefited over the five years to 2019, primarily as a result of broad economic improvements and increased health-consciousness. Companies in this industry operate fitness and recreational sports facilities that offer exercise equipment and recreational sport activities for consumers.

Some gym, health and fitness clubs have appealed to consumers on the basis of convenience by offering low-cost memberships with full operational hours. Comparatively, niche studios have appealed to consumers by offering classes with specific workouts or environments. According to International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association data, the number of health club memberships in the United States increased to 60.9 million.

In recent time, the industry has experienced revenue growth despite many families being time – strapped. While the industry contended with related health and fitness activities many operators generated industry revenue growth on the basis of convenience. In the coming years, the industry revenue is forecast to grow as the industry continues to enhance their product portfolios to attract children and families, despite their reduced leisure time.

Starting a Zumba studio business in the United States of America can be stressful, it requires enough cash to acquire land large enough to accommodate the kind of indoor gym facility that can comfortably attract families and also cash required to equip the studio to meet the standard expected by potential users.

2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies

  • Demographics and Psychographics

The demographic and psychographic composition of those who patronize Zumba studios cut across all genders; male and female, children and adults who want to learn new dances, choreography and fitness related skills hence the demographic composition for Zumba studio business is all encompassing. In essence, your target market can’t be restricted to just a group of people, but all those who reside within your target market location.

3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On

It is important to state that aside from the fact that a Zumba studio business is a niche idea in the Gym, Health & Fitness Clubs industry, it is the norm for Zumba studios to specialize in one or more of the following areas of specialization;

You can offer these ten types of classes, for different levels of age and exertion;

  • Zumba Gold is a program designed for beginners and older people.
  • Zumba Step is a lower-body workout that incorporates Zumba routines and step aerobics with Latin dance rhythms.
  • Zumba Toning is for people who do their workouts with toning sticks. It targets the abs, thighs, arms, and other muscles throughout the body. This type of Zumba class provides participants with a cardio workout and strength training.
  • Aqua Zumba classes are held in a swimming pool. The instructor leads the class poolside while participants follow in shallow water. Moves have been specially adapted to combine the same dance movements used in a Zumba Fitness class with those used in aqua fitness classes.
  • Zumba in the Circuit combines dance with circuit training. These classes usually last 30 minutes and feature strength exercises on various stations in timed intervals.
  • Zumbatomic, Zumba Kids and Zumba Kids Jr. classes are designed for children between the ages of 7 and 11.
  • Zumba Gold-Toning is a toning class for older participants with goals of improving muscle strength, posture, mobility, and coordination.
  • Zumba Sentao is a chair workout that focuses on using body weight to strengthen and tone the body.
  • Strong by Zumba This specialty combines high intensity interval training with Synced Music Motivation.
  • Zumbini is a class for babies and children at the ages of 0–3 years old and their caregivers. Their live classes stream on BabyFirstTV.
  • A Plate by Zumba is an e-learning program to learn about healthy eating habits.

The Level of Competition in the Industry

The competition that exists in the Zumba studio business goes beyond competition with Zumba studios within the city or state where your Zumba studio is located; you will be expected to compete with Zumba studios outside your state and even outside the United States due to online offerings. So, it will be right to say the competition in the Zumba studio business is relatively tough.

The truth is that, no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your services or business properly, you will always make headway in the industry. Just ensure your studio facility is well furnished and secured, your licensed Zumba instructors and coaches are well-trained, your services are affordable, your customer care services is top notch and you know how to attract and reach out to your target market.

But over and above, there are several Zumba studios scattered all around the United States. So, if you choose to start your own Zumba studio in the United States, you will definitely meet stiff competition. Besides, there are larger Zumba studios that determine the trends in the industry and you should be ready to compete with them for customers.

4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry

Here are some of the most popular Zumba studios in the United States of America;

  • SHAPING USA Fitness & Dance Studio
  • LA Dancefit Studio
  • Just Dance Fitness and Zumba Studio
  • Corazon Latino Dance Studio
  • Fit Dance Studio by Zumba People
  • Power Zumba Studio
  • Valeo Dance Fitness Studio
  • Move Dance and Fitness Studio
  • Fun San Jose Zumba Classes
  • Zumba with Shannon

Economic Analysis

If you are looking towards successfully launching a business and maximizing profits, then you need to ensure that you get your economic and cost analysis right and try as much as possible to adopt best practices in the industry you choose to build a business in.

Zumba studio business is not a green business, as a matter of fact, you will come across several Zumba studios when you drive through the city or when you search both online and offline directories. So, if you are mapping out your economic and cost analysis, you should carry out thorough market survey and costing of the required amount to secure a studio facility, hire fitness instructors and coaches, secure business license, build software apps and also the cost running to successfully run the business.

Over and above, if you are considering starting a Zumba studio, then your concern should not be limited to the cost required to a studio facility, hiring fitness instructors, etc. but also on branding and on how to build a robust clientele base. The truth is that if you are able to build a robust clientele base, you are sure going to maximize profits in the business.

5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to choosing how you intend starting a business. Basically, you should be guided by your overall business vision and mission statement.

If you are looking towards starting a Zumba studio, you have the option of either buying a franchise or starting from the scratch, but we would usually advise our readers to start from the scratch because it will afford you the opportunity to come up with unique concepts that will place you in the fore-front of the industry.

Please note that most of the successful Zumba studios around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success.

6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face

If you decide to start your own Zumba studio today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established Zumba studios and other gym and fitness studios within your business location who are also offering same services you intend offering. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.

Some other challenges and threats that you are likely going to face is economic downturn. Unfavorable government policies can also hamper the growth of your Zumba studio.

7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)

Generally, you can choose a general partnership, limited liability company, or a sole proprietorship for your Zumba studio. Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale Zumba studio business especially if you are just starting out with a moderate startup capital in a small neighborhood. But if your intention is to grow the business and open branches and sell franchises all across the United States of America, then choosing sole proprietor is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.

8. Choose a Catchy Business Name

When it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. Typically, it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business.

9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You

In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policies that are required by the industry you want to operate from. Thus, it is imperative to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your business.

Here is some of the basic insurance policies that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own Zumba studio business in the United States of America;

10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents

If you are considering starting your own Zumba studio business, you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.

But if you just want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even jingles and media production concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO. The final approval of your trademark is subjected to the review of attorneys as required by USPTO.

11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification

Irrespective of the results you produce as it relates to training your students on different dances and fitness steps, professional certification is one of the main reasons why some Zumba studios stand out. If you want to make an impact in the Gym, Health and Fitness Clubs industry, you should work towards acquiring all the needed certifications in your area of specialization.

Certification validates your competency and shows that you are highly skilled, committed to your career, and up-to-date in this competitive market. These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own Zumba studio;

  • Licensed Zumba Instructor
  • Degree or Diploma in Health and Fitness Related Courses

Please note that Zumba instructors can become ZIN™ Members (Zumba Instructor Network members) to receive monthly music and bimonthly training DVDs to assist with the creation of music and choreography for their personal Zumba classes. By 2019, there were more than 100,000 Zumba instructors around the world.

12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate

It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hands of the law catch up with you. These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own business in the United States of America;

13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital

Starting a Zumba studio is no doubt expensive except you choose to start on a small scale without a well-equipped studio. The amount needed to acquire the required business licenses, software apps, studio facility and pay your workers are part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital.

So, if you choose to start the business on a large scale, you need to go source for fund to finance the business because it is expensive to start a standard large – scale Zumba studio with loads of full-time employees. When it comes to financing a business, one of the first things you should consider is to write a zumba studio business plan.

If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business. Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your Zumba studio;

14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business

Starting a Zumba studio business comes with its own challenges; it is a business that cannot be started in any location. You will need approval from local council and other regulating authorities in the city you intend opening your studio.

Generally, in business, it cannot be overemphasized that the location you chose to start your business is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consists of people with the require purchasing power, and lifestyle. If you make the mistake of renting or leasing a facility in a not too visible or hidden location simply because it is cheap, then you must be prepared to spend more in promoting the business.

It is important to note that a business facility in good location does not come cheap hence you should be able to allocate enough fund for leasing/renting in your budget. If you are new to the dynamics of choosing a location for your business, then you should feel free to talk to a business consultant or a realtor.

Most importantly, before choosing a location for your Zumba studio business, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across similar business that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out. Which is why it is very important to gather as much facts and figures before choosing a location to set – up your own Zumba studio business

These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your Zumba studio business;

  • The demography of the location
  • The demand for the services of Zumba and other dance and fitness related businesses in the location
  • The purchasing power of the residents of the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The number of Zumba studios and other gym and fitness businesses in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community / state
  • Traffic, parking and security et al

15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs

If you are considering starting a Zumba studio, then you need to develop your own unique administrative software application, internet platform and online payment system (that will help you facilitate payment of membership fees).

So also, you will definitely need computers / laptops, internet facility, telephone, fax machine and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves) and above all dance and fitness studio equipment and gadgets, and all these can be gotten as fairly used.

As regards leasing or outright purchase of a studio facility, the choice is dependent on your financial standings, but the truth is that to be on the safe side, it is advisable to start off with a short – term rent / lease while test running the business in the location. If things work out as planned, then you go on a long – term lease or outright purchase of the property but if not, then move on and source for other ideal location/facility for such business.

When it comes to hiring employees for a standard Zumba studio, you should make plans to hire a competent Chief Executive Officer (You can occupy this role), Studio Managers, Zumba Instructors, Sales and Marketing Officer, Accounting Clerk, and Customer Service Executives. You may need a minimum of 5 full time staff to start a Zumba studio.

The Service Delivery Process of a Zumba Studio business

When it comes to services delivery of Zumba studios; it depends on the goal or what the students want to achieve. It could range from just losing weight to staying healthy and fit to even just having fun.

Most Zumba classes are an hour long. They begin with a dynamic warm-up and end with a cool down and some static stretching. While many of the dance moves instructors use are pre-choreographed by Zumba, instructors often add their own flair, dance steps or even create an entirely new routine to their favorite songs.

Please note that a Zumba studio may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility; the above stated Zumba studio business process is not cast on stone.

16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies

The fact that the entry barrier for starting even a small – scale Zumba studio business is low means that more players would want to come into the industry if they have space. In essence, you must come up with unique marketing strategies if you must carve out a market for yourself within the available market in your community, city, state or country.

So, when you are drafting your marketing plans, make sure that you create a compelling company profile. Aside from your qualifications and experience as a licensed Zumba instructor, it is important to clearly state what you have been able to achieve in time past. This will help boost your chances in the market place.

Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your Zumba studio business;

  • Introduce your Zumba studio by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to owners of households, colleges and other key stake holders in and outside the city where your Zumba studio is located
  • Open your Zumba studio with a party so as to capture the attention of residents who are your first targets
  • Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across
  • Create a basic website for your business so as to give your business an online presence
  • Directly market your Zumba studio and services.
  • Join local Zumba studio associations for industry trends and tips
  • Provide discount for your customers
  • Advertise our business in community – based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth marketing (referrals)

17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products

One key factor that will help you offer your Zumba studio services at a price that is highly attractive is to ensure that you source your working capital from sources that won’t put pressure on you or give you high interest rate.

Another strategy that will help you offer your Zumba studio services at the right price is to ensure that you cut operational cost to the barest minimum, and channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name. Aside from the fact that this strategy will help you save cost, it will also help you get the right pricing for your products and services.

18. Develop an Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win

The availability reliable and easy to learn Zumba programs in your studio, availability of professional Zumba instructors, your business process and of course your pricing model are part of what you need to stay competitive in the industry.

Another possible competitive strategy for winning your competitors in this particular industry is to build a robust clientele base. Over and above, ensure that your organization is well positioned, key members of your team are highly qualified and your services can favorably compete with the some of the best in the industry.

19. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers

When it comes to business, no matter the industry that you choose to pitch your tent in, one of the easiest ways to increase customer retention and perhaps attract new customers is to produce results and satisfy your customers always. If your customers are satisfied with your products and service delivery, they can hardly source for alternative service providers.

If your services and customer service fluctuate, you are likely going to struggle to get your customers retaining your services. Ensure that you offer your customers incentives if you want to retain them and of course continue to generate repeated sales from them and also attract new customers.

Part of what you need to do to achieve this is to track progress, results or outputs with the aim of improving on them quickly as the case demands. When it comes to managing your customers and building a loyal clientele base, you should purchase a customized CRM software.

With a customized CRM system, you can easily stay in touch with your clients (you can carry out quick surveys, you can introduce new products and prices to them without any hitch, you can felicitate with them on their birthdays and other anniversaries, you can keep track of their progress, you can send bulk sms and customized e – mails and above all, you can easily receive compliant and feedback from them).

20. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity

If you are in business and you are not conscious about boosting your brand and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portrays your business to be. One of the secrets of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend good money year in and year out to boost their brand awareness and to continue to communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to perceive them to be.

No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand and create a corporate identity for your Zumba studio;

  • Place adverts on both print (newspapers and health and fitness related magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community – based events / programs
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your Zumba studio
  • Install your Bill Boards in strategic locations all around the location where you have your Zumba studio
  • Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
  • List your Zumba studio in local directories/yellow pages
  • Advertise your Zumba studio in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
  • Position your Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your Zumba studio is located.
  • Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and vans are well branded with your company logo et al.
Ajaero Tony Martins