In my opinion, the fitness industry in Malaysia is still very young. According to the Themalaysianreserve.com (2017), the market penetration rate of fitness centers in Malaysia is between 1% and 2% compared to 5% in Singapore, and between 10% and 17% in the US, Australia and the UK.
That means, there are only 320000- 640000 out of 32 million Malaysian have a gym membership. There is still a lot of room for business expansion, near to 99% of “empty market”. However, this number is not really accurate, as not all age group are suitable to join gym.So, let us drill down a little bit deeper.
The average gym goer will be the age between 17- 65(my opinion) . According to indexmundi.com (2017) the age distribution of the population in Malaysia is as below :
15-24 years: 16.81% (male 2,677,834/female 2,598,958)
25-54 years: 41% (male 6,507,499/female 6,358,762)
55-64 years: 8.27% (male 1,316,331/female 1,277,558)
I will just take the age range from 15-64 for this research, as this is the best age range that i can get online.
Total : 20736942 Malaysian
20,736942 divided by 32 mil(total estimate Malaysia population) = 64%
So , 64% is a much more accurate that represent THE REAL “empty market” that you can put your hand on, if you are looking to start a gym business in Malaysia.
Another aspect that you must look into when planning your future gym business in Malaysia , is the psychology aspect of the population .
You will be no longer dealing with the baby boomers, instead you will be dealing with the millennial . These millennial will not only be your main target customers , but they might also be your business partner or your employees. Therefore, by understanding their character will be very useful in your future business .
I am not a psychology expert (although i am doing my psychology degree now) , but i would like to share with you through some research on google and also my own experience when i am working in a commercial gym .
According to marketingprofs.com :
1#Millennials are 4.6 times more likely than other generations to rent products online
2# 2.3 times more likely to use sharing services
3#Some 39% of Millennials post reviews of products or brands, and this generation is more likely to listen to and connect with people like them rather than celebrities
4#Over 60% of people age 18-24 would try a product suggested by a YouTuber
5# 69% of Millennials have admitted to experiencing FOMO (fear of missing out)
Value IS Everything
Millennials weigh the integrity, value , meaning of a business model against their own set of values. Brands that align with a social cause are big YES to them. A great example is Toms Shoes, a footwear company that donates a pair of shoes for every pair of shoes purchased by a consumer.
I am not asking you to donate your revenue to help others(it will be great if you can ) , but a meaningful mission that caused you to run your business, is the main attractor to the millennial.
Some of the successful brands that focused on Millennial .
If you have any prediction on the future of personal training career in Malaysia, feel free to comment below .