Thinking about starting up your OWN gym?
Thinking about starting up your own gym? Do your research! And do it well. It’s a huge investment and the return in the first year is most probably not going to knock you out, so be prepared and have all your boxes ticked.
- Planning: There is a great saying by Benjamin Franklin that couldn’t be truer, especially in today’s competitive business environment; “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Have your business plan well thought out.
In order to write up a plan that will succeed you need to ask lots of questions and survey the area in which you are planning to open. This is the step most people leave out but I can assure you that it is the most important. Unfortunately we tend to assume we know what our customers want but I can tell you from experience of operating businesses for more than 20 years, the business owner usually gets it wrong. Now this actually means getting down on the street and asking locals what they actually want. Find out if they go to a gym or have in the past and what they like or dislike. It’s far easier to sell someone something they want than to convince them to buy something they don’t want, so don’t make life harder for yourself than it needs to be. What you or I think is important is not necessarily what your potential clients need and want.
Factors such as the area population, median household income and the population by age and sex. Getting the demographic right will mean more accurate targeting of your marketing dollars.
The importance also of managing your marketing and memberships should not be overlooked. Having the correct software to manage club memberships and the running of your club should be well set up from the get go; think big and adapt your software accordingly. There are plenty of good cloud based software programs out there.
- Pricing: Don’t base your business model on price alone as a competitor can always undercut you. Most of the successful business around don’t market themselves as being the “cheapest”. This only has a limited life span. You are better off pushing service, quality and many other points that will attract the demographic you are after.
- Funds: Now this is a touchy subject but I am not going to beat around the bush on it. If you don’t have the necessary funds set aside to open a fitness centre, Pt Studio or Crossfit Box then save yourself the pain; DON’T DO IT! Wait until you have more than enough funds to cover the first few months of overheads and a cash flow projection that will back it up, otherwise you will spend your days stressed out rather than being up beat and growing your business. Don’t just list the essential items you will require but allow for extras and from our experience it always costs more to set up than you originally projected.
- Equipment: Ensure you only purchase premium grade commercial fitness equipment and with our wholesale direct buying prices, you will be able to afford premium grade gear without the absurd prices. The right commercial grade fitness equipment will ensure you avoid unnecessary expenses later. Inferior quality equipment will not withstand the punishment your clients will put it through and poor quality gear can cause serious injuries due to metal fatigue and failure. There’s loads of supposed commercial fitness equipment out there that just isn’t up to scratch and shouldn’t even be on the market. Most equipment suppliers will encourage you to just ‘Jump in the deep end”, “you’ll be ok, you know what you are doing” etc etc. They just want the deal and don’t care if you sink or swim. Our view is that if you fail, then we have failed. We continue to work with many of our clients well after they have taken possession of the equipment with marketing plans and whatever else they require to ensure they succeed. Most customer lease their equipment so they can use the funds they have saved or set aside for set up and initial running costs. We also have our own team of specialist consultants who can assist with finance and leasing as required. Your budget and financials will determine this; either way do your homework. Whether it’s Crossfit® commercial fitness equipment, treadmills, weight & strength machines or cardio training equipment – it all needs to be superior quality. Don’t settle for less.
- Pre-Opening Memberships: Early sign ups (Foundation Memberships) will ensure you have cash flow from day one and ensure clients are committed to see your centre, even if another centre pops up around the same time as yours opens. Then employing and training good staff will start you off with a great reputation and instil trust in potential clients.
Overheads, sales revenue, gross profit, margin etc. There’s a bunch of words that will be flying around in your head. Concentrate on planning and setting up the best possible format you can afford. Target your potential clients with a strong marketing campaign, fit out your gym with superior quality commercial fitness equipment and train your staff to be the best in your area.