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If you are planning to open a gym, these are the 5 steps that will help you save money, stress and time.
1) Make note of all potential costs
You must give yourself a budget to work with and establish the limit you can pay.
The biggest chunk of your money will go to your monthly costs like renting the place, electricity and other running costs, accounting services, marketing and potentially for salaries if you are planning to hire people. Make sure that they are not too high before you open and spare yourself future headaches.
Then there is the cost of equipping and potentially renovating the place. This investment will depend on that budget you have to work with. But no matter your budget, do the research, consider what you really need in your gym. Or ask the experts, the best brands that offer the equipment will have agents that will consider your wishes, needs, and budget and create the list of the equipment for your gym.
What costs should you consider:
- Do you have to renovate the place: demolishing walls, building locker rooms, painting the walls … You can do the easier things by yourself or with the help of your friends, but for the bigger building projects, you will probably need to hire somebody.
- Buying equipment: buying used or new equipment. My suggestion is not to buy expensive equipment that will be high quality but you will pay extra for the brand name on it. Or buy cheap equipment on e-bay that will not last you long and you will end up having to replace most of it. Search for the good quality equipment that is not overpriced, like KingsBox for example. The prices for a gym (depending on its size) go somewhere around 5.000 to 25.000 €. If you go for a high-end brand you will pay somewhere in between 16.000 and 40.000 € for the same set of equipment.
2) The location
You know what they say: location, location, location. And it is true, the location is very important, but will also affect how much you spend on the rent. If you can afford to rent in the center of the town, go for it. But if your budget will not allow it, find a well-connected place in the suburbs with a good parking space. You can always upgrade when your business starts binging money. Owning a functional fitness gym has the advantage that you pack it up quickly and easily.
When you know the part of town you want to be located at, start searching for warehouses, old factories, closed businesses. Search for available spaces near shopping centers: good parking, plus people are already used to coming there. Research online and also ask around, some spaces won’t be listed, but you might know a fired of a friend who knows a guy 😉
And the most important thing: sleep on it, don’t jump at the first location you find.
OK, you found the location with the perfect space, what is next?
3) Recruiting new gym members
Marketing. It will be the most important thing when you first start. You have to get the word out there. People must first know you, your offer and where to find you before they can come for their first class. Here are some quick tips:
- Exist on social media. Create your Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat account. Post photos, stories and reviews of your gym regularly.
- Make appearances on local happenings, spread the word to make connections.
- Show people that you are an expert in your field, write a blog.
- Help organize local competitions, sports camps, and fairs where you can meet your potential customers.
- Put some ads in your local paper on your local radio, billboards, make pamphlets…
If you want to learn more about how to grow your gym business, there is a more detailed article that you can find here: link.
4) Opening your gym means that you are a businessman
Functional fitness is all about the community, helping and supporting others, but this does not mean you should offer free memberships to all of your friends and family. You have to run your gym like it is a business, you have to pay that rent and electricity every month so you must earn the money. You can offer some discounts for students, new customers, loyal members and so on, just make sure you earn enough to not just barely make it through the month. With those extra earnings, you can buy new equipment, upgrade your facility or you can invest it in your or your coaches education. All of this will help you offer more value to your customers.
5) Don’t give up and don’t forget to train
Don’t forget why you wanted to open your gym in the first place. Functional fitness is your passion. So make time for it. Keeping yourself in shape and showing the passion for the sport will encourage and inspire your customers to do the same.
So what are you waiting for? Remember what Walt Disney said: All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.