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Author Topic: Gym Owners Talk  (Read 35071 times)
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« on: April 19, 2006, 11:34:47 AM »

Is it worth it?  Was it hard to ge ta loan?  Where did you get your equipment, and did you buy new or used?  Liability? Other issues?

Are you glad you did it?  If you could go back 5 or 10 years, what would you do differently?  This is the place where gym owners, or those interested in maybe starting a gym down the road, can talk about it!
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2006, 07:04:19 PM »

Is it worth it?  Was it hard to ge ta loan?  Where did you get your equipment, and did you buy new or used?  Liability? Other issues?

Are you glad you did it?  If you could go back 5 or 10 years, what would you do differently?  This is the place where gym owners, or those interested in maybe starting a gym down the road, can talk about it!

Our next plan is to get a 3000sq PT studio that's affiliated with our current gym.  4 lane track, monkey bars, climbing ropes, sleds, monster truck tires in the parking lot...fun stuff.  You'd be suprised how many 40 year old JPMorgan Chase employees it takes to flip a 500lb tire (answer: too many). 

Low overhead. 

Trainers are paid a fixed rate based on certification and experience plus comisssion for selling packages.   

Trainers only get paid if it's a paid session.

Mothers returning to the workforce are your best trainers, they can handle the young guys and the old women. 

Fixed overhead business. 
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2006, 11:11:53 AM »

I have a few friends that either have own gyms or PT studio's.  Their answers are something like this:

Is it worth it?

no...not always. 

Quote
Was it hard to ge ta loan?

no...but depends on your business plan & partnership

Quote
Where did you get your equipment,

From whomever bids the lowest.  Try to go with one vendor (like Life Fitness) that can provide about 80% of the cardio & strenth that you need.  Then they will buy into other lines & add select pieces they prefer & customers would request.

Quote
and did you buy new or used?  Liability? Other issues?

New....never used or very rarely used.  A friend I know will buy small PT studios (complete buyout)....update & resell them.  If the used equipment still in there is ok....they'll leave it a lone.



Quote
Are you glad you did it?

no....& yes.  Making money can be harder than it seems from owning a gym.

Quote
If you could go back 5 or 10 years, what would you do differently?

Go back another 15-20 years & start then

Quote
This is the place where gym owners, or those interested in maybe starting a gym down the road, can talk about it!

Then bottom line they all say the same thing....have a niche, sell memberships, & location, location, location.
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2006, 12:41:51 PM »

What is the success rate of none chain owned gyms?Huh
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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2006, 01:49:05 PM »

What is the success rate of none chain owned gyms?Huh

Now thats a good question.

That really depends on size, location, & what actual kind of gym it is.


Don't have any stats on that.
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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2006, 01:58:58 PM »

What is the success rate of none chain owned gyms?Huh

Got this off the Golds Gym Website:


According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, 90 percent of franchised operations are still operating after ten years, whereas 82 percent of independent businesses fail. This statistic solidifies the fact that aligning with a recognized leader increases the probability of success.
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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2006, 06:19:54 PM »

Wow that is a pretty good success rate..... The profits must be the problem breaking even is prob the easy part.

Knny do you own a gym?
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« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2006, 02:03:59 PM »

Wow that is a pretty good success rate..... The profits must be the problem breaking even is prob the easy part.

Knny do you own a gym?

no.....but have considered it & have a friend that wants me to go in with him....

I just don't have the passion for it.

I have a few friends that either own a studio or have owned Hard Core gyms in the past.
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« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2006, 02:28:45 PM »

seems like alot of work.......
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« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2006, 01:41:58 PM »

I'm not a gym owner but if anyone would like to send me a PM with questions about owning a gym I'd be more than happy to try and guess what the right answer would be


geo
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« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2006, 03:56:23 PM »

I'm not a gym owner but if anyone would like to send me a PM with questions about owning a gym I'd be more than happy to try and guess what the right answer would be


geo

thanks for your support
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« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2006, 12:00:40 PM »

Best bet is to lease the equipment where you are always getting new stuff evry 2-3 yrs then you can tell the members you just invested millions of dollars in all new equipment!
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« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2006, 02:03:32 AM »

Right at this moment I am putting two gyms together here.  I am either doing a Gold's Gym or Dorian Yates Temple Gym.  Allot to think about.  Gold's has the name but the reputation is down and especially here.  Very expensive and it doesn't seem they do any dealing.  Temple on the other hand seems very eager and wants to do what it takes to get on the map.  Easy to talk to and get ahold of.  Many of the executives of Gold's do not even work out of the office.  But I have been with Gold's for along time.  I make decision next week.  We'll see
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« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2006, 09:03:34 PM »

I bought a run down gym in 2002 for a 'modest' price....was a difficult and risky decision. I carefully planned every movement to compliment my 2 year plan where i would sell it.

I updated and bought new equipment as i required and as my membership increased. I ran the personal training business I was the cleaner, you name it!

It is a business, nothing else. It helps to have interest in what you do but dont get caught up. Gym members want to be your 'friend' thats the environment theyre accustom to and friends want to train free, but thats not smart business.

Follow a plan and you can be quite successful.
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« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2006, 09:14:06 PM »

What is the success rate of none chain owned gyms?Huh

like knny said...find a niche...provide better customer service.

People are wary of chain gyms, they join out of convenience and shrewd membership consultants, you just have to remind them that chain gyms go under and that their 'agreements' are concrete.

uninspired, lazy people will get buried by chain gyms if theyre not pro active 24/7
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« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2006, 10:56:38 PM »

Best bet is to lease the equipment where you are always getting new stuff evry 2-3 yrs then you can tell the members you just invested millions of dollars in all new equipment!

best bet is to buy refurbs. 30-60% lower cost...and you own it at the end of the day. that way you have something to liquidate if the business fails.

then budget for 3-6 new pieces a year.....keeping all the douches happy.
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« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2006, 02:20:18 AM »

best bet is to buy refurbs. 30-60% lower cost...and you own it at the end of the day. that way you have something to liquidate if the business fails.

then budget for 3-6 new pieces a year.....keeping all the douches happy.

Not to sure about that.  Depends on the size of the gym.  If you have a gym of 12,000 sq. ft. or bigger and plan on putting some good used equipment in, buying it will cost at least $100,000+ easy.  That is a big hunk of change to fork over in a business that has many other costs.  Your locker rooms alone will cost you at least $80,000 for a gym that size.  When you lease you get a very good warranty and no matter what you need that warranty.  I am opening two 13,000 sq. ft. facilities and I am putting in about $400,000 in equipment in each club.  The cardio alone was $100,000 with my discount of close to 50%.  Flooring alone is close to $50,000.  Lease payments are just under $8,000 a month.  No up front costs for leasing either.  That is due to our credit rating though and reputation.  The number one thing you have toworry about is rent.  you have to negotiate the best rent possible to make sure you are at the numbers you want.
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« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2006, 06:26:08 AM »

I own a 2000 sq ft personal training studio/gym in Tarpon Springs FL. I have been open since January of this year. I'll tell you right now it is not easy but I also would not trade it for anything. I bought some equipment used, leased some and bought a couple pieces new. I would reccomend keeping overhead to a minimum especially at first. I was able to secure an equity line from my bank but this also can be tough depending on your credit rating. It's like anything else... some days you love it some days you hate it but every day you are tied to it. It's not as glamorous as it might seem. It's difficult to get your own workouts in etc and the bottom line is always the bottom line. We have made money since our first month but not enough to cover my house note etc. I have a downtown store front with a lot of traffic and this definately helps. I have also been forced to rely on my personal training to carry us as the hard core bodybuilder is really the dinasour nowadays and you will not make money if you plan on appealing to them. Also it is tough to compete with the Golds, Lifestyles etc so find your niche and go for it if you have a love for it, time, patience and some money to live off while you get started. You might want to stick to websight designing. I'd be glad to speak to you abot it if you have any questions.
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« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2006, 11:58:01 PM »

as a gym owner, how would you best be approached by vendors trying to submit their prouducts to you? 
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« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2006, 12:23:34 AM »

Is it worth it?  Yes, good money if you're the only gym around..

Was it hard to get a loan?  I used all my own money.. But it is hard to get a loan if you don't have a business plan made of gold..


Where did you get your equipment, and did you buy new or used?  I bought it new and I got the best money can buy..  NEBULA BABY!!!


Are you glad you did it?  Ask me again in a year or so..


If you could go back 5 or 10 years, what would you do differently?  I was just a kid then.. 


Other than that....... COME TO MY GRAND OPENING DEC 9TH!!!! POWERHOUSE GYM YUCAIPA CA...    Grin



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« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2006, 12:56:51 AM »

Other than that....... COME TO MY GRAND OPENING DEC 9TH!!!! POWERHOUSE GYM YUCAIPA CA...    Grin

That's tomorrow!!
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« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2006, 01:28:08 AM »

That's tomorrow!!


Yeap..  I'll be posting pics for those who miss it..
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« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2006, 07:20:31 AM »

 I have owned 2 in my life time..  one in the last 1980's   and it was a raw ,hardcore gym... all before the EFT and Credit cards machines like they have now..lol

It was good but had a life change,

then in early 2000 I had a private club for PT,Massage,Yoga,Pilates, and had a PT Cert school.... did ok ,,, but we had as resturant below that had a bug fire which put us out of business... I have been looking now down in south jersey for a spot ..but havent really come up with one where I would like to be..  it takes time ! 

Its a good business in the right spot !   

and if you are looking to purchase and existing one ,, you really have to look into every aspect of the books....  it never is what they tell you when they are looking to sell!
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« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2007, 11:25:13 PM »

a few questions about starting a gym.

1. Did you guys write your own business plan?  If not who did it?  Is it possible for someone to post their successful Business Plan or cost of a proven one?
2. I have always heard keep personal funds and business funds totally seperate.  Is that even possible?
3. What if I never owned or managed any business before.  Is that a major strike against me as far as the loan institution is concerned?
4. I know women have a better chance of getting business funds like low interest loans and even grants.  Is this a good consideration?
5. The average price per Sq/Ft is $8-$12.  I am looking for around 1200 - 1400 sq/ft.  Does this mean rent is $9000 a month?
6. Did you all hire salesmen/trainers or just advertise and sign up whoever came in to ask?
7. Do any of you bill Medicare or insurance companies?  If so how do you get started and what are the rules (got a link)? 
8. Who wrote your contracts?
9. Does anyone have a 24 hour club with no staff at night?  Any horror stories?
10.  How much is insurance roughly?

Well these are a few questions I have.  Now let me tell you what I had in mind.

At my gym if I wanted to do Cardio I have to basically stand in line like a vulture.  Sooo....I was thinking why not have a 24 hour cardio only place.  No staff at night.  Cameras everywhere.  Fingerprint ID\or pin plus picture to get in the building.  No long term contracts.  Can go month to month.  Medicare/Insurance billing if applicable? (not sure if I can or not).  18 and over only.  About 50 machines total. 20 ellipticals, 20 Treadmills, 10 Bikes. TV's and radio with transmitters for the machines.
May include Tanning during the daytime while staff is there. May rent out space for massage therapist, physical therapist, aerobics.
I work in the I.T. field so any aspect of cameras, ID verification, software, payroll, etc...will be handled by me. 

I know many may cringe at a cardio only place but it is just a business idea that fills a void where other gyms cannot deliver. I see the same people at the gym everyday hitting the cardio and heading out.  I always think why do they spend $40 a month for just cardio.  I would like to charge $20 to $25 a month with perks like refer 4 people to sign up for year and you will get a year free.  In my head it is a cannot fail. The scariest thing is startup.  How do I get 300-400 members to join in very quickly to cover my costs.  Even then I am not sure that 400 memberships would do it.

Hopefully someone has some valueable input.  I would like to really have a go at this.  In the long term I would like to franchise out.  That's where the money is.

 
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« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2007, 08:50:27 AM »

http://www.anytimefitness.com/
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