Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, its been a crazy late 2016, but as of 2017 I am going to get posting as much as possible and bring as much value as I possibly can. One of the reasons I was so busy was I had a JV with an individual based in London, where we were trying to create a semi-automated gym business. This is the breakdown of what we did and how we grew it to the break-even point in just 3 months (That’s pretty fast when you consider the costs, rents, rates in London and how long it usually takes for gyms to gain a following.)
Gym Business Case Study
As you probably already know, people like to join gyms in January to “get fit” – But this is not the clientele we were looking for. Although these people make it very easy to make a quick amount of money as a gym owner, they do not stick around and simply annoy the people really looking to train in the gym itself. As a result we wanted to brand our gym to intermediate lifters, these people generally don’t mind paying a bit more as long as the equipment is high quality and the gym is not too busy. So stage 1 was simply to make our gym branding to intermediate lifters.
This is not to say that we didn’t get anybody that wasn’t a beginner, we had loads of beginners come through the website or into the gym, and they were accepted in the gym too. The reason why they did, was how the branding was set-up. If you appeal to the highest quality athlete, you are also going to appear to the lower ones too, for example, they want to BECOME the individual that you are featuring and appealing too. As a result they come to the gym MORE MOTIVATED which is great for us and them.
The next stage once the branding and website was complete was to set-up the gym itself. We had the capital for all the equipment we needed and I’m not going to go in-depth into this, but I will say it was just under £100,000, which as you know is a lot of money. Luckily only about half of this was a business loan, the other half we both put up (my business partner and me.)
Setting Up & Security
Although the individual I worked with on this project only lived 10 minutes from the gym’s location near central London, he (and I agreed) this needed to be a semi-automated process. Meaning people needed to sign up online, or arrange to come in at specific times. Walk-ins could happen as there would be a PT on the gym floor from around 10-7 every day, but that was the only semi-paid member of staff. There is a lot of agreement that PTs can use the gym for training people for free and as a result they work a certain number of hours for your gym. I think it’s a win-win and we had loads of PTs that agreed too.
Setting up the gym with the equipment was easy, but the security side was a bit harder. We wanted to have a system that would allow the gym to stay SECURE whilst we weren’t there. We looked at a number of options but ended up on a specific gym access control system. This is the type of device that prevents just anyone from walking into the gym off the street. There are generic access control options too by the same company that we went with.
Once that was set-up we were ready to go! It was just the marketing left, the fun part! The budget we had for marketing wasn’t huge (it never is) but I think we used it very well judging by the number of people we had come into the gym in the 90 days it was first launched. But that is for part 2 of the post which will likely be in 2-3 weeks time. I hope you enjoyed this one and remember to share and comment if you have any questions or ideas.