You're interested in opening a gym. I get it. I hear it all of the time. In fact, it's usually the first thing someone says to me when they hear I own 3 gyms.
Typically the conversation goes like this.
John Doe: "So, I hear you own three gyms. I've always wanted to open my own gym."
Me: "Yes, I do. It's been one of the best decisions I've made. Why do you want to open a gym?"
Usually John Doe comes back with 1 of the following responses:
- I just want to work for myself. I want to be in charge of my life and build my own business. My passion is fitness, and it would be so much fun to own my very own gym.
- I'm tired of punching a time clock. My training hours are hectic and inconsistent. Although I love training, I also want a life outside of the gym, which I could have if I had an automated stream of income that didn't depend on me.
- I've been a trainer at the same gym for 3 years now. The owner is never there, and doesn't care. I have so many ideas that I know can improve the gym and make a lot of money. Every time I see a new member sign up, it infuriates me because I know that could be my gym and my money.
- I'm so tired of my boring job. The monotony is killing me, and there doesn't seem to be any chance of climbing up the corporate ladder. I'd rather start a business in an industry like fitness. It'd be challenging, yet rewarding. I'd actually look forward to going into work everyday.
Even though one or all of those things are swirling around in your head, unfortunately that's usually where it stops. Very few people make the jump to ownership.
Again, it usually comes down to just a handful of reasons:
- Lack of finances. Franchise gyms cost +$200k while even small studios can cost $75,000. Banks usually won't make a deal unless there is equity and cash involved. Most people make a few critical financial mistakes that keep them from getting a loan.
- Lack of experience/knowledge. Being a good trainer and being a good gym owner are two completely different things with completely different skill sets. Although you may know everything there is about the vastus medialis, you also better know how to read a P&L, how to manage people, how to run a Facebook ad, and how to create systems that keep the gym running when you're gone.
- Lack of confidence. Opening a business is risky. You can easily lose +$100k in 12 months without the right game plan. And what makes matters worse, usually your loved ones and friends aren't supportive of your dream which causes you to constantly second guess yourself. Just when you think you're ready to pull the trigger, you take a step back and "wait for another day."
So, what now? Stop and tell yourself it's just a dream? Hire a fitness coach? Take a business class? Grab a handful of business and marketing books and spend countless hours in the library? Just dive in head first without a plan or strategy? All options. Some good. Some bad.
But I think I have an option that you probably haven't thought of, and it just may be your best one.
I want you to think small. Really small. Think about how many members you'd need to be profitable. Think about a model that would allow you to do what you love, but also, step away when you want to and still make money. Think about the lifestyle you want.
Do you have your answers?
Good. Now go here.