About Our HomeTown Gym
It's 5:30 on a Monday morning. You pull up to the gym. You're the only car in the parking lot. The sun isn't even up yet. You get out of you car with your coffee and gym bag, and make your way over to the door. You swipe your card at the door and nothing but darkness and the smell of gym chalk. As you turn on the lights, all you see are kettlebells, dumbbells, treadmills, and barbells, lined up as far as the eye can see. And just then, as you take your first sip of coffee, a smile comes over your face because you realize it's all yours. It's your gym. It's your little oasis of happiness. And best of all, when you leave at 2pm, you know you're still making money and helping change lives. This isn't your job. It's not your business. It's your life!
Enter the Hometown Gym.
This is not a small personal training-only studio gym that seems to be all the rage right now. They require a big market that has stiff competition. Trust me, I own one and also sold one.
This is also not a 24 hour gym franchise you'll find in the back pages of Entrepreneur magazine. They're too expensive and too restrictive. Trust me, I looked into franchising 9 years ago, and am so thankful I didn't.
Instead, we took the best of both models, added some additional upgrades we've been testing and tweaking over the last 9 years, found a market it thrives in, automated and systemized as much as we could, and created a model we call The HomeTown Gym. It's built on :
- A Financial Engine that includes an automated stream of revenue that pays the bills, puts profit in your pocket, and is independent of your time. In addition, it can be fully customized to your market so you can create specialty revenue sources that are unique to you and your community.
- A Marketing Web that attracts the right members without spending your hard-earned cash, as well as creates a referral engine that constantly brings in new leads for free.
- A Contagious Atmosphere that builds a community of raving fans and friends and makes going to work seem like a dream.
- An Optimized System that can be run efficiently, minimizing expenses and overhead and maximizing profits.
Our model gives you everything you want - freedom, financial independence, and fun. You're the owner. You make the rules. You make the money. You make the difference. How unbelievably satisfying does that sound?
Take a look at these eye-popping stats:
- 57.3 million people belong to a gym in the U.S.
- Over 66 million people in the U.S. utilized a gym in 2016 with over 5 billion visits.
- U.S. gyms generated over $22.4 billion in revenue in 2013.
- Gym revenue is expected to grow at 2.9% annually through 2019.
And with healthcare costs spiraling out of control, it doesn't seem to be slowing down.The amount of people you can help is staggering. Today, 1 in 3 U.S. citizens are considered obese. These individual are at higher risk for diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, dementia, and a handful of other medical conditions. The obesity crisis costs the U.S. more than $150 billion in healthcare costs annually. Yes, that's billion with a B.
With such a large potential market, the interest for fitness is only going to grow.
Unfortunately, you're not the only one that sees the potential in the fitness industry.
- OrangeTheory Fitness plans to open 400 more studios in 2017, bringing their total to over 1,000 locations worldwide.
- Planet Fitness projects total revenue for their franchise to hit $415 million in 2017.
- YogaWorks, which operates 29 yoga studios, was sold to a private equity firm for $45 million.
More and more private equity firms and investors are looking at gyms as valuable assets to have in their portfolio. Soul Cycle, Equinox, and Snap Fitness have all benefited from investment firms, and will continue to benefit because investors are realizing fitness is no longer a niche industry.
I know what you're thinking... The numbers look great, but how do they look for the little guys, the owners with just one or two gyms? Although not as large, just as profitable. Keep reading.
What's the difference between a HomeTown Gym and a gym franchise?
Before we started our gym, we actually looked into several fitness franchises. Unfortunately, the costs, restrictions, and length of contracts were unappealing at best and appalling at worst. Plus, we were young, foolish, and arrogant. So, we started our own gym.
When we were approached by multiple firms to start franchising, we knew immediately we didn't want to pursue that route. If we weren't willing to become a franchisee, why would we become a franchisor?
However, we still wanted to help people start gyms. We had too many inquiries to just ignore it. We new we had a system that worked, could easily be taught to someone else, and be profitable for both parties. Luckily, because I had experience in the healthcare industry, I found out about Management Service Organizations (MSOs), which are primarily used by physician's offices. It works very similar to a franchise, but with less costs and restrictions.
So we took everything we didn't like about franchises, and flipped it with our newly formed MSO.
Compared to a typical fitness franchise, we have:
- Less upfront costs - Most fitness franchises have an initial franchise fee of $25,000 - $50,000. Our fee is substantially less at only $15,000.
- Less monthly costs - Typical monthly franchise fees range from $529 per month to 5% of gross revenue. Our fee is a flat $500 monthly fee.
- No hidden fees - If you read a franchise contract carefully, you'll notice a range of fees, everything from a local and national marketing fees to a website fee to a failed payment fee. That $529 monthly fee mentioned above can quickly climb to over $2000 worth of monthly fees if you check the fine print. We have one fee $500. That's it.
- Less restrictions - Most franchises will have you purchase all of your equipment from only a few suppliers, work with just a few software vendors, and require very specific signage throughout your gym, among a list of other requirements. Although that guarantees a similar member experience at every gym in the franchise as well as fulfills the franchisor's end of the deal, we feel it's too restrictive for the true entrepreneur, the dreamer. We do have limitations, but we still give freedom to experiment and test ideas you have. You're opening your gym. Why feel like you're handcuffed?
- A shorter initial contract - Most franchise contracts are 10 years. We're 5 years with an option to renew for 10 years. Why? Because most commercial leases are 5 years in smaller markets, and we don't think it's fair that you'll be be stuck in a contract beyond your initial lease. Plus, to us, it makes more sense to make the initial contract shorter in case it doesn't work out as well as expected, and then make a longer optional, additional contract once success has already been proven.
- The option to test drive ownership - Unlike fitness franchises, we give you the option to test drive gym ownership for a week at our gym. We want you to be confident gym ownership is right for you. So for an entire week you'll be the boss. You'll get see all of the numbers, the daily operations, and anything else you want to. We'll even show you one our studio gyms so you can see the difference between a HomeTown Gym and a boutique gym. And at the end of the week, you can decide whether to pursue a HomeTown Gym, wait, or not do it at all. No hard selling.
Of course, there are disadvantages to our model compared to a franchise. We:
- Require all owners to work at the gym at least 15 hours per week. This is not for investors or absentee owners. We're looking for gym owners that have a passion for fitness and their communities. If you're looking for an investment, look for a franchise.
- Limit ownership to no more than 2 HomeTown Gyms. Although franchises love selling to multi-unit owners, we don't. We want you, the owner, to be hands-on at your gym(s). We want you to be a pillar of the community and truly make a difference. You simply cannot do that if you rarely step inside your gym.
- Are not interested in rapid growth. If you want to be part of a $100 million dollar franchise that has 1,000 gyms, we're not right for you. We want to be successful, and we want you to be successful. And we can only do that if we're focused on slow, steady growth, giving you the attention and support you need to get your gym going. You're not just a number to us. You're part of our family.
- Specific to smaller markets. We like small. Our "blue ocean" is the small markets none of the big guys want. That's where we found our home, and know you'll succeed. However, that's not to say our model wouldn't work in small community within a large market. It very well could.
- Don't offer a model that will allow you to retire young. We're in the small markets. There's a limit to how much you'll make. Our model will allow you to make a comfortable living, well above the average personal trainer's salary, doing something you love while giving you the freedom to do what you want. It's about balance. To us, that's much more important that working 80 hours per week attempting to build a $10 million company you can turnaround and sell in 10 years. Plus, who really wants to retire when they are doing something they love every single day?
So yes, we are an alternative to a franchise. And yes, we do believe for most people interested in opening a gym, we're the better option.
So what do we offer?
Why Choose a HomeTown Gym?
We combined the intimacy of coaching with the automation and replication of the franchise model. So you'll get:
- A step-by-step blueprint for creating a 24 hour gym, taking you from a dreamer to a doer to an owner.
- Design and layout advice so you maximize revenue per square foot and minimize wasted, costly space.
- Virtual and in-person training for owners and managers.
- Ongoing training for managers, keeping them updated with latest industry trends, best practices, and fresh marketing ideas.
- Presale support for the grand opening
- Vendor discounts and partnerships
- Monthly owner strategy calls.
- Template workouts including our Personalized Coaching Plans (PCPs), Look Good Feel Good Workouts, and class plans including spin, bootcamps, and boxing.
- E-mail campaign templates for onboarding and monthly newsletters.
- Social media training including setting up accounts and creating ads that return a positive ROI
- Access to our Ageless playbook, which helps you plan the next 10 years of growth at your gym.
- Done-for-you marketing plans and ads including our annual marketing plan.
A HomeTown Gym is easy to own, easy to operate, affordable, and profitable. No hidden fees. Low start-up costs. Low overhead costs. Great coaching.
Are you ready to learn more? Drop your e-mail below and get an estimate on the start-up costs for your very own HomeTown Gym. Once you look over that, we can talk more about your future as a HomeTown Gym owner.