Is it a good time to invest in a fitness center? If you make an educated decision in regards to location and design, there’s never a bad time to open a gym. This is one of the few areas of business where the demand is always there. Just when you think the market is saturated, casual enthusiasts and gym junkies alike start looking for fun, new ways to get their bodies moving.
If you’ve been scared away from this potential investment opportunity because of the growing at-home fitness trend, we have some reassuring information for you. Take remote work, for example. It’s becoming more and more common that corporations and small businesses alike are allowing flexible work schedules for their employees. Today, more than 3 million working Americans telecommute. And with the rise of the “work from home” movement came an increased need for co-working spaces. Why? Because many people work more efficiently in a group setting. The same concept applies to the fitness market. You may be able to download workout videos on your phone from anywhere, but fitness centers continue to fulfill a need by:
●Providing heavy equipment you might not be able to afford in your own home
●Surrounding gym-goers with accountability partners and a like-minded community
●Providing wide open spaces for a variety of workouts
●Giving members access to one-on-one training sessions and guidance from professionals
What type of gym should I open?
What type of service do you want to offer? There are essentially two types of gyms that you can open to the public: boutique fitness centers and traditional gyms. One isn’t necessarily better than the other. In 2018, Anytime Fitness was ranked the #2 franchise opportunity in the country. Boutique gyms like CrossFit and Pure Barre continue to demand space in the market year after year. You’ll need to identify the need you want your fitness center to fulfill before you make the commitment.
What sort of equipment should I invest in?
Knowing the type of gym you want to open will make it easy to stay on top of equipment splurges. For example, clients who are looking for a boutique fitness experience might be wowed by new, state of the art equipment. It’s easy for gym owners to think that the best way to stay on top of changing fitness trends is to continue purchasing the most high-end equipment on the market. And that can be true, to an extent. Conferences and markets can be a great place to feel and use the latest equipment, making an educated decision on what advances are worth your investment.
But it all depends on your clientele. If you’re running a gym that operates mostly in a class atmosphere, you want to provide your clients with high-end, fully customizable equipment that allows you to use the same machine over and over in different ways. If your clients are using multiple machines to get quick workouts in or do a variety of training sessions, then the equipment may only need to have the bare essentials.
What’s more important is that your space is flexible. One of the most common reasons that gyms fail is that owners aren’t willing to let go of ineffective ideas. A flexible gym allows you to change the flow and organization of your space quickly and easily. Sometimes, a fresh perspective is all you need to become more inspired in your workout. And it costs gym owners a whole lot less than investing in all new equipment.
In fact, most of the top fitness trends that have taken over in the past year don’t revolve around cardio equipment at all. Group training, bodyweight training, and high-intensity interval training all require little to no heavy equipment but will require open spaces that can be easily rearranged to accommodate class sizes and routines.
Should I build or rent my gym space?
For that reason, most gym owners will choose to purchase their own building rather than rent an existing structure. Purchasing a prefabricated steel building kit is the ideal choice for a box gym that features an entirely open floor plan, ready for any level of customization. Rather than trying to change the customer’s needs around the existing space, you can shape the interior to include studio rooms, a waiting area, lockers, bathrooms, and open concept training spaces.
From an investment standpoint, purchasing a lot and building your gym also makes the most sense for your ROI. Bolt together technology offers the shortest possible construction timeline, saving up to 50% in labor and construction costs compared to organic building materials.
What expenses should I look for down the line?
Industry experts agree that most of the profits to be made from owning a gym lie in one-on-one or group training sessions. Keeping your gym well-staffed with professionals will likely be your greatest continual expense if that is the route you choose. But, just like with any other business, there are maintenance costs associated with owning your own building. In order to keep your profit margin as high as possible, you’ll find that the right building material will save you the most money throughout the life of your investment. Man-made steel has unmatched durability, protecting your structure from pests, mold, and even natural disasters.
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