How To Open A Successful Gym Or Fitness Center
Opening a new gym or fitness center takes lots of planning and hundreds of hours of research. If you're opening a new gym you want to make sure it's going to be as successful as possible.
American Gym Trader understands how difficult and time consuming this can be and has partnered with a nationaly recognized fitness industry expert to assist you.
Jim Thomas of Fitness Management and Consulting is an associate of American Gym Trader. Jim can answer any question you have about managing or improving your fitness business. Contact Jim today
Characteristics of gyms that succeed
- The club conducted a third party feasibility study and projected sales growth conservatively
- Management brought proven sales, service and management skills to the project
- The club has sufficient operating capital to cover inevitable cash shortfalls in its first 6 – 18 month period.
- The owners regularly reinvest in the facility.
- The club operates within normal industry expense range.
- The club enjoys a reputation for cleanliness, friendliness, hospitality, efficiency and integrity.
- The club is involved in community activities and enjoys proactive relationships with community leaders and community institutions.
- The size and scale of the club is consistent with the potential of the market.
- The club negotiated lease agreements that keep lease payments, once the club reached maturity, in the 15% to 18% range.
- The club exceeded its revenue projections in the first 12 months of operation. The measure of a club’s long-term success can almost always be accurately projected from how it performed in its first 12 months. A fast start is a sure sign of a successful club. Conversely, a slow start is almost always a sign of future trouble.
Characteristics of gyms that fail
- Developers never conducted third party feasibility study.
- Owners/managers had no previous club sales, service or management experience.
- Club owners consistently chose not to reinvest in club while continually extracting cash from club.
- Club had marginal location and/or poor visibility and accessibility.
- Club facilities were inferior in size, quality, and cleanliness to those of close competitors.
- Club never has sufficient operating capital.
- Club’s routine response to competition was discounting.
- Club was unable to operate within standard industry expense ratios.
- Club acquired negative image because of sales tactics, service quality or unkempt facilities.
- Developers built “too much club,” I.e., the scale (size and cost) of the project exceeded by far the ability of the market to support it.
Why Use a Health Club Consultant, Coach or Mentor
Directors of health clubs and owners in particular, may be gregarious and confident, but they can also be very isolated. There are not many people to whom they can turn for help, often no one in their own organization. Uncertainty about trust and confidentiality, personal competition and the slipperiness of the business ladder often make it hard for an Owner or Director or Manager to turn to a colleague about issues that may put into question their performance or tenure.
A Fresh Mind
Perhaps even more common, however, is simply the wish to consult a fresh mind, someone who brings no investment or position of his own, an outsider who is not involved with the organization, its culture or its politics. An independent consultant can reflect ideas, evoke solutions and support the implementation in a way that few insiders could ever do. Club Owners are increasingly recognizing the benefits and opportunities of exploring new avenues in consultations with a coach scheduled on a regular basis, not just for themselves but for their staff also.
More Productive Management Teams
The same is true for others who find they spend more and more of their time working in isolation on their specific responsibilities. When they do get together, they want their meetings to be as productive as possible, and team facilitation by an independent coach is an excellent way to achieve that. The coach is able to monitor the dynamics of the team and attend to group process while assisting and freeing the team to focus on task.
Fast Track Development of Key People
In today’s health club world management has less and less time to act as mentors to the new blood. Employees are left to cope on their own which inevitably slows down their development. Clubs are recognizing the benefits of engaging experienced people from outside the business to act as mentors to key employees on a regular basis
Thought for the Day
A man fell into a deep hole and couldn't find a way to get out. Several people walked by and the man pleaded for help. Each person stopped and tried to help him, but none of them could see how to get him out of the hole. Then, a friend was walking by, heard him crying out, and stopped. When the friend saw the situation, he jumped into the hole. The man cried out, Why did you jump into this hole? Now, we're both in here! And the friend replied, Yes, but I've been here before and I know the way out.
Moral: You don't need to know how to do everything yourself. You need to find enough friends who can help you when you don't know.