How to Open a Gym Business | Part 1: First Steps

How to Open a Gym Business | Part 1: First Steps
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    Hey! I'm Cabel. Thanks for tuning in this week we're gonna talk about it this
    would be the first of a multi-part series about how to open a gym or
    fitness studio from the ground up I'm gonna teach you the same process that I
    followed with each of my locations and then I coach my clients to do right from
    day one we'll talk about where your location should be what it should look
    like how much it's gonna cost how to get financing and what to do to plan for
    that inevitable day when you finally open the door for the first time and let
    customers in so if you're watching this video on YouTube please don't forget to
    subscribe to my channel you'll want to check back each week as I add the
    additional parts in this series other than that you'll find other great
    content here that I think is gonna help you not only open but run a very
    successful fitness studio or fitness business all right let's get into it so
    we're gonna talk today the first things about what your studio is gonna look
    like and ultimately start looking for where it might be and then we'll get
    into the numbers and all of that stuff next week so where does this process
    begin well it begins with a little daydreaming in case you can't see these
    slides or read these slides I'll also include the link to this presentation
    below this video so you can easily open it up and follow along daydreaming what
    do you want your gym or studio to look like what kind of equipment would be in
    it how big would it be what kind of training wheel do how many people will
    be on the training floor at any given time don't forget to count additional
    trainers if you're doing one-on-one or small group and would run multiple
    groups at a time do you need change rooms how big a change rooms do you need
    do you need showers now you don't need to know this stuff exactly because when
    we get to the stage we'll hire a draftsman who's gonna lay it out for us
    based on your local building codes and they'll identify some of these things
    for you but for now you just need to kind of write down everything that you
    could think of that would be in your perfect gym some other things do you
    need meeting rooms if you need offices how many offices will you need don't
    forget that you're going to need space for things like storage will you have
    cardio equipment or things like rowing machines that when they're used will
    take up a certain amount of space and then need to be stored and out of the
    way later when you're running other training I don't know maybe you will
    maybe you won't don't forget you also need to have a bit of a lunch room or
    hangout area for you and your team because work isn't a fun place to hang
    out if it's all about work and there's really no place for us to just chill out
    regroup or relax for a few minutes this gets us in the right frame of mind to be
    successful and run a great business once you got a little daydreaming done we
    need to think about where you are in your city where do you
    where would you want your gym to be now I know this may sound silly because it
    probably in your city like many there are certain spots that you go to or
    would like to see your business in that big shiny building on a certain place or
    whatever but that may or may not be the right place for your business our
    businesses typically don't need to be highly visible locations or at least in
    my experience it's never worth paying for that visibility it's good to be one
    or two blocks off the beaten path and save twenty thirty sometimes even more
    twenty to thirty percent in your rent or leasing costs just by being a place that
    people will go to if we're not highly visible we are a destination now there
    is something to be said about being in high-traffic areas you know if you're
    close to a grocery store or drugstore or major shopping center places that a lot
    of people are going to on a regular basis will certainly be appeal to bring
    them to your business but for the most part if we are conveniently located a
    few minutes from many people's homes that will be good enough so where would
    you like to be if you could be anywhere in your city where could where would you
    like to be and then here's the big hint think about your own lifestyle your own
    convenience because you're the person that's going to spend the most time
    there especially in the early day so make sure that this is convenient for
    you if it's a 1 hour commute each day or more I'm sure that it's not going to be
    something that you're going to be too excited to do for many years to come and
    you are the most important person so make sure that this place is going to be
    conveniently located for you where would you like it to be what best suits your
    lifestyle know the one of the next things to ask is how big of a space will
    you need I think there's many reports out there on the internet to talk about
    the most profitable spaces for personal training studios being somewhere between
    one and two thousand square feet which is really a great space to start in
    especially from keeping your operating cost low but the one thing I will say
    about that is don't sign too long of a lease okay three years would certainly
    be an ideal for a small space like that on the outside five because if things go
    well chances are you're gonna outgrow it my own personal preference somewhere
    between two and three thousand square feet is my favorite size of space
    typically 2,500 to 2,800 is the sweet spot which also just so happens to be
    many light industrial or industrial type business or off the beaten path box
    places you're gonna find within that range
    just happens to be my favorite footprint so we'll talk more about that later but
    where would you want it to be and how big of a space would you like now we can
    actually start filling in some of the gaps in getting a sense of what is it
    going to be like to actually open the studio sites like Luke Netcom and I
    forget what the Canadian one is actually I think Luke net has both property
    listings for both US and Canada and probably other places as well I believe
    they're international a local call to a commercial realtor will probably direct
    you to another site I think actually in Canada Canada the realtor.ca app does
    show commercial properties but the bottom line is just use sites like
    loopnet to get a sense of what spaces the size that we've picked in your city
    might cost not what they're gonna cost but what they might cost okay Luke net
    you might get lucky and find a space and within your kind of area that you're
    looking for and you know you might be able to find some suitable spaces on
    there but most importantly what we're really looking for right now is just a
    basic frame of reference of if I'm looking for a space roughly one to two
    thousand square feet or up to three thousand for this type of business what
    are some of the cost or desired listing amounts out there in your city okay my
    favorite sweet spot is typically in North America about 15 to 25 dollars a
    square foot that's speaking in annual terms including cam or triple net higher
    prices totally can work just you know that's kind of what I find the average
    to be that is a really really successful kind of I don't like successful range to
    be in so that 15 to 25 all-in that's based on annual listing so if you're in
    places like California I know you guys think monthly which is more like a
    dollar fifty to two dollars and fifty cents a square foot I believe so
    Luke Donette we're just gonna look for sizes and kind of basic cost and then
    here's the next task I want you to do you're gonna go to your friend Google
    and we're gonna search for a variety of businesses dance studios martial arts
    studios personal training studios fitness studios like yoga Pilates spin
    classes Jazzercise not so popular anymore kids gyms look for these
    businesses and look to see if any of them are kind of located in your desired
    region are there any addresses that kind of fall within that bubble of where you
    would like your business to be a couple of things about these types of
    businesses number one where they you can typically afford to be because
    they have a similar footprint and business uses us and similar in terms of
    operating costs their footprint works well for us so there's quite often
    wherever they are you can afford to be quite commonly where they are there is
    other vacant space that you might be interested in and unfortunately quite
    frequently many of these types of businesses are going out of business so
    you may have an opportunity to save even more money by assuming a current
    location not necessarily the business but the location itself that will be in
    essence partially renovated saving on some of your opening costs and even
    negotiating a better deal than would probably otherwise be available in that
    region so making a list of all of these places and see how many of them are
    close to your ideal location is a really really great way to get a jump on where
    you would want your business to be once we have those addresses is time to go
    for a drive it's good to visit some addresses of the studios that you found
    on Google even some of the ones that you found on loop net because it's just
    different to see them and like I said there's almost always space around these
    other businesses that's available that you're not gonna find listed anywhere so
    the only way you'll find them is to go for a drive visit some of these
    addresses and just spend a little time there if you can if there's other
    Fitness's businesses even attend a class or camp or training session or whatever
    it is there to get a feel for what the community is like look around
    are there vacant spaces that you might be able to lease or rent is the access
    good meaning is there good access to freeways and main roads that allow
    people to get there during bad traffic times reasonably easy okay and the
    better the access is the farther people will come which means the broader reach
    that you have the ability to track customers from this is a really
    important one because we typically do like those places that are a little bit
    off the beaten path is how does it feel right does it you know I personally like
    places with at least a nine-foot ceiling I like to have at least one side of the
    building with big windows to let in some natural light those things are very very
    important to me but that feeling of does it just feel right when you stand in it
    it also translates to how does it feel before and after before sunrise and
    after dark does it feel safe what I let my wife attend there without me
    attending with her would you let your kids go there you know ask yourself how
    comfortable you feel with that and does it feel like a safe are the other name
    reasonably clean does it look okay it doesn't need to be a brand-new building
    it can absolutely be an old building some of the best deals are but as a
    general rule does it look at least clean and somewhat welcoming and or can it
    appear to be that way with very little investment on your behalf is parking
    ample is there usually at least 25 empty stalls at any especially the busiest
    times is there ample parking during the busiest times 25 to 30 stalls is
    something that we usually kind of look for now guys when you get to the point
    where you have to apply for permits with the city the city is going to force you
    through all of this stuff anyways but these are things that you can do
    preliminary to start thinking about your business and I know you're probably
    thinking hey this is way down the line I don't even know if I can afford to do
    this yet just trust me this is part of the process to familiarize yourself with
    that whole vision before we even plan out the number so you really know what
    you're getting into all right and Facebook wins so this is going to be the
    final thing that we're going to talk about this week next week we're going to
    dive all into the numbers in terms of how do you create an initial business
    plan and forecast the numbers to understand what it would cost you to
    open and how to run that business but the final step for you this week is any
    addresses that you find that are kind of appealing what I want to do is some
    basic demographic research and one of the fastest best ways to do demographic
    research this way this these days is Facebook so if you don't already have an
    advertising account now it's time to create one go to Facebook set up an ad
    account and start creating your first ad no we're not going to publish the ad no
    we're not going to spend a single penny on it but what you are going to do is
    create an ad using the address of any of the locations that you found to be
    interesting potentially for your type of business
    you drop a pin on the map or put in an address and then we can adjust the
    radius based on miles we can set it for men women and a certain age range that
    we can find okay so I like to look at men alone I like to look at women alone
    in most cases our audience is mostly women I'd love to look at the age range
    from around 22 to 49 or 22 to 55 and think about like what is the drive
    radius during heavy traffic times a day so around 20-30 minutes I find is the
    furthest that most people want to travel from their homes so that could be
    anywhere is from 2 to 5 miles typically we look three to five miles from our
    location would be a good bubble don't forget to adjust it to people that
    live in this location and you know if only English speaking might be relevant
    you know check these settings the point is is that instantly Facebook will spit
    out an audience size they will tell you approximately how many men or women in
    that age range are within that geographic radius which is a really
    great indication for the viability of our business most Studios between 1,000
    and 3,000 square feet really only need a couple hundred customers to be very
    successful okay so we don't actually need a lot of people in an ideal range
    if you've got thirty thousand people in that three to five mile radius your
    facility can likely be successful so these are one of the things that I look
    for on Facebook once we look at Facebook now if you live in a small city people
    will come further so 30,000 isn't the end-all be-all it's just a benchmark to
    kind of give you an idea of what can be a good size for when you're shopping for
    your business now go back to Google and search for city demographic data I think
    that actually is a website in the US called City data
    but pretty much every city will have census information where you can look at
    typically different neighborhoods and it will tell you household income and
    religion and ethnicity and all kinds of things so this data can be helpful for
    us to think like are these people likely to be our customers now years ago we
    would have said get very hung up on this in terms of household income but these
    days not so much okay I one of my locations was in a very depressed
    neighborhood it was very successful one of my other locations was in one of the
    wealthiest neighborhoods of the city and it was very slow to catch on by
    comparison to the other so it's not the end-all be-all but it certainly is worth
    considering you know if it's a lot of depressed neighborhoods might not be the
    best choice from a safety and ultimately a success standpoint if it's a very
    wealthy neighborhood that certainly can be favorable but also those people might
    be harder to access and gain market share in that neighborhood before I wrap
    up this week like I said next week we're going to dive into planning out the
    numbers and business planning and financial forecasting and all of that
    fun stuff but the last thing I will say this week
    is when you are looking at space don't assume because there's other fitness
    facilities in that region that that's a bad thing you know competition isn't
    necessarily something that should scare you away because we're gonna strive to
    be the best and when there is similar or direct or indirect competitors in the
    same region it does tell us one variant thing people are willing to travel to
    that location for your type of service one of my very first a my probably my
    most successful studio I think we had something like 12 direct and indirect
    competitors in a four-block radius so you can certainly be successful with
    other similar businesses like yours in the neighborhood and that can actually
    sometimes be a great reason to look further at those locations okay
    hopefully this video was a helpful starting place for you in opening your
    fitness studio or gym business I do hope you'll subscribe please feel free to
    comment below ask questions next week will be part two we'll dive into
    financial forecasting figuring out your build out cause and those kinds of
    things as we get further into this journey of how to start your own gym or
    fitness business alright thank you I'm cable I'll talk to you next week
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