I am thinking of starting a business. I would provide the space for personal trainers to bring their clients and the space for group fitness instructors to bring their classes and equipment for both. The folks using the space would rent the space from me. This would alleviate much of the start up costs for a new business. But how do I find the PT’s and GFI’s in my area in which to market this business?
To All: I wanted to “comment” to each of your answers, but the CAPTCHA system won’t allow me to do so and IDEA customer service staff is out until January 5. Therefore, a group response:
Thank you to all of you for taking the time to respond!
I have looked briefly into space costs and Harris is right, that rental space is $$$ in Madison. I have talked with some other personal trainer friends to get their insight on this idea and I have attended some “starting a small business classes”, so have a feel for other start up costs that I would incur.
I had planned on installing mirrors and had entertained the idea of opening up the space to dance groups, since I’ve heard they are hard to come by in this area.
Before I invested much more time and effort on this idea, I wanted to get a sense for how difficult it would be to get PT’s and GFI’s into the space.
Thanks again to each of you for the thoughtful, insightful comments and suggestions! They have truly been beneficial.
Sue, I really like your answer. I’m going to suggest one small adjustment, though, since I’m a former tax accountant. An independent contractor may use the equipment that is already present at a location without that tipping the scales in the favor of them being an employee rather than an IC. Employee vs. contractor is a facts and circumstances test, and when you look at the overall control the worker has over their work product, using some of the facility’s equipment isn’t exerting any control over the work product.
It seems so glamorous to “own a studio”. I have watched many studio owners regret this decision once reality set in.
It’s not a money maker, it takes a ton of work, you have to really know business and numbers, assume liability, have top notch trainers, equipment, original ideas, be ready for any and all emergencies, absorb unforeseen costs to name a few.
Even if you are only going to rent to trainers, you still have to maintain the space, make sure they pay on time, make sure they are reliable, and they honor their contract, etc. If they are true independent contractors, they are required to bring in their own equipment and have liability insurance.
Regardless of your business model, you will still have start up costs.You will need a business license, you will have to pay for over head things such as gas/electric, plumbing issues, your own liability insurance etc.
I would really think about this. Check out your competition
Harris has a ton of experience I would really listen to his comment above.
You’re going to want to do some grass roots advertising to get started, I would think.
1) Facebook – groups for fitness professionals in your area
2) Craigslist – find the “at-home” trainers and mail them that you have space for rent if they need it.
3) IDEAfit – you can find people with profiles here that are within a certain distance from your site and message them
4) Some companies like ACE and AFAA will do targeted mailings to your desired demographic. You provide the demographic, the artwork, the postcard, and they mail it. You don’t get access to the contacts, just proof that your information was mailed. I haven’t done this, but I explored it a few years ago to attract gyms to a training I was hosting. For that purpose (I didn’t make money, I just wanted enough attendees to host the training) it wasn’t worth it, but with a profit motive, that might be worth it.
5) Message boards for equipment companies that you carry. For example, if you have specialty equipment that trainers might want to use but might not own themselves, you might go to the websites of the equipment and see if they have message boards.
6) If you have a nice floor with mirrors, you might want to expand your rental opportunities to other professionals, like ballroom dance. In our city, we have cross-over between ballroom dance companies that rent to instructors, and smaller spaces that rent to dancers for private lessons and parties.
Hi again Lori,
I just checked your profile and saw you live in Madison WI. After living there for the past 2 years, I’ll have to say that it’s a tough market for this type of business model. There is too much competition and the market is not that big to support it. The rental fee for space is too high. I don’t know any details of your situation so I can comment on it. I know a couple of trainers there who tried to do the same as you are thinking to do and didn’t go very well for them. Please keep in mind that this is just my opinion after observing the market in that area for a while. I wish you the best.