I am transitioning into gym ownership and in the process of getting NASM certification as well as crossfit certification. Any advice as to strategy, venders, etc would be appreciated. I want to ensure having sufficient member numbers within 2 months of opening to cover both the costs of the gym and my salary. I will not have any employees.
Here is just my personal opinion:
I agree with the others as well, and I think Ariadne has great points. The market is saturated with small businesses, both as studios or independent contractors (mobile trainers). Not to mention that CrossFit gyms are popping out like Starbucks coffee places (there are a few close to the address you have posted on this site). Starting a business from scratch it’s a difficult and very time consuming project. You said you will be keeping your current job until your gym is able to sustain itself. If you are the only one who will be responsible for the operation of the gym, I think this is not a very good way to approach it. You will need to devote 100% of your time marketing, networking, working at the gym, training people, making sure the gym runs smoothly (especially in the beginning), dealing with numerous unforeseen issues (not just the ones Karin, Paul and Ariadne have mentioned), logistics, accounting matters, membership issues and many other problems/issues.
Having the money to start a business like this is just one small part of the equation. Right up from the start you will have overhead costs that will pretty much add a lot of pressure to you and to the effectiveness of your business operation. Getting venders working with you it’s a whole other game and something that will require a lot of your time as well. As Ariadne mentioned, our industry is saturated with all kind of small personal training businesses that will be your competition right up from the beginning (no matter what you think). Also brand names like Anytime Fitness, Snap Fitness and other larger gyms that operate 24hs/day will pose a threat to you unless you can differentiate yourself from them.
Having a business plan like you said it’s very crucial. Of course adapting to obstacles is the best way of surviving and then thrive (in any industry). Having a plan B and/or C in place might also be a good idea. You will need to do a lot of networking and community outreach to make your gym known to the rest of the community. Vendors like to work with companies that will also help them get their brand/product out there. The more exposure you have the better for you and your vendors will be. I’m not sure what type of training and services you will be providing (even though you mentioned it’s a gym), but the vendors you will be looking for will have to be close related to your product, mission, philosophy and also relative to your location. If all of these factors are close related then the type of vendors you are looking for will be easy to approach. If you are looking for supplements, fitness equipment or other similar products then you will need to approach those vendors that you want in your gym and present them with some great convincing points that will make them want to work with you.
I hope this helps and I wish you good luck. I have family members who live in your town, so when your gym opens I will let them know and come to try it out :-)!