I do business primarily and pretty much exclusively at a private gym. I look for cleanliness number 1 factor. Are the bathrooms clean, showers clean, locker rooms well lit and up kept? If I bring a new client into the facility they should have the confidence in wanting to join the location or be willing to pay the normal day fee to access the gym. If they provide towels for use and have basic things like water bottles available for purchase. How, any times do clients forget either? A lot, that’s how much.
Next I look to see if the equipment is maintained. If several cardio machines aren’t working, or training equipment is out of order then the managemnent obviously isn’t doing their part in making sure things get repaired in a timely fashion, particularly if they have little equipment to start with. I also always like to see if they have adequate amounts of free weights because nothing sucks than having only one set of dumbbells etc in a gym when it gets busy and you have that one trainer who can’t or won’t work in.
I always ask how many trainers they typically will have in the facility during peak hours and how tight it gets. If the space can’t accommodate the amount of people in it, training can be a real nightmare.
Other than that are the perks specific to your training style. I prefer locations that have a full set of kettlebells, squat racks, Oly lift platforms, TRX systems or the ability to use my own, medicine balls, some speed ladders or the ability and space to use one if I bring it, a prowler or sled:-) , and some working cardio equipment and I’m set.
When looking to rent a space (I am presuming to build a studio) I look for open, unobstructed floor space; I make sure there is a bathroom large enough to fill my businesses needs, and hopefully space fro a shower (though it isn’t necessary at first.) Also, check the location out very carefully. How accessible is it? Are there traffic concerns at different times of day? Is it in a flood zone? Oh, and of course, cost. Find out as much as possible before openning up shop because, its the little things that hurt you later.
Hi Sharon. A great question. Some of the things I would want to look for would be:
– Flexibility of Use (since it’s a small space, you want to have as much flexibility to use it as you can. So, for example a space that has a large column in the middle of the space could severely limit how you use the space)
– Image (what image do you want to portray to the public and your clients? For example, is your space in a strip mall, an industrial or warehouse district, or an office or professional townhouse location? A lot depends on the image you want and the focus of your practice)
– Length of Lease (are you planning to be in the location for a while or is this just a “starter” location you’re using to get your business off the ground?)
There are many, many more considerations, but these are just some that come to mind off the bat.
I hope this helps.
look up Thomas Plummer, he has a section on finding locations in his book “The Business of Fitness: Understanding the Financial Side of Owning a Fitness Business”
He has a whole section of vanilla box contracts, which is what a location is called when it is empty.
IDEA just put an excellent article on their web site here. I believe it has even answers to questions you did not know you had 🙂 Here is the link http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/when-leasing-a-space-for-your-per…
I hope this will be helpful to you.