Your Guide to Building a Commercial Gym

If you love going to the gym to do your favorite workouts or get ready for fitness competitions, you may dream of building a commercial gym one day. Having goals and aspirations is one of the things that can make a dreary life feel worthwhile. For those who can’t imagine spending their time doing anything other than eating, breathing, and sleeping fitness, owning a gym could be a rewarding path both financially and emotionally.

Although you could work a job that you don’t love to support yourself and your family, you may find that you’ll be much happier doing something that you enjoy. Additionally, the sky’s the limit for your earning potential when you own a business. While there may be times when owning a business feels more like a chore and an obligation than the fantasy it once was, it will be way better than the drudgery of working for someone else. As your boss, you can set your hours to work and create goals for your to-do list that align with your company’s vision. Once you’ve built your gym to the point where it generates revenue, you may be able to expand your business to have multiple locations or offer to sell your business to business partners so you can relish financial freedom without sacrificing your time for the business.

Even though building a commercial gym from the ground up might sound like a dream come true, you should prepare for reality to hit a little differently than your fantasy. In your mind, you may envision yourself waking up as late as you’d like to make a few phone calls and then scrolling through your phone while your gym makes money for you. The reality is that if you own a business, you own all of the perks and problems that come with that business.

If you’re already working at someone else’s gym or visiting a gym regularly and daydreaming about the moment when you get the keys to your gym, you’re not alone. Although that day may seem far away, there’s no reason why you can’t start planning to create the commercial gym of your dreams today. Even if you don’t have the finances, time, or energy to devote to building a commercial gym at the moment, it’s never too early to begin researching what it takes to run a business, construct a gym, and protect your gym through the appropriate forms of commercial insurance.

What’s more, if you take the time to hone your skills as a business owner and professional in the gym industry now, you’ll be leagues ahead of where you would be if you waited until you were able to dive into building a commercial gym to look into that process. While everyone’s different, you may want to prepare for owning a commercial gym by networking with professionals in the industry, taking classes or seminars in gym ownership, and even reading books on the subject. However you choose to prepare for this new step in life, it may help to contact business development resources in your area for support. They might have ideas for coaches or other professionals who could assist you on your journey and make it smoother for you.

Prepare Your Finances

If you’re serious about building a commercial gym, you need to get serious about preparing financially for this new direction. For some, this may mean opening up a new savings account and saving money aggressively to create a cushion for when you start a business. After all, starting a business can be a risky adventure that leaves you with little to no income for a few months while the business is starting up. Since there’s no guaranteed revenue or pay when you open a commercial gym, you’ll want to consult with an accounting firm to make sure that your personal and professional finances are in order.

When you want to finance your business but don’t have the cash available to do so, you can apply for business lines of credit or business loans. Keep in mind that a business loan may have interest rates that increase the amount you’ll pay back over time. Before you apply for any loans, you should make sure that your credit score and other aspects of your creditworthiness are addressed. If you have a low credit score, you may need someone to cosign the loan for you to secure it.

Get a Sign

One of the last steps of building a commercial gym may be contacting custom sign companies to get a sign for your business. Before you reach this step, you should know what your gym will be called. You should also have an idea of the types of services you’ll offer. It can also be useful to include important information on the sign like your contact information and social media handles. Depending on the type of sign you use, you may have more “real estate” to cover with useful information on your sign. If you get a neon sign, you may be limited in what you can include on it. Some signs may also be more expensive than others, so you’ll want to factor the cost of the sign and the style into your budget before you commit to it.

Install Security Features

As you’re building a commercial gym, you’ll want to consider how you’ll keep your gym secure. No one wants to work out somewhere that doesn’t feel safe to them. Even if you don’t feel unsafe in your area, your gym will need security to protect not only those who are working out in the gym but also the equipment inside the gym. When you’ve spent your hard-earned cash and business loans on equipment for your gym, you don’t want to risk theft or other crimes against your business by slacking on security.

Sometimes, simple measures like security cameras may be enough to deter crime. In other cases, security doors and security personnel may be your best bet. Even if you have a tight budget, you shouldn’t cut corners on safety or security. If you don’t invest in security at the beginning of opening your commercial gym, you may pay for it later in lawsuits and replace expensive workout equipment after theft takes place on the premises.

Decide Which Services to Offer

One of the more exciting aspects of building a commercial gym is determining what services you plan to offer as a fitness hub. If you want to offer classes in specific areas of fitness like dance or pilates, you should consider building your gym so that it’s suitable for those activities. If you know that you’ll host a ballet fitness class, for example, you should have at least one space that has a barre. You might also want to think about offering equipment and accessories for the types of workouts that people will do in your gym. If you have an area for boxing or using a punching bag, you could sell gloves and chalk to make it easier for those who want to try out those services to access them. You could also sell water, snacks, and workout supplements as long as you have the necessary permits and abide by your local laws on that front.

If you have a gym that focuses on healing and recovering from sports injuries, you could hire professionals to provide physical therapy services at your gym. Although these are only a few ideas, there are plenty more directions you could take your new gym. No matter what gym services you offer, you should prioritize offering exceptional customer service. This will give you good reviews and make your gym a pleasant place where people want to workout.

Have Your Space Inspected

As you’re building a commercial gym, you should call in professionals to inspect potential locations for mold, pests, and other concerns. If your building doesn’t follow local municipal codes and federal regulations for gyms, you could end up paying a lot of money in repairs and have to shut down the gym right as it gets popular. Although paying for mold removal isn’t a glamorous part of being a commercial gym owner, it is a necessary part of the job.

When you decide to open a gym, you take on all of the responsibilities of owning a business where people go to workout. Even if you don’t think an inspection is important or necessary, it can give you the peace of mind you need to operate your business effectively. What’s more, an inspection can serve as a defense if someone damages your gym. If you’re renting the building where your gym is located, an inspection is even more important to hold the owners of the building accountable if there are issues that conflict with local building regulations.

Repair Your Roofing

As you’re building a commercial gym, you’ll want to take care of every detail from the rooftop to the foundation. To repair the roof and fix any loose shingles or other issues, you should call a professional roofing company to tackle the job. Even if you have experience in roofing, you need a team of people who are qualified for this kind of work. It’s not safe to try to repair a roof on your own if you lack the experience or manpower to do it.

Purchase an HVAC System

As you’re building a commercial gym, you should keep the temperature comfortable for your customers. If the AC goes out, you’ll need to call in an AC repair service to fix it. Otherwise, you may lose customers if they think your gym is too hot and uncomfortable for them to perform the most intense workouts.

Add a New Floor

When you’re building a commercial gym, you’ll need flooring that can handle the harsh realities of working out. In your gym, it’s not unlikely that weights will hit the floor. Heavy gym equipment can also take a toll on even the best flooring. This is why you’ll need to speak with potential flooring companies and ask what types of flooring they recommend. Although some types of flooring like carpeting may be comfortable, they may not be practical or safe to use in your gym. If you have any doubts about the safety of your flooring, you may want to speak with someone who understands the local regulations and federal laws surrounding construction materials for gyms. An inspector may also be able to point you in the right direction for your gym’s floors if you don’t know where to start.

Design Your Interior

One of the most fun parts of building a gym is deciding what the interior should look like. After all, the way your gym looks gives a first impression to your customers. From the window blinds and treatment to the motivational posters you hang on the walls, customers take note of every aspect of your gym. The interior should follow safety standards. It should also give those who exercise there an idea of your brand’s professional identity.

Before you step into the role of being a gym owner, you should think about what attracts you to owning a gym and whether you would be happy to handle all of the issues that might come along the way. If you don’t have a problem taking charge and making executive decisions that may not be popular with everyone, you could be ready to lead your company to greatness as a gym owner. On the other hand, if you always prefer to be told what to do and how to do it, owning a business may prove to be more than what you can handle.

There’s no right or wrong answer to questions about what you want or what you expect as a business owner. Once you own a business, all of the decisions may rest on your shoulders. Still, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a business partner who may take on more of a leadership role or consult with experts in areas where you are developing strengths. It takes a whole team of people to make a business go from an idea to a reality. Along the way, you will find your groove and discover what owning a gym will mean to you.

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July 2024
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