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  1. #1
    Compos Mentis BigSnacks's Avatar
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    How much can owning a gym really make?

    I imagine, with equipment and overhead costs (a building with enough space is probably expensive to rent, light, heat/cool, etc), that it's not much. But could it be enough to sustain a modest lifestyle?

    I wouldn't even know where to begin to estimate membership numbers. What's the average non-franchise gym pull, 100 members? At $35/mo, that's $42k. Take about nine and a quarter for taxes and, say, a grand a month for overhead (no employees to pay; one man operation with 24-hour card access), that leaves a measly $20750. Then there's the equipment to consider... How's that work? Does it all have to be purchased up-front?

    Not something I'm seriously planning to run out and do right now, but just tossing some ideas around in my head for down the road. My goal, post-divorce, is to get my debt paid off and cost of living low enough that I can afford to do something I enjoy that offers flexibility to attend my daughter's school functions, spend her days off together, take a couple days to visit family, etc.
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  2. #2
    Ass electabuzz's Avatar
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    you dont make money of people that actually come to your gym, you make it off of the very occasional users that come a few times a month or not at all.

    you also have way more than 100 members, unless your marketing sucks. redo the math with 300 members and way more rent, advertising costs, employee salaries, and you're getting more realistic for your average location.
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  3. #3
    Banned miketheblade's Avatar
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    all i know is one machine is like thousands


    and you need to get members before it even opens...... good luck competing with 12/moonth 24 hour fitness

    seems way to much investment for a newbie


    then again i dont know ****! so go for it
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  4. #4
    Compos Mentis BigSnacks's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by electabuzz View Post
    you dont make money of people that actually come to your gym, you make it off of the very occasional users that come a few times a month or not at all.
    How so? Whether you come 6 days a week or one day every 6 weeks, you're still paying the same monthly amount.

    You could rationalize that those that come less often aren't "getting their money's worth" in equipment use/wear, but does this really affect potential income?

    you also have way more than 100 members, unless your marketing sucks. redo the math with 300 members and way more rent, advertising costs, employee salaries, and you're getting more realistic for your average location.
    Like I said, I have no idea how to even estimate membership. I live in an area of about 40k, but a portion of those are USAF that have the option to work out at the base gym (which is nice) for free. There's one gym outside of the base that I worked out in when I first moved here 6 years ago, but never saw more than 3-4 people in there at a time. Then again, there was never any owners there (they had card access) and when equipment broke it would stay that way for months, even a year+. There's a YMCA all the way in the downtown area (about 30 minutes from here), and then I think a small 24 Hour Fitness type joint in a shopping center in town (about 15 minutes from here).

    I actually work out at a place an hour from home, near my office in Columbia. I'm sure there's a base gym on Ft. Jackson, there's gyms on USC and dozens of public gyms around town. This is a pretty big city (then again, I come from a very small town), yet there are still only 6-8 in the gym/cardio area when I'm there (not counting girls that may come in just for classes).

    If you've got an average of 7 people in the gym at a time (fresh rotation every hour) during regular hours (5-7AM & 4-7PM?), then maybe 2 people at a time during other hours (7-4 & 7-10'ish), then you've got around 60 people daily. How does that translate into membership numbers? Is it the same 60 every day? Is it 60 on MWF and a different 60 on TThS for 120 total (active)?
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  5. #5
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  6. #6
    Registered User Likestolift's Avatar
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    Alot. I interviewed my gym owner for a school project and hes got like over 4k subs cheapest at $50/month(up to hundreds). He is making atleast 20% over his costs he told me and is going to open a new gym depending on the economy.

    Inovative group classes = big money for gyms.
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  7. #7
    Registered User mar_angry's Avatar
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    I work at 2 seperate gyms in Australia. I PT at one 24 hour gym, which has about 350 members @$50 month each. Of these 350 members I have only ever seen about 150 of them (srs). It doesnt offer classes or group bookings so im guessing it makes roughly $200,000 - 1 FT staff @ $40,000k = $160,000 left over for owners, overheads (rent + power, new machines etc)

    The other gym is a university gym where I take classes. We sign up between 3-4 people a day. So im guessing it has roughly 1000 members @$300 for students or $600 for guests a year (and about 5 visitors a day = $50 a day on top). However this gym has 2 FT employees + various casual staff + class bookings (up to $500 for 50 people playing indoor sports etc). So im guessing the uni gym pulls roughly $750,000/year - 90k (2 FT staff) - Power, cas staff etc = $500,000k/year profit?

    So depends on location and things offered
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  8. #8
    Cutting......slowly Mark2K8's Avatar
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    Honestly all depends on location. You wont have success if theres other gyms in proximity (especially the big name ones).
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  9. #9
    Registered User daveerwin's Avatar
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    as another poster said about tree fiddy.
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  10. #10
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    dont forget most are a lot more than 35 a month and then they have sign up cost. and A LOT more than 300 member just no one goes
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  11. #11
    Registered User Likestolift's Avatar
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    lol @ 350 members. They doin it wrong.
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  12. #12
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    Some gyms make it, and many don't.
    I know a guy who owned a couple of gyms, he seemed do be doing really well financially. But I also see a bunch of gyms closing down just as fast as they open up.
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  13. #13
    Registered User mar_angry's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Likestolift View Post
    lol @ 350 members. They doin it wrong.
    lol I only just realised about that magical number. Its a VERY small gym though
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  14. #14
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    Simple math...

    Say a gym chain has 5,000 members..this isn't totally out of the question, especially for big chains. Most big ones probably have way more than this.

    Anyways....say membership is 10 dollars a month.

    That's 50k revenue a month.

    50k X 12 months=600,000 dollars a year

    And that's just membership. People will buy protein drinks from the gyms if they have them..and I'm sure most gyms have special programs that you pay even more money for.
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    depends on location, size and popularity of the gym,marketing and if you can keep your customers.

    The gym i go to is suited for serious bodybuilders, has very little in the way of cardio machines but blasts loud music, has tons of free weights and semi-free weight machines (the ones where you add the weight plates not a cable and pin) etc. and so is highly popular.

    I know the owner and he said he takes home about £80,000 after tax. This is from a specialised gym with avid bodybuilder members. He has been running the business for 14 years - hard to tell what the profit was like in the earlier years and the profits in the first few years because this gym has a reputation, friends invite friends etc.
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    Originally Posted by BigSnacks View Post
    You could rationalize that those that come less often aren't "getting their money's worth" in equipment use/wear, but does this really affect potential income?
    yes, because equipment is still an asset and has value to it. Your trading $50,000 cash for $50,000 equipment. More people means more wear on equipment and that equals depreciation on that $50,000 and increased maintenance + repair costs. More people may also mean you need more staff and more equipment to handle the demand.
    Last edited by FullofAlpha; 11-13-2010 at 05:19 PM.
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  17. #17
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    My boss used to own a personal training gym with only about $900 rent per month and only one other worker besides himself. He had over 200 clients who all paid $130 per month for unlimited personal training.
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    in b4 bankruptcy
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  19. #19
    Compos Mentis BigSnacks's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Likestolift View Post
    Alot. I interviewed my gym owner for a school project and hes got like over 4k subs cheapest at $50/month(up to hundreds).
    Why is there a variance in membership costs? Why are some $50 where others are hundreds?

    He is making atleast 20% over his costs he told me and is going to open a new gym depending on the economy.
    Daggone! So he's bringing in, at minimum, $200k/mo? But his monthly costs are $166,666? How does a gym accommodate 4000 members? Even if only a quarter of them are showing up, where do you fit 1000 people throughout the day?

    Inovative group classes = big money for gyms.
    Are these built in to the memberships, or additional costs?

    Is it better to try and save up to purchase a franchise gym (Do they cover maintenance costs, insurance, etc?), or do it on your own and go small (where it all falls on you)? Is it standard fare these days to offer things like supplements and drinks in-house? Does it need to be a 'one-stop shop', or can it just be a gym and still be successful?

    Thanks for all the information, y'all. Please keep it coming if you think of more. Will try to rep you all.
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    Public liability insurance will eat your heart out bro.
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    I drew a business plan for a 5,000 - 8,000 sq ft gym, and the costs are gnarly. begining with taxes, insurance, and zoning in my state. I will PM you a template and then you can go to foogle.com to edit your numbers.
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    Originally Posted by 82ndSergeant View Post
    I drew a business plan for a 5,000 - 8,000 sq ft gym, and the costs are gnarly. begining with taxes, insurance, and zoning in my state. I will PM you a template and then you can go to foogle.com to edit your numbers.
    Could you PM me this too, something I would love to do in the future.
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    Usually the independent gyms that I've seen lasting more than 2 years have some kind of advantage keeping them alive. Usually there's not a franchise gym around, or the franchise gym is way too crowded/expensive, or it caters to a niche like serious lifters.
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    Planet Fitness, $10/month X 1000 members = $10,000/month without paying employees, bills, ect. LMAO.

    1,000 members for a PF is being generous.
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    Registered User Likestolift's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BigSnacks View Post
    Why is there a variance in membership costs? Why are some $50 where others are hundreds?



    Daggone! So he's bringing in, at minimum, $200k/mo? But his monthly costs are $166,666? How does a gym accommodate 4000 members? Even if only a quarter of them are showing up, where do you fit 1000 people throughout the day?



    Are these built in to the memberships, or additional costs?

    Is it better to try and save up to purchase a franchise gym (Do they cover maintenance costs, insurance, etc?), or do it on your own and go small (where it all falls on you)? Is it standard fare these days to offer things like supplements and drinks in-house? Does it need to be a 'one-stop shop', or can it just be a gym and still be successful?

    Thanks for all the information, y'all. Please keep it coming if you think of more. Will try to rep you all.
    50 is for basic membership, includes some classes. Some classes like special yoga **** in the heated room(lol wut) cost more, they have a mma gym in the gym which costs more, personal training costs more, special group personal training costs more. Some people pay $350/month.

    It is pretty big, they just have tons of classes and cycle ppl in and out fast(like 80% of the membership is female and just come to classes....this is where the money is).

    He bought 2 small failing gyms and combined them. He wanted complete control so he did not franchise(I agree with him). They sell shirts, shakes, and ready fit meals from some company but really not many people use all that.
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    Originally Posted by 82ndSergeant View Post
    I drew a business plan for a 5,000 - 8,000 sq ft gym, and the costs are gnarly. begining with taxes, insurance, and zoning in my state. I will PM you a template and then you can go to foogle.com to edit your numbers.
    Can you PM me the plan... I am planning to open a gym in my area and would love to have the plan and see where I stand...
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    Registered User ColoradoDriven's Avatar
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    Question Which gym to buy?

    Hey guys,

    I'm throwing this out for group discussion because I'm stuck on making a decision. I'm 34 years old and have a little bit of money to buy a gym (which has been my dream). As a brief background, my goal is to eventually own several gyms, each having its own Manger. I'm looking at a smaller gym (approx. 4,000-5,000 sq ft because i can't afford a big-box club. I'm not interested in pools, saunas, and all that stuff. Just cardio, free weights, and machines.

    I currently manage a franchised gym and I'm doing well when it comes to sign-ups and marketing. I'm trying to figure out if I want to buy an established franchise (Snap Fitness, Anytime Fitness, Zoo Fitness, etc) or just buy a private gym thats for sale. I'm willing to move anywhere so the location doesn't really matter.

    Here's what I've thought of so far:

    The downsides of a franchise is the initial amount needed to use the name, and the monthly cost for keeping it. Other downsides include
    mandated remodels (their design, not your), and the requirement to use specific vendors for billing and support.

    I don't see many benefits of buying a franchise besides name recognition and multiple clubs for members to use when traveling. They offer
    training but I'm okay in that area. Oh, one other benefit would be when purchasing more clubs. If you stick with the same franchise, it's
    easier (and faster) to build the number of clubs you own.

    The downside of buying a private gym is the unknown financial aspects. If it's ran by an owner/operator, they don't really have a third party
    verifying their finances to prove validity. You can buy more and expand your company, but you have to continue buying private gyms because
    franchises won't allow you to own their gym and your own gym at the same time (mixed clubs).

    The benefit of buying a private gym include the ability to design (or remodel) it the way you want it. You also have the ability to create your
    own atmosphere and culture (relaxed, family, hardcore, etc). You don't have to use certain vendors for billing & support. If you're not
    receiving the customer service you need, you're free to switch to a better or cheaper provider.

    So as you can see, there are quite a few positives and negatives to each avenue. There are more reasons that could be listed in each category, but these are just some of the basics. I'm struggling with deciding which path is the best to take. Feel free to help out with advice anywhere you can.

    In good health,

    me
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    Registered User nvwilnd's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 82ndSergeant View Post
    I drew a business plan for a 5,000 - 8,000 sq ft gym, and the costs are gnarly. begining with taxes, insurance, and zoning in my state. I will PM you a template and then you can go to foogle.com to edit your numbers.
    Would like to see your plan if you could PM it top me also.....been looking around for the past 4 months on getting into the business and just trying to gather all the information that I can get....
    Thanks!
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  29. #29
    Registered User bob83's Avatar
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    Could you PM me the buisness plan you mentioned? thank a lot.
    Originally Posted by 82ndSergeant View Post
    I drew a business plan for a 5,000 - 8,000 sq ft gym, and the costs are gnarly. begining with taxes, insurance, and zoning in my state. I will PM you a template and then you can go to foogle.com to edit your numbers.
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  30. #30
    Registered User buffbagwell12's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 82ndSergeant View Post
    I drew a business plan for a 5,000 - 8,000 sq ft gym, and the costs are gnarly. begining with taxes, insurance, and zoning in my state. I will PM you a template and then you can go to foogle.com to edit your numbers.
    Could you PM me the plan to please. I am interested in seeing what you came up with.
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