Virtually everybody dreams of starting up a business. Not just starting one, but nurturing a successful one that can withstand the test of time, competing with giants like Apple, Facebook, or Microsoft. For many, starting a gym is their goal, and like every other business, there are several factors to consider before starting your dream gym.

Financing a business is as important as any other aspect of the business. But how do you finance a gym? How do you convince people to invest in fitness? Here, we’ll look at some easy ways to get finance when starting a gym.

gym business

Setting up a Gym Business

Like any other business, starting a gym business requires a lot of effort, time, and financial investment to be successful. However, financing a gym is typically more challenging than many other startups. The equipment required in a startup gym is usually very expensive. Yet, it is often difficult to convince people to invest in the fitness business.

Like any other business, you need to create a business plan before starting a gym. The business plan will direct your efforts and help you measure your progress during startup. Your business plan will help you understand the motive behind setting up your business and will also direct you on how to source equipment, personnel, and finances to grow your business. The financial plan is one of the most important aspects of your gym business. A well-thought-out financial plan can make all the difference between a successful gym, and a failed one.

gym business costs

Cost of Setting up a Gym Business

The cost of setting up a gym depends on many factors. You should consider the type of gym you want and the features you want to have within it. Then you have to consider the size of the gym and the number of equipment you want to have in it. Importantly, the state you’re in will determine the cost of your gym. For example, you would have it easier setting up a gym in Memphis or Wichita than setting up one in New York or Seattle.

Another cost to consider when setting up your gym is the personnel cost. No matter how independent you are, you’ll need people to assist you in running your business and you must pay these people (unless you can get Buddhist monks to work for you). Thus, adding the cost of personnel payment to your financial plan is super important. You’ll also need to plan for insurance. In this case, you’ll need an insurance plan that covers accidents to gym members and one that covers your business as it is. You’ll also need to plan for utilities, taxes, etc. The point is the cost of setting up a gym is huge and if you don’t plan properly, sooner or later, you’ll be drowning in debt and your business will be forced to close. 

The estimated costs of starting different sizes of gyms is as follows;

  • Home gym for personal training clients- $10,000
  • Modest budget facility- $50,000
  • Mid-size gyms- between $200,000 – $400,000
  • Mega-gyms with all facilities and equipment- $1,000,000 and above.

However, these costs are not set in stone and with the rising inflation, starting your own gym may cost you much more than this amount. However, once your gym is up and running, you are sure of a largely profitable and highly rewarding business that will keep you smiling for years to come.

how to gym financing

How to Get Finances for your Gym

There are several ways you can get finances for your business. Depending on your business and the situation surrounding you, you can decide to combine these financing options. You need to understand the amount of money you need to borrow, which should be after you have made your calculations.

1.    Banks Loan

One of the ways you can fund your gym business is by getting a loan from a bank. For your bank loan to be approved, you will need to show your business plan, identification documents, and other documents for approval. A bank loan is secure financing but can be expensive because of its high-interest rates.

If you don’t have any funds, bank loans might be the best option. If you are looking for a bank where you can get a loan, you can start with your local bank because they already know you, and they might be interested in doing more business with you.  Standard bank loans for small businesses usually have a lower interest rate than institutional loans.

The bank will need your business plan to help them assess and evaluate the potential success of your business. This will determine if your bank loan will be approved. Your business plan should include at least 3 years’ projections for your new business, and a new gym specialist can help you with that. Banks will also need documents like your personal tax returns and other collateral documents to help secure your loan.

Pros

  • Lower interest rate than other forms of conventional loans
  • You do not necessarily need a business partner
  • It is simple to process

Cons

  • You may need collateral against your loan
  • You will need a detailed business plan to support your loan application.

2.    SBA (Small Business Administration) Loan

Small business administration offers loans to people to help them establish their businesses. These loans are directly from the government but issued by the small business administration. However, you are more at an advantage of getting the loan easily if you are a woman, a minority, or considered disabled. This loan takes a longer time to be approved than a non-government loan. However, some SBA offers a fast-track service to help you get your loan approved faster than the normal time.

Pros

  • This is affordable because it has a lower interest rate

Cons

  • It is based on government qualifying standards; hence, not everyone qualifies.
  • It takes a longer time for the loan to be approved when compared to other types of loans.

3.    Personal Savings

Another less expensive way of financing your business is through personal savings. Starting your business with personal savings means you don’t have to worry about paying interest. The risk of funding your business with personal savings is that you may not be left with any cash, depending on your savings. However, it is very beneficial if you have enough personal savings to start and finance your business.

Pros

  • It is a less expensive way to operate your new gym and pay for your equipment.
  • No loan or payment is distracting your attention from your business
  • All expenses paid, including your equipment.

Cons

  • It is not always feasible.

4.    Business Partner

You can get funding for your new gym through a business partner. When looking for a business partner, it must be a person who can finance the business and who is willing to give some management control and advice. A business partner is part of your business; he/she must have the right skills, attitude, and business knowledge to help the business move from the level ground.

There are two types of business partners. We have a silent and working partner. A silent business partner provides the money and gets a repeated percentage of the funding, which may fall under the investor category. A working partner provides funds and has the power to make decisions on the business operation. Depending on how you want your business to be, you can choose to have more than one business partner.

Pros

  • You are not doing it alone; you have someone to exchange ideas with
  • There is no confusion as each partner has a distinct role in the gym operation
  • You are working with someone with whom you already have a good relationship with

Cons

  • You make less profit than with sole ownership
  • If you fall into the ditch of having the wrong partner, the business development can be tampered with.

5.    Investors and lenders

Once your business plan is drafted, you can start speaking to potential lenders and investors about your gym business. Some can be angel investors, but you must demonstrate your knowledge, experience, skills, and information to convince potential investors and lenders. Your investor can be your family member, a friend or business associate, a successful business person in your community, etc.

However, choosing the right investor is also very important, and it can determine the long-term success of your gym. You can have more than one investor, but you must thoroughly look into each term and condition.

Pros

  • There is a small interest rate involved.
  • You can choose to set your business up in a way that suits you and your investor.
  • You are working with someone who believes in you and your dream.
  • They serve as additional support when you need your business to grow.

Cons

  • You must have a business plan that can help convince your potential investors.
  • You have to work with someone for either short-term or long-term
  • It is very detailed, so each party must know the role they play in the business

6.    Invest in a Gym Franchise

Another way to finance your gym business is to invest in a fitness franchise. With a gym franchise, you can buy into an existing gym to get access to use their logo, trademark, and business plan. Investing in a gym franchise is expensive, but you can get discounts on business costs and gym equipment because you are opening your gym under an established network. Some gym brands are less expensive, while some are very expensive. The average upfront cost is between $30,000- $300,000.

Pros

  • Your business is under an established network; hence, you can access their trademark, business plan, and logo.
  • You get discounts on gym equipment and other business costs.

Cons

  • They are very expensive when compared to other financing methods

Leasing or Buying

You can buy or lease if you want to run a gym business. Your decision depends on your financial situation and type of business. You can choose to buy or lease gym equipment and location. Leasing allows you to change equipment regularly without buying new ones every time. Depending on how good your manufacturer is, you may have minimal cost for maintenance and downtime on the equipment. However, this is more expensive in the long run than buying gym equipment. If you are leasing, you must have a good credit score, pay a downpayment, and be accessible to the market.

There are factors to consider when financing your gym. You need to consider the fitness equipment financing, monthly payments like employee wages, utilities, cleaning supplies, marketing, lease payments, etc., legal fees and insurance, location, gym decor and maintenance, liquid capital and cash flow requirements, digital fitness equipment and online security, sales and marketing, employee hiring costs and gym member management software. These are factors you should look into before making your financial projections.

financing for gym

Conclusion

It is no doubt that it can be expensive to start a gym. The initial investment is not the only thing you need to raise your gym; you also need dedication, the right people, and ongoing payments to help your gym flourish. Hence, you need to make financial projections, break down your gym cost, prepare your business plan, look out for funding options, and know what you are about to venture into.

References

Everything you need to know about gym financing- Glofox

Business funding tips for your new gym