Small Business Forum

Old 07-27-2006, 12:41 PM
mastajamdaep mastajamdaep is offline
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Arrow The Fitness Business

I'm 18 years old, and I'm interested in starting my own business. After working at a low budget gym on weekends for 6 months, I realized that I really want to open a fitness club. The funny thing is that I'm not intent on being a personal trainer (although I work out regularly and take it seriously.) I'm much more interested in the business aspect of the field. I read "Making Money in the Fitness Business" by Thomas Plummer, which gave me some insight on just how difficult the job is, but I think I can handle it as long as I form a small team of individuals who bring unique qualities to the table. I am going to college in the fall, so I can't put my idea into action in the near future. There are two major things I'm worried about. One, how am I going to get the funding? Even if I write a well detailed business plan, how can a stranger put trust in me? Secondly, I'm taking courses that are unrelated to business in my first semester, because I still don't know what I want to do if the gym plans fails. I've heard that now-a-days an undergraduate degree in business is pretty much worth an MBA, at least career-wise (I'm going to a university with one of the top ten business schools in the country.) What if I minor in business? Would that still put me in fair ground for my goal? Maybe I just have to get lucky and find an emerging bodybuilder to help sponser a gym.
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Old 07-27-2006, 08:50 PM
Tomtell Tomtell is offline
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Location: Chester County Pa
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First as far as college goes---what is your major. Why not state that in your message? Why do you think you could run a gym?

Taking a minor in Business can't hurt. I have a B.S. Business Administration. I wish I had a more specific field as I did most sales/customer service. Reading books on sales is also a very good idea. Find some part-time work in the fitness industry while at college would be good. It's funny that my friend who does well with a pizza shop wishes he went to college and I wish I had a trade.

I think at 18 years of age you will change your mind a few times before deciding on your career path. Keep working in the industy to see if that is what you really want to do. I will take sometime to learn and move up the latter. If you like it you will find away to make it happen in time.

Good Luck

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Old 07-28-2006, 09:51 AM
mastajamdaep mastajamdaep is offline
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I didn't mention my major because I haven't decided on one yet. I'm taking Psychology, a comprehensive English course, and a few others.
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Old 07-28-2006, 10:50 AM
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cbscreative cbscreative is offline
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Let me inject a little bit here that should help with whatever direction you decide on.

First, think about that education. I know at 18 you might not be sure what you really want to do, but with each possible choice, do some research and forward thinking. Be as sure as humanly possible that your degree will be useful, that you can find a job and that it will pay well enough to make the school loans worth the investment. There are many people with degrees not making much money.

This possible career might be your stepping stone to start a business if you decide to do that later. If you want to start sooner, take classes that will directly benefit the business you plan to operate.

Keep in mind, especially being so young, that things change, and they change fast. A career that is hot now may cease to exist very soon. Since you are interested in fitness, you might consider physical therepy. As long as people are getting hurt and we don't outsource that to China, you should be OK.
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Old 08-01-2006, 06:44 AM
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more freedom more freedom is offline
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I would suggest you go with your dreams, but you MUST, MUST, MUST have a decent plan first. It is very painful to screw up.

The are many Poeple in USA who are overweight wegith. Perhaps by population USA is the fattest country in the whole world. No offense, but I am trying to say there is a market for the fitness business still
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Old 08-05-2006, 03:02 PM
mastajamdaep mastajamdaep is offline
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Thank you all for your suggestions. I know that if a club retains 20% of the money from the memberships it sells then it is on the right track and better than most gyms. Of course the transaction fees, amenities, advertisements, loss rates, and cancellation rates really add up, but it seems almost impossible to make good money in the business.
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Old 08-07-2006, 09:33 PM
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TheWalrus TheWalrus is offline
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Location: Princeton, NJ
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A gym, like many businesses, is all about the real estate. Think McDonalds is in the hamburger or fast food business? Even their executives will tell you they aren't!

Originally Posted by Former CEO Harry Sonneborn
"We are not basically in the food business. We are in the real estate business."1

"We are in the real estate business. The only reason we sell hamburgers is because they are the greatest producer of revenue from which our tenants can pay us rent."2
Your first and most important dilemma is finding a suitable place to have the gym. In other words, if you cant find a cheap or decently priced piece of property.. you won't turn a good business!

Your second dilemma is your funding. If you are going to borrow most of the capital, you will need to buy a building that is "gym-ready". If you had money to invest, you could buy an older building in a prime location and fix it up. The advantage is an increase in equity and a bargain piece of property fixed up to suit your needs.

Third, you need to look at the competition in the area. Is there a Gold's gym? An L.A. fitness? Do you have a young or old population? (Grannies tend not to bench these days).

Fourth, do you have enough money to buy the machines and equipment - something that wouldn't be covered in a loan for the building (which, along with the land, is the collateral). You *could* get another loan for the equipment, but the interest rate would be high and your expenses would be higher.

I could go on and on, but I would suggest a preliminary research into the idea first. Here is how I would go about it if I were you:

- Look online for commercial buildings for sale. You can probably search on Get an idea for the price of the structure/land and whether or not it needs work.
- Compute your mortgage using a typical 30year loan with an interest rate above average (you have no established business credit!).
- Find out your property taxes and insurance, divide by 12, and add that to the monthly payment.
- Figure out a good estimate of how much $ needs to be spent on machinery and whether or not that will be a loan. If you're paying for it, then that capital needs to be in your bank account when you start the business. Otherwise, add the added loan expense to the monthly mortgage total

Let's say, for example, that you owe $4,000 a month alone in loan payments!

From there, think about how many employees need to work at all times. Let's say you will have to spend $700 a day. That's an estimate since I have never hired anyone, but it might not be too far off! Companies have to match social security payments etc etc..

Next, find out the square footage of the building. Use that to find out utility costs using the gym you currently work at as an example. For example if both buildings are 3,000sqft, assume the utility costs are the same.

All in all, if you estimate $7,400 a month in expenses.. at a MINIMUM... then divide that number by your monthly rate (lets say $40) to come up with how many people you will need signed up just to BREAK EVEN (in this case, 185).


Fiddle around with my suggestion. Add and customize to suit your idea as you might get a real eye opener as to the costs of owning and running a business.

Good luck
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:30 AM
adrian_in9@yaho adrian_in9@yaho is offline
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The key factors of healthy life are Exercise, Meditation & Yoga. , enough sleep and particular exercise & proper nutrition are the way for good heath. Yoga is also very helpful for fitness. Yoga improves the blood circulation which is good for our skin. Due yoga the body attains relax mode which is very necessary for the health.

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Last edited by adrian_in9@yaho : 08-28-2012 at 06:36 AM.
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