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5 Things to Consider Before Owning a Gym

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Reposted from www.abcfinancial.com

Congratulations, you’ve decided you are ready to become a gym owner. The global fitness and health club industry generates more than $80 billion in annual revenue. However, just because the market is great does not mean you should dive into the industry without proper research and planning.

You need to create a plan to ensure you have the proper certifications, a streamlined process to collect membership dues, know how many employees you’ll need to hire and have an automated way to simplify administrative tasks. Ensuring that you have everything you need to run a successful gym is critical before you make that leap. Below we have outlined 5 things to consider before owning a gym:

Certifications

If you plan to have personal trainers or group fitness instructors, make sure they’re certified. A personal training certification ranges from about $500-$1,000. Many certifications can be obtained through the American Council on Exercise through a series of study guides and tests. Obtaining certifications such as these shows your members that you have proven industry accepted competencies and that you are serious about what you do and adhere to industry standards. Other certifications your gym staff may need include:

  • Lifeguarding — $250-$500
  • Water Safety — $20-$50
  • CPR — $75-$125
  • Health Coach — $400
  • Nutritionist — requires a Bachelor’s degree, price varies depending on institution

You can learn how to get certified here.

License & Permits

It’s important to ensure you and your members are protected with insurance in the unfortunate case of an accident at your facility. In 2011, a woman fell off a treadmill and hit her head, having to undergo multiple surgeries, at the 24 Hour Fitness in Sacramento, CA. She pursued legal action against the facility claiming the treadmill wasn’t within the proper space requirements needed for user safety. Unfortunate circumstances like this should demonstrate why you should include a statement in your member contracts to prevent your members from taking legal action against you or your facility.

Type of Gym

Whether it’s big box, mom and pop, or a boutique studio — you first need to determine which type of gym you want to open. If you’re looking to focus on a niche workout with specific fitness classes like cycling or yoga, then a boutique studio may be best for you. If you need room for a lot of members with plenty of classes and strength training equipment, a larger box gym may be best for you. If you’re not sure what type of gym you want to open, first understand who your target audience is. Once you understand this, you will be able to determine membership types and pricing structures.

Membership Types

What kind of memberships will you offer and how will you keep your members engaged? You may want to offer two or three types of memberships such as basic, standard, and premium. This will give your members options with different levels of pricing and commitment. Determining membership pricing can take some time. You should first take a look at how many members you plan to have, at what frequency they are using your gym and what types of workouts they are participating in (cardio, fitness classes, personal training). On average, a gym membership costs about $20-$50 per month. Although, your pricing structure will largely depend on the type of gym you plan to open.

Gym Membership Software

You have considered the type of gym you want to open and the membership types, but how are you going to sign-up your members and manage them, along with managing your employees? Take a look at these critical gym membership management software features outlined below:

Member Sign-Up and Management Features

  • Allow members to sign-up for a gym membership on any device
  • Check-in members manually or allow them to swipe or scan a key tag or key fob
  • Create alerts on members to pop up when they check-in
  • View member billing — members can store multiple credit cards or EFT payment options
  • Enter membership agreement electronically
  • View member details such as bar code and agreement number, notes, secondary members, past due, next due, late fees, service fees, etc.
  • Deactivate members

Employee Management Features

  • Track availability and time sheets
  • Set employee level security
  • Track clock-in/out
  • Manage employee productivity goals
  • Create employee alerts to show when they clock-in

These software features will save you the time needed to focus on member engagement rather than sifting through hundreds of papers trying to manage your members and employees.

Payment Processing Services

Determining the best way to collect payments from your members isn’t always easy. Using a payment processing service can save you time and will ensure you’re collecting all payments from your members. In the case that your members become delinquent, you won’t have to spend time calling them to track them down for their payment. A payment processing service will handle the hard work for you. Once a member becomes past due this service will automatically attempt to collect dues at certain times depending upon the member’s method of payment. This will give you more time to focus on your members and running your club instead of spending hours trying to collect payments. Click here to learn more about payment processing services specifically designed for collecting membership dues.

If you are considering owning a gym, ABC Financial can provide you with the gym management software and payment processing services you need to be successful. ABC Financial is the leading fitness club management software and payment processing provider in the fitness industry. We’ve been in business since 1981 and work with 6,700+ health clubs across the country. Our goal is to provide gym owners with the products and services to make club management easier while maximizing revenue. Take a look at how we’ve helped transform Spencer McDaniel’s clubs.

“I don’t have to sit there going through paperwork to find answers that I can find in two seconds using DataTrak,” McDaniel says. Our software, DataTrak, has helped Spencer sign up members, keep track of their information, and check them in to his gyms. Spencer believes in ABC stating “If I had to start over my first call is going to be to ABC Financial.”

Interested in learning more about ABC Financial? Request a demo to see how ABC Financial can transform your gym.

An Outsourced CEO, Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting, turnaround and brokerage firm specializing in the gym and sports industry. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars, webinars and workshops across the globe on the practical skills required to successfully to overcome obscurity, improve sales, build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. In addition, his company will buy gym equipment from gyms liquidating or closing. Visit his Web site at: www.fmconsulting.net orwww.jimthomasondemand.com.

How to Create a Sales Culture in your Gym

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When a gym commits to creating a sales culture in order to increase sales and profits, there are some fundamental rules that should be the foundation of any successful implementation. Once these rules are established other items can be addressed as the health club moves toward the full adoption of the new sales culture.

  1. All staff in your facility must be involved. Any successful gym sales culture needs to include each and every employee from the owner to the lowest paid person. No one can be exempt. Some gym owners think that the idea of a sales culture is a membership sales department function that doesn’t affect other club departments. However, a true sales culture means that everyone takes responsibility for increasing sales by adopting a member and guest-centered attitude in doing their individual jobs.
  2. All staffers must have a real stake in the game when it comes to the performance of the gym. No matter how much your staffers hear about a sales culture in your gym they won’t be committed to taking daily sales-enhancing actions if they don’t feel that they will be rewarded. That’s why incentives and profit participating programs are indispensable to any successful gym sales culture. Let your staffers know what the goals are and what they will receive when the goals are achieved and you will see them put forth their best efforts.
  3. The health club must provide its staffers with specific tools and training for the successful transformation to a sales culture. No matter how much buy-in you might get from staffers, if they don’t have the specific tools and training to put your gym sales culture into action, your efforts will be doomed. Examples of the tools they will need include product training sessions, sales training workshops, guest information such as brochures and marketing information, scripts for up-selling and role playing sessions, just to name a few. Tools such as these combined with departmental profit bonuses and frequent sales updates will put a positive charge in your gym workforce.
  4. The member is king in a true gym sales culture. One of the primary misnomers concerning a gym sales cultures is that they are built upon increasing sales at any cost to the detriment of long relationship building activities in the gym. But a true gym sales culture is focused upon nurturing members and guests by delivering solutions each and every day. The club sales manager’s most trusted tool is the Lifetime Member Value equation that shows what a good member can return on an investment of time.  Every member question should be answered in the context of what impact will it have on the overall income from the member over the typical lifetime of the membership.
  5. Cultural change in your gym starts with you. Only a complete commitment from the gym owner or top management will initiate a transformation to a sales culture. Not only should this person be verbally committed to the change, but they must be leading the change. Seeing the gym leaders driving the cultural change will have a big impact on others in the club. Everyone should hear the gym owner pledge to serve the members and provide staffers with the tools and training to institute the sales culture.

Increased marketplace competition, shrinking margins, increased regulation and other economic factors make creating a sales culture in every gym a priority for profits and sometimes even survival. By following these basic rules, any health club, fitness center or gym can begin the process of building a successful sales culture.

Do you have questions? What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk about creating a sales culture for your gym and fitness center, or a related topic, please contact us.

An Outsourced CEO, Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting, turnaround and brokerage firm specializing in the gym and sports industry. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars, webinars and workshops across the globe on the practical skills required to successfully to overcome obscurity, improve sales, build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. In addition, his company will buy gym equipment from gyms liquidating or closing. Visit his Web site at: www.fmconsulting.net orwww.jimthomasondemand.com.

So, You Want to Be a Successful Gym Owner?

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Let’s start with these simple questions

As with anything that has an upside, there will be risk. You can’t avoid it. However, you can help mitigate this risk with proper planning and preparation and surrounding yourself with industry experts. A place we always like to start by asking ourselves these 2 questions; what am I good at? And where do I struggle? Review the following questions to see where you need some help to improve your business;

· Are you a self-starter? The big failure I see in this area is we become content quickly. We don’t really start to push until the pressure is on. So many gym owners wait and wait, hoping things will change and then it’s too late. I think it was Mark Cuban that said it, “work each day like someone is trying to take it all away from you.

· How well do you get along with different personalities? The question becomes, can you deal with a demanding member, an unreliable vendor, or even a cranky employee all in the best interest of your gym? This can really be a challenge for some owners. You’ll need to develop working relationships with many different types of people.

· How good are you at making decisions? Gym owners are asked to make decisions constantly, many times quickly, sometimes under-pressure and independently. The big thing I find with independent operators, they tend to become isolated and for fear of making the wrong decision, they make no decision at all. The key here is to surround yourself with people that know more that you (and that you can trust). Learning by trial and error is very expensive.

· Do you have the physical and emotional stamina to run a gym? Owning a gym can be challenging; it can be fun. It can be exciting. But it is also a lot of work. The big secret here that is missed by so many owners is to have a process in place to develop people and future leaders of your business. Accomplish this and you will fix many problems you may have in your business.

· How well do you plan and organize? I see this one over and over and over, the gyms that struggle the most are the ones that fail to plan (or they simply don’t know what they don’t know). Owners don’t have a written plan of action. Sales Managers don’t have a written plan of action. The big thing to remember here is there is a difference between a goal and a plan.

· Is your drive strong enough to maintain your motivation? Some owners get worn down by carrying the entire burden themselves. Surround yourself with trusted industry experts, people who have been through what you’re going through.

Are you looking for someone to help you run your gym business? contact ustoday!

An Outsourced CEO, Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting, turnaround and brokerage firm specializing in the gym and sports industry. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars, webinars and workshops across the globe on the practical skills required to successfully to overcome obscurity, improve sales, build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. In addition, his company will buy gym equipment from gyms liquidating or closing. Visit his Web site at: www.fmconsulting.net orwww.jimthomasondemand.com.

Why hire a Membership Sales Coach when I already have a Sales Manager in my Gym?

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Most health clubs already have a membership sales manager or someone who is in charge of membership sales production in some capacity, so why hire a sales coach for the membership department? Many sales managers are not trained in the subtleties of effective gym sales training nor have they developed the necessary skills and tools to be effective sales leaders. The most common way to hire a gym sales manager is to simply promote your best sales person in the membership department. This logic suggests this person is the most qualified to lead the membership sales team based on their past membership sales achievements. This type of promotion by necessity is common, but not commonly successful. In the process you may even lose your top membership sales performer when their leadership abilities fail to match their sales ability.

The key reason being: Great gym sales people don’t often make great gym sales managers.

Why? This is largely due to the behaviors inherent to traditional individual gym salesmanship. At the risk of generalizing, these individuals can be highly competitive by nature and many can often be found running by their own set of rules when comes to making a membership sale. Many sales superstars can be described as egocentric, disorganized, manipulating, persuasive and let’s not forget charming. Often embodying the true entrepreneurial spirit, the sales superstar by nature will just get out there and make things happen. And yes of course, they may even cut a corner or two in the process. This poses an interesting but challenging dilemma for their gym sales managers or club General Manager.

To promote such individuals to a gym sales manager is to promote the same individual behaviors. More often than not, these behaviors are challenging to replicate successfully without ramification. The decision to do so will play a huge role in developing your gym sales culture. This is why so many gym sales teams operate by the 80/20 principle, with 80% of the membership sales being generated by 20% of the membership sales team and the rest merely making up the numbers. Usually the successful few are doing things very differently based on what they know or have learned in the role through their own positive and negative experiences in sales or in the gym industry. The normally enthusiastic but struggling majority is left to make up the numbers. Gym sales models that demonstrate this type of unbalanced success are clearly lacking the right leadership, sales support and sales coaching structure in their gym.

A gym sales coach’s role in the above scenario would be to coach the membership sales manager and membership sales team members to demonstrate common habitual behaviors and skills across the entire team for optimum membership sales team performance in the health club membership sales department.

Now, go close a sale!

Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting, turnaround and brokerage firm specializing in the gym and sports industry. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, an Outsourced CEO, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars, webinars and workshops across the globe on the practical skills required to successfully to overcome obscurity, improve sales, build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. In addition, his company will buy gym equipment from gyms liquidating or closing. Visit his Web site at: www.fmconsulting.net or www.jimthomasondemand.com.

Why Use a Health Club Consultant, Coach or Mentor

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Why Use a Health Club Consultant, Coach or Mentor?

Isolation

Directors of health clubs and owners in particular, may be gregarious and confident, but they can also be very isolated. There are not many people to whom they can turn for help, often no one in their own organization. Uncertainty about trust and confidentiality, personal competition and the slipperiness of the business ladder often make it hard for an Owner or Director or Manager to turn to a colleague about issues that may put into question their performance or tenure.

A Fresh Mind

Perhaps even more common, however, is simply the wish to consult a fresh mind, someone who brings no investment or position of his own, an outsider who is not involved with the organization, its culture or its politics. An independent consultant can reflect ideas, evoke solutions and support the implementation in a way that few insiders could ever do. Club Owners are increasingly recognizing the benefits and opportunities of exploring new avenues in consultations with a coach scheduled on a regular basis, not just for themselves but for their staff also.

More Productive Management Teams

The same is true for others who find they spend more and more of their time working in isolation on their specific responsibilities. When they do get together, they want their meetings to be as productive as possible, and team facilitation by an independent coach is an excellent way to achieve that. The coach is able to monitor the dynamics of the team and attend to group process while assisting and freeing the team to focus on task.

Fast Track Development of Key People

In today’s health club world management has less and less time to act as mentors to the new blood. Employees are left to cope on their own which inevitably slows down their development. Clubs are recognizing the benefits of engaging experienced people from outside the business to act as mentors to key employees on a regular basis.

fmconsulting.net/contact or call/text 214–629–7223

Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting, turnaround and brokerage firm specializing in the gym and sports industry. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars, webinars and workshops across the globe on the practical skills required to successfully to overcome obscurity, improve sales, build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. In addition, his company will buy gym equipment from gyms liquidating or closing. Visit his Web site at: www.fmconsulting.net or www.jimthomasondemand.com.

Tedious Gym Management Tasks that Can Be Automated

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Reposted from www.abcfinancial.com

There is no longer the time nor the place for tedious, manual tasks involved in managing your gym; automation is taking its place. Time is too valuable to waste, and with the industry growing at 3% annually, integrating efficiency into your gym operations to keep up with competition is imperative to your success. Even the simplest tasks can be automated to save you time and add a layer of professionalism to your gym. With the advancement of gym management technology, it is now an expectation that processes be completed as quickly and easily as possible.

These five tasks can be laborious if done manually, but if you start to automate them, you’ll see these tasks can be a piece of cake!

Member Check-In

We’ll start with the basics. Checking in members should be one of the simplest tasks of gym management, but lines to the front desk and fitness class rooms can build up quickly. You need to have a fast method of getting people in before that line starts to form, and automated processes can help. One automation tool most gyms employ today is key fobs for check-in. Remember how annoying it was to look up every member or review paper logs? Using key tags, key fobs, fingerprint scans, and pin codes allow your members to simply scan or enter their code and go. It not only keeps your members happy by eliminating the check-in line, but also opens up profit potential for your business. If you no longer need multiple people manning the check-in process, you can have employees take on a larger business role, become a personal trainer, or fill another position that will help to grow your gym.

Payment Processing

Delinquent payments are a nightmare for gym owners and managers. Organizing payments, getting member dues collected on time, and reminding members of late payments are all tedious tasks. But these tasks are also critical to maintaining a consistent, up-to-date revenue stream. With a payment processing system, you can have automated billing, allowing you to focus your time and energy on improving your member experience and club profits. Send automated alerts to remind members when payments are due to reduce delinquent payments. It is also beneficial to have a payment processing system that gives your members the option to customize their payments to set up payments on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. Fully automating this process allows you to enjoy a seamless billing cycle.

Reporting for Gym Management

Running daily, weekly, or monthly reports is more useful than you might think because they provide you with the data you need to support important business decisions. Putting together reports manually is time-consuming and is prone to human error, and unless you have someone who is a whiz at putting together charts and graphs, it is hard to really visualize and understand how your gym is performing. Automation speeds up this process and ensures it is accurate so you can be better informed to make the right business decisions. If you are using gym management software, there are several financial reports you should especially be familiar with, but it is also useful to run reports against the goals you have set to see the progress you are making. This progress can be represented visually on dashboards to give you a clear understanding of your gym’s performance.

Scheduling Meetings

If you know you have a meeting that happens every day or every week, do not waste time on scheduling it out each individual time. Even though it might only take a minute or two to schedule a meeting, every minute counts. Your time is spread thin as a gym manager, so setting up recurring meetings saves you the time and the hassle of having to do administrative tasks that can easily be automated.

File Management

Keeping up with customer changes is another tedious administrative task. With different levels of memberships available, customers may switch back and forth until they find a membership plan they are comfortable with. Or they might schedule a variety of classes until they find one they really like. Tracking all of these changes is a huge task involved in managing your gym. However, they can be automated as well. Gym management software automatically tracks these changes for you, so you do not have to worry about whether the membership status you have listed for a particular member is correct. Any changes that are made and any classes that are scheduled are all automatically tracked by your software system.

Gym management is filled with highly detail oriented tasks, which makes owning or managing a gym stressful, there’s no doubt about that. But do not do more work than you need to. Automate your tasks with gym management software so you can spend less time on tedious administrative tasks and more time on focusing on providing a positive and exciting experience for your members!

Learn more about all the ways gym management software can bring flexibility, stability, and security to your gym. https://bit.ly/2AHPYwV

Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting, turnaround and brokerage firm specializing in the gym and sports industry. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars, webinars and workshops across the globe on the practical skills required to successfully to overcome obscurity, improve sales, build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. In addition, his company will buy gym equipment from gyms liquidating or closing. Visit his Web site at: www.fmconsulting.net or www.jimthomasondemand.com.

Tips for Opening A Gym in New Locations

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Reposted from www.abcfinancial.com

Are you thinking of opening a gym in a new location but don’t know where to start — or if you are even ready for it? Growing your business involves a lot of new challenges, from employee management to sales strategy. But do not let these growing pains deter you from expanding! Follow these tips to determine whether you are ready to open in new locations and learn how to approach the process.

Are You Ready for Expansion?

The first piece of the puzzle is figuring out whether you are even ready for the move. There is nothing more damaging to a business than moving too fast at the wrong time — and running a gym is tricky.

If you are currently operating a single gym, make sure you are hitting your yearly revenue targets and making a profit. Look at your net income and determine whether your business is growing. Do you have the available financial assets to make a big investment?

If you own an established gym chain, expanding into new locations is more familiar to you. Look at your profit margins over the past several months, and make sure your recently opened gyms are hitting their goals. At the end of the day, financial health is the most important factor when deciding to open a gym.

Money talks, but you should also be listening to your customers! Is your gym overflowing with business to the point where the space is overcrowded or overbooked? Are your customers begging you to open a new location so they can keep training with you? Are you confident in your ability to attract new members, because you have pinpointed your core client? Expanding your business will help you manage demand, but first you have to make sure you have this demand from your customers!

Hiring and Managing New Employees

If you are opening a new gym, chances are you will be hiring new employees to run the business. Whether you are in need of a full new staff, or just a few extra workers, hiring and managing employees is a big challenge.

Our number one tip for gym owners looking to expand is to rely heavily on referrals from current employees and to promote internally. This will save you a lot of time and worry in the hiring process. Of course, if you want to look externally for new employees, you can always post job openings online and at your current locations.

When it comes to employee management, it is important to have an administrative system in place before you make the move. Whether you are opening a new gym on the other side of town or the other side of the country, it is important you have the necessary hierarchy and support system in place to make sure your employees succeed. It is impossible for a new gym location to run smoothly without a tight operation.

Launching or Expanding Your Website

A new location means a new website or an extension of your current website. There are many factors to keep in mind when it comes to your digital presence. Opening a new gym should not mean opening a completely new business. You want your new website to be cohesive and follow your brand’s existing design patterns.

There are a few digital tips to keep in mind when designing your website:

  1. Make sure your website has a cohesive design which speaks to your overall brand image.
  2. Create a tab on the main website page under the name “Locations” or “Find a Club” that links to each individual page associated with your different branches. This will make your website easy to navigate.
  3. Customize your website to your region — your client base is going to be different, so your content should be different too! Write an About page that is specific to your region rather than just duplicating your pages, and write posts that relate directly to your new audience.
  4. Set benchmarks and monitor for progress. Set goals for your website and implement the appropriate data analytics to keep track of your performance.

How to Boost Sales in New Regions

Opening a gym in a new region comes with a unique set of sales challenges. If you are completely new to this region, you may not have the name recognition and built-in trust you have enjoyed at your current locations. You are going to need to implement some sales strategies to gain new clients. Thankfully, gym management software is great for implementing these sales strategies and keeping track of performance.

When expanding to a new location, leverage both digital and direct marketing tools! Some example of sales and marketing tactics include:

  1. Using your website, social media channels and mobile app to promote your club and attract new members.
  2. Engaging in an email marketing campaign to get the word out about your business.
  3. Throwing a launch party to get the community excited.
  4. Using word-of-mouth to attract new potential clients organically and build trust.
  5. Holding various promotional events or campaigns to offer a lower sign-up fee for your first customers.

There are so many tools at your disposal when boosting sales in new regions, so do not underestimate the fundamentals and do not forget to make the most out of your gym management software!

By following these simple but effective tips, you can ensure successful growth for your business! Expanding to new locations is a sign of financial health; celebrate by strengthening your brand and making the right strategic moves!

Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting, turnaround and brokerage firm specializing in the gym and sports industry. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars, webinars and workshops across the globe on the practical skills required to successfully to overcome obscurity, improve sales, build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. In addition, his company will buy gym equipment from gyms liquidating or closing. Visit his Web site at: www.fmconsulting.net or www.jimthomasondemand.com.

When Was the Last Time You Submitted a Press Release?

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Reposted from www.abcfinancial.com

I’ll bet it’s been a while…if ever. The press release is one of the most misunderstood and underutilized marketing strategies in the fitness industry. By submitting quality press releases to your local media outlets, you’ll get plenty of free publicity for your fitness business.

Press releases are a free form of promotion, and are one of the most powerful. Getting mentioned by a reputable source is much more powerful than a postcard campaign or other advertising you might be planning. Getting mentioned in local news media outlets lends credibility to your health club and will allow your target audience an unbiased way of getting to know you and your business.

First of all let’s discuss what a press release is. It is simply a method of letting reporters and news outlets know about your health club or something that is relevant to your business that would be of interest to their readers, viewers, and listeners. Once these groups receive your press release, they then determine if it’s worthy of mention in their report.

The press release itself is meant to report something newsworthy, not to be a vehicle for self-promotion. Of course you get to mention your business and how it relates to the newsworthy information, but you cannot blatantly promote your services. Your press release needs to be of interest and add value to the readers and listeners of the media outlet you’ve targeted, otherwise they’ll never promote your news.

If something related to your business is worth announcing to the community, submit it for consideration. If you don’t have any new events or business related topics to submit, it’s always a good idea to submit a topic that is relevant to a current event. But if you snooze, you lose. You typically have a very small window of opportunity to submit a timely press release related to a current event before it becomes forgotten news.

Here are some examples of newsworthy information you can submit:

  • You created a self defense class for women at your facility
  • Your facility is a local drop off station for a canned food drive
  • Your facility is celebrating its anniversary
  • You feel that energy drinks are making people fat
  • You are opening a new location in town
  • One of your members lost a significant amount of weight
  • You agree with a local politician’s stance on health care reform

When your press release is picked up by a local news agency, not only will it provide you a nice piece of social proof, it will also get the attention of other news agencies. When one news group picks up your press release, it exponentially increases the chances of getting picked up in other outlets.

How to get them to pay attention to your press release

First of all, make sure the information you send is worthy of their attention and valuable to their readers and listeners. Also make sure it fits the niche of the media outlet you’re targeting. For example, sending a Obama-supportive topic to a heavily conservative news source wouldn’t be the best idea. Or discussing energy drink consumption to a newspaper whose readers average age is 65.

Another thing you’ll need to do is find a “point person” at each news agency. You only want to submit your press releases to one primary person…preferably someone who likes you and your business. The best way to get them to like you is to give them press releases that their audience will be interested in. This will make their job easier and cause them to pick up more of your press releases.

Here are a few more recommendations

  • Find someone who knows someone at the local newspaper, TV station, or radio station. This is an easy way to find a good contact person.
  • Be sure to send your press release to only one person at that business.
  • Be sure you submit only quality information. It’s okay to send a new press release once per month, but make sure it is interesting or important.
  • Keep your press release short. You have plenty to say, but keep it as brief as possible, focus on the key points and keep it at a manageable length. No one wants to spend time reading a 4-page press release.
  • Including a photograph with your press release could increase your chances of getting noticed.
  • Have someone edit your press release. Misspellings and grammar errors are unforgivable.
  • Some people prefer receiving press releases via email, some via mail, some in person. Find out what your contact prefers, and deliver accordingly.
  • Don’t give up. Not every press release will be picked up, but continue submitting. Eventually one will and you will develop a relationship with that news outlet.

Follow these tips and you’ll find yourself with plenty of free publicity from your press releases.

Reposted from www.abcfinancial.com

Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting, turnaround and brokerage firm specializing in the gym and sports industry. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars, webinars and workshops across the globe on the practical skills required to successfully to overcome obscurity, improve sales, build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. In addition, his company will buy gym equipment from gyms liquidating or closing. Visit his Web site at: www.fmconsulting.net or www.jimthomasondemand.com.

What is the Cost of Owning a Gym?

Fitness Center Broker, Fitness Center Valuation, Gym Broker, Gym Equipment, Gym Valuation, Gyms for Sale, Health Club Broker, new gym start up October 14, 2018

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Reposted from www.abcfinancial.com

There are several key criteria to consider when calculating the cost of owning a gym. If you know all of the included costs ahead of time, you will be able to plan accordingly in order to maximize your profits.

Location

Location will likely be the largest cost of owning a gym but will also be the biggest factor in gaining foot traffic and potential customers. Rent mainly depends on where you plan on opening a gym; the cost of opening a gym in downtown Los Angeles will be significantly higher than the cost of opening a gym in the surrounding suburbs. In order to make the right decision, you need to balance out the rental cost with the location in the city. Another item to consider related to location is the demographics you want to target for your gym. If you are considering opening a gym for an audience between the ages of 18 and 34, it might not make sense to open it in the suburbs or rural areas since 26% of a city’s population is made up of this age group compared to 23% for suburbs and 21% for rural areas. Remember, high traffic areas are best, but if the cost is insurmountable, then it may not be worth it.

Equipment

Your second highest cost is your equipment. Gym equipment can be what differentiates you from other gyms and propels you to the top. However, this doesn’t mean you should blow all of your budget on equipment. For a commercial gym, equipment costs can range between $300,000 and $500,000. For smaller gyms, costs tend to be around $100,000. Take a look at your finances to figure out which category you fit into comfortably. Luckily, in many of these cases, costs are fixed, which means that you only have to buy them once and you should be good to go. You may need to upgrade and maintain some of your equipment in the future, but that will be a far lower cost.

Employee Costs

When it comes to employees, you have many decisions to make. You need to decide how many workers to staff, how many personal trainers to hire, and what to pay each of them. With all of these decisions, you need to find the right balance between quality of staff and reasonable costs. There are several employee positionsthat could be beneficial to your gym’s success. These positions include a cleaning crew, floor watchers, a front desk to answer the phone as well as questions about the facility, and fitness consultants to sell memberships. Additionally, your trainers need to be licensed, so you can either hire licensed personal trainers or hire non-licensed ones and provide them the ability to obtain a license.

Additional Upfront Costs

There are a few additional costs of owning a gym, but these are largely dependent on you. To open a gym, you need certain permits and licenses, but the cost of these vary on number of employees. Furthermore, you may want to plan ahead by hiring legal help to gain the necessary insurance and avoid any issues. Lastly, gym management software can help you run an organized gym.

Membership Delinquencies

While the cost of owning a gym may seem high, remember that you will attract members who pay a monthly fee. One thing to be aware of with memberships as it indirectly relates to gym costs, is membership delinquencies. It is a real possibility that some of your members will “forget” to pay their monthly fee, which means less revenue for you. New gym owners do not always recognize membership delinquencies as a possibility, so to avoid trouble down the road, you may want to include this category when tallying profit. Gym management software and payment processing can help mitigate these risks.

To learn more about the current state of the gym industry and owning a gym, check out our infographic! https://bit.ly/2yj6LoD

Reposted from www.abcfinancial.com

Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting, turnaround and brokerage firm specializing in the gym and sports industry. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars, webinars and workshops across the globe on the practical skills required to successfully to overcome obscurity, improve sales, build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. In addition, his company will buy gym equipment from gyms liquidating or closing. Visit his Web site at: www.fmconsulting.net or www.jimthomasondemand.com.

Gyms Are Expanding and Many are Eyeing Mall Vacancies

Fitness Center Broker, Fitness Center Valuation, Gym Broker September 27, 2018

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https://www.nreionline.com/retail/gyms-are-expanding-and-many-are-eyeing-mall-vacancies

The fitness club sector is flexing its muscles.

Fitness and health clubs have grown to be a more than a $30-billion-a-year industry, according to research site Statista, with more than 36,000 clubs across the U.S. boasting more than 60 million members.

Top players in the health club industry reported steady growth in 2017 and many are expanding through new development or acquisitions. Life Time, LA Fitness, Planet Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness, and Equinox Holdings (with its brands Equinox, SoulCycle, Blink Fitness and Pure Yoga) all had growth years, according to the 2018 Club Industry Top 100 Clubs list.

The current environment appears to offer a perfect storm for the fitness center sector  as consumers become more health-conscious and the economy continues to improve. Fitness concepts are also more internet-resistant than traditional retailers—you can’t work out online, though it’s now possible to access online fitness classes from home—and there are plenty of vacant big boxes out there for fitness concepts looking to expand.

Landlords are courting gyms to replace anchor tenants that have left and help drive shopper traffic.

“With all of the regional mall changes and that sector trying to figure out how to best position itself for the future and continue to drive traffic, they need to continue to drive new and different traffic, and this is a way to create a bit of a different draw,” says Scott Burns, executive vice president, Los Angeles retail lead at real estate services firm JLL. “It helps fortify it as a key destination for the neighborhood as it puts it in the regular weekly activities of the customers in the area.”

“It’s another body, another person in your mall that may see something that either they buy that day or say, ‘I need to come back next time and make a point to get my nails down or buy a shirt.’ It’s a gravity pull to the property,” he adds.

The fitness sector was one of the first to start expanding aggressively after the recession, Burns says, and one of the few that has maintained that growth at the rate it’s experiencing.

“I think there will be some consolidation eventually and some fallout when the market changes. But at this point, the demand is there, and frankly, the supply is there, too, with all of the empty boxes.”

Since the recovery began, Burns’ retail team has leased nearly 870,000 sq. ft. in fitness center deals in Southern Calif.

While the trend of gyms in malls isn’t new, it’s increasing

Since 2008, fitness center leasing in malls has tripled on a square footage basis, according to Drew Myers, a consultant with research firm CoStar Group. “Since 2013, fitness center leasing in malls and lifestyle centers has grown by about 70 percent.”

Myers says Planet Fitness was “actually the number one-ranked tenant by total new square footage leased since the start of 2017 across all [mall] tenants, so we’re talking about a pretty impactful leasing trend.”

During the second quarter of 2018, Planet Fitness—one of the biggest U.S. fitness franchisors and operators—opened 44 new franchise locations, and now boasts 1,608 locations across its portfolio.

Company officials say many of its new locations will be in retail centers.

The company is working to “build upon our current momentum as brick-and-mortar retail continues to be under pressure from online businesses, and landlords are increasingly looking to Planet Fitness to drive traffic in their centers,” said Planet Fitness CEO Christopher Rondeau in the company’s second-quarter earnings call.

Planet Fitness’ membership is now 12.1 million, up from about 10.4 million a year ago. Same-store sales increased 10.2 percent on top of a 9.0 percent gain a year ago.

Meanwhile, 24 Hour Fitness and LA Fitness also ranked in the top 20 of “tenants that have leased the largest amount of square footage by new leases signed,” Myers says.

24 Hour Fitness ended 2017 with 433 clubs in 13 states and LA Fitness had 705 locations across the U.S. and Canada.

Life Time targets malls for growth

In 2017, GGP (now Brookfield Properties) and Life Time announced plans to partner on developing health clubs at GGP properties to “reimagine the mall spaces traditionally occupied by large anchor stores.”

Five projects have been announced to date, with more to come, says Chris Pine, senior vice president of big-box leasing/development retail at Brookfield Properties.

For example, at Brookfield-owned Oakbrook Center in Chicago, a three-story Life Time with a rooftop pool is being developed on the site of a former Sears Auto Center. And next month, Life Time is opening a massive fitness complex at Quail Springs Mall in Oklahoma City where a Macy’s was razed.

Brookfield is looking to add fitness centers, as well as grocers, to its malls’ line-ups, Pine says, because they can bring in customers multiple times a week.

“With them driving 1,500 to 1,800 visits a day, we see the opportunity for real benefits in sharing of customers between their property and ours,” he says.

He also notes it’s not about “trying to save” a property.

“That’s not our strategy at all. Oakbrook, for example, is an extremely successful property, so we’re layering great concepts, great entertainment ideas, fitness ideas, grocer ideas on top of already successful properties. It’s an obvious and complementary blend to what we do.”

Brookfield has deals with other fitness concepts, including Planet Fitness, Soul Cycle , LA Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness.

In addition to the Brookfield clubs, Life Time has plans for or has opened clubs at malls owned by Macerich, Kimco Realty, The Taubman Co. and Simon Property Group. Several are on sites of now-closed department stores.

“Life Time Founder, Chairman and CEO Bahram Akradi has been pretty open about how excited he is for these developments,” says a Life Time spokesperson. “As he says, ‘a few years ago, we didn’t have a desire to go into malls,’ however, as we looked at growth opportunities, we wanted to re-imagine them as healthy living and healthy aging villages with entertainment, exercise and residences. We can bring something to regional shopping centers that no one else can—from our spaces to the sheer volume of traffic.”

Another example of Life Time’s expansion strategy is Simon-owned Southdale Center in Edina, Minn., where Life Time is building a three-level, 120,000-sq.-ft. club that will occupy a redeveloped space where a J.C. Penney once sat.

Boutique fitness is also hot

“We’re also tracking an uptick in boutique-type fitness centers—like spin studios, cross fit gyms and yoga studios,” Myers says. “Those specialty fitness centers are often in lifestyle centers, and their footprint on a square footage basis has doubled since 2013 and quadrupled since 2008.”

For example, Orange Theory Fitness has expanded to nearly 1,000 studios worldwide and has more than 500 studios in the development pipeline. CycleBar has more than 180 studios slated to open throughout 2018. Club Pilates has over 300 studios. Other expanding concepts include Tough Mudder Bootcamp, TITLE Boxing Club, 9Round Fitness, SoulCycle and Row House.

Myers points out that some gyms and fitness centers are now “targeting high-quality space that’s very dense from both population and commercial real estate standpoints.”

“So, one of the ways fitness centers may be able to mitigate the impact of competition or oversaturation is by leasing space in these really high-quality malls,” he says.

CoStar defines class-A malls as having about 115,000 office workers in a three-mile radius, whereas class-B malls have about 40,000. Also, class-A malls have an average of about 70,000 households in a three-mile radius, while class-B malls have an average of just over 30,000 households.

“In a class-A mall or urban environment, rents are likely to be higher on a per-square-foot basis, but at the same time, you’re also positioning yourself as a tenant to be able to capture a significantly greater number of potential members or customers,” notes Myers.

FLAT FEE FULL SERVICE GYM BROKERAGE FIRM

Gym Valuation September 10, 2018

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Follow These Gym Brokers’ Tips to Get a Good Price for Your Gym

Uncategorized June 15, 2018

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There are many reasons why you might want to sell your gym. Maybe you’re moving across the country and it’s just not going to be feasible for you to run your gym from there. Or maybe you’ve made enough money and decided to retire. Or maybe you found that your other fitness businesses, such as yoga or dance classes, were doing better in that area. So you’ve decided to stick to those and sell off the gym. Whatever the reason, it’s necessary to present your gym in the best way possible so that potential buyers will fall in love with it. And a gym broker can help you to do this.

Equipment Maintenance

If you want your gym to fetch a fair price (or even a price that’s above market value) you’re going to have to maintain it well. If you’ve always maintained your gym in good condition, you won’t have much to do at this point. But if you haven’t, it’s a good idea to go over your gym and check out the condition of all your equipment. Is it in good shape and functioning smoothly?

Do your treadmills or elliptical trainers need to be repaired? Are your weight machines in good shape? Are your free weights gleaming in a row or are they rusted, thus posing a health hazard? You may not want to bother with all these little things, given that you are selling your gym. But taking care of all these problems now will make sure that you get a good price for your gym. When the potential gym owner walks in, they want to see a gym in good working condition, not a fixer-upper.

General Maintenance

In addition to functioning equipment, you also need to make sure that your gym looks overall presentable when a potential owner walks in. It doesn’t hurt to give it a coat of paint, get the windows cleaned and fix any leaks that might have occurred over the years.

General cleanliness is also important. It’s a good idea to get professional cleaners to come in and thoroughly clean your gym. Throw out gym mats that are ten years old and get new ones. Make sure your carpet or flooring are clean. And most importantly, make sure your gym is well-lit and has an active feel. This will help you make that sale.

Contact us for more great tips for selling your gym.

We buy gym and fitness equipment from all over the country.

Fitness Center Broker, Gym Broker, Gym Equipment, Gyms for Sale, Health Club Broker February 26, 2018

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We buy gym and fitness equipment from all over the country. We have the experience to buyback your entire gym or fitness center and have all the equipment removed by our professional team. We have purchased hundreds of gyms for over 25 years and have become the leading industry equipment purchaser all over the USA. If you have a gym that is trading in equipment, closing, liquidating assets or have some extra gym equipment to sell please contact us at fmconsulting.net/contact or text 214-629-7223.

Gyms for Sale

Fitness Center Broker, Fitness Center Valuation, Gym Broker, Gym Valuation, Gyms for Sale, Health Club Broker, Health Club Valuation, new gym start up January 6, 2018

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Have you made the decision to sell your gym. This is a critical moment in your business cycle and we want to help you receive top offers. We understand that the sale is more than a transfer of assets and we will help you maximize the profits from your exit. We have over 30 Years of experience in the health & wellness industry and we know what buyers want. Contact us today! fmconsulting.net/contact or 800-929-2898.
#gymbroker #healthclubbroker #businessbroker #gymowners #fitness #mma#crossfit #kickboxing fmconsulting.net/gymsforsale

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  • Why Use a Health Club Consultant, Coach or Mentor

    by on November 9, 2018 - 0 Comments

    Why Use a Health Club Consultant, Coach or Mentor? Isolation Directors of health clubs and owners in particular, may be gregarious and confident, but they can also be very isolated. There are not many people to whom they can turn for help, often no one in their own organization. Uncertainty about trust and confidentiality, personal […]

  • Gyms Are Expanding and Many are Eyeing Mall Vacancies

    by on September 27, 2018 - 0 Comments

    https://www.nreionline.com/retail/gyms-are-expanding-and-many-are-eyeing-mall-vacancies The fitness club sector is flexing its muscles. Fitness and health clubs have grown to be a more than a $30-billion-a-year industry, according to research site Statista, with more than 36,000 clubs across the U.S. boasting more than 60 million members. Top players in the health club industry reported steady growth in 2017 and many are […]

  • When Was the Last Time You Submitted a Press Release?

    by on October 18, 2018 - 0 Comments

    Reposted from www.abcfinancial.com I’ll bet it’s been a while…if ever. The press release is one of the most misunderstood and underutilized marketing strategies in the fitness industry. By submitting quality press releases to your local media outlets, you’ll get plenty of free publicity for your fitness business. Press releases are a free form of promotion, and […]

  • What is the Cost of Owning a Gym?

    by on October 14, 2018 - 0 Comments

    Reposted from www.abcfinancial.com There are several key criteria to consider when calculating the cost of owning a gym. If you know all of the included costs ahead of time, you will be able to plan accordingly in order to maximize your profits. Location Location will likely be the largest cost of owning a gym but […]

  • Tips for Opening A Gym in New Locations

    by on October 23, 2018 - 0 Comments

    Reposted from www.abcfinancial.com Are you thinking of opening a gym in a new location but don’t know where to start — or if you are even ready for it? Growing your business involves a lot of new challenges, from employee management to sales strategy. But do not let these growing pains deter you from expanding! Follow these tips […]

A Recommendation of Jim Thomas, President of Fitness Management and Consulting

by Norm Cates, Club Insider Publisher and Tribal Leader Since 1993

Jim Thomas is a talented, experienced, dedicated, determined, and very professional expert in the health, racquet and sportsclub industry. A club industry veteran of over 30 years, Jim has been a Club Insider Contributing Author since March of 2006, when he joined our Club Insider Contributing Author Team. During that time Jim has written and contributed 50 articles which have been published during our 284 months of Club Insider publishing. Jim Thomas is a truly great asset to our publication, and to our wonderful industry, and he can be trusted to deliver great results, over and over, no matter what the challenge.

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When is it Time to Sell Your Health Club or Gym?

gymsaleMany factors will tell you when it is time:

  • Owner’s “burn out” Owner’s or key employee’s health problems
  • Business relocation or rerouting of expressways
  • Lease expires and you do not want to renew for another term
  • Changing technology Get estate in order
  • Not interested in investing long-term capital
  • Children do not want to enter family business
  • Under-capitalized
  • Largest accounts in financial difficulty
  • Bank unwilling to renew credit lines
  • Supplier problems
  • Staff problems
  • Customer’s habits changing
  • Seeks retirement
  • Wants to cash out and go fishing

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Whatever the reason, you will need to plan an orderly transition to new ownership with less involvement on your part.

For more info, please call us at 214-629-7223.

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