How to Own a Gym Business – From Dream to Reality

Is Owning a Gym Business in Your Future? At one time or another, nearly every employee dreams of owning a gym. Perhaps you’re tired of all your hard work ending up helping someone else achieve his or her entrepreneurial success, or you may fear for losing your job in a weakened economy. Whatever your motivation, the compulsion to own a gym is strong in many people. But the risk involved in turning that dream into reality has, all too often, acted to derail even the best-laid plans. How to Own a Gym Every prospective gym owner is forced to wrestle with many different kinds of questions. Concerns about money certainly lead the pack, but knowing what kind of gym best suits you is even more important. The best place to start is by examining the reasons why you want to own a gym. Here are some benefits to ponder: Take advantage of all those years of work experience for your own benefit, not for the sake of others. A flexible schedule allows you to spend more time with yo…
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Do You Have what it Takes to Succeed in the Gym Business?

The one trait the majority of all millionaires have in common is that they owned their own business. Every year thousands of people attempt to follow in their footsteps and start their own business. Failure rates are high for new businesses with over half of them out of business within five years. How do you avoid this fate? There are certain things you can do that will let you succeed at your own gym business. Here are the skills sets that successful business owners say are critical to have if you want to succeed. Defined Goals The one thing that separates successful fitness companies from failures is planning. If you want to succeed then you need to have a well-defined plan. This plan should be in writing and it should include step-by-step directions. This plan will be your roadmap that shows the best and quickest way for you company to gain profitability. All actions taken should be measured against your goals to see if they are driving you one step closer to success. N…
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7 Negotiating Tips When Buying or Selling a Gym

A person buying or selling a gym needs the temperament and correct negotiation skills to successfully close the deal. Today, deals in the gym business are made by parties willing to find solutions to their differences. The two parties at the negotiation table are not adversaries. They do not attack one other, but rather they address the issues at hand. Here are some Business Negotiation Strategies for your Gym: 1. Prepare in advance. Prior to beginning negotiations, study the gym, financials and the market trends through industry publications, trade events and networks, and consult with those in the industry. Knowing the industry statistics and analysis of the gyms arms you with information you might need to back up your offer or counter other proposals. You can demonstrate that you know what you are talking about and you cannot be misled. 2. Listen to the other party. Give the other party your attention and the time to say what is on their mind. You should refrain f…
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How to Determine When It Is Time to Sell Your Health Club, Gym or Fitness Center

At some point in the life of a gym, every owner wrestles with the possibility of selling his or her company. Selling your gym is a personal decision. It takes time and patience to do it correctly. The procedure is tedious but rarely repetitive. The problems you face during a sale are ones you have not encountered before. The sale of your gym will have a great impact on your family, employees and you. Take the time to think about all the implications before needlessly disrupting the gym and your life. Examine your motives and take a hard look at your reasons for selling because once the transaction is complete, your business is gone forever. The most successful sellers set their personal, business and financial goals long before they place their gym on the market. They know what they want to achieve by selling their gym. Whether they want money and time to travel, retirement or leverage to start a new venture, they have a plan to get there. The following outline will…
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Write Ads That Attract Pre-Qualified Buyers for your Gym

Writing the perfect advertisement for your gym or health club for sale is an art. Here's what you should reveal and what you should not. Advertising your gym can result in more leads and a higher ultimate selling price, but revealing that you are selling can cause problems with employees and give your competitors something they will use against you. The key to advertising your gym is walking the line between effective marketing and preserving confidentiality is a well-crafted online ad. Writing business-for-sale ads for health clubs, fitness centers and gyms is an exercise in fine balance. You have to entice prospective buyers about the current and potential strength of your gym without even slightly stretching facts, which you'll have to warrant as accurate at the time of an actual purchase. You have to tell enough about your gym to make buyers think they'd like to know more, but you can't tell so much that readers—particularly competitors—can piece together the f…
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Health Club, Fitness Center and Gym Real Estate Site Selection

Selecting the right location starts with knowing your area’s demographics. Don’t know where to start? That’s okay because Jim Thomas’ Fitness Management & Consulting can provide you with a demographic report and help you analyze them. When selecting a site for your non-franchise model, you should also consider the following: Does the location satisfy your target market? Analyze the demographics around the proposed site, taking into account such factors as age, gender, family size, spending patterns, occupation, average income, etc. Does the profile of the average local resident or worker coincide with the member profile outlined in your feasibility study? If not, find another site or alter your plans to accommodate the needs of that market. Does the street have heavy traffic? If you’re depending on walk-in-traffic to generate sales, your gym must be located on a busy street. To ensure this, research and compare the number of drive-bys that pass a prospective sit…
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Buying a Health Club, Fitness Center or Gym in 3 Easy Steps

Overcome Your Fear of Buying a Health club, Fitness Center or Gym in 3 Easy Steps If you want to own your own health club, it is easier to buy an fitness business than it is to start you own gym business from scratch. An established health club allows you to skip past the startup phase entirely, which is where the majority of all new gyms fail. If you buy a health club then you can concentrate your efforts on making your health club larger and more profitable. Buying a health club does not have to be a challenge. You want to avoid overpaying for the business or buying a lemon. The easiest way to avoid this is to follow these three steps in buying your own business. STEP 1: Due Diligence The first step is due diligence where you determine whether or not this gym or fitness center is one you want to buy and at what price you are willing to pay for it. Find out why the seller is selling the health club. Once you are satisfied that the reason is not to flee from someth…
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How Do You Check Out as a Health Club Owner?

I was recently speaking with a health club owner about his business. He had gone from health club employee to now, health club owner. Being in the “hot seat” was much different than just being concerned about himself or his department each day. As we talked, it got me thinking about what it takes to be a successful owner of a health club…and some of the things that must be done in order to have success in this business. One thing is for sure, there is no way to eliminate all the problems that are associated with running and operating a successful health club. However, you can improve your chances of success with good advance planning, daily preparation and surrounding yourself with people who are better than you are at what you’re asking them to do. A good starting place is to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses as the owner and manager of a health club. Consider each of the following questions. Work ethic…Are you a self-starter? If it is to be, it is up to me. It w…
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Is It Time To Expand Your Health Club?

We seem to be getting more inquiries about expansion and getting into the health club business than at any time in the last couple years. Is it time to expand your health club? Certainly no one is in the health club business to fail and most health club owners view success as the ability to successfully grow their company. There are many ways to grow a health club. The key is to manage the growth in such a way that it can be controlled. Keep in mind that growing your health club too rapidly can be more devastating to your company than not growing at all. Each of you as a health club owner must assess whether or not growth is for you. It’s not for everyone. If so, what are the alternatives and the most appropriate methods for the expansion of your health club? Have your legal pad handy Health club owners should keep a legal pad available in order to write down unique and creative ideas that may be promoted through the health club. For me, my most creative ideas come …
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Sell your Health Club for More Than it’s Worth

Is it time to go fishing? Would you like to sell your gym? This may be more challenging than you think. Nearly half of all gym owners who try to sell their business can’t get it done. However, if done properly, nearly every gym will sell and many times for the asking price. What’s the secret? You need to get the timing right. The biggest mistake we see is that most gym owners do not plan their exit strategy from the very beginning. We see this over and over….gyms owners wait until something goes wrong and when that happens the gym is typically trending downward and it's not making as much money as it once was. The best time to sell your gym is when your business is doing well….when it’s tending up, not trending down. Be sure you have clean books. If you want to sell your gym for the maximum value, you need to be sure your books are in order. I once asked to see a club’s books and they handed me a shoe box full of receipts. That won’t work. In order to decr…
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