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Newbie Trainer
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

Wondered if anyone could help me or give any advice.

I am looking into opening a gym and have found a small place (3,000 sq ft) in a great location. From what I have read so far its all about location.

I am putting together a business plan and managed to calculate most things but dont have a clue how much electricity and other utilities would cost each month. Anyone able to have an estimate?

Also what is the cost of employers and public liability insurance?

I am on a very tight budget and have managed to source nearly all the kit I need to start up for £30,000. Obviously reconditioned. Going for 15 pieces of CV. Resistance machinces for the major muscles and a decent free weight area.

Last question for any gym owners. What do you think the maximum amount of members I could have on the books for this size of gym?

Any help would be great. Thanks
 

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Premium Member
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1,511 Posts
I couldn't give you any good advice but here's my 2p's worth

-look at the local demographic.bodybuilders? bimbo CV girls? gear the gym towards the clients

-if the gym is constantly packed, you'll get a bad rep for 'that gym where nobody can get onto the bench' so maybe put some 'student times' in like my old gym use to have. Evenings were great as the kids came before the bigger kids who were out to work.

-Re estimate of expenses? it all depends, doesn't it? How many sinks, taps, machines, did you see the manufactures specs to see how power efficient they are? put all the watts into a spreadsheet, calculate the wattage, shop around for an energy supplier, see how much the costs vary, come up with a median? Then at x% for winter, will you have aircon? When will it be on? If you get to the nitty gritty and you're good with spreadsheets i think you can get a rough idea. Maybe there is someone on here who runs a gym and can give you better advice.

Good luck - where about's will you be opening? Can i have a free membership?....oh, one can only but ask.. :)
 
G

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1 Why are you looking to open a gym ?? just because you can ???

2 Do you have any experience at all with health clubs or gyms ??

3 Ensure you can operate and get planning permission before starting to do buisnes plans

4 Be prepared for alot of very very hard work
 

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i love cabbage...
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1,385 Posts
i sold my place 3 years ago at a big loss. best thing i ever did.

my insurance then was £1500. the electricity was 180 per quarter. dont forget rates. water charges. advertising.

mate, my advice is not to do it unless you have £10,000 sitting in the bank to fall back on. ppl wont walk thru the doors right away.
 

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Getting HUGE!
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1,393 Posts
I agree with coflex on insurance - budget £1,500. I have a commercial policy and £850 a year but that is for an office based business - risks with a gym would be higher I guess plus location, levels of cover etc. will all vary.

The landlord should be able to give you a guide to utilities.

Also, don't forget to factor in legal fees for reviewing the lease on premisis - as much as £3,500 for a straightforward contract.

Once you think you have all your costs, don't forget to add a healthy contingency as there will be things that surprise you along the way.

Good luck mate!

Oh and on member numbers, this could be rubbish but I was once told gym's have a limit on the number of members based on their sq ft premisis size. This is for health and safety reasons....
 

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Premium Member
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Will101 said:
Oh and on member numbers, this could be rubbish but I was once told gym's have a limit on the number of members based on their sq ft premisis size. This is for health and safety reasons....
I heard the same based on health and safety regulations, blah blah blah
 

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Real men eat Pork Scratchings for protein!! 49.5g
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646 Posts
From my experience the hardcore gyms are slipping away as the core membership of bodybuilders is not enough to keep them afloat. Gyms are losing membership to the big chains like Fitness First, David Lloyd and Virgin etc etc as they have all the tarty facilities. You just cannot compete with the capitol those places or Leisure Centres have. :(

You say you are outlaying 30k so in your business plan how long will it take to recoup that investment?
 

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Newbie Trainer
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the replies so far.

The reason I am looking at opening a gym is because I want to. I have been going to gyms for nearly 10 years now, and both of my brothers are personal trainers and will be partners in the business. I will be the one putting most of the capital in.

I dont think planning will be a problem as there is already leisure use on the same site and the agent said it will not be a problem.

It will not be a bodybuilding gym. There will be a small free weights section but I know this is not the area which makes the money. There will be CV, resistance machines and a small studio offering classes.

The spot I have found is in the middle of an area with a 10,000 population along with many small villages around and big business parks nearby. Also a 5 min drive to the closest town. There is no gym in this area so this must be a benefit.
 

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Looking Freaky
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635 Posts
you have to have air-con and there are alot of hidden costs.you need disabled access nowadays ect ect i know because weve just moved into a brand new gym.u need disabled toilets lifts if theres 2 levels .. air-con is a must to meet building regs. also with the economy how it is you will struggle to get loans ect.sorry to put a downer on it
 

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Newbie Trainer
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Im not worried about the funding of it. I have that bit sorted.

What happens if you dont have disabled access, air con or lifts. The gym I go to now has non of these and they seem to do ok.

I know everyone will say I need air con but at this stage I dont have the funds for that but will aim to get within 18-24months of opening.
 

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i love cabbage...
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1,385 Posts
the air con isn't a must. but dis-abled access is. if the building is on the ground floor then you're sorted, easy. if it's on the first floor you may be in trouble. there are loop holes in this building regulation tho. because it's an existing building. if it's impossible to fit a lift you may get round it. BUT, it still leaves you open to discrimination claims in the future. ie. if fred comes along in his wheelchair and cant gain access to your facilities, then he can claim against you for discrimination. i've seen it done before mate.
 

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Getting HUGE!
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Ok, this is bad but you can get around the disabled access by fitting disables toilet facilities and being disabled friendly "as far as is reasonably possible" - even if they can't reach them in the first place..... Like a lot of things, what is in ledgistlation / in a contract, it is worthless until it receives judgement in court.....

Nothing major, just another "gamble" in the world of running your own business!
 

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Premium Member
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12,597 Posts
My legal fees were around 2k

Planning consultant fees 2k (although I did get this paid back by council at appeal)

Building and renovation costs over £40k

Equipment costs over £50k plus cardio which we hire.

Rubber flooring was £6k

Losts of hidden costs which come up at the wrong time. We dont have air con but will soon, we've had a quote close to £20k for air con so that can wait.

Also dont forget that planners dont like gyms opening. Took us nearly a year to get planning and we had to go to committee and appeal.
 

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Newbie Trainer
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
There are already disabled tiolets in the building due to space I was going to change the layout and just make this put of the male changing rooms. I might just keep it how it is now.

Tinytom how big is your gym? I will be looking to half that renovation cost and I konw that the kit I get will be cheaper but it is going to be reconditioned.

I have only got a small space 3000 sq ft.
 
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