There is a lot involved in opening your own gym. Like any other undertaking your identity and goals create your mission statement. Why are you opening a gym? What kind of atmosphere do you hope to create? do you hope to be the best gym in the area? or are you opening a family oriented, recreational gym that also competes? No matter your original intentions you will face competition. todays consumer is very smart, and has access to tons of information. If a parent goes to a search engine and types in "best gymnastics gyms in the United states" they willbe dirrected to hundreds of sites which in turn, will direct them to hundreds of gyms. How will your gym layout, business plan, and curriculum compare to these established gyms? are there any in your area?
I would recommend doing your homework first. I have opened 3 gyms and worked at a handful of others each gym had a different identity. oneof them failed because of partners that had radically different concepts of the gyms identity, one of them had an identity crisis with no clear goal structure at the top. If you are clear in your goals and communicate them you will attract a staff that reflects what you hope to acheive. Some recommendations:
1) there is software available at any of the office supply stores called "Business Plan Writer" it will take you through a generic business plan and force you to consider elements of your business you might not even have thought of. I highly recommend doing this. It will serve as a wake up call for the amount of work necessary in planning and opening a gym.
2) know your market, the soft ware will help with this, surfing census data,etc etc, but also know your local gymnastics community. Who is your competition? closest? Strongest?
3) Know the industry. Surf equipment sites. know the prices the different popular brands. AAI and Speith Anderson being two of the top suppliers. I would recommend Paul Kemp at Midwest gym supply, as someone who has a ton of experience with installing new gyms.
4) Gym layout. Hire a professional to do this. Look at other gyms. why a re they layed out the way they are? are there multiple work stations for Team pre theam and classes? A seperate Preschool area? is there ample space for traffic flow? Do you have the proper training stations for High level gymnastics? Loose foam pits, resi-pits etc etc. (even if you do not plan to train higher levels, if a kid stays with you long enough, they will get good at what they are doing. Does your business plan allow for this or are you planning on losing customers as they grow older?) again Midwest can help with this. However going in with a strong business plan, strong identitiy and goal structure will help other gymnastics professionals take you seriously.
5) remember it is all on you. Staffing, payroll, maintenance, overhead, scheduling, coaching, and covering anyone elses calloffs. Delegate delegate delagate. In order to do that you need to be successful enough to pay quality people to STAY with you. Does your business plan allow for a happy successful staff? or will you constantly be training new staff?
Hope that helps a little! good luck! any other questions my email is [email protected]