Gym startup costs

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Hello all,

I'm interested in starting a gym about three years from now with my wife when I leave the military. She's been doing gymnastics since she was 10 and competed as a level 9. For the last nine years or she has been coaching classes and team. I have always dreamed of starting a business and my degree is in business administration. Our skills would compliment each other very well.

We have been looking for awhile and getting an idea of startup costs but I wanted to hear from some others who have done it. Right now I have about 50k in investments. About a 30k lost in the last year due to the market hasn't helped any. Assuming the market comes back at least 20% in the next year I should have close to 100k to put towards the business by the time I get out. To be conservative lets us say I'll only have 75k.

My main question is how much did you start your gym with and what did it go towards?

Given a limited budget what are the most important things to buy and what can you get by without for the first six months to a year?

Thanks you,


Talk to the Jeff Metzger and Frank Sahlein...

Jeff created and owns:

Jeff Metzgers Small Business Boot Camp (consulting)
Kids First Sports Center (gym)

Frank created and owns:

3rd Level Consulting - Gymnastics, Dance, Cheer, Swim, Martial Arts Schools (consulting)
Wings Center Boise, Idaho - Summer Camp, Daycamp, Gymnastics, Adult Rock Climbing, Team Building, Childrens Activities, Childcare, Parties, Swimming, Cheerleading ,Fun, Fitness, Education, Parties, Entertainment (gym)

They are the best in our industry...let them pick your brain. Pay for there services and they will teach you what they know.

As far as what I need employees that truly believe in you. Pay them well, but realize what top pay in this industry is. You and your wife will be working for 50+ hours per week for the first 3 years if you really want to make it. This is about hard work.

One more thing...NO NEW EQUIPMENT. You can survive on all used or demo equipment. Be prepared for going out business equipment. If that means renting a truck and driving 300 miles at 2 AM, then you need to do it. Check craiglist for all your office equipment.

I have bought a $20,000 Speith velcro floor with 2" foam for $3000 cash. I have bough an Ozzy tramp for $300 (normally $4000+). I bought 2 AAI elite beams for $300 each, had them recovered for $450 cost $1500 for 2 perfect elite beam. I bought almost $30,000 worth of equipment for $4800....don't waste your money on equipment....good coaches are what count.

5 years from now, when your gym is a proven force, you'll be able to buy all the new equipment you want.
I just opened a gym in september( shameless plug) and while our startup costs were on the highside. I could see it being possible to Open for around 150,000. Dont try to save money on marketing and make the lobby as nice as possible.
Thanks for the replies.

I've emailed back and forth with Jeff Metzger a few times and that seems like the most logical way to go. Spending $3,000 on a weekend that may save us tens of thousands in mistakes and heart ache makes sense. We're going to be there for the November 2010 session. If anyone else is going I'd love to talk.

It's exciting. I'm winding up my last year and a half in the navy and really ready to get this show on the road.

If the market recovers a little more in the next year and a half we should have close to $110k. I'm willing to go into debt to make it work. With our ambition and drive success will really be determined by our location.

Thanks again everyone. I enjoy reading your posts.


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