How to open a gym

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by shincheckin, May 9, 2018.

  1. shincheckin

    shincheckin Brown Belt

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    Can anyone on here that currently runs a gym explain to me how to do it?

    I have looked into it and I really dont see how its possible without getting a large business loan or having a ton of money in the bank. The majority of places want around $2500 a month. I would think that you might not even break even for several months, let alone make any profit. How do you open a gym, pay gym rent, pay your house rent, etc?

    I have been training my entire life, from the moment i first started boxing at the age of 12 i thought to myself way back then, i would like to run a gym one day. I feel I would make a good coach, however I dont know what to do or how to get started as far as running an actual gym.

    Everything I can find online only provides stupid common sense answers like, you will need a ring, choose a good location, you will need bags and pads, you will need insurance. It doesnt give any info on what type of paperwork/permits are need, or how to obtain them. And it doesnt mention anything about startup costs, loans, or how to have money to get started.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  2. NAKMUAY18

    NAKMUAY18 Brown Belt

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    I don’t own a gym, but myself and my coach talked briefly about starting up an affiliate. The first thing he said to me was “never spend your own money”. Get a business loan and go from there. If the business goes under, you should be able to fold it without losing everything

    As far as the business side, most community colleges do part time entrepreneurship courses. You’ll be able to get relivent on the ground information for your area in Reference to local laws, taxes, permits and codes from your instructor and people in the same boat as you. Remember that you are not just opening a martial arts business, your opening a small business.

    I’ve been around the same gym for a long time. In 10years we’re on about membership phase 4. What I mean is that a group starts to build, white belts to blue and purple, newbies to amateur, amateurs to pros, then the group starts to fade away, as they fade, the next set of newbies start to fight in the ammys and the cycle renews.

    Moral of the story is, even if your get a core 10-15 people, your going to go though a high turn over of people if you want to make money. Not scrimp on the location, be in a high traffic area. Advertise like fuck, particularly in the beginning.
    Make sure beginners classes have a high tempo, half your students will be soccer moms wanting to lose weight, and office geeks that want to tell everybody that they are a fighter.
    And do kids classes. 15 kids twice a week @ $70 a month each is what’s going to keep the lights on.

    If you want to go hardcore fighter gym, you won’t make any money. It will be a hobby while you work a day job
     
  3. Darwinambrosius

    Darwinambrosius Thought you had a friend, boy?

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    I get my advice from @spacetime on these matters. Top bloke.
     
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  4. shincheckin

    shincheckin Brown Belt

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    I think i can handle everything but the business loan. I am confused on it as i have heard, your business credit is separate from your personal credit. So when you apply for a business, why do they check your personal credit? My personal credit is not good, i applied for a business loan, and was not approved.
     
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  5. biscuitsbrah

    biscuitsbrah Black Belt

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    Find a good business partner?
     
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  6. Sinister

    Sinister Doctor of Doom Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Don't. Unless you have someone who is an endless wallet. Otherwise you're bound to end up upside down. I work in a World famous gym and it barely turns a profit without certain aspects to it, which are very intricate. Put it like this, if I had to write out everything we had to do to turn a sustainable profit...it would look like a research paper.

    Also, another notion. The U.S. and U.K are unusual in how we structure boxing gyms. As in, you have a boxing team (or boxER)...and they have a gym. Everywhere else, you have a gym...and that gym has a boxing team, which is supported by the entire gym in general. The latter is smarter.
     
  7. Reyesnuthugr

    Reyesnuthugr Dominick Reyes Belt

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    Maybe you could instruct at a community college or youth center, get some money coming in first while you figure out how owning your own place works with all the laws, etc., figure out if it was sustainable. If it's not, you still can instruct classes at the cc/athletic center
     
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  8. William Huggins

    William Huggins Green Belt

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    I second this, it's not a very good profit margin if at all and when there is a down turn in the economy, your get hit in the first wave.......if you have another successful side line that can help support the gym.......that's another story.

    This may not be up your street but a gym near me has a children's crèche and play groups and it takes up half the site, parents don't just use it because they go to the gym, it's a stand alone business.
     
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  9. shincheckin

    shincheckin Brown Belt

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    was just talking with an acquaintance yesterday, turns out he works full time to support his gym he runs at night. If we take boxing out of the equation, and just look at it from a business aspect, meaning the business will be selling a product, its not the hottest selling product out there. There are many more profitable products to sell. It can be done, but its quite difficult, that being said there are successful gyms out there.
     
  10. William Huggins

    William Huggins Green Belt

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    Sinister is pointing out the fact that his gym has to diversify so much just to sustain its core, which is boxing.

    Real fighters gyms are very difficult to turn a profit on, without a stable of high end fighters generating a form of revenue, it's a pretty niche product, it would be easier to run a fight team off the back of a standard gym model (monthly subscription for cardio bunnies).

    Is there a chain of gyms that you could affiliate yourself with? Offering classes in their gyms, might add value to their product and get your name out there more?
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
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  11. shincheckin

    shincheckin Brown Belt

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    yeah i agree with him, i have pretty much been told similar things by many people and the few gym owners i do know, work other jobs as well. I also know some that opened gyms, closed their gym, and work as cooks now. These are all acquaintances though not close friends. Part of the reason why UFC gym is successfull, is because its a GYM, not just an MMA gym. I might end up trying to just run a small fight team out of my house for side income instead of trying to make it my primary thing.
     
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  12. William Huggins

    William Huggins Green Belt

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    I edited my post, have a look
     
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  13. NAKMUAY18

    NAKMUAY18 Brown Belt

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    The idea is that if you cant manage your personal finances, business finances would be a high risk
    Look at the gyms that are successful, they arnt fight gyms, they are TKD gyms with 10 kids classes a week, 6 body combat fitness classes, then maybe 5 actual martial arts classes. The reason that Mcdojos are popular is because they make money. If you want to make a living, Kids and soccer moms are your target audience, then the 1% outside of that if were you build a fight team.

    As for a side gym, there are to many people watching videos and "teaching" in their basement for free, people don't pay for that shit.
    My advice would be teach at somebody elses gym and charge foe privates on the side. other than that, you could try to start up an MT program within an existing boxing or BJJ gym. Use there mat space and cut them in on what you earn?
     
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  14. j123

    j123 Pro Sherdogger 500-0-1

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    Go to a gym, beat up the owner, then take his sign and students

    ...... Worked in Asia and Brazil


    You gotta take the sign tho. If you get the students without the sign, you gun goofed
     
  15. Cheap Shot

    Cheap Shot I've been a member long enough to get a title...

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    I currently own a successful gym and owned/operated another financially successful gym for 5 years.

    Opened 7 months ago, started with 3,500 square feet, just expanded to 7,500 square feet last week.

    You're right to seek advice from people who have done it, not by people who have observed it from the outside in. If you want ANY info or tips on what to do and how to be profitable sooner rather than later, shoot me a message. I'll answer any and all questions you (or anyone else for that matter) has.
     
  16. DoctorTaco

    DoctorTaco Breadhead

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    I know I come off as a CSA and coach Kirian Fitzgibbons shill here, but I would strongly recommend you attend one of his coaching clinics. its 3 days and roughly 25-30 hours of education and he covers everything: his striking system, how he works cuts, weight cutting, fight team management, and brings in coaches/fighters to show and tell what they do best. (this last time he had alex palma teaching footwork for two hours and bazooka joe teaching pressure fighting and how to deal with it)

    but that's all stuff that you can get on your own by working/apprenticing/training under a good, successful coach. what makes the clinic worth your time for someone like you is that kirian tells you how he runs his gym: how/why his schedule is the way that it is, how he picked a location, what he pays, how he negotiated his opening fees, how to manage that many people (1400 between the cross fit and the mma stuff). he is a completely open book in regards to every detail of the what, how and why behind his gym and his progress from when he opened his doors to the success he has today. questions and answers, videos, hand outs, its all there. I've stayed in contact with a lot of the coaches that were there from all over the country with all sorts of different muay thai and mma gyms and I've seen consistent growth and success for the ones who stick with his system. I came back from my first clinic and within a few months was in a position to quit my day job and start holding pads full time.
     
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  17. AndyMaBobs

    AndyMaBobs Purple Belt

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    Y'know your basement? Well right underneath that.
    Okay. I'm not kidding, this is literally what my coach (who is no longer with my gym) did.

    He went to his local community church, and asked if he could use it.

    Do that. Have a weekend class with your local church or YMCA or anything that is about reaching out and helping people, particularly young people. Explain the genuine benefits and that you are competent to teach, and find out if they're interested and what they would want.

    Don't worry about running a gym right now, worry about running a class, you can still have a decent team of fighters for smokers without having a proper gym.

    My coach did this and keep in mind he is a 55 year old former Lumpinee fighter.
     
  18. Ilk

    Ilk Blue Belt

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    Eh gyms :)

    I have no clue how they make profit. I am a good customer - buying water, protein shakes and bars. But showering in the fucking gym saves me most of my expanses for water and electricity bills. So no clue how they make money. I do not remember last time I showered at home. Usually once per week to shave lol.
     
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  19. DoctorTaco

    DoctorTaco Breadhead

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    I’m general-

    Have a prime location. Run fitness boxing/kickboxing classes. Mornings, afternoons, evenings. Work in your technique classes and team training around that and get your fighters to take the cardio classes too.
     
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  20. MadSquabbles500

    MadSquabbles500 Gold Belt

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    Move somewhere the rent is dirt cheap, but has a surprisingly vibrant community. Not everywhere is uber expensive, you need to take out a loan to get started. But you have to be willing to move of course.
     
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