Finding the best location for a gym
Before you take on an entrepreneurial venture, you must think about where you’re going to set up base. Some business owners start by identifying a gap in a specific area, then put down roots at the heart of that community. Others start with a concept, then begin looking for a place to build their customer base. Whichever path you choose, the location of the business will be an important factor in its success.
A gym’s location strategy may be slightly different than that of other businesses. A retail store usually sets up shop in a commercial hub to pull in pedestrians from nearby stores. Fast food outlets tend to follow suit in order to take advantage of the foot traffic.
Will proximity to other businesses draw a lot of customers to your gym? Most likely. On one hand, people don’t usually work out after a shopping spree or a lunch outing. However, a gym that’s near a shopping mall or gas station can be part of a one-stop shop, where gym-goers can work out and then buy milk or fill up on gas afterward.
So, even though a busy area can boost your brand’s exposure, grabbing the attention of passersby may be much less important than focusing on convenience. To make sure you’re investing in the best location before opening your doors, consider the below as a checklist.
The cost of renting
As a gym owner, one of your priorities is to keep your overheads as low as possible. The monthly rent is one area where you can exercise cost control. You don’t need to settle for a large floor space where you’ll likely pay the premium and end up with square feet you don’t really need. With the rise of boutique gyms and exercise studios, many gym-goers nowadays prefer a smaller training environment with a social atmosphere that can still have them feeling great after each session.
One of the biggest mistakes a gym owner can make is failing to consider what’s on the outside of the building. The interior of the premises may tick all the boxes, but do the surrounding amenities benefit your clients as well? To have a successful gym, it is essential to have secure and sufficient parking space available for gym members, employees and suppliers. Your gym should also have access to nearby public transport systems so that non-drivers can reach you with ease.
When coming in for a workout, customers should not feel like they’re going through an obstacle course trying to reach your gym. They should be able to move unhindered from the parking lot to where your premises are located. This means no checking in at the building’s front desk or navigating several stairs and hallways. If your gym is not visible from the street or tucked in the far corner of a building, there should be space on the façade to put up your signage.
Flexibility is key to a good location, so choose a space that can be redesigned around your gym’s needs. It’s easier to convert an open-plan office into a workout studio than to choose premises with many different sections that require restructuring. You’ll want to create an environment that encourages people to work out, so settle on a building that is well-lit, easy to walk around in, and has a contemporary aesthetic.
If you’re buying a well-established fitness brand, such as an F45 franchise, the franchisor usually defines the type and size of location to ensure it fits the brand. You may be required by the franchisor to do research and scout prospective sites on your own; however, the franchisor will be able to provide a great deal of support in securing a location that best fits your business.