Before you take on a new business venture, you must think about where you’re going to set up base. Some entrepreneurs start by identifying a gap in a specific area, then seek to establish and put down roots at the heart of that community. Others start with a simple concept, then begin looking for a place to build their customer base. Whichever path you choose, the location of the business will be pivotal in its success.
When determining a gym’s potential location, the overall strategy may be slightly different than that of other businesses. A retail store typically sets up shop in a commercial hub to potentially pull in pedestrians from nearby stores. Fast food outlets tend to follow suit in order to take advantage of the foot traffic.
Ask yourself this: will proximity to other businesses draw a lot of customers to your gym? The answer is 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. They will see your gym as a part of their routine and very convenient option when they are planning out their day.
So, even though a busy area can boost your brand’s exposure, grabbing the attention of passersby may be much less important than focusing solely on convenience. To make sure you’re investing in the best location before opening your doors, consider the following as a guideline and checklist.
The cost of renting
As a gym owner, one of your priorities should be to keep your overheads as low as possible. 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 paying for square footage 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 will 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 ask yourself this: do the surrounding amenities benefit your clients as well? To have a successful gym, it is essential to have secure and sufficient parking spaces 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, your customers should not feel like they’re going through an obstacle course trying to reach your gym. They should be able to get to your gym from the parking lot with ease. This means they won't want to check in at the building’s front desk or navigate through several sets of stairs and hallways. If your gym is not visible from the street or is tucked in the far corner of a building, there should be space on the façade to put up your signage. Your customers will thank you for eliminating one less thing for them to worry about in their daily routine.
Flexibility is key to a good location, so choose a space that can be successfully redesigned around your gym’s needs. It’s easier to convert an open-plan office space into a workout studio than to choose premises with different sections that require restructuring or prevent you from doing so. Of course, you’ll want to create an environment that encourages people to want 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 investing in a well-established fitness brand—such as F45 Training—the franchisor usually defines the type and size of location of your studio to ensure it fits the brand. This is simply to ensure that your gym is set up for success in the short and long term. 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.
Join the F45 Training family today and start working towards your own F45 franchise location.