Gym equipment is the biggest class of capital assets (and possibly of hassles too) you’ll have to deal with when you’re starting your own gym. Whether you run a small gym or a national franchise location, there are some things that must be addressed with enough quality to make your investment worthwhile. Once you have the equipment in place you need to ensure that it stays in working order for as long as you need it.
Gym equipment is the bread and butter of your enterprise. It may be more or less important, depending on the type of gym you operate. If you run a studio that specializes in group-based activities such as yoga or high intensity interval training classes, you won’t lose much sleep over the state of the equipment you don’t have.
If, on the other hand, you depend on fitness machines any more complicated than kettle bells, the way that so many gyms do now, then the functionality and the cleanliness of your equipment will be important factors with which to please your customers.
The Gym Equipment Maintenance Trifecta
Keeping all of your equipment up to date and working is like keeping the gym floor space in the highest and best use. When a large piece of equipment is out of service it’s just a giant lump of metal sitting in the way and sending out bad vibes to everyone in the room.
Not only do you lose capacity when a treadmill/stair-stepper/elliptical machine goes down, you lose the square footage that it occupies. Your gym just got smaller like you doubled the hassle of the breakdown. Then, double it again just because it’s next to a mirrored wall and so it’s a virtual eyesore staring at your members as they work out. That’s the visual impact of non-functioning equipment on your workout space: Something the size of an abandoned, broken-down golf cart, times four!
Equipment Lasts When Prevention Comes First
The first step in prevention is to start as you mean to go on, with the right equipment. That means using commercial gym machines, which of course take more resources to acquire. This is a big part of the reason that leasing has become so popular in recent years.
The options in modern leasing agreements allow you to upgrade and replace assets that don’t work out. If you buy outright you are stuck with the item regardless of performance and popularity. Leasing enables you to go heavy upfront and respond to demand on the back end.
How Soon Is Now?
Equipment maintenance is closely related to gym cleaning. Your customers will notice any broken down kit immediately, just like they notice the slightest dirty smudge, and they’ll be painfully aware of how long it takes to fix an issue. As a rule, any length of time longer than "immediately" is too long.
A checklist for safety and maintenance is another way to keep things running smoothly. It will be similar and complimentary to your cleaning checklist. Ensuring safety and preventing accidents is one of the best insurance policies you can have. Of course you have your liability policies, but it’s far better to never have to make a claim. Prevention, as always, is the best cure.
Of Warranties And Service Agreements
If you can get a bargain rate on a lease for commercial gym equipment, with a warranty, it makes it much less expensive than having to buy it outright and keeping it up regardless of how well it works out. Changing trends, aggressive use and high humidity take a heavy toll in this business. If you have a long lease and the machines are a good fit with your business model, you’ll most likely want to go the distance with them. It may be worth signing up for a servicing agreement that covers preventative maintenance and repairs, on an ongoing basis.
Keeping your gym equipment safe and working well is like a chef keeping their knives sharp or a soldier keeping their weapon clean; you absolutely must make sure that it works without a squeak or a rattle, to retain the confidence of your members. Selecting the right gym equipment initially, following a set maintenance routine from a checklist and keeping your warranties and service agreements up to date are the three most important factors that help your tools keep you in business.
Fagan, Lawrence. GYM EQUIPMENT LEASING – IT TAKES OPTIONS TO MAKE OPTIONS. March 6, 2013. https://blog.gyminsight.com/2014/03/gym-equipment-leasing-it-takes-options-to-make-options/ (accessed July 14, 2014).
-. TO BUY OR TO LEASE GYM EQUIPMENT? THAT IS THE QUESTION…. February 26, 2013. https://blog.gyminsight.com/2013/02/to-buy-or-to-lease-gym-equipment-that-is-the-question/ (accessed July 14, 2014).
-. WHY HAVING CHECKLISTS WILL BENEFIT YOUR GYM BUSINESS. October 16, 2013. https://blog.gyminsight.com/2013/10/why-having-a-checklists-will-benefit-your-gym-business/ (accessed July 14, 2014).