If you’re ready to own a gym, it’s time to think about the best location. You’ll be wise to research this one carefully as it can have a big impact on your long-term success. Here are some key ideas to help in landing the perfect spot to launch your new business.
1. Start the search for commercial space on the Internet
LoopNet.com is a commercial real estate marketplace that allows you to identify available space easily and effectively. Whether you’re interested in leasing or buying space, this national aggregate for available commercial space allows you to narrow your search by neighborhood, property type, prices, size, and more.
2. Identify your location by demographics
If you know who you want to attract, it’s important to identify where they live. Most research on gym usage suggests most people won’t drive more than 10 – 12 minutes to exercise. Specialty gyms command a longer commute of more than 20 minutes. Take time to look at the website City-Data.com, which offers a wealth of information about specific communities.
3. Determine your location’s winning features
Does it have ample parking? Is it convenient and easy to access by car, rail or foot? Is there space for outdoor exercise? Can it accomodate future growth?
4. Does it offer good visibility?
Although it might be tempting to snag cheaper rent in an industrial complex, you’ll have to either offer a very specific service or spend a lot of money on marketing to compensate for the lack of visibility. A local fitness company in my city is very successful even though it’s located on a side street in a commercial district. That said, the HIT-style fitness center caters almost exclusively to high school, college, and pro-level elite athletes. For most health clubs, though, a street-side set up with visibility near other businesses is always a good choice. A new fitness center with an easily identified and recalled location, as well as good signage, may draw more members.
5. How close is local retail?
The average fitness fan needs convenience. Choosing a gym with built-in, drive-by traffic increases your chances of signing up new members. As well, a high-use area becomes a go-to spot for more than one errand – including a workout.
Take a look around at the neighborhood competition. It may work to your advantage to be situated near specialty boutiques. Similar businesses attract similar individuals. Frequently, gym owners share space with complementary businesses, which can include other forms of fitness, such as Cross Fit or a pilates studio. Additionaly, local businesses within related industries, such as sports massage, holistic medicine, chiropractic, and medical offices often lend themselves to referrals between your health club and their companies.
What are your ideas on how to find the perfect gym location?
Contact Gym Insight and let us know. We host “The Gym Owner’s Podcast” and always welcome gym owners’ stories of their own successes and challenges in running a fitness club. Call us at 1-855-FOR-GYMS and ask for Anthony.
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