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Thinking of buying a gym. Any advice appreciated.

King-kong

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I am looking at buying a local gym and staring at the paperwork to put the offer in. Nervous as hell but it is at a good price and real estate will be owned not rented.
Prior owner paid waaaayyyy too much and mortgaged it all. Luckily I will not have a mortgage so just making a good living will suffice.
I was wondering if anyone can give me any advice as I have not previously owned or even managed a gym before.
Thanks
 

LATS

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its a tough go.. many variables.. market, population ect.. if the area is being hit bythe recession then you might want to pass.. also, why is he not turning a profit? he is selling for a reason.. not trying to dissaude you just saying think about it..
 

geofalcon

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I am looking at buying a local gym and staring at the paperwork to put the offer in. Nervous as hell but it is at a good price and real estate will be owned not rented.
Prior owner paid waaaayyyy too much and mortgaged it all. Luckily I will not have a mortgage so just making a good living will suffice.
I was wondering if anyone can give me any advice as I have not previously owned or even managed a gym before.
Thanks

I'm jealous, wish I had the money to do that.....sorry I have nothing valuable to add to this thread, just had to say I'm jealous, wish you the best in whatever you decide to do!
 

maldorf

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its a tough go.. many variables.. market, population ect.. if the area is being hit bythe recession then you might want to pass.. also, why is he not turning a profit? he is selling for a reason.. not trying to dissaude you just saying think about it..

That is the first thing that came to my mind too, why is he not turning a profit? Is it just because his mortgage was too much, or is it because he couldnt get enough income from memberships/etc? Maybe the location isnt so great or some other factors involved that you wont be able to control?
 

King-kong

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He has a huge mortgage. Bought it at way too high of a price in my opinion. A little mismanagement in my opinion, great guy but seems as too many friends working there rather than the proper employees.
 

Mr.Bungle

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similar but different

I am a chef and look forward to opening my own restaurant. If you follow the market long enough you will find that some properties turnover alot. Sometimes no matter how good of a business man you are you won't turn a decent profit. Just something to think about, but I've seen good chefs lose their ass in bad locations.
 

Steak Helmet

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King he may have too many friends working because he cannot afford real employees.

I would really look at the numbers and your area for gyms. This could be a huge headache. Look and see how many members he has and then add up the bills. If they do not even come close, I would not touch the place...you will be more stressed out than you know.

I know I am living it.
 

King-kong

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King he may have too many friends working because he cannot afford real employees.

I would really look at the numbers and your area for gyms. This could be a huge headache. Look and see how many members he has and then add up the bills. If they do not even come close, I would not touch the place...you will be more stressed out than you know.

I know I am living it.

Thanks for the honest opinions. I will look into the financials further tomorrow and decide. Glad I asked here. Everyone has been helpful. Kinda wish it wasnt moved to the financials section of the forum - who the hell reads that area??? Ive seen a lot worse off topic stuff on here.
 

biggreenstacks

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Not advice....

Just my input, I'd love to own a gym oneday after I retire. If I do it'd be along the lines of Metroplex in Arlington, TX. Hardcore all the way, no stupid guys with notepads and gay a$$ sock shoes. Machines and weights don't have to match, just be heavy and get the job done. Only rule would be you lift your a$$ off or get out of the way.

Just what I'd like to have oneday, thanks for reading.
 

keepittous

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owned a gym for 6 years...the best advice is 5am-10pm makes for a pretty long day..ugh. If you are personable, friendly, helpful and believe in customer satisfaction the members will stay for life. People like to see the owners not some 17 year old kid working the desk. You pretty much have to become a part of the place your self..heart and soul..Like the old Mom and Pop places...You will always have the BIG box gyms, LA fitness, PF, golds..etc..however if you focus on Personal training which can be a $major$ profit, customer service, have a good attitude and keep the place clean...You will do fine. OVER head is always hard...but if it's your dream you can make it work..110% into the place and not 50...
The hours can be long...100hr a week when you start out to save money...Mon-Sun ask Phil how many Hr he is at the gym a week he will tell ya. I use to say that to my self all the time..If i go into another business it's not going to be one that is open 17hr a day...lol
Good luck it's a fun ride....
 

ericraven2003

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I am looking at buying a local gym and staring at the paperwork to put the offer in. Nervous as hell but it is at a good price and real estate will be owned not rented.
Prior owner paid waaaayyyy too much and mortgaged it all. Luckily I will not have a mortgage so just making a good living will suffice.
I was wondering if anyone can give me any advice as I have not previously owned or even managed a gym before.
Thanks
I would rather bang my head against the wall then try to make a profit on a gym these days. Its almost impossible.
 

andres8

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make sure you do a swot analysis, figure our your target demograhic, what makes you different, and when r u hiring
 

King-kong

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Well,
I put the offer in this weekend. Who knows. It is very low and the building itself is even worth more than my offer for the biz and real-estate. Thank you to everyone for the critical comments. The good and the bad definitely helped equally.
Ill post up if they accept and see where it goes. I highly doubt they will take my offer but that is all I can afford and I'd regret not trying for a long time.
Thanks
 

King-kong

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I figured Id add some specifics.

Gym is 10,000 sq.ft.
Has a pool.
Daycare
all classes.

Reason for selling is poor management. Owner is basically absentee and front desk hired are teenagers.......... and so on.......
 

triathloncoach

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I owned a gym for 4 years

Greatest job in the world. But didn't make much money. It was about 7000 square feet. No pool. A pool sounds like a potential head ache.

Have you read Thomas Plummer's books? I have an MBA in Marketing and Finance, 15 years of corporate experience. A gym rat since 1980, scholarship wrestler, triathlete coach and was also a top sales person in my corporate jobs, I couldn't make it work. But I'm no genius and some can make a living at it. I threw in the towel the week the state inspectors came in and told me the my space was not compliant with the new fire codes. ($100,000 plus) to comply - new sprinklers , doors, ceilings another exit. And that Sunday I was mopping the floors around the treadmill while my family was at my house celebrating Easter.

PM me with questions and I'd be happy to give you my cell to talk. That pool sounds like a real challenge. Although I swim laps with the best of them.
 

King-kong

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Never thought of the pool as a headache. I thought it would attract members. Swim lessons, practice, etc. Rent it out for kids b-days, etc. The more I hear the less I hope they accept my bid. I am pretty lucky and make about 150-200 a year but am constantly running. And in an area where most probably make 35 max. Seems like I am always fixing what others should have gotten right in my current businesses.
I do feel the same way about missing out on family time. But I am already working 7am to 10pm seven days a week running two full time and one part time businesses. Cant help it. Even on vacations I look around for opportunities non-stop. Its a sickness of sorts that you just cant turn off. If I get a day with nothing to do I wind up researching new business ventures rather than just enjoy the day. Guess I was hoping for a business my wife and I can do together. One that would give her some sense of pride since she enjoys working out almost as much as I do. Shes always had my back and deserves better than a workaholic husband.
 

tattoojr

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after seeing my friend work his ass off and barely make it, my advice would be run. Anything other than weights and machines is something that will cost you money. I used to think it would be great also, and seeing that it takes 100+ hours a week and lots of ass kissing with people that don't have a clue I would rather just be a member. J.R.
 

animal eater

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My 2 cents

I have owned a gym for the past 10 years and make a comfortable living running it. My situation is a bit different in that personal training makes up 90 percent of the revenue. There has been some good good advice given earlier in this thread.

1. Do your homework. If you were to take over the business tomorrow, what would be your monthly cost vs your monthly income.

2.Realize that anyone who works for you is an extension and reflection of you. My old rule is to hire slowly and fire quickly. If someone is showing you signs of being lazy, showing up late, lack of attention to detail, etc. odds are that they won't change.

3. You have to live it and practice what you preach.

4. Don't plan on much in the way of holiday time. At the end of the year I am taking 9 days off. That will be my biggest break in a decade.

5.Find your niche. Whatever it may be, make sure that you offer something that your competitors do not.

6. Maximize everything that you do. Once you have the confidence and trust of members/clients, they will happily be open to whatever product of services that you offer.

7. You do not have to be a salesman. You need to be the person who has the solution to what it is that the client needs help with. I can't emphasize this enough.

Best of luck in your journey.
 

280

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Add all the numbers up. If your making a profit on paper of 5k a month, cut that in half 2.5k and that is what you could make every month.

I ve been in real estate for years and not having a morgage can make the differenece.
 

Gaintrain

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pool! to much of a hassel! fill that thing in with nice slab concrete an get another workout area in it! lets say MMA gym! plenty of folks would come spend money to learn an train mma after all being fastest growing sport in the world!
 

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