3 Ways to Have a Competitive Edge Over the Corporate Gym

David vs. Goliath: 3 Ways to Have a Competitive Edge over the Corporate Gym:

What do you love about your gym? Is there anything at all or is it just because it is the cheapest or most convenient? There are so many aspects that can make a gym/health club good or bad.  Over the past decade, the gym market is going through a drastic change and the big corporate gym does not seem to know what to do. What does this mean? If you have ever wanted to open a gym or personal training studio there is no better time than now to do so.  Here are 3 tips to use to help defeat the Goliath (corporate gym) and to give you a competitive edge over your competition.

  1. Be focused on your target market but not too narrow.  The best way to illustrate this is look at every single Cross fit gym in your city. They are growing, expanding and charging over $100 a month if not more!  They are laser focused on one market and are killing it…… for now. Their members will eventually have to join another gym/health club  because these gyms are so limited on equipment (and other reasons).  The point is to have a niche market gym but not just equipment or the environment focused on one group of people. Here are some questions that will tell you the answer to your target market.

How much square footage do I need?

Where should I be located? Retail shopping center, freestanding building,  industrial warehouse, etc.?

Do I have a name for my business so that I can make sure my branding matches my target clientele/member?

How much and what type of equipment do I need for my facility?

  1. Be different. Know your equipment and know what market certain equipment brings to your door. Most commercial gyms/health clubs have the exact same equipment and cardio as the three other clubs down the street. So really what makes them any different besides location and name? Nothing at all. Do something different and put equipment in your gym that is focused on your target market (see Number 1).  You put a monolift in your gym, powerlifters will be knocking at your door to train. If you include indoor sports turf within your facility more athletes and that type of clientele will show up. You have dumbbells that only go up to 75lbs and there is no sign of a squat rack or an Olympic bench…..well you are either a hotel fitness center or a big scale corporate gym. The point is buying equipment is more than just filling up space. The actual equipment, flow of the gym and layout determine the identity of your gym. So look at your equipment as a representation of your brand and the members that you want within your facility.
  1. Be smart and conservative. Try to keep your overhead expenses and payroll to an absolute minimum. Don’t feel that you have to get every single piece of equipment on opening day. Add equipment and cardio as your memberships grow and you have a better idea what equipment is necessary to continue growth. Create other revenue sources within your facility. For example, personal training, supplement sales, merchandise, massage therapy and group classes just to name a few can massively help additional income and also increase memberships. Whichever target clientele/member you have determined that you are aiming for will also help with this.  A good estimate on equipment outfitting to use on brand new commercial fitness equipment is for every 5,000 sq/ft the cost is on average $100k.  So if you have a 10,000 sq/ft facility, to equip with new equipment it would roughly cost $200k. If you get a quote that is much more than that, be sure to question where you are buying your equipment.