• Calla Norman

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Gym?


Triangle Foundry raised money on Honeycomb Credit to open their gym

So you’re thinking about opening a gym - do you know how much it’ll cost to open one? There are so many factors to consider, from the location you pick to the amenities you want to put in your gym.


On average, it will take about $65,000 to $100,000 to open a small to medium sized gym, and this number depends on a variety of factors such as where you’re looking to operate and what kind of amenities you want to offer.


Why Should I Open a Gym in 2021?

You might be wondering, is now really the time to open a gym? After all, with all the struggles that the fitness industry has had in the past year or so with lockdowns, why would you want to be a part of that?


Well, there’s actually a trend right now of savvy gym owners who have adapted to virtual styles of teaching and training moving their platform back to in-person (or a hybrid) as lockdown ends and people are returning to more normalcy.


One such owner is Karyna Kerin, of Triangle Foundry in Pittsburgh. She was able to create a virtual training platform for her yoga and cycling studio that became so popular she decided to open a brick and mortar space! In order to finance this, she decided to crowdfund with Honeycomb Credit, and raised over $15,000 towards the buildout of her new space.


You’re building a community through your gym, why not bring the community into how you finance it?


If you’re looking at this blog post, you’re probably on your way towards making the next step in your fitness studio-owning journey. You might also be looking for ways to finance it and make it happen - maybe we could help you with that!


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Up-Front Costs of Opening a Gym


Physical Location


Obviously, there are some factors to consider here. How big of a space are you looking for? Do you want to rent or purchase a space?


Here, the up-front cost is going to be either your down payment or your deposit. On a commercial property, that’s going to be 20-40% of the cost of the property, and that’s going to depend on your location. For a 2,000 square foot space, expect to pay about $6,000 a month, so if you’re depositing first and last month’s rent, that’d be $12,000 up front.


Build-Out Costs


Chances are, the space you find won’t have everything you’re looking for right off the bat, whether it’s amenities or aesthetics, so you might have to run a buildout of some sort before you open your doors.


This is where you also need to consider amenities that your customers might be expecting, and whether you can offer them right off the bat. For example, a bathroom is a must, but do you have the space / budget to offer a full-fledged locker room in your space?


A buildout can cost you from $50 to $200 per square foot, depending on what you’re looking to do. Check out this blog post for some tips on how you can reduce the costs of a buildout.


Gym Equipment


What’s a gym without at least some free weights? You’re going to need some kind of equipment for people to use, no matter if you’re a yoga studio or a CrossFit training center.


Typically, equipment costs will run from $10,000 to $50,000, depending on the amount of equipment you need and the quality of it that you get. This includes things like free weights, treadmills, weight machines, that sort of thing. You should also consider some of the other capital expenses that people expect out of a gym, such as a good sound system and televisions.


Certifications


You definitely need your trainers to be certified - for your credibility and theirs, as well as for safety purposes. Accreditation is typically around $500 to $800, if you’re going to front the bill.


This is also the time to consider any business licenses you might need to get started - and this will vary depending on where you are. To register a business in Pennsylvania, and for a gym you’re most likely going to register as a limited liability company (LLC), it’ll cost about $125. Then, there are other registration fees to consider, such as the annual registration as an LLC, which is $500.


Legal Fees


Many of the above processes, finding and obtaining a lease or property, getting certified as a business, and getting the right permits you need, will be made much easier and well done with legal help. Expect this to cost about $9,000 just to get everything settled for your gym’s startup.


Computer Software and POS System


This will be integral to many different management aspects of your business. From scheduling trainers, classes, and training sessions to managing customer relationships, you’re going to want a software system to easily input and track these processes. If it integrates into a Point of Sale System, even better so you can process payments and even sell merchandise in-store. This should run you about $550 to $2,300. Oh, don’t forget a functioning website! That can take at minimum $300 to build.


How to Finance Your Gym’s Opening


Whew, that’s a lot, isn’t it? And that’s just the up-front costs! You might be wondering how on earth you are going to pay for all this. Maybe your gym shoes have already been hitting the pavement, and you’ve been searching out loans to start your gym and you’ve been running into problems in the process.


You’re not alone. Many business owners, especially those just starting out, face obstacles when it comes to getting funding, especially from traditional financial institutions such as banks.


But, banks are not the only option out there! Gym owners such as Karyna Kerin from Triangle Foundry have crowdfunded small business loans from their community to finance their startup costs.


Not only does crowdfunding help small business owners access the capital they need, but it’s also a really good move for startup businesses. Offering your customers and community an opportunity to invest in your business can strengthen your existing customer relationships and also give a substantial marketing boost to your business.


You can potentially have a line of excited customers ready for your first spin class on opening day, including investors excited to see what their investment has helped fund!


Wanting to learn more? fill out the form below to be connected with a Honeycomb representative.



Recurring Costs of Opening a Gym


In House Expenses


It’s time to consider all the costs that it’ll take to keep that shiny new retail space you’ve bought or rented and built out running smoothly! First of all, there’s going to be the mortgage and rent expenses, which we’ve established can run about $6,000 a month or potentially more.


Then, there’s utilities, which will typically be about $6,500 a month as well. Utilities are often a major cost driver for gyms, especially those that are open 24/7. You’ve always got to have electricity and heat going, water is necessary for hydration and sanitation purposes, and of course to keep your customers happy, you might need to pay for cable and internet as well.


Another important in-house expense are all of the variable costs of keeping your gym clean and sanitary. This includes cleaning supplies, towels, laundry to clean those towels, equipment like mops and vacuums, that sort of thing. While these are necessary for health purposes, they’re also integral to creating a clean, happy environment in your gym that people will want to return to.


Other Business Expenses


You also should consider all the other costs of running a business. Employee salaries, for one, will be a major expense. The average salary for a fitness instructor is $55,000. Also, don’t forget to pay yourself!


Other operations you could put money into are marketing expenses - paying for advertising, signage, sponsorship opportunities to get your name out there, or a manager to create social media and email marketing content.


Power up your gym’s financing goals with crowdfunding!


You know how pre-workout gets you energized before you exercise? Crowdfunding your gym’s startup costs with Honeycomb Credit works under the same process, allowing you to bulk up your business’s growth by getting you the capital you need as well as strengthening your customer relationships in the process before you open your doors and get moving.


Ready to get started? Fill out the form below for more information!