A common belief claims that sports business is rather profitable, but requires a big initial investment. The expected payback period is 1,5 - 2 years.The estimated amount of total revenue during the year should be roughly $350,000 per year. Of course, it can be less in case of incorrect marketing approach, inappropriate conditions or poor equipment. Because of the fact gym’s attendance is rarely 100%, the expected revenue more often amounts to $280,000 - $300,000. 

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Equipment $6,116
Supplies $3,000
Personnel $2,000
Property $1,500
Other $3,000
18 payback

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Body Solid Leg Press Attachment For... $905
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- 1 +
Pull-Up Bars
Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar $80
Wacces® Doorway Chin / Pull-Up Bar Home... $20
Iron Gym Express Chin-Up Bar $60
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- 1 +
Exercise Bands
SPRI ES501R Xertube Resistance Band... $29
Lifeline Jungle Gym XT $100
Black Mountain Products Pull Up Bar and... $90
Resistance Bands - Heavy Duty Band Set -... $50
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Pushup Stands
Definity HHP-001 Pair of Push Up Bars $20
Power Press Push Up - Complete Push Up... $60
Perfect Pushup Elite $30
Gold's Gym Triceps Plus Pushup Stand $25
Push-Up Pump $119
- 3 +
Gym Balls
Max Fitness 75cm Exercise Ball with Foot... $30
Gaiam Total Body Balance Ball Kit (75cm) $22
Gymnic Physio Balance Therapy Gym Ball -... $17
Body Sport Fitness Ball, 85cm, Teal $34
FitBall Mini Exercise Ball FBMINI 9"... $23
Met Rx 180 Grey Fitness Exercise Ball... $11
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Supermats Heavy Duty P.V.C. Mat for... $30
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Rubber Cal Diamond-Grip Floor Mat $55
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Dumbbell Racks
Marcy Multiple Dumbbell Rack $80
Cap Barbell A Type Dumbbell Rack $60
Apex Deluxe 3-Tier Dumbbell Rack $150
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Olympic Weight Benches
Competitor CB 729 Olympic Weight Bench $250
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Marcy SB222 4-Position Utility Bench $120
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Best Fitness BFFID10 FID Bench $205
adidas Crunch Board $150
Marcy Deluxe Utility Bench $170
Best Fitness BFOB10 Olympic Bench $310
Ironmaster Super Bench Adjustable... $289
- 3 +

A healthy lifestyle is becoming more popular and followed. The demand for gyms, fitness centers and recreation centers increases with the speed of light. Thus, It is crucial to conduct a detailed research on local competition before launching this business. The competitors consist of yoga and Pilates studios (centers), women’s facilities, YMCAs, chain gyms and any independent fitness facilities. A potential owner has to study class schedules, operating hours, services provided, amenities, equipment, rates, and any cutting-edge fitness programs. It is done in order to identify any potential gaps a small gym can fill. It is recommended to develop a list of survey questions for domestic fitness lovers.

The most commonly met price for a gym membership is $10.99 - $19.99. Some bigger fitness centers demand up to $70 per month. It includes unlimited hours of training, but the certain deadline is input. After all, any equipment and rooms are accessible for members. So, there is no point of spending large amounts of money for those who visit such places regularly to keep fit. For every 15,000 people you can count on a solid income, but if the room has 30,000 people – for further business development. 

To succeed with this type of start-up, a potential owner has to pay more attention to the specific demographic features like seniors, juniors, disabled children, elder people, new moms or women. The rush hour is believed to be 6 a.m. and noon. However, some people may find this schedule inconvenient. 10 or 11 a.m. is just another rush period for unemployed. So, the working hours must range from 9 hours to 21 hours. It is advisable for such institutions to work without weekends, with a minimum number of holidays.

The total value of intangible assets (the state registration of the lease and the cost of establishing a company) is $150 - $200. Depreciation is 10% or $15 - $20 per year.

Except for location, equipment and raw material expenses, you may face:
Utilities - $1,700 per month;
Stationery costs - $80 per month;
Phone - $7 per month;
Advertising costs - $140 - $200 per month.

Among the main advantages, the respectively high demand due to the healthy lifestyle tendency growth, sober competition, and short payback period can be named. Further calculations allow us to conclude that the profitability of this project will be quite high according to short payback period.

The cost of some types of professional simulators and exercise/training machines:

Elliptical Fitness Crosstrainer EFX5.31 240V Lower Body - $6,500
Elliptical Matrix Fitness Equipment E1x (Johnson E8000), USA - $4,500
Trainer Sportop E500, Taiwan - $2,500
Bike Impulse PU300, China - $1,700
Hercules Panatta FE211, Italy - $4,500
Smith Machine Body-Solid, USA - $2,100
Horizontal Bench Press Body Solid LVBP, USA - $1,600
Crunch Bench TechnoGym Crunch Bench, Italy - $1,000
Bench Straight Johnson FW-151, USA - $350

Another way to calculate the costs for gym’s equipment is to divide all of it into the separate groups. For instance, the first group is the so-called cardio equipment:

- bike ($500);
- treadmills ($1400);
- ellipsoids ($1000).

The second group is focused on strength exercises and weightlifting:

- power station ($4200);
- weight training (multi style) - ($500 - $2000);
- free weights ($800).

The next group is equipment for fitness:

- steppers ($2000);
- bench press ($400).

There are basically no materials as far there is nothing to produce in this business. So, let us consider smaller expenses:

Head office (or lobby) furniture - $3,500
Training equipment only - $7,000-$10,000
Carpets - $400
Computers (2 units) - $1,200 - $2,000
Printer – around $250
Lockers - $50 per unit
The furniture in the waiting room – up to $1,000
Equipment for showers and WCs - $1,800
Radio (optionally) - $80 - $100
TV (optionally) - $300 - $350

So, it is possible to spend no more than $17,000 - $18,000 on the gym’s equipment.

The total depreciation of fixed assets (20%) will be roughly $3,500 so far.

It is highly recommended to open a gym in the residential area of the city or places of business activity. Most clients usually live or work within 6 - 10 minutes from the gym. The basic premise requirements are enough space, the ability to install a quality system of forced ventilation and air conditioning, water supply, convenient location, and lack of similar institutions around.

Fresh air is an important component of any gym. During the intensive physical activity, the breath becomes more frequent, so that no one wants to breathe the fumes of sweaty bodies and dust. Take care of really good air conditioners, do not skimp on this. It doesn’t matter whether you rent or buy premises, but the owner obviously has higher incomes than the lessee. In case the lease is not able to rebook the space, there is a risk of the rent’s price increase and other force majeure to occur.

The ceiling height in the gym plays a primary role. It should be at least 3.5 m. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to ensure proper air cleanliness and conditioning. 

One of the success factors of any potential gym is a proper design of the premise. Initially, the owner needs to consider how close and convenient the changing rooms, lockers, showers and WCs are to the training hall. The project of the premise has to be approved by the city administration, department of city planning, epidemiological station and fire inspection.

The hall with an area of 160 square meters can accommodate all of the most popular simulators. When a smaller area is required, the equipment has to be considered depending on the gym’s type (female, male, or universal).

While equipping a gym, it is desirable to provide separate zones for each type of equipment, power, free weights, and (if necessary) cardio. Don't forget about the so-called warm-up area (actually, it can be mixed with cardio area) and stretching zone (for the final training stage). It is crucial to provide a small area for stretching in the cardio area, because before you exercise, your muscles also need some warming-up.

It is important that the room will have enough showers because almost all of the audience has to take a shower after practice. There should be two locker rooms: male and female. It is desirable to equip the gym with mirrors. Thus, visitors will be able to control the accuracy of their movements. 

Mind that two rooms with a total area of 60 meters can hold up to ten visitors.

For the appropriate functioning of the gym, 2 employees at each workplace are required (administrators, cleaners, security guards, trainers, etc.). Additionally, staffing includes the founder and the accountant (or two in one).

The company must have the following specialists:
general manager - 1;
accountant - 1;
instructors - 5;
administrators - 3;
cleaners - 3;
guards - 3.
A total of 16 people.

The wages have to be around:
$1,500 - $2,500 per month (manager);
$1,200 - $1,500 per month (accountant);
$600 and more per month (instructor);
$500 or higher per month (administrator);

up to $500 (each, cleaner and guard).

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