Deciding to open your own affiliate gym, similar to opening any small business, can be both an exciting and scary process. The excitement of embarking on your own, becoming a business owner and pursuing your passion can sometimes be overshadowed by the stress-inducing costs involved in this venture. Enrolling in necessary training, hiring coaches, choosing equipment, finding the right space, paying affiliation fees, insuring your business and marketing your box; the costs add up quickly.
While some expenses, like affiliation fees, are fixed, there are other costs that can be reduced by shopping around or having a strategic plan in place. The biggest and easiest way to cut costs upfront is by having a strategic approach to purchasing equipment.
Download our free Affiliate Gym Equipment Checklist to discover which items you’ll need right away, and which ones can wait.
Getting the Staples to Open Your Box
While you might want to have every piece of equipment available to entice new athletes to enroll at your box, having the “fancier” items is something that can, and should, wait. Purchasing equipment for your gym is pricey, in fact, it might even be the most expensive aspect of opening your box. So what is expensive exactly? You can expect to spend anywhere between $20,000 to over $50,000 on equipment for the opening of your gym.
Given that you should look to save money on equipment, limiting what you purchase in the beginning is vital. There are staple pieces of equipment that you need to have as soon as you open the door. This includes the box basics such as weight lifting necessities, including barbells (men’s, women’s and training bars), rubber bumper plates, metal change plates, barbell clips and PVC pipes. You should also have kettlebells, boxes (or tires), pull-up bars (you don’t need to purchase an expensive rig right off the bat), rings and medicine balls. While this won’t save you money, you should make the decision to go with kilos or pounds before you purchase equipment. It will make your athletes’ lives much easier when they’re tallying weight if everything is in one consistent form of measurement. [clearfix] As time goes on and you start to achieve a positive cash flow you can start investing in additional equipment. Some of items that should be next in line include abmats, rowers, rigs and rubber flooring (to protect your equipment and your facility). While they look appealing and could potentially be intriguing to prospective members, premium items like assault bikes and sleds can wait.
Where to Get Equipment
There are plenty of options to get equipment for your box. If you don’t mind finding equipment that isn’t uniform, and if you have the patience to search around, purchasing used equipment is a great option for new box owners. Craigslist, eBay and local auctions are a great way to find quality equipment at a good price point. To save on big brand names like Rogue, follow the company’s Facebook page after big competitions like Regionals and the CrossFit® Games. You can find awesome brand name equipment that was used at the event at a great price. Rogue also has a closeout deal page on the site that features various pieces of equipment used at events.
If you choose to go with new equipment, many large vendors like Rogue and Again Faster provide free consultations. During the consultation, they’ll learn more about your future box and will provide recommendations on what equipment you should get to start off depending on your budget and projected size. We recommend shopping around and comparing the prices of two to three vendors side-by-side to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible.
Another option for outfitting your box is to go with an equipment financing company such as Rigquipment Finance. Rigquipment Finance takes a consultative approach to lending and will help boxes determine exactly what they need to get up-and-running. They offer both loan and lease financing options and are a great choice if you don’t have the cash to purchase all the equipment you need upfront. [clearf
Remember, starting your own affiliate gym should be an exciting process; you’re starting your own business and pursuing your dreams. While it’s easy to start stressing about money, remember, you don’t need every single piece of equipment right away. Buy the staples, and take your time acquiring additional pieces of equipment over time.
Zen Planner is a management and billing software for boutique fitness businesses.
We help gym, school, and studio owners streamline their day-to-day tasks so they can get back to doing what they love — helping their members. Enjoy all the features you need to manage your fitness business, including robust reporting dashboards, automated payment processing, skills and belt tracking, attendance history, and online retail.