Opening your own affiliate gym is a massive undertaking. Logistically, financially, personally; there are so many factors you have to consider, it can overwhelm even the most driven and determined entrepreneur.
With all of the items you have to get squared away when you’re a few weeks from opening, you might think you can get away with just leasing some equipment or purchasing a package deal. However, making sure you get the right equipment is something that could make or break your box.
Of course, it’s easier said than done. Getting all of the latest and greatest top-notch equipment can easily add $50,000 to your start up budget. Which is why we recommend a “phased” buying approach. With a phased buying approach you get your essentials first, then, as you build your business, you can get more specialized equipment for your box.
When you’re first starting out, you don’t need every piece of equipment under the sun. There are some staples, or must-haves you’ll have to spend up for. But there is a lot of equipment you can hold off on buying until you build out your member base and have the revenue to make some upgrades.
Some of the Phase 1 staples you should consider would be:
- Bumper Plates: 2.5 lbs – 45 lbs
- Barbells: Mens, womens, practice
- Barbell Clips
- Foam Rollers
- Plyo boxes
Once your affiliate has a solid membership foundation and you’re starting to generate some revenue, you can reinvest some of your profits in some new equipment to take your box to the next level.
Some of the equipment on this list include some staples which arguably could go in Phase 1, but when you’re working on a budget, sometime some sacrifices have to be made. For Phase 2, some of our recommendations would include:
- Air Bikes
- Climbing Ropes
- Glute-Ham Developers (GHDs)
- Slam Balls
- Download the Checklist to get the full Phase 2 Recommendations
When you reach Phase 3 as an Affiliate, you know you’ve made it. In this Phase, you get to get some of the more specialized equipment that can help differentiate your box and help you diversify your programming a bit.
One consideration before going all in and getting all the Phase 3 items would be to take a look at the equipment you purchased in Phase 1 and make sure it is still in good condition. Even the best, high quality equipment can get beaten out of shape over time and you want to make sure you cover your bases.
For Phase 3 you might look at purchasing:
- Parallel Bars
- Specialty Barbells
Purchasing Tips and Guidelines
Package deals aren’t always the best
Though easiest, a lot of package deals may not offer what you need to properly outfit your box. In some instances you may be able to tweak the package so you get the equipment you want and need for the same discount package price.
Purchase from companies with great reviews
A lot of companies are attempting to get in on the affiliate gym trend. Unfortunately, this means new companies who want to get into the market with “competitive” pricing are constructing a lot of low quality equipment. Do your research and choose your equipment from companies that have great reviews and are well known in the affiliate box scene.
Buy only what you need
Many boxes follow what they call the “Rule of Three,” meaning a class should be broken into three groups. For example, you would only need 5 sets of equipment for a class of 15 individuals.
Ditch the lease
Most start-ups will benefit from avoiding any capital leasing options which can suck the life out of your gym’s cash flows. Some equipment companies such as Rigquipment Finance offer growth projects such as leasehold improvements. These can be beneficial in some situations, but including equipment in your start-up budget and financing it yourself is the best and most affordable way to go.
While opening up an Affiliate Gym can be a very stressful and taxing time, it is essential you don’t cut corners when it comes to equipment. We hope the guidelines we provided will be helpful for you and please download our complete equipment checklist to see the full list.
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.