How Much Does It Cost To Open A Gym In 2021?

The average cost of opening a gym is $10,000 to $50,000 alone in the USA. In this article find out exactly where the costs adds up.
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ecoming a successful gym owner takes a lot of grit. It’s not just about having a perfect location and fitting in some solid equipment at your facility. The mere act of starting your gym means that you are pushing aside a stable life and taking up some risk to pursue your vision.

Before you figure out how to open a gym, it’s important to find out how much does it costs to open a gym? 

There’s no straight answer to this. Startup costs for opening a gym can differ widely based on the location, size, facility, and type of gym you’re planning to launch. Having said that, the basic gym start up costs should ideally range between $10,000 to $50,000.

Let’s see which parts of your gym will cost more than others and then arrive at the answer to how much does it cost to build a gym from scratch.

01. Renting or Owning Your Own Gym Space

Facility costs will eat up a major chunk of your monthly operational costs. Therefore you better make sure that you’re getting what you pay for. A good location must’ve great street visibility so you don’t have to spend a lot on marketing.

Before selecting a space, make sure you thoroughly research all the available locations and whether your potential gym clients would like them. Renting out a location close to a supplement store sounds better than being next to a departmental store.

A 2000 sq feet space can roughly cost you around $6000 per month in rent depending on location.

Your facility might need additional reworking too, like showers, CCTV, redecoration. Such costs would also have to be taken into consideration. Moreover, electricity, gas, water, sewerage costs can add up to around $6500 in up-front deposit for a medium-sized gym, which would of course recur month on month and can be less for a small gym.

02. Gym Licenses and Permits

You would need to pay for a business license, and register your business with local authorities along with trade name registration. Your lawyers will help you write up business contracts and membership contracts alongside all legal documents like employment agreements and certificate of incorporation.

You can hire or consult a lawyer which would cost you around $200 per hour. All in all, for a small gym you can expect to set aside around a sum of $10,000 to $15,000 in legal costs. Business licenses wouldn’t cost you more than a few hundred dollars. Health and safety permits along with all compliance must not be looked over either.

03. Training Certifications

Having a certified staff is important, else you’d have to invest up to $800 per trainer’s qualification. The kind of style each personal trainer has and the area of expertise they offer would decide what qualification suits them the best. Here are some of the top trainer qualifications:

  • American Council on Exercise (ACE)
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
  • International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)

These are some qualifications that would help in accrediting your staff and will establish more trust in the minds of your prospective clientele.

04. Gym Business Insurance 

As we’d mentioned before, the greater traffic you observe at your gym, the more are the chances of some on-site injury or mishap. Not being pessimistic though, it’s important to insure yourself against such possibilities. 

Despite having the most solid contracts and waivers, if a client injures themselves on your premises then you may have a suit coming at you. That’s why it’s best to go for insurance, which would cost you around $6000 for a small gym with one front-desk personnel and about $100,000 worth of gym equipment.

05. Employee Salaries 

If yours is not a one-person studio, then you’ll have to have gym openings to hire dedicated staff personnel who will look after your gym. These roles could extend from trainers to managers to maintenance personnel. Employee salaries don’t eat up a lot of your gym startup costs however over time they become a major part of your gym’s operational costs.

If you’re inclined to hire top-level trainers who’d bring in more members with their experience and style, you’d have to invest more in their compensation. Also when you’re starting out, you might have to handle several job roles like marketing, maintenance, management, etc. to save the setting up costs. But it always helps to hire an accountant or lawyer for areas of expertise.

Having employee wages for the first few months is a sound move because your gym might not turn a profit in the first few months. That means once the salaries and all other operational costs have been paid off if anything is left then that’s your profit. But the hard fact is that you’re not likely to achieve a break-even (positive profit) in the first six months.

That’s the reason why you need to have your financial savings set aside to pay your bills in the first few months of starting a gym. If you don’t have much insight as to how to interview and hire staff or negotiate with them, you can check out our blog about the same.

06. Gym Equipment Cost

Like location, the prices of your gym equipment can also vary a lot. It depends on what type of gym you have, say if you’re running classes then each person would’ve one piece of equipment each, but if it’s an open gym where people use the equipment on rotation then this need not be the case.

Equipment for a personal studio of around 1500 sq feet can cost around $10,000, whereas for a commercial gym it can approximately be $50,000 because they take up more space (3000-4000 sq feet).

You also have to decide whether you want to buy equipment or lease it. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, again researching the market is going to help you decide what suits you better.

Apart from the equipment, opening a gym business means having the necessary supply of towels, mats, water bottles, and gadgets like television and sanitization machines will also be needed. Furniture, printers, sound, computers are all things you have to keep in mind.

07. Gym Management Software 

Your gym management software that helps you deal with bookings, membership, scheduling, payments, and several other things would also cost you a certain amount. That depends on whether you are subscribing to it on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. 

The software would run online and on a computer so that would mean added internet and hardware costs. The gym management software in itself would cost around $2400 per year on average for a small gym to a medium-sized gym.

08. Marketing Your Gym Business

Advertising in the initial stages of your business is important as you want as many people out there to know that you’re open for business. Investing in a website that helps you drive online bookings is essential. Apart from this, your personalized mobile app that enables clients to book classes can be a great marketing asset.

Make sure to set up your Instagram and Facebook accounts and start posting as much as you can. Online advertisements can be run on Instagram or Facebook to promote your posts, or via Google Ads so your website shows up higher in Google search engine results. The budget for such online campaigns can vary depending upon your needs. Offline flyers and signs on the other hand would cost you anywhere between $100 - $500. While your website building and hosting can cost about $300.

Summing Up

As you can see, opening up a gym involves so many things and everything has a varying cost. That’s why you need to draw up a list of things you’d have to purchase, rent or invest in and see how much they would cost you in your local area or online.

Your gym’s initial setting up costs matter a lot because they will ultimately decide how much will your gym membership cost. Always make sure that you’re tracking your expenses right and are aware of the unforeseen gym costs that can crop up. A financial cushion for yourself is extremely important before opening a gym. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and sweat, but all of it’s going to be worth it as you achieve your goals step by step.

Own a gym and want to get more leads from your website? Switch to a gym management software that sweats hard to see you grow.

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