Congratulations! You're building your dream fitness business and moving through the process. By this step, you should have worked through your niche to have a general idea of what you'll offer. Now it's time to choose the location.
Committing to a lease is a big deal. Your fitness studio will thrive- or struggle- and your bottom line will directly reflect whether you got this step right in your business planning. So, how do you know when you've found the perfect space for your new fitness business?
Of course, we're starting with location, and we'll begin with the soft skills. Business ownership is a combination of gut instinct and number crunching, so use your gut. Will your members feel safe leaving evening classes? Is the space inviting? Does it represent what your brand is about? Who are the neighboring tenants, if applicable? As a coach, I often direct studio owners to use their analytical side to make business decisions, and we will in a moment. But first, walk the potential space and envision your business operating there for three to five years minimum.
Staying with location, now work into the facts. Ask your realtor or potential landlord for these make-or-break considerations.
While a location with amazing advertising potential isn't a requirement, it is a money-saving benefit and helpful for lead generation. If it's in your budget, look for a spot with street-facing signage or -better yet- windows that you can treat as free billboards. Not only will this save you marketing dollars, but it will also help in the beginning when you're trying to build brand recognition.
If your location has neighboring businesses, stop by and chat with the owners before you sign. Ask them how their landlord relationship is.
You are committing to a long-term relationship with your landlord, albeit a working one. Make sure it's someone you're willing to work with for a few years.
Here's the big one. It's easy to get starry-eyed and over-estimate your financial forecast while downplaying your expenses- leading to trouble down the road. Many business coaches are hired to solve this specific problem, so ensure your numbers check out.
Take the time to complete an accurate proforma and determine your actual average client value before you sign any paperwork. If you have colleagues who own studios, ask them what they pay for insurance, utilities, and payroll rather than guessing so you're as accurate as possible.
As always, if you need an expert in your corner, book a call with one of our preferred coaches.