Expanding Your Gym

Expansion: Are you ready?

The decision to expand your space in your current location or start up a second location is one that should not be taken lightly.

One of the biggest things you will struggle with is diverting your attention from your current location and investing it into your new location. This is no small task. You must be absolutely sure your first location can run seamlessly when you are not around. Not only does that mean that your coaches or employees don’t need you right there, it also means that your members don’t ask to deal with you specifically for every issue. If your current location isn’t pretty much running itself without your constant intervention then you can’t think about planning for other important things…like capital, quality control and hiring proven coaches.

If you are expanding your current location the capital expenses will be much less, but you will still need to consider build out, added equipment and the increased cost of more coaching staff. If you are searching for a second location you will need to consider how you will split your marketing efforts, the additional rent, build out, a second set of equipment and merchandising and an increased staff size.

Make a plan.

You need to make a separate business plan for each location, if you don’t have one for your current location make sure to get on this ASAP. The SCORE offices have free templates online (and FREE business mentoring – so get on that). Recognize that what currently works in your current location might not work in the second location – from marketing strategy to coaching and overall look of the box you need to plan for the right clientele. Don’t assume that you can just replicate what you have already done in another location.

Don’t hesitate, delegate!

Get your dream team in place and trained. You will be spending a lot of time working with contractors for build out and dealing with state/city/municipal red tape. You need to make sure you have the day to day at your first location handled – from bookkeeping to inventory and customer relations – you can’t do it all. Get them trained and independant to the point where you feel confident that your members won’t even notice you are putting a ton of energy towards the new location.

Trust your instinct.

If your gut is telling you that your box isn’t quite ready for you to go MIA during the buildout process – don’t do it. File this series of emails away for another day when you do feel ready!

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