Staring a Gym with no employees

Gigastrength
Gigastrength

Let's say I want to start a gym (mainly for the SS+GOMAD type).

Can I do this without having a person watching shop? I'm thinking a really tiny place. Limited equipment. Like nothing to steal that isn't heavy or bolted down. Also everyone who is a member can open the door 24/7 with a keycard or smartphone.

I guess this is more like a private club. I'm not looking for a lot of money, just a little bit better than break even to improve the place over time. The kind of place with no locker rooms, just one uni-sex bathroom.

Skullbone
Skullbone

Cant think of any reason why you'd need a staff member there, other than signing up new people and wiping off the machines periodically.

That being said, wouldn't you need 100+ members just to pay the rent? Assuming your prices are competitive with WOW/planet fitness ($10/mo).

SniperWish
SniperWish

Besides the obvious expenses (rent, equipment), you should look up technology expense (setting up and maintaining electronic entry) and insurance (kinda like a pool with no lifeguard ain't it?), as that would be the most expensive.

Snap Fitness has a similar model, but they also have people there for set hours during the day, but people aren't there all the time and the "staffed" hours seem rather limited. After all, someone has to be around to sign people up and whatnot.

So, I would get quotes on the obvious expenses, and tech, and insurance, because those are going to be your biggest obstacles.

RavySnake
RavySnake

Assuming your prices are competitive with WOW/planet fitness ($10/mo).
It will be cost much more money than $10 and all payments will be done through an app. As for cleaning and what not. Each member is responsible for cleaning after using equipment and yes I will be there to supplement that.

CouchChiller
CouchChiller

Do it in an affluent area.

If you do it in an area with hispanics, nigs, or immigrants or """"refugees"""", they'll toss around your weights, regularly bend your bars, break equipment, or flat out steal it.

In a nice area, you'll get serious lifters and those types respect equipment and each other

VisualMaster
VisualMaster

Not my sector. If the type of fitness place you have in mind commands a premium, absolutely go for it AFTER you presign up (or at least demonstrate they are receptive to your service/price/unique implementation) enough people to break even.

How many people would you need to cover equipment lease and the retail location with utilities?

FastChef
FastChef

Do it in an affluent area.
Yes it will be.

How many people would you need to cover equipment lease and the retail location with utilities?
The benefit here is it can be in a nice area, but I don't need prime retail space. A small hidden place will in time become known as the place to go to squat.

Equipment will be bought, not leased. Utilities and rent cost I don't know yet. This is just in the idea phase, but yeah eventually it will be projected out.

GoogleCat
GoogleCat

Here's a protip

If you want good people to go to your gym, invest a lot in barbells, rubber bumper plates, and many power cages

Just having a "free weight" area isn't enough. People that know what they're doing in the gym mainly use these items, and you'll get a respectable gym community.

Ignoramus
Ignoramus

As stated this gym will be for doing SS. Like one treadmill per squat rack. But the place is gonna be small so I can't imagine more than 3 squat racks, 3 treadmills, pull up bar, dips, leg extensions maybe. Might just start with two squat racks.

Nojokur
Nojokur

Insurance may be (probably is) retarded with these type of things.

Get your numbers straight bro, and come up with that magic break even point. If it's realistic, set your mind to it and never give up. Good luck dude!

Spazyfool
Spazyfool

I gotta look up this ss. All I've ever done is strong lifts 5x5 and some crazy minimalist shit by some Russian asshole(just deads and side presses).

Fried_Sushi
Fried_Sushi

Meant for

Nude_Bikergirl
Nude_Bikergirl

It will be cost much more money than $10
what's the point then? you'll charge more and have a much more limited selection of equipment.

at that point i'd rather set up a home gym.

Crazy_Nice
Crazy_Nice

Insurance may be (probably is) retarded with these type of things.
I'm sure I will have to get a basic liability protection. I'll have to ask my friend how much he pays. Dude has a tiny corner store. It would probably be on a similar level of price.

The point is to lift things up and put them down. Home gym would be great if you have the space for all the equipment. I'm apartment bound.

King_Martha
King_Martha

SS is a lower volume and more leg focused version of strong lifts that requires you to do accessory lifts to work on your arms.

unless you want to look like a t-rex you're better off sticking with strong lifts.

girlDog
girlDog

IT HURTS TO LIVE

haveahappyday
haveahappyday

The point is to lift things up and put them down. Home gym would be great if you have the space for all the equipment. I'm apartment bound.
yes, and they can do that for $10 at planet fitness where they will have a wider selection of equipment. since planet fitness caters primarily to fat fucks looking to "lose" weight and cardio bunnies i'm sure there's not much difficulty in finding free racks.

it looks like you want your own private gym but want to make some money from it to supplement the cost. good luck with that.

5mileys
5mileys

/fit/ here, one of the top powerlifting gyms in my city follows the OPs model. I gladly pay 50 dollars a month to go somewhere with racks, please platforms, bands and chains and people who actually want to lift heavy over the planet fitness nearby that charges 10 dollars a month and kicks you out for deadlitting. It's called a niche.

cum2soon
cum2soon

yes, and they can do that for $10 at planet fitness
LUNK ALARM

Inmate
Inmate

Look at it this way, SS was devised by a strength coach with twenty years experience, and SL was devised by a DYEL poo in loo named Mehdi with zero years coaching experience.

Techpill
Techpill

I like the idea of the gym being available for use 24/7. There are probably a lot of cops or firefighters who would be into that kind of training and would appreciate a gym that works with their schedules, for example.

Nude_Bikergirl
Nude_Bikergirl

You clearly are not familiar with Planet Fitness. You go there to eat free pizza, not lift weights.

Sir_Gallonhead
Sir_Gallonhead

Let's say I want to start a gym (mainly for the SS+GOMAD type).

Go on.

Can I do this without having a person watching shop?

In reality, no.

I'm thinking a really tiny place. Limited equipment. Like nothing to steal that isn't heavy or bolted down.

Good luck keeping your barbells and weights then.

Also everyone who is a member can open the door 24/7 with a keycard or smartphone.

So you are going to invests thousands in computer and magnetic reader equipment, plus telecommunications for upkeep? I'm assuming you'll have to purchase a multi-camera security system as well, particularly if you don't have a worker.

I guess this is more like a private club.

With no equipment or anything that makes it a club?

I'm not looking for a lot of money, just a little bit better than break even to improve the place over time.

Well, what are your financials? What is your break even point? Have you made a business plan? How much is $1,000,000 of liability insurance cost in your area? Do you have commercial zoning requirements? Do you have rent? What purchases do you need to make to bring everything up to code and OSHA standards (Fire escapes, extinguishers, first aid kits etc.)? What is your other overhead after adding in federal and state employment taxes? How many people can your place support at a time? What are contingencies if there are too many people for the space, rather than attrition and having them not renew?

The kind of place with no locker rooms, just one uni-sex bathroom.

I mean, that's fine an all, but you really need to think this through thoroughly. I'm not sure you understand how much liability bullshit you'll have to deal with considering that gyms have a risk of death and all that. Oh yeah, you and whatever staff you have better be CPR certified and you might want to purchase an AED.

MPmaster
MPmaster

You always need staff

My friend owns a small gym

He's had people steal all of the toilet paper and soap from the bathrooms, steal foam rollers, steal lifting belts, steal bands, steal clips, and steal weights.

Unless you're gonna make it VIP and not allow non whites, then you need staff.

Methnerd
Methnerd

Giving a thorough cleaning to all equipment that I use at a gym I pay money for.

are you fucking serious?

CouchChiller
CouchChiller

Unless you're gonna make it VIP and not allow non whites
Yes, that is the plan. Limited membership.

Most of the things you have said can't be analyzed. You can't calculate a break even if you don't know what place you are leasing. So why should you be critical over this in such an early stage?

AED. Million dollars of insurance. What? You are trolling or just being a dick for attention. Either war, no more responses from me.

DeathDog
DeathDog

Have you ever been to a gym? You wipe down stuff after you use it. That's in the rules of membership and they provide chlorine wipes everywhere.

AwesomeTucker
AwesomeTucker

What if each thing is in a vending machine type cage - so its free to walk in , no employees but you have to swipe a debit card to access the smith machine or the free weights + a bench or a treadmill , its all cordoned off from the other stuff

Like a vending machine you walk into

PurpleCharger
PurpleCharger

Would you work out in that fucking stupid sounding gym? Didn't think so, fucking idiot.

CodeBuns
CodeBuns

Yeah I mean thats understandable but op made it seem like the users need to actually clean the machine after use...as in all of it not just the seat.

Fuzzy_Logic
Fuzzy_Logic

not just the seat.
Yeah, that's all I meant. How dirty does a bench press get if you are cleaning the seat? Keep in mind this is going to be a very low volume gym. As stated like a three treadmill gym. Real hole in the wall and out of the way.

Deadlyinx
Deadlyinx

Unless you're gonna make it VIP and not allow non whites
Yes, that is the plan. Limited membership.

Yeah, you are going to get sued for this. Calling a fitness center a private club doesn't make it so. You realize that in many areas, private club specifications require boards of directors, regular meetings and minutes, as well as record keeping. Things like VFWs and American Legions are "private clubs" so it isn't so easy as simply calling it one. Also, the government will be up your grill a lot.

Most of the things you have said can't be analyzed.

Bullshit. Almost everything can be analyzed.

You can't calculate a break even if you don't know what place you are leasing.

So there are no other gyms in your entire area with which you can look at for points of comparison? Researching your competition and market space is one of the first things you do. Use them to determine likely operating costs.

So why should you be critical over this in such an early stage?

I'm not being critical. I've opened more than a couple businesses, and this is simply part of the background work that is necessary before starting a successful venture.

AED. Million dollars of insurance. What? You are trolling or just being a dick for attention. Either war, no more responses from me.

Well, considering you are a moron, I'll actually explain this to be nice. Liability insurance is necessary when you run a gym, and it has to be substantial when you have risk of injury or death. "But I'm just a small gym!" It doesn't fucking matter. Having weight equipment that can be used by the public puts you on a higher table for risk. If someone breaks a bone w/o and you are found negligent, then you are filing Chapter 7 and living out of a cardboard box.

I had a small antique co-op shop before that required $200,000 in liability insurance, and that just had people walking around buying things.

Also, AEDs and CPR certification can be required in a public business.

Flameblow
Flameblow

he's not going to get sued, you cucked faggot. but you go on ahead and keep catering to shitskins that are detrimental to business.

TalkBomber
TalkBomber

Cant think of any reason why you'd need a staff member there
so that gomad fuckers don't destroy everything spill gallons of milk on the carpet and steal your shit.

Techpill
Techpill

Yes.

This is a legal question.

Get legal advice. Get a contract for people to sign so you are not liable for anything.

Have rules and standards of behaviour. Stick a camera in the room.

You could do this anywhere. Lots of people would love a small private gym space as opposed to loads of people looking at them. So you could market it this way.

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

he's not going to get sued, you cucked faggot.

I'll try to make this simple for your palsied intellect. OP stated that his workaround for choosing members was to have the gym be considered a private club. Many jurisdictions have specific rules that nullify a club's right to discriminate, based precisely on services that are offered. One of these can be "public services", such as payments made to use a gym. The size of the club doesn't matter insofar as the rules are concerned.

Furthermore, many states and locales require reporting, meetings, minutes, and records to be held for dispensing a license to a private club. These generally include maintaining those records for long periods of time, including membership applications.

I've seen these issues play out before in my local VFW.

but you go on ahead and keep catering to shitskins that are detrimental to business.

I don't give a flying fuck about other cultures and races. My concern is running successful businesses. You can't get past the rules, and it is moronic to attempt to circumvent them, when the only outcome of doing so is getting fucked.

I guess I'll mention that I live in a town that is demographically 98.7% white. Feels good, man.

Just for reference, how many successful business ventures, and employees do you have working for you?

Raving_Cute
Raving_Cute

Mark Rippetoe wrote an article on owning a gym. In too lazy to google it. He says it's a rough business.

BunnyJinx
BunnyJinx

I thought about doing this and ended up learning that no, your own "dungeon" isn't worth the cost.

1: Liability insurance. Insurance for "exercise studios," including gyms, is stupidly expensive. When I was looking, insurance for a single dungeon, with a sub-100 member base, and a maximum per incident liability payout of $100k with a $20k deductible, and a maximum lifetime liability cap of $1m, was between $68-194k per year (the $68k was from Nationwide, who also handle Gold's corporate policy.) That's *just* for the insurance. Think about how much a single lawsuit could run for a minor injury.

2: Equipment cost. You're not going to want to use the same shit that's good enough for a really solid home gym. A solid Weider multi-press rack or cage (11 gauge steel, all welded construction, rated to 1k pounds total (including mounted weights)) will run you $500 or so. Something like that would get beat to shit and last less than a year. In comparison, a Hammer Strength multi-press station with a rated collapse weight of 3500lbs will run you a cool $6000. A good single bar (for home use) can be as cheap as $300 and last you a lifetime (I've got a B&R bar by York that I got for $240, and it's been plenty good for a decade now.) A general use, cap and bushing powerlifting bar which you can trust will run about $600. Now multiply that by each station you have. Now replace them every 6-9 months (this isn't Gold's, you want legit lifters, right?) Then add in plates (even cheaply made Chinese iron will run you $25 for each 45 you buy.) Going to do dumbbells? A single complete set (1 pair each 5 to 125 lbs) will run you $1500. Speciality equipment, like chains, bands, yolks, kettlebells, etc just add more.
(CONT)

Boy_vs_Girl
Boy_vs_Girl

Think about how much a single lawsuit could run for a minor injury.
It will be formed as an LLC. They won't get much out of a broke gym and it will just be shut down. 68k per year for insurance doesn't make sense. I'll investigate more.

girlDog
girlDog

2/?

3: A one man operation. So when are you ever going to take a vacation? Even if you invest the money in a badge access system that gives everyone free reign, AND you magically have the perfect clientele who never cost you more than lights, water and normal wear and tear (which you're not, you're catering to SSfags,) when do *you* get a week off? What happens if you decide to take one, and the door stops working? Refunds everyone? Signups and renewals during that time? Are you going to black out a segment of your annual balance sheet to take some time off? It's not like a family restaurant where you can post a sign on the door and say "Gone fishing, see you in two weeks." You're running a subscription based service, and you need to be there to satisfy that service.

4: Other costs. Rents are expensive. VERY expensive. No place in a location worth going to is going to be cheap. Expect around $30/sq ft for a cheap strip-mall location. Electricity? Power costs for commercial sites is actually more per kw/h. Water, same thing.

Basically, you're talking a few million to start what won't recap you shit, unless you're going to charge hundreds per user, per month, and that won't work for your target clientele.

haveahappyday
haveahappyday

Your insurance of 86k to 194k is totally wrong.
It may be right at the low end assuming we are talking a big gym with a lot of employees (workmans comp). Just for liability and umbrella we aren't talking more than $300 per month payable annually.

w8t4u
w8t4u

Ok, running the show as an LLC. Good idea. Where are you getting your startup capital then? Self-financing? If not, then you're going to have to put up some personal collateral to back your business loans. Got enough to do that?

massdebater
massdebater

Self-financing?
Yes, but it won't be in a strip mall nor cost a million dollars. Here is an example of a building. These places are all around Pittsburgh and cheap to rent even in good areas because of limited need. Real hole in the wall type joint is the idea. I don't want it to be on a main street. Limited space, limited people. The demonoid model of gyms were registrations close!

Spamalot
Spamalot

It will be formed as an LLC. They won't get much out of a broke gym and it will just be shut down.

Negligent action can pierce the corporate veil and void LLC protection. For instance, if you purchase a cheapo squat rack (one not rated for commercial use) and it collapses, then you could be held personally liable with an unlimited limit due to tort.

Also, if you'd ever hire bad staff, any negligence on their part is also likely to pierce LLC protection.

You would do well to get a CPA, because stuff like writing personal checks out of the business account, intermixing business and personal finances, etc., etc. will automatically void LLC status as well.

Most of my businesses have been LLCs, and they have more upkeep than you'd expect, and there are a lot of things that they won't protect you personally from.

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