Every square foot you rent should generate revenue for you.
And the amount you generate should be clear.
We’re often called by gym owners who are running out of money because they rented too much space. We’re almost never called by gym owners with the opposite problem.
The owners’ mistakes and regrets all center around using space for activities that aren’t directly tied to revenue:
- a sitting area for clients (does it actually help retention?)
- a coffee bar (too expensive to staff and stock)
- some dedicated single-function space (will people want to take yoga classes at your gym forever?)
- a whiskey/beer/whatever cool distraction is in this week.
Those are the things that make owners gym-poor.
In every case, the gym owner added things they believed would add value to the client. And that’s the problem: WE see the value of having an athlete lounge, but they don’t. Or it’s not quantifiable. So here’s my rule: if you can’t point to something in your gym and say, “That brings me X dollars each month”, get rid of it. You have too many opportunities that WILL pay you to take up space on those that won’t.
When an athlete thinks about joining or leaving your gym, they think about the coaches, not the couches.
While a clean bathroom is a necessity, a steam room isn’t.
Group training space, if you offer group training. Flexible layout is preferred. Option to run two groups at once is best.
Semiprivate or private space for 1:1 and small-group training
Private consultation or office space for meeting with clients
1 shower for every 70 clients (more if you serve a nearby corporate staff)
1 additional bathroom for every 70 clients (minimum, more is better).
Our method of training is simple and elegant: everything you need, nothing you don’t. Your space–and your business–should focus your client’s attention on your true service instead of the distractions. And don’t forget YOUR focus: every entrepreneur needs to work on things that will increase their effective hourly rate instead of buying themselves more tasks.
You can stock the bananas, or you can sign up the clients. Which will actually add value? It’s up to you to know.