Is It Time to Sell Your Gym? (Do This First)

A gym business storefront with a "for sale" sign in the parking lot.

“It’s too late. I’m done.”

I’ve heard this statement from gym owners more than a few times.

Some entrepreneurs are completely wrung out, with absolutely nothing to give.

When that’s the case, they should sell their businesses and move on.

At that point, you actually have a spectacular opportunity: You’ve never been in a better position to make big moves than when you’re at rock bottom and on the way out.

Maximize Sale Value Fast

I’ve spoken to many frustrated, burned-out gym owners whose No. 1 problem is that they have refused to do the very hard things required to fix their businesses.

Here are a few common “very hard things”:

  • Raising rates.
  • Firing staff members.
  • Cutting unprofitable programs.
  • Getting rid of weed clients.

When you’re at the end of your rope and you’re just about to let go, you might as well do the hard things and put the business in a better place before you sell.

You’re a hard-driving entrepreneur, and even if you’re worn out, can you push through one final workout?

What if you take just six months and commit to doing all the stuff you’ve been avoiding to improve the business?

Think about it: Even if everything you do is a total bust, you’re not going to be in a worse position. You’re miserable now, right?

But the upside is huge. Addressing the hard stuff almost always produces spectacular results quickly.

For example, many gym owners put off much-needed rate increases because they’re afraid of losing members. If you’re going to pull the pin anyway, raise your rates to a level that will actually support your business (you won’t lose all your clients if you do it right).

Or that horrible staff member who needs to go? Fire the person. This alone will brighten every day just a little.

That money-losing program that’s bleeding you out? Cut it. That’s another leak patched.

Do the hard stuff fast—and do it with expert help so you maximize sale value. A mentor can show you the exact steps to take quickly, and they really add up.

For example, if your rate increase boosts revenue by just $1,700 a month, that’s $20,000 a year—so your business might be worth an extra $60,000 at sale. That windfall would pay for the cost of mentorship many times over.

Wouldn’t the business look better to a prospective buyer if it didn’t have a kids program that was costing the gym $500 a month to staff empty classes? Or what if a prospective buyer walked in and that awful staff member wasn’t eating lunch on the reverse hyper and scowling at clients?

I understand if you want out, but I want you to leave with something for all your effort.

So get help and do the very hard things.

“Maybe I Won’t Sell…”

Here’s what often happens when we help a frustrated gym owner ready a business for sale:

They do the hard stuff fast, and suddenly the business doesn’t look so bad. In some cases, the current owner decides to keep the much-improved business. This is a big win.

I want to make something clear: I hope you don’t sell.

You entered this business with the intent to serve others. When you sell, you’re giving up on that noble dream. I don’t want you to have to do that.

There’s an old joke in the gym business: The two happiest days in a gym owner’s life are the day they open and the day they sell. Our industry is full of people who claim to have “retired” from the gym business when, really, they couldn’t make a living and had to give up. None of these people would have quit the industry if their gyms were successful.

A well-run gym doesn’t need to be offloaded, and—at least in my case—it doesn’t require much oversight from the owner. I take home a healthy net owner benefit but don’t put in a lot of time. To me, that’s retirement. If you can live with that, you don’t ever have to sell.

I hope you choose to fight for your gym. If you want an expert in your corner with you, book a call here.


One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.