Suppose you own a fitness gym that has been operated in the town for over 10 years. In these 10  years, you have introduced different segments into your gym that attract clients from different city areas. Moreover, during these years, you have provided remarkable services to your clients and enabled them to achieve their pilgrimage. Your business has reached new heights of success, and you have a waiting list of clients longer than your arm for a workout in your gym. Now, you are in your career position where you think, “Wow, my gym is going really well. Is It the time to open a second gym location and convert my single gym into a franchise model?” 

But before thinking about it, you have to ask one question yourself: Do you really need to open a gym at a second location? Opening a second gym location requires a proper plan and passion to complete. As per the IHSRA, around 81% of the fitness business fails within the first year. Although you have 10 years of experience in running a gym but still for your second gym is a new business. If you are still considering operating your gym at a second location, you don’t need to worry about it. Here, we will discuss the factors and tips you should consider before opening your gym franchise. 

Factors to consider for opening a second gym 

As a gym owner, you are willing to invest in a second gym once your first project succeeds. By investing in the second gym, you can expand your gym’s revenue stream and provide remarkable services to a larger segment of fitness freaks. However, opening a second gym location requires proper planning and strategy, as the fitness industry has changed a lot in the last decade. So, you have to consider the following factors before starting a second gym location. 

Complete your market research

Suppose you have 10 years of experience in the fitness industry and have started your gym from scratch. Still, if you want to start your second gym location now, you need to do the market research from the start. Market research for your second franchise is still required even if you are opening the gym at another location in the same city, as with changes in area in the same town, demographics, and competition change. 

For example, for the past 10 years, you have been running a gym in a location where the age group that joined your gym is between 25 and 55. The most preferred exercise in the area is HIIT training. You make arrangements in the gym according to the nearby people’s requirements, which leads to your business success. 

But after 10 years, you use the same demographics and choices for another location where the age bracket going to the gym lies between 18 and 40, while people in that area like yoga more than HIIT training. It will lead to a complete failure of your business. Thus, to avoid this, you need to do market research and understand the clients in that area. You have to visit different gyms in that area, meet gym owners, and conduct research to make your second gym successful. 

Secure a source of capital

Before deciding to open a second gym location, you have to ensure that you have a secure source of capital. Most second or third-location gyms run at a loss for atleast one year. Thus, you need a safe source of income for that time to pay rent, salaries, equipment maintenance, and more. Sometimes, the second or third gym location starts generating revenue in about 2 to 3 years. You must ensure a safe side to run your second gym until it generates profit. 

For example, 10 years earlier, you started your journey in the fitness industry with your own resources. You invest your time and finances to make your first gym profit. Your first gym takes 4 years to become profitable. For the 4 years, all the rent, salaries, and other expenditures are all you have to pay from your resources. Thus, to avoid that situation for the second gym, all you need to do is require an investor who can invest in you to make a franchise. So, you can pay your employees’ salaries and rent the location at the start of your second gym. 

Make your tax and insurance Immaculate

While raising investment for your gym franchise, you also have to ensure you have paid all the taxes and insured your employees. Your tax and insurance plans must be refined to the finest details while developing a second gym location strategy because this is where businesses are really built. You need to invest proper time in refining details about the tax and insurance plan. 

Moreover, you can also talk to an expert to get their view about it and ensure that your taxes and insurance are immaculate. It helps you save a larger amount of money in the long run. For example, After raising investment against your first gym valuation, you started searching for your second gym location. While finalizing the gym location, you must ensure that your landlord has bought insurance for the land, and if anything happens, you can claim that insurance. Moreover, you also have to ensure that your landlord pays taxes on time. So you might not face any legal issues. 

Furthermore, you also have to ensure that you have bought insurance and equipment for your gym employees so you can claim insurance if an accident happens at your gym. All you have to ensure before finalizing the land for the second location is that both you and your landlord are taxpayers and insure the land and employees simultaneously. It helps you to tackle legal compliance in case of any mishap. 

Start pre-sales early 

Before opening a second gym location, you have to play smart and use your brand image in the town. On different social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, you have to run advertisements that one of the most famous gyms in the town, having 10 years of providing remarkable fitness experiences to its clients, is opening a second branch at your place. 

This advertisement enables you to sell your gym memberships even before opening doors. There are two reasons for starting pre-sales early

  • Immediate capital: Pre-selling your gym membership enables you to generate revenue from your second gym even before the inauguration of your gym. Moreover, it also helps you reduce the stress of the initial capital loss in the second gym. 
  • Powerful social proof: For a gym owner who has made a successful journey in the fitness industry, if you open the gym’s doors and find out that only 10 members have taken the membership and are attending the first class, your reputation takes a hit. So, to keep up with your reputation, you have to ensure that from day one, your gym has full classes to indicate why your gym is successful despite competition. 

Decide who will run your second location

As a gym owner, you are already aware that gym management requires proper planning and guidance. You have to spend endless hours ensuring a seamless experience for your clients by streamlining studio operations. But, after starting your second gym location, you have to spread yourself too thin and burn out. Thus, to avoid burning out and ease yourself from the burden of the second franchise, you have to select a manager with all the essential skills to run a gym under your support and guidance. 

For example, to run your second gym, you have appointed a manager with the same experience as a personal trainer in the fitness industry. The manager that you appointed to assist you in streamlining the operations of your studio. Moreover, you can also check him regularly to give support and advice. 

Using the right gym management software

As a gym owner, you know the importance of using gym management software in your gym. The gym management software lets you streamline class scheduling, client management, payment processing, and automated check-ins. So, your clients have a remarkable experience and get access to your gym premises  24/7. Moreover, it also helps you to schedule classes as per the availability of the trainer and the clients. 

Using gym franchise software, you can also lay the foundation for the success of your second gym location. This software enables you to streamline studio operations for both gym locations side by side. It creates a central dashboard that gives you access to information on the second gym location so you can make the right decision at the right time. 

Tips for running a second gym franchise successfully 

After considering all the factors that you need to consider before starting a second gym location, it is also essential for you to understand what steps you have to take to make your team and gym successful. So, the clients who reach your gym will be satisfied with your remarkable service, influencing their journey towards their pilgrimage. Here are tips to assist you in running your second gym successfully. 

Make a qualified team 

If you want the second gym franchise to grow and give you profit in minimal time, you need to hire people qualified for the job. From janitor to personal trainer, you have to select candidates who have a passion that aligns with your goals. After hiring dedicated people, give them the position they deserve in the gym based on their qualifications and experience. Then, divide your gym responsibilities among your team members and get satisfactory results.  

As per PT Pioneer’s research, around 28% of clients value communication with personal trainers during their fitness journey.  So, you have to hire a qualified team to make your second gym franchise successful. 

Provide full-time opportunities

You have to give your team full-time opportunities to grow and show their experience in the fitness industry.  When starting your second gym location, you might run your business by hiring part-time coaches. However, part-time coaches don’t have the same dedication level as full-time coaches. 

Similarly, providing full-time opportunities to your employees offers them stability, a sense of security, and benefits that lead to higher employee satisfaction and increased productivity. This helps you increase your gym’s profitability in the minimal possible time. 

Capitalize your strength 

If you want your second gym franchise to see success in half time, then the first gym, you have to develop your gym USP.  This unique selling proposition helps you attract new clients to the area and gives you a competitive edge. You can design this USP by considering factors such as age, gender, and other demographics. 

For example, the area where you are going to start your second gym location doesn’t have a gym that offers bootcamp exercise. Potential clients in the area love bootcamps and must travel long distances to perform bootcamp exercises. By bringing bootcamp exercises to that area through your second gym franchise, you provide convenience to your clients and capitalize on your own strength for your gym’s success. 

Final thoughts

As a successful gym business owner, the most essential thing that helps you start your second gym location is your homework.  You have to consider all the factors that help you manage your gym finances, as a new gym takes atleast one to reach a no-profit and no-loss threshold.  

So, during the struggling phase of the new gym, you can pay your staff salaries with ease and have minimal financial burden on your shoulders.