The tricky leap to opening your second gym site

Johnson Reed
3m read

It could be time to take your gym brand to the next level. Size. Technology. Training options. Perhaps even franchising… There are plenty of reasons to invest in extra sites with a solid member base.

But there are several things to consider: the concepts you want, and how they’re going to be funded. It’s better to think big and gain all the help you can, rather than miss an opportunity.

We want to lay out five potential ideas for a gym expansion, including ways to bring your finances into shape.

1. Analyse competitors and location to make it worthwhile

Replicating the core success you’ve had so far isn’t simple. The context could be totally different – other nearby gyms could offer more for a price close to your own. So try and find an area that isn’t oversaturated with fitness centres. Divide the number of residents in a five or six-minute drive by the amount of gyms. If the resulting number is 10,000, 20,000 or more, then you may have enough of a market share, as long as your prices are competitive too.

2. Finance a sauna or pool build

People are far more likely to join if there’s a pool/sauna/jacuzzi combo. These days, you can realise any potential by pursuing an alternative finance loan, from several thousand pounds to £100,000 or more. Pay it back over several years and funnel the cash into construction before the gym opens. With kinder credit assessments and specialised lenders on side, you won’t be held back – the assets will pay for themselves in a year or two.

3. Consult an architect on the renovation

Good architects save you money. And renovations are, of course, much cheaper than building a gym from scratch. So bring an architect on board – along with a surveyor you really trust – when searching for the right venue. They’ll be worth their fee if they can spot, measure and advise on making the most of your space, before work begins. One of our clients, BMPS, had the fortune of close architectural knowledge as they took a new fitness concept to the UK, and it helped them tremendously.

4. Review your capital assets

Some investments you’ve made won’t have paid off. It’s always worth looking at your assets again – everything from cardio equipment to scales, expensive desk units, vending machines and media installations. What do members value the most? Where could you trim the cost for a new gym? Expanding is an excuse to review what works and what doesn’t.

5. Lease a fresh equipment purchase

Leasing is far better than an upfront purchase. Once you have specialist financers at your side, they can deliver the latest, most transformative kit to your gym, for a small fraction of the price each month. This is your chance to invest in the machinery or materials that will give the site its very best opening and long-term draw. Body analysis tools, boxing apparel, digital training assistants or VR… There are endless options to view with more financial freedom in support.

The Johnson Reed team want you to meet every grand ambition in the fitness sector. For common sense lending access, speak to us or check out our case studies before making an enquiry. You can get a quote in as little as two hours. We’ve helped dozens of businesses grow into a leading name, with a healthy and affordable model for whatever comes next.