The UK health and fitness industry is more in demand than ever. Its value is set to hit £22.8bn by 2020, and gyms and wellness centres make up a considerable portion of those projections.

Even so, developing businesses have their own weight to bear. There are several large costs that come with operating a fitness site. Today, we’re going to list what they are, and how alternative financing can relieve any cramps in your earning model.

1. Equipment purchases

It’s the first and most obvious expense – really, any fitness centre can’t get too far off the ground with poor equipment. Choosing to specialise in only one aspect of fitness training doesn’t often work; some gyms limit themselves to dead lifts or cardio, but most have a fairly even spread of technical machinery. Cross trainers, benches, single weights, treadmills, rowers and vibration plates can cost hundreds of pounds individually. We should also include vending machines; they’re a good money-maker yet tend to have a price tag close to £1,000.

2. IT infrastructure

A digital fit-out can cost a lot if you’re renovating an old venue. You’ll need cabling that links your computers to a server, whilst the screens, door codes and music system has to be maintained. Paying for backup data, too, is a decision that gym owners are increasingly having to make, fighting the prevalence of cybercrime. A good IT support team will ask for several thousand at the very least, and you’ll want to ensure you receive a quality service for hosting and repairs. Software, on the other hand, may consist of member engagement apps, management information, and sorting and collecting direct debits to remove stress from your day-to-day role. That’ll notch up the investment by a significant margin.

3. Insurance packages

It almost goes without saying, but fitness sites are more open to risk than other businesses. People can slip, cut themselves or bang their head. A weight may tumble from a stack or a bar and cause serious injury. Then there are damages against the premises itself – something that can easily happen when you’re accommodating large numbers of gym-goers. Insurance is a bumper expense for a health and fitness brand. And the truth of the matter is, you can’t afford not to have it.

4. Marketing initiatives

The economic potential of health and fitness in Great Britain is huge. There’s much to look forward to if you ‘make it’ as a business. Yet you’ll have to battle through many competitors to reach that point; the market is close to saturation. Promoting a fitness centre takes work and commitment, but it also requires a decent budget. In order to attract new members, you’ll need to market to them – by creating a website, for example, together with printing flyers, booking local radio ads, handling social media, and speaking to people on the street with a manned stall. All of this has to be backed by GDPR compliance. A consultant, or your own encryption practices, will guard membership data – but only at a cost.

5. Staff hire

It’s tough, of course, to tell how big the pot of money to pay your employees will need to be. Some fitness brands pay a recruiter to hire good people. Others may prefer to do it themselves, but the cost of advertising the role and arranging the recruitment process can be equally significant. Fitness brands also require some members of their team to develop certain credentials, and so will need to fund health and wellbeing training on the job. A Level 3 Diploma in Leisure Management, for example, can creep past the £3,000 mark. Multiply that by X number of employees, and you have an exponential price to meet…

When we consider all these costs, they may seem too tough for a small or rapidly expanding business to deal with. Specialised lending can rise to the challenge, however, when you need it most. By refinancing any health and fitness expenditure, you’ll find that investments are easier to make, and leased equipment purchases – for example – end up paying for themselves as they lead to greater profits. Speak to Johnson Reed for more advice on the issue.

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