It took me quite a few years to save enough money to open my own fitness center.
The startup costs were huge.
Although I was able to offer a sizable downpayment, it was still necessary to take out a loan to cover the cost of the building and equipment. I had some trouble finding the right building to accommodate all of the requirements of a gym. The space needed to be quite large and in an easily accessible location. I looked for a building in decent condition and that offered plenty of parking. I then was forced to make some major renovations. I put in men’s and women’s locker rooms, each with six separate showers, toilets and sinks. This project meant making some additions to the plumbing systems. I wanted to be sure there would be plenty of hot water, good pressure and reliable drainage. Plus, in my local area, the weather demands heating and cooling for most of the year. I needed an air conditioner that could handle extreme heat and humidity and a heating system that could manage temperatures down to twenty below zero. I was willing to spend more for a higher efficiency HVAC unit to help to trim running costs. I invested in a commercial rooftop unit that is situated out of sight, where operational sounds aren’t a problem. I also had a separate ventilation system installed to help with excess humidity and unpleasant smells. I certainly didn’t want my fitness center to stink of sweat and body odor. One of the biggest expenses was all of the fitness machines and equipment. Outfitting a gym with multiple treadmills, ellipticals, stairmasters, rowing machines and stationary bikes is expensive. There was also the weight training machines, mirrors, mats, dumbbells, weight benches and a lost list of gear to purchase.