Motionwear

Stephanie Beveridge

Starting a Gym 101: Setting Up Your Space

Starting a Gym 101: Setting Up Your Space

Business experts and Gym Kix owners Carrie Harris and Stephanie Beveridge

Obtaining a building, space and equipment is number 9 on our list.

An inefficient design of your facility can greatly affect your bottom line. A lot of businesses go too big too fast. Getting the most amount of kids in the least amount of space is how businesses become profitable.

Every square inch of your facility should be viewed as a way to earn money. You will be paying for the space, so you should be earning on the space. Areas that you cannot make a profit on (office, front desk, etc.) should use minimal space, as this will allow you to maximize your moneymaking areas.

In addition, we highly suggest getting an equipment company that can also do a design layout for your facility. With most equipment/design companies, the money you pay for the design will go towards equipment you may want to purchase. Designing pit layouts, in-ground trampolines, etc. takes industry and architectural knowledge, and having a professional design your layout will save you time and money in the long run.

Before finalizing your budget numbers, remember to research codes and permits for your city to ensure your building is up to code regarding ADA, bathrooms, sprinklers, parking spaces, etc. A lot of the times new businesses forget to add those expenses into the cost of building or renovating their facility.

Equipment can be expensive and hard to obtain, financially, while you are starting out. We suggest starting with the minimum amount of equipment you need, and as your business grows, you can purchase more equipment. Depending on what programs you offer, your startup equipment list will vary. Just remember, it’s easier to add equipment once you start turning a profit. There are also websites that sell used equipment from facilities that are closing or wanting to get rid of their equipment—just be cautious and research what you are purchasing.

-Carrie Harris & Stephanie Beveridge


Past posts:

Starting a Gym 101: Pricing Your Services

Starting a Gym 101: Licenses, Permits & Insurance

Starting a Gym 101: All Things Legal

Starting a Gym 101: Making the Big Decisions

Starting a Gym 101: Writing a Business Plan

Starting a Gym 101: Legal Forms of Business Ownership

Starting a Gym 101 

Starting a Gym 101: Getting Financing

Starting a Gym 101: Getting Financing

Business experts and Gym Kix owners Carrie Harris and Stephanie Beveridge

Number eight on our “Starting a Gym 101″ list: Decide on any financing you will need and how you will get it. In other words…show me the money!

For startup businesses, this can be one of the biggest obstacles in getting off the ground. Funding is a challenge for almost every small business, and this especially includes cheer/gymnastics facilities. The space and ceiling height requirements for a gym make the start-up cost even more than a regular new business.

A few ideas for financing your start-up:

1.    Work a second job to fund business (check CheerProfessional’s upcoming winter issue for more on this!)

2.    Major in business, as some business schools can provide connections to help a business get started

3.    Ask a friend or relative

4.    Dip into personal savings

5.    Apply for and secure a bank loan

6.    Approach individual investors

7.    Go for a government-guaranteed loan

8.   Try websites like www.gofundme.com (or similar sites)

9.   Work with venture capital firms (angel investors, etc…)

Using personal funds is the most common, and few banks will loan to people who are not risking some of their own personal funds too. While it may feel as if it’s impossible to start a business without having your own deep pockets or knowing someone who does, loans do exist and—with good preparation—are even relatively easy to get.

When seeking external funding, being prepared is essential. Write a business plan, have your financial statements ready to go, line up your references, develop a clear definition of what your business is and look at your credit rating, financial history and business planning; these are all things lenders consider in awarding loans.

Visit http://www.sba.gov for more information on Small Business Loans.

-Stephanie Beveridge and Carrie Harris


Past posts:

Starting a Gym 101: Pricing Your Services

Starting a Gym 101: Licenses, Permits & Insurance

Starting a Gym 101: All Things Legal

Starting a Gym 101: Making the Big Decisions

Starting a Gym 101: Writing a Business Plan

Starting a Gym 101: Legal Forms of Business Ownership

Starting a Gym 101 

 

 

Starting a Gym 101: Pricing Your Services

Starting a Gym 101: Pricing Your Services

Business experts and Gym Kix owners Carrie Harris and Stephanie Beveridge

Number seven on our list is pricing your services! Pricing your service (tuition) is extremely important. “How much is it?” is usually the first question a customer will ask and—while you don’t want them to gasp for air at your answer—you want to be profitable and competitive with your market.

Your tuition cannot out-price your target market, yet a profit for your company must be made in order to keep your lights on. There are several approaches to pricing; ours is just one version for making pricing decisions that take into account your costs, the effects of competition and the customer’s perception of value.

Definitions:

  • Cost is the total of the fixed and variable expenses (costs to you) to provide your service. (Rent, payroll, utilities, etc…)
  • Price is the selling price per unit (monthly, 6-week session, a year etc…) customers pay for your service.

Price has to be set higher than the cost in order to turn a profit. How the customer perceives the value of your service determines the maximum price customers will pay.

Perceived value is created by an established reputation, marketing messages and your facility’s environment/personality. What do parents want for their children? What do parents value? Students learn life lessons, goal setting, courage, the humbleness of defeat and the glory of winning, etc. Parents know that these traits are valuable to their children and will more likely pay for those skills in addition to their child learning a back handspring. How are you different and what does your gym do better than your competitor? This will play into perceived value as well because your customer will compare you to other gyms.

Use cost-based pricing along with value-based pricing to come up with a price that is fair to your customer and profitable for you!

-Carrie Harris & Stephanie Beveridge

 

Past posts:

Starting a Gym 101: Licenses, Permits & Insurance

Starting a Gym 101: All Things Legal

Starting a Gym 101: Making the Big Decisions

Starting a Gym 101: Writing a Business Plan

Starting a Gym 101: Legal Forms of Business Ownership

Starting a Gym 101 

 

Starting a Gym 101: Licenses, Permits & Insurance

Starting a Gym 101: Licenses, Permits & Insurance

Business experts and Gym Kix owners Carrie Harris and Stephanie Beveridge

Number six on our checklist of key steps that every business should take to start their business on the right track is to get all necessary licenses, permits and insurance. There is so much to do when opening a business that sometimes people overlook the important legal requirements. In addition to the information we are providing below, please seek help from your city’s chamber of commerce, a lawyer or other trade associations serving the cheerleading industry.

Federal Requirements

With the exception of Sole Proprietors, most business types must apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Most businesses do not require a federal license or permit.

State Requirements

Business licensing requirements vary from state to state; however, we have listed the most common types below:

Business Licenses: A state business license is the most important document required for tax purposes and conducting other basic business functions.

Occupations and Professions: State licenses are frequently required for occupations – the cheerleading profession does not have this requirement; however, if you have a daycare type facility (keeping children for over 3 hours usually) you may want to check your state requirement.

Licenses Based on Products Sold: Some state licensing requirements are based on the product sold.

Tax Registration: If the state in which you operate has a state income tax, you’ll have to register and obtain an employer identification number from your state’s Department of Revenue or Treasury Department. If you’re engaging in retail sales, you will need to obtain a sales tax license.

Trade Name Registration: If your business will only be operated in your local community, registering your company name with the state may be sufficient.

Employer Registrations: If you have any employees, you’ll probably be required to make unemployment insurance contributions.

-Carrie Harris & Stephanie Beveridge

 

Past posts:

Starting a Gym 101: All Things Legal

Starting a Gym 101: Making the Big Decisions

Starting a Gym 101: Writing a Business Plan

Starting a Gym 101: Legal Forms of Business Ownership

Starting a Gym 101 

 

 

Starting a Gym 101: All Things Legal

Starting a Gym 101: All Things Legal

Business experts and Gym Kix owners Carrie Harris and Stephanie Beveridge

Number five on our checklist of key steps that every business should take to start their business out on the right track is the Legal Requirements for Starting a Business.

To operate a business legally an organization needs to meet all the laws of the federal government, state government and the city and/or county where the business operates. 

Most businesses are going to need an Employer Identification Number even if they don’t have employees. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides clearly written documentation of what is required in terms of reporting. Other agencies may also have legal requirements. If you have employees, you will also have labor laws that you will need to follow. The Small Business Administration operates local offices in every state. These offices can be a great source of information about other local regulations you may need to be following.

There are laws and regulations governing the actual registration of the business and the business name, and there may also be licenses and permits needed to operate certain types of businesses. For instance, if you offer childcare at your gym, you may need to have special permits from social service or educational agencies. You can find out more about such regulations from your state business resource offices.

Helpful websites:

www.sba.gov

http://www.irs.gov/Businesses

-Carrie Harris & Stephanie Beveridge

 

Past posts:

Starting a Gym 101: Making the Big Decisions

Starting a Gym 101: Writing a Business Plan

Starting a Gym 101: Legal Forms of Business Ownership

Starting a Gym 101

 

 

 

Expert Q&A: I Want To Open a Gym — Where Do I Start?

Question: I am in a market where there is not a gym or all-star program and have almost 20 years of cheer experience but would love some help with getting a gym opened! Do you have any advice for a budding gym owner on how to get started? – Ali

Business experts and Gym Kix owners Carrie Harris and Stephanie Beveridge

Answer from Gym Kix co-owners Carrie Harris and Stephanie Beveridge: First and foremost, we applaud you for having the enthusiasm and bravery to start your own business. We could probably write an entire novel full of tips for a budding gym owner.  We thought back about our first years and decided that there were a few things that are “must know” tips:

***Before starting any venture, especially one as unique as the cheerleading business, we would ask that you evaluate your reason for starting a business. Do you want to make money? Be your own boss? Do you love children? Do you enjoy the sport of cheerleading? What exactly makes you want to start up a business? (Because that is what it is—a business!) Most people start in this industry because they love the sport and they love working with kids; however, it has to be more than that or you will get burnt out. You have to understand that you must treat your business like a business or you will get frustrated and be left broke. Always remember that the owners of McDonald’s love business, not just burgers. You must be a business owner first and a coach second if you want to stay around for years to come.

***After evaluating your motivation, you will want to find a trustworthy accountant, insurance agency and attorney. I have seen many gym owners start up their business and start coaching without a full understanding of balance sheets, payroll, insurance, leases, taxes and the many other facets that can overwhelm even the most veteran business owner. Without consulting honest professionals before making decisions such as signing a lease or writing paychecks, you can have your business torn apart faster than you can say 5,6,7,8.

***In addition, I would network with other business owners in our industry, out of your state if possible. (Conventions are a great way to do this!) You will quickly find that your time is your most valuable asset so please don’t try to reinvent the wheel!  Invest the time up front in researching how the successful programs got to where they are. You will want to ask how they register people, how they run their seasons, how they bill and an overview of their day-to-day operations. Find out how others have become successful and tweak it to fit your personality and business model. We have personally assisted numerous new businesses and we are always open to helping new business owners get started by sharing our forms, facility information, operating systems, advice and more.  Businesses that have been around will know what works and what doesn’t, and they are usually eager to help other entrepreneurs.

Once you have your location and business items in order, you will need to get an effective marketing campaign started. We recommend the following to ensure your clients can find out information about your business even before your doors open:

  • Listing in Phonebook: We recommend using the least expensive listing to save money. Most people don’t consult phone books, so your money is better spent on good signage and having a good online presence. We also cannot emphasize enough how important it is to have your phone answered as much as possible by a real person. If it isn’t possible, then you must ensure that customers are called back in a timely manner. It sounds simple enough, but most places tend to neglect this very important tip!
  • Website: We use Jam Spirit Sites as they are affordable and it is very user-friendly.
  • Social Media: At a minimum, you should have a Facebook page and Twitter account for your business.
  • Business-to-Business Relationships: Join your Chamber of Commerce and start networking with daycares, doctors, schools, real estate offices, local stores, nail shops and the library.  Many times, they are willing to place your flyers in their business if you offer to do the same.

Don’t forget to track where you are getting referrals from, at least for a couple years. This will allow you to see where your marketing money is most effectively used.

With these basic tips you can choose your business’s destiny. After years of business, we have come to the conclusion that new cheer businesses are either destined to be a stick of dynamite or a dynamite factory. A stick of dynamite will definitely get attention, but the fuse burns quickly, then it explodes, and then nothing is left but devastation. However, with proper planning, the right motivation and a business mindset, your business can be the dynamite factory:  profitable, long-lasting and an asset to your community.

Now go produce dynamite!

Stephanie Beveridge & Carrie Harris of Gym Kix