Three Questions to Ask your Future Fitness Business Partners
Have you thought about opening a gym with some friends? Maybe you’ve all been working out for the last few years and you’ve decided that it’s time to open your own fitness business. For all intents and purposes, it’s a pretty good idea. If so, you’re not alone. Fitness business are an extremely popular business to start. Gyms have quite decent profit margins(even the mega gyms), and you’ll be able to spend your time doing something that you love. However, starting a fitness business isn’t all fun and games. The startup costs can be quite high for one. Secondly, you’ll need to invest in marketing to increase membership. Lastly, you’ll need to have some business skills to make it all happen. If you need those, check out “Starting a Business for Dummies (no, for real!)”. If you’re dead-set on opening a gym with friends or business partners, here are the three most important questions that you need to ask one another:
Are We Mentally Ready to Be Business Partners?
It might sound like fun and games opening a gym, but it’s going to be a lot of work. If you’re doing it by yourself, the only person that you’re going to need to discuss decisions with is yourself. However, when you add a business partner, or partners, into the mix, every decision is going to take a lot more time and introduce a bit more stress into the business process. What color should we paint the interior? That question would take you about 5 minutes to decide if you were running a business by yourself. However, now you’re dealing with at least one if not a two, three, or four more opinions. What would have been an afternoon job to paint your facility just became a week of back and forth emailing to decide on a color. Make sure you’re ready for these kinds of discussions, because if you’re not, you’re going to face a stark reality when you open for business.
How Much Are You Bringing to the Table?
The most important question of all; what are you bringing to the table? Let’s just assume that all partners will be investing the same amount of money. If you’re not investing the same amounts of money, you better have some good legal documents on file. Equal share ownerships are the easiest to set up(but not recommended). You can also buy out partners relatively simply if they don’t want to stay in business. However, when you’ve not all equally invested, you’re going to add complexity to your business. Okay, so, saying money is equal, what is everyone bringing to the table? Does someone have web design skills? Does someone know a little bit about online marketing? Even though you’re going to have a brick and mortar business, you need to understand how to use Google Adwords and all those other fun business tool. Does someone have a financial background? What about an accounting background? Sit down with your team and figure out what everyone’s bringing to the table. If someone can’t bring something to they table, they better damn well figure something out. It’s called a partnership for a reason; you’re all helping one another.
Can We Equally Split up the Work Load Between Us?
Last but not least, you’ll need to figure out how you want to split up your business tasks once your business is up and running. Does every partner have to spend the same amount of time at the studio? What about Bill and his new baby? Does he get some paternity leave while he deals with starting his family? These are things that you might be thinking about right now, but you might as well lay them all out on the table so that everyone knows what is expected of them when business starts. Write out a schedule detailing the weekly responsibilities that everyone will have. Who’s doing what and when? The earlier you answer these questions and give yourself a reality check, the more fun and profitable your business will be. Good luck!