Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Opening a 24-Hour Gym Condensed Into a Weekend of Reading
What if you could open your dream gym in the next 12 months?
Do you think it's possible?
What if I answered every question you had so you'd feel like you've owned a gym for the last decade?
What if I told you how I could make it no riskier than buying a Kia Sorento?
What if I gave you the formula we use to find the perfect location for a gym?
What if I told you that you only had to have $20,000 down and the bank will loan you the rest as long as you have decent credit.
You are the reason why I wrote this book.
Over the last 10 years, I've met too many people just like you- people who are passionate about fitness and helping others but are waiting....
And waiting until it's too late, and you end up with a life of regret.
What if I would have followed my passion and opened a gym?
This book encompasses ten years of testing, tweaking, systemizing, and then replicating a gym model that is the last blue ocean left in the fitness industry. This is the exact blueprint we use today to search for, evaluate, and open our gyms.
And now, for the first time ever, it could be yours.
But why a small, twenty-four-hour gym instead of a fitness studio?
That was my first question too.
Before I opened Ageless, I was in the exact position you're currently in. I had a passion for fitness and was desperately searching for a way to make a (profitable) career out of it.
After I graduated pharmacy school, I thought that feeling would subside. I figured being a pharmacist would fulfill my need of helping people and the salary that would accompany it would make me forget about fitness. However, it only took me two months of working at Walgreens to realize counting pills wasn't what I wanted to spend the next 30 years of my life doing. The robotic, monotonous, impersonal work left me daydreaming about my future gym.
I had to find a way to make it happen.
But.... I had bills. A car loan. $100,000 in student loans. A fiance that was still in school. I also needed to save for a house, kids, etc.. Leaving Walgreens and jumping into the fitness industry was too risky, even if every self-help coach told me to "follow my dreams and take a leap."
So I started brainstorming.
I considered personal training on the side, but it conflicted too much with my pharmacy schedule. Plus, I didn't see that as a career opportunity. The majority of trainers I knew were young and tended to leave the industry as soon as they had a family.
I considered opening a studio gym because every fitness business coach I followed on social media was recommending that model- Frank Nash, Thomas Plummer, Alwyn Cosgrove, and Joe Mayo. The startup costs were also reasonable, around $50,000 for a small studio. However, after diving into the model, I realized it wasn't suited for absentee ownership, and I'd have to leave my pharmacy job to pursue it (or greatly reduce my hours behind the counter). After looking over the financial projections and calculating it'd take over 6 months to start breaking even, I realized it was just too big of a risk to take. I also didn't like the fact that it seemed like everyone was opening a studio making it highly competitive no matter where I was putting it.
I considered various fitness franchises. I fell in love with the model Snap Fitness used. It seemed to work well in small towns like the one I lived in, and it allowed absentee ownership, allowing me to keep my pharmacy job. However, after reviewing the details of the franchise agreement, the fees were just too much and the length of the contract was way too long. I also didn't think it'd satisfy my creative need because there were so many restrictions, and it lacked the personal touch I was looking for. Once again, I decided it was too risky.
So, exhausted and not willing to throw in the towel, I decided to do what everyone entrepreneur eventually does - build a model that works for someone like me. I called it the HomeTown Gym model.
I wanted to make sure it:
- Would allow me to come and go as I pleased so I could still keep my job as a pharmacist and minimize my overall risk.
- Didn't require a huge upfront investment and if things didn't work out as I had planned, the overall damage would be minimal.
- Still allowed me to have a personal connection with my members just like a studio gym.
- was a solid long-term investment that could turn a profit in the market I was looking at.
And now a little over 10 years later it has given me:
- More friendships than I can count.
- More happiness than I could imagine.
- 123 straight months of profit, netting on average $50,000 in profit each year
- A building that was just appraised at over $600,000 (from that initial $20,000 investment) that I could sell tomorrow if I wanted to.
- A business that lets me come and go as I please and still make money.
Did I mention this gym was in a small, rural community of 3,200 that people said was too poor to have a gym?
Oh yeah, and a guy with zero fitness experience replicated its success using the exact same model. You'll hear more about him later.
But, how much does it cost? It's less risky than buying a Kia Sorrento?
Of course, there's always a caveat. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I don't want to give you the impression that I'm guaranteeing you'll have success if you open a HomeTown Gym. You may or may not. There are too many variables to consider to make a blanket statement like a guarantee, many of which I discuss in the book.
However, what I will say is that this model is the last blue ocean left in the fitness industry, a bubble that's about to burst.
How do I know that?
In addition to Ageless (my HomeTown Gym), I also co-own a studio gym called Iron Orchid and a spin-only gym called Flow Spin. Thus, I have firsthand experience with the studio gym model and the pay-per-class model. Although both gyms are profitable (going on three years), the HomeTown Gym model is by far the easiest model to own. It:
- requires fewer hours to manage
- results in a higher net profit percentage
- involves less overall risk than studio gym or a franchise.
In fact, it's the only model I'll pursue in the future.
So what's the cost? How is it less risky?
On average, the HomeTown Gym costs about $100,000 to start. I know. That's a lot of money.
However, the good news that if you have good credit, you'll probably only need to come up with 20% or $20,000 as a down payment. The bank will loan you the rest and put a lien on the equipment you purchase.
$20,000 is still a lot of money. But, compare that to the average fitness franchise, and it's a significant bargain. When I was pricing various franchise gyms, the average down payment was $50,000 and the overall cost exceeded $200,000. They also took a percentage of the revenue too.
When you compare it to the overall costs of a studio gym, it's even less risky.
Just imagine the following two scenarios.
You decide the HomeTown Gym model isn’t for you, but you still want to open a gym so you find a location in a bigger city. You open a studio gym just like my gym Iron Orchid. The equipment costs you about $50,000 which includes your computers, sound system, and minor renovations. For a 3,000-square-foot space, your landlord made you sign a three-year-lease at $4,500 per month. Of course, you have to personally guarantee that lease because you’re a brand new business.
You decide to open a HomeTown Gym. Because you’re a traditional gym, you need more equipment than a studio gym. Your startup costs total about $110,000. Although your startup costs are higher than a studio gym, your rent is only $2200 per month because you're in a small town where the HomeTown model thrives, and you only have to sign a twelve-month lease. Again, you have to personally guarantee the lease because you’re a brand new business.
However, things take a wrong turn.
By the tenth month, you realize you made a huge mistake. Your gym is struggling, and it’s obvious that you’ll be out of money by the end of the year. With no hope in sight, you start working on your exit plan to minimize the damages.
In scenario A, you ended up borrowing $40,000 because you put 20% down, which, after twelve months of payments, leaves you with about $36,000 that you’re still on the hook for. However, you also signed a three-year lease at $4,500 per month, and you still have twenty-four months left on it, totaling $108,000. So, combined, you need to come up with $144,000 to walk away from your failed gym without any debt.
In scenario B, you ended up borrowing $88,000 because you put 20% down, which, after twelve months of payments is about $82,000. Because you only signed a twelve month lease, you don’t owe anything to your landlord. In fact, your landlord actually owes you $2,200 from your initial deposit. So, combined, you need to come up with about $86,000 to walk away from your failed gym without any debt.
So now what?
Well, the first step is usually to sell the equipment. Liquidate everything. Let’s say you get fifty cents on the dollar.
In scenario A, you bought $50,000 worth of equipment so you’ll have $25,000 from selling it. You’re down to $119,000.
In scenario B, you bought $110,000 worth of equipment so you’ll have $55,000 from the sale of it. You’re down to $31,000.
Now which scenario looks less risky?
And remember, the HomeTown Gym model allows you to keep your current job, also minimizing the overall risk.
If the absolute worst-case scenario happens, you're out $31,000, the cost Kia Sorrento, and you still have your day job.
Isn't that worth the risk?
But, what if I don't have any business experience?
Neither did I.
Wait. That's a lie. I had a small lawn care business when I was in high school. It consisted of 6 lawns, of which all six were friends with my grandparents.
In college, I took one 3 credit business course called Financial Management for Pharmacist. That was it.
I would love to say I was a natural at business, but I wasn't. Before opening Ageless, I was coming off two disastrous business failures - house flipping and a supplement company.
But, I was persistent, fearless, and had an appetite for learning. I read every business and marketing book I could AFTER opening Ageless.
That's all you need - an insatiable appetite for learning. I'll give you everything else.
But, what if I don't have any fitness experience?
Do you remember me mentioning the guy with zero fitness experience earlier?
Well, his name is Austin. He had just graduated from SIUE with a bachelor's in accounting and was looking for a business to start. He had already started a success T-shirt printing company while in college and was ready for a new opportunity.
As an accountant, he immediately saw the financial potential of the HomeTown Gym model. However, there was just one problem.
He didn't lift weights. In fact, he didn't even run.
It didn't matter though because the only two prerequisites for being a successful owner of a HomeTown Gym are:
- A hunger for knowledge.
- A passion for helping people.
His HomeTown Gym is now three-years-old, and in 2018, its revenue surpassed my gym.
That's the beauty of this model. If you're a fitness geek like me and don't really care for business, it still works. If you have a mind for numbers like Austin and don't really get excited about a max squat, it also works.
I don't know where to open one up though.
That's a legitimate concern because the HomeTown Gym doesn't work in every market. In fact, it actually only works in one market.
The good news- there are anywhere between 16,000 and 31,000 across the U.S., and we give you the exact method we use to find a market that's begging for a HomeTown Gym. You're probably not more than 30 miles from one.
The even better news- there's a really good chance you will have ZERO competitors in your market. Like I said earlier, this is the last blue ocean in the fitness industry. Let the franchise gyms and studio gyms fight over the bigger markets, and we'll take a page out of the playbook of Dollar General and open a successful gym in an untapped market - small communities.
I opened Ageless in a small, rural community with a population of 3,200. Most people thought it was too small and poor to have a successful gym. They didn't understand the model though. We've been in business now for over 10 years and have NOT had ONE unprofitable month yet. In fact, we average an annual profit of $50,000.
Just imagine what it could do in a town with 5,000 people? That's $100,000 annual profit potential, and you don't have to put in a single hour of work if you don't want to.
The Complete Offer
If I could help you open a successful gym, what would that mean to you? How much would you pay to change your life?
I'm guessing a lot less than the price tag on this book.
For a limited time only, I'm offering you:
1. The Ebook From Ground Zero to Gym Owner in 12 Months.
It walks you through the step-by-step process of opening a twenty-four-hour HomeTown Gym.
2. The email address of my banker
She is very familiar with the HomeTown Gym model and will be more than happy to help you with financing.
3. A list of every equipment manufacturer we've used over the last ten years
You can start pricing your gym right now at the lowest prices on the internet.
4. A 30-minute phone call with me.
I'll answer any question you have, discuss potential locations, or just argue about squat depth. It's up to you.
For a limited time only, you get all of that for just $47. That's it.
How long is this going to last? I honestly don't know. It could be a few days or a few months. It all depends on how busy my schedule gets.