(+1 easy way to make a little extra cash)

According to a State of the Industry report, there are 700+ gyms in the UK. The estimated market value of the fitness industry is now £4.9 billion strong and growing.

It’s good news for anyone in the business.

Whether you’re selling a product, a lifestyle or a membership, there’s the potential to reach an enormous number of consumers and customers. 

But it also means that you have big competition.

In an increasingly competitive market, reducing your gym’s business costs could help you sustain and increase your growth over the coming years.

All businesses have start-up costs and overheads.

For a gym, it’s a list that can seem endless:

  • rent
  • utility bills
  • business rates
  • licenses and certifications
  • insurance
  • staff salaries
  • office and cleaning supplies
  • maintenance costs
  • advertising and marketing budgets. 

On top of this you have expensive equipment to buy, potentially specialist flooring to lay, sound systems to go in, showers and changing rooms to add and then upgrade…

It’s a long list by anyone’s standards.

Adding to that, gym owners often have to make considerable investments right off the bat. You can’t run a gym without the equipment and whatever your specialism or niche, you’re probably going to need more than one machine or station.

Once you get going it’s easy to focus on the immediate: what’s happening right now rather than reviewing previous practices with an eye on the future.

Reducing your gym business costs allows you to invest any monies saved into other areas of the business: expanding premises, hiring and training additional staff, creating better class timetables, buying better equipment, upgrading facilities, introducing concession stands etc.

It can also help to sustain your business through any rough patches or market downturns.

It can be tempting to think GROW! GROW! GROW!

And hopefully, they’ll be plenty of opportunity to do just that.

But it’s often quicker and easier to save money than to make money.  Don’t underestimate the power of revising and reducing current spending to support potential long-term growth.


Don’t Stay on Expensive Tariffs

Gyms use a lot of electricity: the lights, the equipment and the computer systems can all add up to big energy bills.  If you’re running a 24-hour gym, then there’s always going to be something running, something driving your meter up and up.

Money Supermarket warns that if you haven’t thought about your commercial energy bill recently, then you could be paying too much.

Find out when your renewal is due and start comparing what you’re paying now (or what you will be paying) to what other companies are offering.

Business quotes are tailored individually so they can take some time to collect, so don’t leave it to the last minute. Give yourself time to ask and to shop around so that once you’re free to switch you can.

Always keep on top of your meter readings to prevent any expensive bills.

In 2020, watch out for Energym. 

Its human-power project means your gym members could help power your gym and neighbourhood. You help your members burn calories, and they save you from spending a fortune on your electricity bills.


Go Paperless

You can save a lot of money by going paperless.

Think of the cost of ink toners, the reams of printer paper, ink cartridges and the endless A4 folders and binders and plastic wallets cluttering up your office space. 

Finding information is a lot easier when it’s stored digitally and is searchable online.

We live in a digital age now and cloud-based storage solutions can be more cost-effective in the long run.  Shop around for a trusted company or ask other local business owners how they store their files electronically.

It’s believed that 65 million ink and toner cartridges are sold in the UK each year with a staggering 85% ending up at landfill. 

Going digital won’t just save you money, it could also help to reduce your impact on the environment and that’s something all businesses should be aiming for.


Hire an Accountant

Sometimes you have to spend money to save money. 

An accountant can advise you where you can make tax-deductions and savings, but they’ll also give you a better idea of where your money is coming from and going to. 

You can’t make savings if you don’t know where to start.


Buy Re-Conditioned Equipment

Gym equipment isn’t cheap but buying it re-conditioned could help to save you around 50% on the original RRP.

You could also use leased equipment rather than buying outright. 

Some people will say that this is a waste of money but it’s not that simple.  Aside from saving money on the initial purchase, using re-conditioned or leased machinery means you’ll have the option to see what’s popular and what’s not.

Once you have a better idea of what people use and what they don’t, then you can look at buying your own. 


Discover What Marketing Strategy to Pursue

A lot of gym owners prefer to be out on the gym floor or training rather than having a marketing strategy.  But keeping current members on the books whilst attracting new ones is important, to maintain and grow a business.

You don’t have to be Neil Patel but it’s good to explore digital marketing as well as more traditional methods to target and retain membership. 

Traditional methods like using business cards, leaflets, adverts in local newspapers and magazines, printed banners etc can still be very effective but they also have a high upfront cost. You’ll only know if they’ve been successful once you’ve spent the cash.

If you’re not seeing a return on these methods, then stop and review. Digital marketing often has a lower upfront cost and social media, SEO and email and targeted marketing can help grow your business.

Setting up a professional looking website isn’t beyond the ability of most people. There are plenty of drag-and-drop sites to start you off.  You don’t have to sign long-term contracts with PR or marketing agencies either.  Hiring photographers, graphic designers, writers etc can all be done ad hoc.

Sites like Fiverr can get things done cheaply (although, always be mindful it should be quality).  Find out what works best for you and then pursue it with your hard-earned cash.

You’ve probably got people working out in your gym that you could hire in return for free gym membership.


Sell Retail Items at Your Gym

People like buying stuff and your members are no different. 

The advantage to selling in a gym is that people are going to forget to bring the things they need or they’re going to want something your selling: water, protein shakes, smoothies, tea and coffee, cold drinks, snacks, clothing, towels etc.

The profit margin on some of these could add up to a tidy amount.  Start small and build-up, buying in bulk where necessary once you have demand. 

Your members will be grateful that they can quickly and easily buy what they need.

The additional profit can help reduce the costs in other areas of your business.

Reducing business costs is often about looking honestly and clearly at where the money is coming in and going out of your gym. 

Saving money is usually easier than making money,and it often has a more immediate effect.

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