Author Topic: So you want to open a gym?  (Read 85575 times)

Offline Chad Zwadlo (Zwadloc)

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 601
  • Karma: +41/-6
    • View Profile
    • Fight or Flight Academy
Re: So you want to open a gym?
« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2011, 07:22:42 PM »
I started my program originally just as an employee of the gym teaching freerunning classes at the gym.  My first few months of classes I had all of 2 kids...and it slowly picked up over the next year and a half...then it kind of exploded.  Actually, I'm still just an employee of that gym.  But now that I have a solid client list of over 300 students I feel that I can support myself with my own gym.  I think it's a great idea to talk to a gymnastics gym and see if you can start a program there.

Offline Ryan Sannar

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 549
  • Karma: +21/-9
    • View Profile
    • Jump Utah
Re: So you want to open a gym?
« Reply #21 on: June 23, 2011, 09:20:56 AM »
Actually I'm in the process of doing that right now in a gym that I teach in as well. The owner is really interested and wants to finance it (he saw the video of tempest gym and wanted us to do something like that). I'll try to remember to post here with updates about how it goes. Right now we're in the process of finishing up designs, this is something that we have been talking about since march (we were waiting on the cheerleaders to stop renting the space out). What I would suggest is that you come up with some sort of contract with the gym owner explaining what you can do in that area. Get a key to the gym. Set up hours. Make sure its covered under their liability insurance, etc...
10 push ups.

Offline Chad Zwadlo (Zwadloc)

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 601
  • Karma: +41/-6
    • View Profile
    • Fight or Flight Academy
Re: So you want to open a gym?
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2011, 06:05:28 AM »
Fight or Flight Academy Teaser video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gn4GU99n1c

We open in less than a week!  Check out our website for all our info - http://www.fightorflightacademy.com/

Offline Vagabond

  • Patas
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • Facebook
Re: So you want to open a gym?
« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2011, 08:44:23 PM »
You could also consider subletting your space at certain hours for say a martial arts school (Especially TKD or Capoeira).  Maybe that would help curb the cost, and you would be keeping your business open more hours of the day, which is important.  This is a great post, and I am glad you are posting this whilst you are "in the thick of it all".  Maybe you could have a post-establishment post aswell?

Another thing to consider is personal finance.  When trying to get laons personal credit (FICO) is important right?
What about building certain things?  Like foam pits (if you want them), that would bring additional hastles such as construction and permits right?
Can you describe the flooring you are putting in too?  Is it a hard flooring, carpet, or tumble floor?
Always Learn, Always Train
http://norcalparkour.webs.com/

Offline Chad Zwadlo (Zwadloc)

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 601
  • Karma: +41/-6
    • View Profile
    • Fight or Flight Academy
Re: So you want to open a gym?
« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2011, 09:17:38 PM »
We are not allowed to sublet any of our space, it's in our lease.  But we are teaching karate, capoeira, wing chun, breakdancing...lots of stuff.  It's all on our website.  I have 12 years experience in karate, been doing that a lot longer than parkour and I'm really looking forward to starting to teach it again.  We will also be open almost all hours of the day, so that's not really much of an issue.  I'll keep updating as the business grows.

I actually have amazing credit, but was unable to get a loan.  It's almost impossible to get a loan for a starter business.  If you don't have at least 2 years of past financial info the banks pretty much won't even look at you for a loan like that.  Especially with the economy as it is right now.  We are funding the whole thing ourselves.

We didn't ever want a foam pit.  They are super expensive, super dirty, and super dangerous.  Not at all interested.  Plus building it would be extremely difficult.  You'd either have to have a raised one (like at the Tempest Academy) or you would have to dig out a big hole and re-pour concrete around it.  We will have a 24x32 foot foam block gymnastics floor (like a spring floor but with high density foam blocks instead of springs.  Absorbs impact, but does not bounce back), 750 square feet of 1/2 inch puzzle mats for under the scaffolding and higher cat grab areas, and 800 square feet of 3/8 inch rubberized flooring.  The rest will be concrete.  The point was to make this as realistic as possible while still being relatively safe.  I don't want gymnastics type flooring because they don't feel like outside...but we couldn't leave everything concrete in case someone does accidentally fall and hit their head or something.  Our floors will not kill you, but they sure won't feel good if you fall.

Offline Vagabond

  • Patas
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • Facebook
Re: So you want to open a gym?
« Reply #25 on: August 27, 2011, 09:42:47 PM »
I noticed you had a variety of MA's at your school.  I was mainly offering it as a point to others intending to open a gym.

As for the credit I still think it is important to have a strong credit score and history (3+ years) if you want to start a business.  It may be like purchasing a house or a car where you need co-signers, but it is possible to get.

I was trying to use this awesome thread you started as a brainstorming point to raise important questions for the opening, running ,and preparation of both for a gym.  It is not something that can easily be undertaken.  You yourself have built an outstanding student base, trained a long time and I am sure prepared for this in several ways.  None-the-less how long did it take to actually start?

The big thing is preparation I think.  Build a good credit score, save for the opening and overhead costs, look for a location, establish contacts, learn proper training and partner with others to diversify your product.  You have done all of these and I just have to say great job and for once I wish I was in Minnesota :).
Always Learn, Always Train
http://norcalparkour.webs.com/

Offline Michael Truitt

  • Oryctolagus Cuniculus
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Why run when you can parkour?
    • View Profile
    • Urban Ninjas
Re: So you want to open a gym?
« Reply #26 on: September 08, 2011, 05:09:50 AM »
Nice job man. Thats the start of a really nice gym.

Offline Chad Zwadlo (Zwadloc)

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 601
  • Karma: +41/-6
    • View Profile
    • Fight or Flight Academy
Re: So you want to open a gym?
« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2011, 11:25:15 PM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kk-5ONcRG90  We held a little friendly competition at Fight or Flight Academy last weekend to celebrate our opening of the gym.  It was super fun and everyone did fantastic!  I put this video together showing the parkour event of the competition.  The athletes ran a pre-set course of over and under 16 different check points first forward, then backwards.  For their third run, they ran the checkpoints in any order they wanted.  The times were all added together to determine the winner.

Also here's a little video of the freerunning part of the competition as well - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyqpxxgY2EAhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyqpxxgY2EA

Offline Vagabond

  • Patas
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • Facebook
Re: So you want to open a gym?
« Reply #28 on: September 15, 2011, 12:10:23 AM »
Nice set up.  I can't wait until you take some art to that place.  It is going to look amazing.  How is it running finance and businesswise so far?  Did all your prospective students come with you?
Always Learn, Always Train
http://norcalparkour.webs.com/

Offline Chad Zwadlo (Zwadloc)

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 601
  • Karma: +41/-6
    • View Profile
    • Fight or Flight Academy
Re: So you want to open a gym?
« Reply #29 on: September 15, 2011, 07:18:19 AM »
It's kinda hard to tell right now how things are really going since we're still in soft open mode.  The competition sure was a success though!  Our grand opening is this Saturday - http://blogs.citypages.com/dressingroom/2011/09/fight_or_flight_parkour_academy.php - and we'll be able to tell after that a little more about how we're doing.  I know of my 120 students I had at the gymnastics school, only about 20 signed up for the classes that were left over there when I left, so I'm guessing most of them will be following me.

Offline JimmyD-TPK

  • Patas
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
  • Karma: +8/-5
  • jimmy -Temecula Parkour
    • View Profile
Re: So you want to open a gym?
« Reply #30 on: September 28, 2011, 09:30:55 PM »
i really hope you guys do well!
-insert something insperational here- 

Temecula Parkour + youtube = goodtime

Offline Vagabond

  • Patas
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • Facebook
Re: So you want to open a gym?
« Reply #31 on: September 29, 2011, 09:23:25 PM »
That is good news.  I think the idea of doing open to public demonstrations is not only a great approach to spreading the notion of parkour, but a great way to bring in business.  Please keep us posted whenever you get a chance.  Congratulations on the success you have earned.
Always Learn, Always Train
http://norcalparkour.webs.com/