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What is the Monthly Cost of Running a Successful Gym?

Are you curious about how the cost of running a successful gym? Here, we break down the monthly expenses and offers some tips on how to keep your costs low.

James Plata
January 26, 2022
TL;DR
Are you curious about how the cost of running a successful gym? Here, we break down the monthly expenses and offers some tips on how to keep your costs low.

Gym ownership is a fun and rewarding career choice. Take the time to do your research and create a solid plan, especially when it comes to revenue streams and expenses. Crunch the numbers on the cost of running a gym to project profitability within the first few years.

The thing about expenses is that once you have a ballpark of how much you’ll be spending, it tends to get less scary. You might even start enjoying yourself, doing the things you love.

This article was created to do just that for you. We’re aiming to help you estimate your monthly expenses and create a plan for success.

Let this information serve as a guide for your plans. It can help you determine how fast you want your business to grow, how many members you might consider taking at every given time, etc.

Disclaimer: There are a lot of variables that might affect the monthly cost of running your gym. The size of the gym, the number of equipment, the number of subscribers, etc. So this article is not here to give you an exact amount, but to provide you with an estimate. It is up to you to make calculations and see exactly how much you will be spending per month on your gym.

Research the cost of running a gym
Photographer: Natasha Hall | Source: UnsplashPhotographer: Natasha Hall | Source: Unsplash

Okay, let’s jump right into it. Here are six of the top monthly gym expenses to calculate as you get started:

1. Rent.

Let us start with the biggest expense you might have to make and that is rent. Of course, you have to get a space or a piece of real estate. This is necessary unless you are considering an outdoor gym.

Now when you are looking for a place to rent, there are a few things that you should consider. The building itself should have a high ceiling and enough space for your members.

You should also consider the location. It should be situated at an easily accessible location with a good road network and not a lot of competition. Now you should realize the better the location, the more expensive it might be. So you calculate the approximate amount of space you might need. Remember to take into account the number of members you can take at the moment. Then find the right location and calculate the cost of running a gym in that location.

2. Utilities.

There is a need to estimate the amount of money you’d spend on energy and gas. The mistakes most people make is to think that this is a negligible aspect of running the business. But they add up. If not taken into consideration when making a budget, they might create a hitch in your plans. A good rule of thumb is to budget $3-4 per square foot of space per year of use. So if we are working with 2500 square feet of space that would be amounting to $7500-10,000 per year. Divide this by 12 and you have the amount to budget for utility each month.

3. Equipment.

This is an aspect you cannot afford to scrimp on. The gym is nothing without equipment. So you need to consider making an appropriate investment in this area.

Depending on the type of gym you have, you might be okay with minimal equipment. But make sure your equipment meets professional standards. People are paying their membership for your coaching and access to your equipment. Make sure your equipment is a reflection of your business.

Your equipment choices will factor into the monthly cost of running a gym. If you choose to buy equipment, you may have a loan to pay off. On the other hand, if you rent equipment, you’ll have the monthly rental fee.

4. Staff.

There will come a time when you might not be able to handle the gym activities by yourself. The implication is that you will have to hire people to help you with the work. The secret is to take it slow and only hire as the needs come up.

However, it is important that you make allowance for employee wages and allowance. The thing to do is to find the appropriate pay per hour for the job you want to offer and do the appropriate math.

Let’s say that the hourly pay for a trainer is $20 per hour and they work for 20 hrs a week, they would have a monthly salary of $1600. But remember that does not include the allowance and other employee expenses. Find out all these details and compare them with the budget you have for paying employees.

Remember the trick is not to go too fast. It's no fun to fire employees because the cost of running a gym is greater than anticipated.

5. Gym Management Software.

Gym management software is an important piece of technology that you should not ignore. It handles a lot of administrative tasks, streamlines marketing, and increases efficiency while saving time.

The need for this system cannot be denied. It will save you a great deal of money in the long run. It will reduce the number of staff needed and provide you with much needed time and money to invest in other parts of the company.

On average gym management software can charge $125-$200/month. The cost might increase after adding up some extra charges. Pick the right software system for your budget and offer the most relevant tools. In this way, you can save some amount by not paying for the irrelevant features. You need to be careful about choosing a gym management software system. A number of things could go wrong, affecting your budget. Make sure to properly research before making a decision.

Did You Know: Your gym management software can do everything from class scheduling to lead generation and automation! Schedule a demo today to find out more.

6. Miscellaneous Cost Of Running A Gym.

There are some things, like insurance, bookkeeping and business loans which are a bit too volatile to pin a price tag on. And don’t forget about the monthly consumables like toilet paper and soap.

It is best to budget a healthy amount of money so miscellaneous expenses do not surprise you later. The though of spending this amount of money might appear scary at the start but once you have these things mapped out you can start making other decisions like the membership/subscription fee, the other avenues your gym might use to generate extra cash, and how fast your business will grow.

James Plata

James Plata is the CX Operations Manager at PushPress, a fitness-nut and hoarder of all gadgets. He brings 10+ years of experience in startup tech and fitness to help gym owners rebel against useless and overpriced software.

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