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Spreading the cost of gym equipment and growing your business

Published on 18th July 2018 - Last update on 8th January 2019

Gyms are thriving businesses with people wanting to get confident, fit and healthy now more than ever before. But running and maintaining a fully functioning gym isn’t easy and takes many hours of dedicated hard work. However, after powering through the initial stages, you can’t afford to sit back and take it easy. As well as pinning down exactly what your vision entails, the next hurdle to overcome is creating a decisive growth strategy and knowing how to gain access to all the necessary capital. Yet, whether this involves obtaining additional gym equipment, building an extension, refurbishing or opening another branch, there are plenty of lenders and finance solutions available to help drive your business forward without straining your finances. All you need to do is source the most appropriate agreement for your goals.

So, is it time for your business to get ripped?

What do I need to qualify?

Searching for an appropriate finance for your gym can be a daunting process, but it can be made much easier if you understand what lenders take into account when making their decision. Although criteria for each finance solution varies, what they want to ascertain is whether your business can afford the agreement. To that end, lenders will request to review details such as your recent and past bank statements, annual turnover, revenue forecasts and your credit profile (business and personal). If you’re able to demonstrate that your gym is financially robust, it could enable you to borrow more funds and gain more favourable interest rates.

In addition, though some solutions may be more flexible, you may be required to possess a trading history of at least 2 years. If you don’t, don’t worry, you still have plenty of choices available to you, such as Peer-to-Peer Lending, Overdraft Replacement and Merchant Cash Advance. But, in order to improve your chances of gaining a suitable agreement for your business, always check what lenders are looking for and get all the necessary documents ready beforehand.

Ready to expand the size of your gym? Or are you looking to give your members more of what they want by providing access to additional facilities? Apply for Gym Finance today or learn more about how your gym could benefit.

How can I increase the size of my gym?

As your gym gets busier, keeping up with the volume of gym-goers passing through your doors can be overwhelming. Or, perhaps you’re looking to provide additional services such as a women's only gym or sauna? Whatever the reasons may be, increasing the size and capacity of your gym won’t be possible unless you have access to sufficient amounts of capital backing you up. Although this may seem daunting at first, you could overcome this challenge by applying for finance packages including Business Loans, a Commercial Mortgage or a Refurbishment Bridge.

  • Business Loans: these are usually either Secured or Unsecured and offer you access to a cash lump sum. In exchange for providing unencumbered collateral (equipment, machinery, vehicles or property which isn’t already subject to a finance agreement) as security, a secured business loan could help you to borrow between £5,000 - £1,000,000. Meanwhile, unsecured business loans don’t require the use of collateral and offer between, £5,000 - £250,000, but typically carry more interest compared to a secured agreement. Nevertheless, with either option, you make fixed monthly repayments to the lender throughout the agreement, plus interest.
  • Commercial Mortgage: these are secured, long-term finance solutions that can last up to 20 years (or possibly more), during which you’ll need to make fixed monthly repayments, plus interest, just like a personal mortgage. If you’re looking to raise funds to redevelop your gym, a Commercial Mortgage could help by releasing the equity within a property in your possession. This could be the gym in question, your own home or even another commercial or residential property - providing they’re not subject to any existing finance arrangements. So, although funding typically starts from £25,000, there’s no fixed limit since the amount of capital you could borrow is based upon how much the property in question is worth.
  • Refurbishment Bridge: these are short-term finance solutions that can last from 6-24 months, releasing up to 70% of the equity contained within unencumbered property or land. Before applying for a Refurbishment Bridge product, it’s worth knowing that the money borrowed (the Principle) and the interest are dealt with as two separate parts of the agreement. The way in which the principle is handled depends on whether you’re choosing to use an Open or Closed Bridge. Meanwhile, in the run-up to the point where the principle needs to be fully repaid, you have 3 choices on how the interest is handled: Pay Monthly, Rolled-Up Interest or Retained Interest.

How can I gain access to additional gym equipment?

No gym would be complete without actual equipment. Whether you’re hoping to obtain anything from dumbbell kits, motorised treadmills, exercise benches and rowing machines to elliptical machines, professional gym equipment can cost hundreds or even thousands of pounds. This can be difficult for even an established gym to handle, especially if you’re ordering them in bulk. However, there’s no need to risk over-stretching your finances when there are a number of finance solutions available to help you.

For a cost-effective way of kitting out your gym, Asset Finance could be the way forward, including Hire Purchase, Leasing or Asset Refinance:

  • Hire Purchase: allows you to spread out the total cost of gym equipment over an agreed term (12 - 72 months) and eventually gain ownership. Firstly, the lender purchases the equipment from a trusted supplier on your behalf, however, before you can use it in your gym you need to pay an initial deposit (usually around 10% of the total purchase price, including VAT), which could be reclaimed on a quarterly basis when you file your tax returns. However, this is subject to negotiation, so the size of the deposit can vary. As soon as this has been paid, you can get up and running with the equipment. After this, you’ll need to make fixed monthly repayments throughout the agreement, plus interest. Once you’ve settled all of your payments to the lender, you become the owner of the equipment.
  • Leasing: on the other hand, leasing allows you to borrow equipment for your gym on a temporary basis over an agreed term which can last up to 5 years. However, if the equipment is particularly expensive, it’s worth noting that some lenders may offer 7 years. During this time, you’re required to make fixed monthly rental payments, plus interest. These payments are calculated by taking into account the price of the equipment and its predicted worth when the agreement ends. When the agreement matures, you can choose to either return the equipment, extend the term or upgrade to another model.
  • Asset Refinance: allows you to release up to 100% of the value of your unencumbered personal or business assets (equipment, machinery or vehicles) to generate a cash lump sum that you can use to purchase new gym equipment. Although this does mean temporarily handing ownership of the assets involved to the lender, you can continue using them in your gym without any interference, providing you keep up with the repayment scheme. During the course of the agreement, you’ll be required to make fixed monthly repayments to the lender over an agreed term that can last up to 5 years, plus interest. As soon as the agreement matures and you have settled all relevant payments, ownership of the asset involved is returned to you.

Is your gym ready for growth?

Although running a gym in your local area can mean working in a fun and dynamic environment, it also has its fair share of challenges as well. But in order for your gym to thrive and blow your competition out of the water, you must be constantly expanding your services and offer an ever-increasing range of equipment. Naturally, this can be difficult to achieve but there are many finance solutions available that could help you achieve your goals. All you have to do is source the most appropriate agreement for your gym’s needs. Fortunately, you don’t need to go it alone.

At Rangewell, we’re an Access to Finance specialist working with over 300 lenders to offer you an overview of more than 23,000 business finance products. Our services are free to use and we understand your sector and its unique needs. We’ll also guide through the application process - we’re with you every step of the way. So if you’re looking for Gym Finance, apply today or find out more with Rangewell.


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David Harrison

David Harrison

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