The finance you need to really build your gym business

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There are more gyms and sports clubs in the UK than ever before. 1 in every 7 people in the UK is a member of a gym, according to a recent industry report.

The UK health and fitness industry is continuing to grow as more of us start to realise the benefits of working for our wellbeing.

Setting up a gym to cater for this demand presents plenty of opportunities – but even a moderately-sized gym may require in excess of £100,000 worth of equipment simply to open. Fortunately, at Rangewell, we know the challenges of setting up, buying or growing a gym. We work with businesses across the health and fitness sector, and we know the issues you face, and ways to provide solutions for them.

Funding options for your warehouse business

Getting the right kind of finance is essential. Buying a vehicle and converting it, buying a going concern, re-equipping or refurbishment all present different funding needs.

The first step in securing the funding you need is simply to understand the different types of finance available.

They include:

  • Buying an existing gym
  • Setting up a gym
  • Funding for premises
  • Funding for equipment
  • Funding for a franchise
  • Working Capital Finance
  • Tax Funding

WHAT WE CAN DO

  • Find the most competitive loan to let a new gym operator acquire a lease for a redundant school building

  • Help an established gym completely refurbish their 10,000 square foot premises

  • Help a national gym chain equip every branch with state-of-the-art computerised machines

  • Find the most competitive finance to allow a small gym to provide a state of the art video system to provided entertainment and motivation to members

  • Help arrange ‘jigsaw’ funding to allow an experienced gym operator manager to buy an established business in a neighbouring town

Buying an existing gym

Buying an existing gym may involve a big upfront cost, but it means reduced risks and can actually be more cost-effective for you than starting from scratch as you have a business that should be profitable from day one.  

The purchase price will reflect the kind of turnover and profits the business is currently generating. It should also take into account the size and condition of the premises, the existing membership, and the potential for growth.

The cost of buying an existing gym with plenty of potential for future growth will probably run into several hundreds of thousands of pounds. However, by spreading repayments over the long-term with a Secured Loan you can look forward to manageable monthly costs. They are ‘secured’ because the lender will require security in case you cannot pay the loan back. This could be your home or your business premises.

You can have longer to repay than other types of loans. Terms of up to 20 years are common. You can also enjoy lower interest rates than with other types of lending, meaning monthly repayments can be lower and easier to fit in with your cashflow.

It may also be possible to use a Commercial Mortgage to buy an existing business. This might be suitable if you already own business premises, or if the gym you are acquiring owns the building it operates in.

Writing a suitable business plan, outlining the current state of the business and your plans to grow it, is vital. You should involve your solicitor and accountant to get a professional view.

Call us to find out more about specific funding options that could help you in buying an existing gym.

Setting up a gym

Opening a new gym can still provide a way into the business, especially if you can offer proven training skills, or have a sporting reputation.

You might be able to concentrate on a niche, such as a particular sport, to attract a loyal clientele base.

But even if you start small you can attract a wider range of members, and increase your turnover and profits, if you can offer better equipment and facilities

The costs you face setting up

Premises

The first major expense is likely to be your premises. You will need a large central space, preferably with a high ceiling and a solid floor. Showers and changing rooms will take up more space, and it makes sense to allow for treatment rooms. You will probably need a minimum of 1000 square feet to run a viable commercial gym, with the average gym size being closer to 3,500 square feet.

Location

Location is also important. You will need one that is convenient for your customers. Somewhere central, close to public transport and commuting routes could be ideal, but you will also need ample parking. You will need to open long hours, so you should ensure that you are not too close to homes.

Finding a suitable building, such as a school, to convert might provide the best solution, although a modern business park might also provide a solution.

Funding your premises

Leasing a suitable space may be the most versatile solution. Prices will vary across the country. Commercial property owners don’t like space being vacant, so you might be able to negotiate and get a bargain.

You may need to borrow for the deposit on a long-term lease. An Unsecured business loan could help you raise the cash.

Alternatively, you might want to consider using a Commercial Mortgage to buy premises outright. Because they can spread the costs over 20 years or more, Commercial Mortgages may sometimes be arranged at monthly costs similar to a lease, and help you buy an appreciating asset for your business. You may need to provide a deposit of around 40%, and it is uneconomical to borrow less than £50,000, but there is no set upper limit.

Commercial Property Finance is arranged on an individual basis. Get our help finding the most competitive lender.

Remember, there will be fit-out costs. Reception, showers, changing rooms, and treatment rooms need offer contemporary design and finishes. You will need air conditioning and you will need to give special attention to floors and other surfaces to ensure safety as well as aesthetics.

Contact us to find out more about funding for fitting out a gym business.

Funding for your equipment

Any gym business depends on the latest equipment to bring in customers. Being able to offer the latest equipment can be key to getting new members through the door.

So, along with a range of basic machines, from rowing, cycles treadmills and steppers, you may need video, internet-connected equipment and mobile technology to give your members the immersive fitness experience they are looking for.

You can offer customised workout routines through a smartphone app, or provide on-demand videos explaining how to use the equipment. You can even provide wearable tech to allow gym users to share their successes and compete against each other.

Business equipment

You will also need equipment to help you run your business. An integrated member management system can cover all your needs, from billing to security, and can provide extra services to members in the form of fitness and performance records.

It will make good business sense to acquire your gym equipment by using finance meaning you can preserve cashflow.

What sort of gym equipment can be financed?

  • Air conditioning
  • Crosstrainers
  • Exercise benches
  • Cable Machines
  • Circuit Machines
  • Free Weights
  • Rowing machines
  • Steppers
  • Multi gyms
  • Treadmills
  • Weights machines
  • Resistance machines
  • Water and air resistance rowers
  • Changing room lockers and benches
  • Heating systems
  • IT equipment and telecoms
  • Saunas and steam rooms
  • Strength equipment
  • Strongman Equipment
  • Video screens
  • Lockers
  • Member management systems.

At Rangewell we have found that Asset Funding can provide the most cost-effective solution for most kinds of gym equipment. Leasing and Hire Purchase both allow you to spread the cost of the equipment you need and make fixed monthly repayments. This means you can plan your operating budget in confidence whilst avoiding the need for major capital expenditure.

Hire Purchase

When you need basic equipment that you want to go on giving service for years, Hire Purchase can provide the simple solution. For items like free weights or press benches, Hire Purchase may be the simplest type of Asset Finance.

You pay a deposit plus monthly instalments over a fixed term, between 12 and 72 months, after which the equipment becomes yours. Payments are fixed, making it easy to plan ahead and to arrange an agreement that is tailored to your monthly turnover and budget.

Leasing

Gym technology is moving on fast, and you may need to constantly re-equip to cater to the latest fitness trends.

Leasing, rather than buying, can give you the freedom and flexibility to upgrade as you need. There is usually no upfront cost to find, meaning that you can bring the latest equipment into your business without delay.

Not only does it allow you to spread the costs across the entire economic life of the equipment, you can set up agreements which make maintenance and repairs the responsibility of the finance company. This ensures that your costs can remain predictable, even when complex equipment presents breakdowns that demand attention or replacement.

Leasing solutions for security, such as CCTV and access management systems, will allow you to use the latest equipment, with no upfront costs and the freedom to upgrade whenever you need to.

Finding the most competitive Asset Finance

Gym equipment providers will frequently offer finance plans to help secure a sale or a lease agreement.

While these may often appear to be good value, the chances are that the supplier will have arranged a deal which will benefit him more than you. At Rangewell we can often help people beat the funding deals offered by suppliers.

Not only are the terms and rates we can secure often more competitive, we may be able to help arrange a single agreement to cover all your equipment needs, whether you are simply buying in some new equipment or are ready to completely equip a new gym.

Find out more here.

Funding for gym franchises

A gym or fitness club franchise could be a very rewarding business – offering the potential for predictable returns from a proven business model.

There may be many different franchise opportunities available, but you may need to make substantial investments to get started. You may have to pay an upfront fee to the franchisor who owns the brand. You will need to follow this with investment in premises, equipment, employee costs, business insurance and more. Quality counts - from reception to the workout area to the café, you’ll need to deliver the right customer experience.

You will need to be prepared for upfront costs and ongoing expenses until your business becomes profitable.  

Few people have sufficient funds to take on a franchise as cash. Conventional business lenders, such as banks, may not be able to help as your business would be a start-up lacking a business history.

A specialised Franchise Loan package may be essential. At Rangewell, we know the lenders who can help with purpose-built Franchise Loans. They will look at your experience, your business proposal and the potential of the franchise you have chosen - giving you the chance to benefit from their expertise, as well as the finance you need.

Tax Loans

Tax is an issue for every business. A large quarterly VAT or annual tax demand can cause problems for your cashflow, particularly when it falls at the same time as other costs.

Funding is available to let you spread the cost of your tax demands into affordable monthly payments. This will help ensure that your business does not have cashflow problems and can free up cash for use elsewhere.

Benefits of a Tax Loan:

  • Better control of cash flow
  • Fixed monthly payments
  • Quick and simple to arrange
  • Avoids issues with HMRC and potential penalties

Working Capital Finance

The early days of any business are challenging. As its name suggests, Working Capital Finance is designed to boost the capital available to your business when it is not generating sufficient capital itself. It's often used to provide cash to pay staff and suppliers while business is slow during the early stages of a new business, or during a period of growth when your cashflow is already stretched. It is usually designed to be repaid in the short- to medium-term, once your gym is established and running.

Find out about Working Capital Finance.

Why you need Rangewell to capitalise your gym business

You may find that there are many lenders who will be happy to lend to you, especially if yours is an established business.

But not all lenders will offer the most competitive terms. Looking for the most appropriate deal across the entire market takes time and expertise. We work with both traditional and alternative lenders, and we know the lenders who can offer the rates and terms that are right for you.

Whether you have a straightforward, small-scale funding need, or require a complicated ‘Jigsaw’ Funding plan made up of a combination of financial products to buy an existing business, we can work with you to find the answers and streamline your application.

Call us now to get our experts working for you.

Members demand the latest equipment - we found the funding we needed to provide it with Rangewell’s help.
We needed to upgrade our existing machines with video screens. We found the most cost-effective way thanks to Rangewell.
I wanted to set up a gym, and when a redundant primary schooll came available Rangewell found me the funds to buy and convert it.

Helping you build your profits

Lending tailored to your needs

At Rangewell we can help you find the most appropriate finance for any funding need. We save you money and help you move your business forward.

Funding scaled to your gym

Whether you are building a gym on the back of your personal training business or are ready to open a major new facility, we can help you find the funding you need.

Building a more profitable business

The success of your gym depends on the facilities you can offer. By leasing the latest equipment, you can provide members with the kind of experience they are looking for.

Asset funding reduces risk

Most lending must be ‘secured’ on an asset of some kind that the lender may take if you don’t keep up the payments. If your gym was unable to make the payments on asset funding, the lender could simply repossess the equipment to cover their loss. No other assets are at risk.

A full range of funding

You may need a range of funding to set up and build your business. At Rangewell, we can help you find the solutions you need, from Commercial Mortgages to Asset Finance, and more.

Specialist lenders

Some funding providers specialise in particular sectors. At Rangewell, we can help you find the most appropriate lenders for your gym business.

Our service is...

Impartial

Transparent and independent, treating all lenders equally, finding the best deals.

In-depth

Every type of finance for every type of business from the entire market - over 300 lenders.

In-person

Specialist Finance Experts support you every step of the way.

Free

We make no charge of any kind when we help you find the loan you need.