Even with twelve wins, three KOs and five submissions to his name, MMA fighter Tyron Woodley considers opening his own gym, ATT Evolution, one of the biggest challenges and one of the most rewarding undertakings he’s ever accomplished.
“My favorite part of owning a gym is the feeling of walking through the door and knowing that I’m helping people lose weight, gain strength, learn martial arts, and bringing families together.”
ATT Evolution is a 10,000 square foot gym fully equipped with the latest in technology where families can safely learn the art of wrestling, boxing, Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai.
Have you been grappling with how to open your own gym? Tyron Woodley shares the following tried and true advice.
Do your research
Opening a gym, like any business, requires a lot of research. Know your target demographic, investigate the competition and find what’s missing. What are other gyms lacking that you can offer? What do they do well that you can do even better? Find that unique point of difference and own it.
Develop a solid business plan
Budget and itemize everything from the paper towels to the rings to the machines. The more detailed your plan, the more accurate your projected budget, the more likely you’ll stay out of the red. Specificity shows preparedness, which tells your business partners, consultants and the bank that you’ve done your homework and can be taken seriously.
Your goal is to find qualified trainers who will stick around, so be sure to develop a solid screening process. Once hired, ensure that your employees understand the part they play in achieving your gym’s strategic vision, and keep them motivated to work toward that vision every day. It’s also important to include a non-compete clause in their employment contract to prevent them from taking your techniques or processes down the street to the competition.
Know your numbers
Prior to opening a gym, researching, planning and budgeting are paramount. This doesn’t change once you open your doors. Be sure to track monthly progress to ensure the long-term health of your business: monitor sales, view attendance, note past due accounts and observe the number of client complaints or injuries.
“MINDBODY software helps me accomplish all of this.”
Tyron’s favorite feature is the ability to make notations on clients’ accounts.
“This allows my front desk staff to personalize our members’ experiences by viewing the notes and following up when they come in. For example, if someone just had knee surgery they’d say, ‘Hi James. How’s your knee doing?’ That’s quality customer service. And I wouldn’t be able to do it all without the help of MINDBODY.”