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Gym Ownership: The Truth About a Gym Owner's Salary & Profitability

Category: Franchising Resources

Anyone who works out knows how addictive it can be. That feeling you get after building strength and stamina, getting your heart rate up and breaking a sweat, lasts all day. Working out improves the quality of your life and becomes an essential part of each day. You might start to dream of turning your passion for fitness into a business, namely through gym ownership. But before you take that leap from gym-goer to gym owner, there are some truths you should know.

Owning and running a business independently comes with lots of responsibilities and is a ‘round the clock, seven-day-per-week endeavor. For the first few months, or even the first few years, you’ll be working hard to break even. Your days will be consumed with finding qualified and reliable employees to hire, marketing your business so you can attract new clientele, dreaming up ways to keep your customers and staff happy, and taking care of all problems that arise, from filling in for absent employees to fixing damaged equipment or plunging clogged toilets. When you’re the boss, the buck stops with you. It's a totally different vibe than just showing up for a workout, making friends, and having fun.

It's also true that gyms rarely sleep, as they are open every day of the week from before dawn until way after dark. Gym ownership requires steadfast commitment, especially while you’re getting your business off the ground and your trusted staff in place. Finding reliable employees is central to keeping yourself sane. You can’t lose your balance while offering others a path to greater wellbeing.

That said, you’d be hard-pressed to find a gym owner who’d have it any other way.

With your gym business, you have the chance to contribute to your community in a positive way, bringing health and wellness tools to your customers, and building relationships. And, yes, the buck stops with the boss but little else beats the satisfaction of building a business based on a passion you have for fitness and a commitment to thrive both personally and financially.

You’re the Boss: Challenges of Running a Gym Business

Running a business comes with many rewards and some challenges. There are certain challenges particular to running a gym. Gyms are like worlds within worlds, small communities within larger ones. You’ll be managing the people side of your business (your employees and customers), and the business side of your business (how you make and manage money). How you handle the people side will affect the business side and vice versa.

Let’s break it down:

  • Member management: Gym owners work hard to attract and retain members. If members aren’t satisfied, they’ll try another gym. Listening to customer feedback and responding to customers’ needs is key to building loyalty and generating valuable word of mouth.
  • Staff management: In order to attract and retain qualified, high-quality employees, you’ll want to make your gym an attractive place to work. Offer flexible hours, competitive pay, consecutive days off, benefits, and perks. Keep lines of communication open and listen to your employees’ input.
  • Money management: Managing ongoing expenses like payroll, facilities upkeep, and equipment maintenance is a big part of being the boss. You’ll want to build consistent revenue streams by offering memberships, training, special programs, or clothing, streams you can rely on to deal with both the expected and the unexpected costs of doing business. These revenue streams will also help you weather the seasonal nature of the gym business which is typically hot at the beginning of the year (so many resolutions to get fit!) and a little cooler during the summer months (kids at home and vacations to take).

What Does a Gym Owner Make? That Depends…

Owning a gym business requires devotion, endless amounts of attention, blood, sweat, and tears. Not all gym business owners are successful. But while gym businesses aren’t immune to failure, if you’ve got the dream, the drive, and the skills, you can succeed as a gym owner.

Everyone wants to know how much money they’ll make in the gym business. The truth is: there’s no definitive answer. A gym owner’s salary depends on variables like the size of the gym, its location, the size of the staff, the number of members, the types of services offered, and the overhead.

The good news is when you make a profit, you pay yourself. How much you pay yourself is contingent on two things: your debt and your reinvestment into the business:

  • Debt: Financing your gym may have put you in debt; you must decide how you’ll pay that debt off. You can pay it off over time with a fixed amount, much like you would a mortgage or a student loan. The upside: that fixed amount allows you consistency. The downside: your debt is accruing interest. Or you can throw as much money at your debt as you can, paying it off as soon as possible. The upside: shortening the amount of time you’re in debt keeps interest from piling up. The downside: you’ll make less profit until the debt is gone. Less profit means less salary for you.
  • Reinvestment: Putting some of the profit back into your business is a wise move. Reinvestment helps you maintain, improve, and grow. It also means your salary won’t be as big. However, reinvestment is tax deductible as the cost of doing business.

If all of this sounds nerve-wracking but you still have the fire to open your own gym, consider investing in a boutique fitness franchise like RockBox Fitness and discover what a gym franchise owner’s salary can be.

RockBox Fitness: Take the Guesswork Out of Gym Ownership

RockBox Fitness takes the stress out of running a gym but keeps all of the fun. As the owner of a RockBox franchise, your expenses, potential profit, and possible gym franchise owner salary are more predictable. You’ll benefit from our proven business model, marketing support to attract new members, training for you and your team, and help with site selection to ensure your location is in prime territory. While you build your profits as the owner of one or more RockBox studios, your gym members will build their health, confidence, and community.

As part of the RockBox family, your success is our success. Fulfill your dream of gym ownership; learn how to buy a RockBox Fitness studio today.