On Weightlifting Talk we are constantly preaching “love your life or change it”. My co-host Jon North and I have a little different view on how quick or when to make the change, but we both agree to change it. My other co-host Ryan Grady and I agree that the change needs to be thought out and planned. I get a lot of emails and messages from people wanting to change their lives. I always answer them with a question, “If money didn’t matter, what would you do with your life? What is your wildest dream?” Most of our listeners and most of my MashEliters out their respond by saying, “Open my own gym!” Drew and I have been blessed with an awesome group at Mash Elite Performance. These people are without a doubt our family, and some of them have been there from the start. We started in 2008 within a gym in Advance, NC training athletes and adults. We then rented a 400 square foot section out of the back of the gym, but we quickly out grew the gym all together. We then moved to a 2000 Square foot section of a strip mall right beside of the gym. Now a lot of people might say that I am competing with the gym, but neither one of us look at it like that. We are two totally different facilities. The people that come to me are not the type of people that are going to pay $30/month to ride a treadmill, and there people aren’t going to pay $240+ to get jacked by me. We work well with each other. Now we are in a 4000 square foot facility still in the same shopping center, and we just put in a bid for 2000 square feet more. That will be a total of 6000 square feet, and all the while in a small town in North Carolina. Now we have Athletic Development, Smashed Crossfit, Adult Weightlifting, Small Group Training, Personal Training, Kung Fu, Training for Warriors, and a Smoothie Bar with a Pro-Shop. We also have a website with a store providing T-Shirts, supplements, and educational DVDs at www.MashElitePerformance.com, perform seminars throughout the US called Learn 2 Lift, provide on-line training, Personal Training via Skype or FaceTime, and perform consultations via telephone. I tell you all of this not to brag, but to let you know what I am going to be teaching in this weekly blog. I am also going to start seminars teaching people how to start their own business if you are interested in one email me at Travis.Mash@MashElitePerformance.com.
In Part I we are going to discuss picking out your location. I have to say that starting in a local gym really helped me build a base of MashEliters, and it gave me access to several perspective clients. It also gave me access to hundreds of parents with children that needed my services. At the time my specialty was athletes and adults that liked training like athletes. I built my business within a business, and it saved thousands of dollars. Most people open a facility, and then they market in hopes of building a business big enough to support their overhead and one day pays them a salary. I opened my business with a steady income of at least $10000 per month, and that really helped ease the pains of opening a new business. I recommend shopping the gyms in your area. The bigger franchise gyms are really hard to cut a deal with, and they want to kill their trainers with a 40/60 split in their favor. That’s ridiculous! The smaller locations are friendlier with trainers, and if you can find a gym that will let you pay a small rent to train your clients, take it. I recommend looking for a $200-600 per month range. If you charge properly, that will be easy to make. I’ll go over what to charge in a later edition. Another big concern should be the area that you the gym is located. I definitely believe in location, location, location! When you are getting started, nobody knows your name. After you are established, you can move almost anywhere, and your loyal clients will follow. If you do move, just look for a location within a 3 mile radius out of respect for your people.
If you can’t find a deal like this, I recommend being very patient in choosing the right location for starting your own gym. I would try to keep the rent as close to $1000 per month as possible because you are going to have several expected and unexpected costs involved which means if you charge $200/person, you will need at least five to just pay for your lease. Remember you are going to have electricity, water, upkeep, insurance, taxes, etc. Try to find an area that is visible as possible, but more importantly in an area that has the median income that will support your business. Once you sign your deal hit the streets and get to know everyone in the community. If you are not into marketing, then I suggest working for someone because marketing is what it takes. Throw free seminars, hit the social media, and absolutely blitz your name all over the place. Your goal should be to have everyone in the area know your name and business. I will go over marketing next time because if you don’t get people in your location, equipment, layout, or programming doesn’t matter.
This is my new passion, so if anyone wants to know more about a “Open your own gym” seminar, email me at:
For More information about Mash Elite, go to: