Fitness Centre & Gym Site Selection
12 July 2018
Whether you are opening your first location, relocating an existing space, or expanding your fitness business, this list applies to you!
These are the 7 top tips on what you need to consider when choosing a site:
- Area Demographics
- Traffic Estimates
- Location Visibility
- Location Convenience
- Location of Competition
- Adjacent Tenants
It is essential to be aware of how each of these can affect your business and how important each aspect is to your business strategy and model.
What are the area demographics?
Selecting the right location starts with analysing the area’s demographics. Know the age, gender, spending patterns, average income and more about the demographics around each of your potential sites. Does the profile of the people who live and work around your potential location fit within your target market? If so, great! If not, potentially reconsider your location or product offering - to ensure your business accommodates the needs of the area.
What are the traffic estimates and is the location visible?
Does the street have heavy foot and car traffic? If you are relying on street visibility and walk-in enquiries, to generate sales and increase membership numbers, then this is a very important location aspect for you to consider. Know the average number of cars that drive by your prospective location per week, as well as whether it is on, or near, a main road. It is also highly important to note that this strategy, of choosing a high traffic location, is going to do little good if your business will be obscured from view (eg. by signs or trees). In order to encourage walk-ins your site must be visible to passersby!
Is the location convenient?
The business model, for gyms in particular, often relies heavily on whether people perceive the location as convenient to get to. If it will take your target market more than 10-15 minutes travel time, to get to your gym, they are unlikely to sign up. It is important for your gym to be located within 15 minute of the greatest concentration of your target members.
What is the parking situation?
Adequate parking, or easy access via public transport, is critical to success. In densely populated areas a lot of your members may be within walking distance, from their office or home, or may choose to use public transport. If this is what your business model relies on then adequate parking shouldn’t be an issue. However, it is highly important to guarantee that your location fits with your strategy when it comes to how you wish your members to get to the gym.
How close is your local competition?
The closer you are to alternative gyms the lower the switching costs for your current members, and the more likely it is for your members to consider those alternative options. Regardless of how confident you are in your superior trainors and programs, it is always a good idea to conduct a thorough market analysis. Learn how long each of your local competitors have been in business in the area, their size, and growth rates etc. Know the market competition you are engaging in.
Are there appropriate adjacent tenants?
It is important to avoid choosing a location next to a business that conflicts with your business message and values. For example, you mightn’t want to choose a location directly next to a fast food or liquor store. Ensure you arm yourself with local knowledge about the location, and consider these subliminal factors, before selecting a site.
How can Sitewisely help?
Our platform incorporates the relevant data sets you need to answer these questions on target area demographics, socioeconomic status, traffic estimates, travel times, public transport hubs, competitor sites and more! We have collated all of the relevant open data, and proprietary data, within one platform to allow you ease of use and save you time. We also pride ourselves in Sitewisely’s leading edge data visualisation and analysis capabilities.
To learn more about our platform’s capabilities be sure to check our our YouTube tutorial.