So the very first step to this whole venture was to find out whether or not opening a club was going to work for me. Did I have the skills and experience necessary to run my own business? Did I have enough funds to front the initial setup costs? And would it all be financially viable in the long run?
If you had asked me 5 years ago my answer would have been “Absolutely not!” but the more people I talked to the more feasible started to sound.
In order to find out for sure, I began the years of research and financial planning. Now I am sure a much better mind than mine would have been able to complete this task a lot faster than myself but having a full-time job meant that this was to be a side project that I only looked at now and then.
I managed to find this spreadsheet from British Gymnastics (https://www.british-gymnastics.org/clubs/club-support/document-downloads/7884-income-and-expenditure-template/file) which encompassed all of the expected expenses and totaled them against the potential income. A fantastic resource for any club owner and a huge time saver as all of the formulas have already been entered. A lot of the numbers I needed to enter into the spreadsheet were based on the market meaning I had to decide where the club was going to be based.
My top three locations were: Sydney, Wellington, and the Gold Coast.
Sydney’s market was pretty saturated already and Wellington wouldn’t be financially stable so I looked into the Gold Coast. There was a huge gap in the Gold Coast market with only a few clubs offering a competitive tumbling program in the whole of Queensland. There was potential for great demand especially with the number of relatable clubs such as cheerleading clubs and artistic based gymnastics clubs. Rent was also cheaper than the other two potential locations and with the prospect of the Gold Coast lifestyle, I was sold!
After deciding on a location I needed to find out the value of my product in the market. This gave me the figures I needed to predict our potential income and thus whether we would make enough money to pay the bills.
The spreadsheet linked above was the best tool I have found in my journey and so I wanted to share it with you all as I couldn’t have done anything without it!
Finding the value of my product (and thus the numbers needed to insert into the spreadsheet) required research into the Queensland market to see what other clubs were offering and at what price. Once we knew the cost at which to sell our product we had to weigh it up against the cost of delivering that product. Rent, insurance, lighting, equipment, maintenance, and wages are just some of the many expenses we would have to undertake. Using the spreadsheet again we were able to find out if we were going to be able to cover all these costs!
Once I was sure I was going to be able to afford the cost of running a club it was time to choose a name and design our brand but I will save all that for the next post!
Wei Jun Lee