With the rising costs of commercial space, increasing gym fees and a troubled economy, setting-up a personal training studio in your home seems like a viable option for many trainers. As a matter of fact, I know at least ten home-studios that have popped-up just in my neighborhood alone.
But is this option for you? What do you need to know in order to open a studio in your home? Here are a few things you should consider before moving forward with a studio.
1) Check on and obtain all necessary licenses, permits and registrations for your business. This includes checking with your city/town/municipality to see if it’s legal to operate your business from home.
2) Check on any extra insurance needs. Shop around for policies, but make sure you are adequately covered.
3) Be objective about your space. If you have a small, dingy basement it might not be conducive to bringing clients into your home even with some smart home décor. Ideally, you would have a large enough space, around 400sq.ft with plenty of ceiling height and natural light. Then decorate the space so that it is inviting and a place where people feel inspired to workout out.
4) Shop around for equipment. You don’t need to outfit your space with a lot of expensive equipment. A budget of $3000-$3500 should be all you need. This would cover the cost of a functional training unit, fitness ball, BOSU, bands, boards, mats, hurdle set, agility ladder, free weights and rack, squat rack with accessories and Olympic plates, medicine balls with rack. You don’t need to purchase all this equipment at once if you don’t have the budget. Be realistic about what you can afford to spend.
5) Add mirrors. Mirrors trick the eye into thinking a space is large then it is. It also acts to reflects light making the space brighter.
6) Flooring options. There are many flooring options to choose from. Pick flooring that is easy to clean, doesn’t get slippery when wet and absorbs impact. In this case I would avoid choosing laminate flooring for those reasons. Instead consider rubberized flooring which is more durable.
7) Make your space look like studio. No dirty laundry please. When people walk into the space it should look like a studio and not like your basement. Your fees are going to stay the same so you don’t want your studio to look cheap otherwise your clients may feel as though they are getting good value. First impressions are important, especially for people prospecting for a trainer. They may feel uncomfortable coming to your home for training. A nicely decorated and professional looking studio will abate their fears.
8) Close the door. Working from home can be difficult because it can feel as though you are always working. Learn to close the door and leave work behind.
9) Costs can vary when constructing a home studio so it’s best to shop around and get a lot of different quotes. Expect to invest around $10,000 all in. Of course if you do some of the work yourself, shop Craig’s list for equipment and are generally skilled at finding low cost items then you may be able to lower this number.
10) Consult with an accountant. When doing your taxes seek the advice of an accountant who will be able to tell you what you can write-off because you are using part of your home for business.
All said and done opening a studio in your home can be a real great option and one worth exploring if you have the room. It will save you money in the long-run, allow your business to grow without much risk and you will always have a place for your own workouts.