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Aug, 05 2014

Sweating out for the best location!

Location is considered as the most significant ingredient for any fitness centre's success. We can have the best products, great people and astounding customer service and best practices but with no customer footfalls on account of an inappropriate locati

For visiting a gym on a regular basis, no customer would like to drive long to reach a fitness centre and if it is in by lanes where car parking is a nightmare then the customer is not enthused to take the membership. It is indeed pertinent to note that customers want ease of travel. This indeed proves that a gym business is a retail activity and as shops in high streets on standalone basis cost a fortune so is the potential of reaping the benefits of a great location.

Many a times the endeavour should be to choose such a location where you become the land mark and as your brand receives footfall automatically. But one may not be lucky all the time in creating such location landmarks, one has to be extremely guarded in choosing a location specially in the gym business where the box size can vary from 15,000- 25,000 sq ft with a lock in period which may be a minimum of two years.

In such a scenario a company has to continue with the location even if it does not bear fruits due to a wrong choice as the lock in can pose a severe threat to the existence of that unit unless one has the loss bearing capacity. On the other hand if the location is truly customer centric then the benefits are manifold as even if other processes fall short of best practices, the customer overlooks it or is prepared to ignore it on account of ease of accessibility to the location and the address to which the customer travels as it is a happening location. 

India has a distinct disadvantage of a lack of town planning and archaic laws governing property development and infrastructure maintenance. This has in fact caused immense distress to owners running fitness centres as extra legal practices flourish in abundance where in laws are misinterpreted and structural regulations have given way to quick fixes causing immense damage to society, infrastructure and the environmental ecology of the market place. Sometimes one forgets to take timely approvals from regulatory authorities for properties even in a good location and starts the project in a haste wanting to attract membership and garner money without looking at the consequences of non compliance in the short run. Ultimately running a successful gym needs only three things in place location, location and location backed by all the compliances.

Is location only a matter of concern in the metros? Obviously not as many a times people hang out in the gym only for networking or cutting business deals or striking a friendship and all this calls for a great location.

G Ramachandran is the Promoter & Director, Gold's Gym India.  He is a mentor capitalist with impeccable entrepreneurial spirit and financial expertise. At Gold's Gym, G. Ramachandran is spearheading the global fitness leader with his new vision and fiscal stratagem. He is a start up specialist with 15 years of experience in nurturing start ups.

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