You’ve decided to open your first MMA gym. Whether this has been a goal you’ve had since you were a child or one that’s more recent, you’re likely aware of how much planning goes into a gym before the doors can open and members can walk through. One of the most important considerations is WHERE to open your gym.
How Do You Choose the Right Location for Your MMA Gym?
One of your first considerations should be the demographic of your potential location and the immediate surrounding areas. Families, college students, and young professionals make up a large majority of members at most MMA gyms. Does the location you’re considering have a solid demographic with this makeup? Have you chosen a location that is near a retirement community or in a city or town where most citizens are over 50? This will make it harder to recruit new members to what is an intensely physical sport. Locations with many schools signal that your gym will have the potential for a solid kids’ program.
Is the Area Highly Trafficked?
A second consideration is how highly trafficked your area is. Is the space you’re considering set on the edge of town? Out of town? Does it require driving on a road that is not well-maintained or not well-lit at night? Locations near popular businesses are highly desirable, both for their ease of access but also for increased visibility. Potential members who are constantly driving by your facility will be more likely to remember it when considering joining an MMA gym, or when a friend or family member asks about a gym to join. This will also save you money, as you’ll be able to reduce your advertising costs if you’re receiving organic visibility.
Proximity to Competitors
Third, where is your location in relation to potential competitors? Are you considering a location in a strip mall where there is a karate studio? Or are there several other martial arts schools within a mile or two? If you’ve chosen a location where the market is saturated with similar schools, you are competing for the same members with other businesses. This can make it difficult to get your MMA gym off the ground, especially if the other martial arts schools are well established. In a location like this, you’ll have to be more aggressive with your marketing strategy in order to bring on members.
One Final Thought
Lastly, how close is the location to your home? Small business owners often find themselves called to their business for any issues, and if you live far away, you may find it more difficult to be on site in case of an emergency. This may also impede your ability to teach or oversee classes in cases of inclement weather. If you’re not able to live close by, make sure you have a reliable business partner or trustworthy coach who is able to quickly get to the facility if there is an emergency.
Opening an MMA facility requires a great deal of planning. Make sure one of the first items you check off your list is choosing the right location for your MMA gym.