There are few things more exciting than opening your first facility. That is, after you have put the work into designing and building it. This creation process, while fun and exciting in its own right, is wrought with pitfalls. These facility design mistakes can make opening your first martial arts gym a longer and more expensive process, not to mention creating headaches, heartaches, and stress. If you want to succeed, it’s important to do your research, starting with identifying and avoiding some of the more common mistakes people make when opening their first gym.
Choosing the Wrong Location
There are two aspects to this. The first is the physical location of your gym. The second is the building itself. Where your gym is located is important because it can determine the success of your business. How closely is it located to other gyms that offer the same training? How populated is the area? Is there parking nearby? Is the location easy to see and find? Is there a chance for foot traffic to walk past and see your gym? All of these things will help you sell and market your facility to a greater audience of potential students.
The second aspect, the building itself, is crucial in that the building you buy or rent must be sized and have a layout that is appropriate for your needs. How many students do you plan on having in each class? Do you need locker room space? Will you have additional areas for weight training, bag training, yoga, etc.? Find a location that ticks all the right boxes for your gym, and don’t settle for anything less.
Choosing the Wrong Training Surface
Does your martial arts discipline focus on grappling? Is it a striking art? Do you practice mixed martial arts? The type of martial arts mats and other training areas you build are heavily dependent on the type of training your school offers. There are different types of mats that are suitable for different types of training. While puzzle mats may be adequate for some martial arts styles, others require more protection. The flooring you purchase is one of the most important parts of the facility you build, so do your research and get the best mats for your school.
Forgetting to Personalize Your Facility
What makes your gym different than the others in your area? How do you differentiate your culture, your brand, and your environment? All gym owners simply look to build a functional facility, but many forget to personalize it and make it a place where people want to be. Don’t forget to build a culture, and definitely don’t forget to have that culture reflected in the way you design your gym. From the facility’s layout to the design and décor, all the way to the colors you choose, you get to make your gym personal to you. More importantly, you get to make it a place where people can come together, bond, work hard together, and become a part of your growing community.