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  #21  
Old 16.11.2017, 17:43
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Re: Looking for an investor for a Gym

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when I go to my London gym I have instructors hugging me

Exit strategy wise, if the investor wants out I believe they would break even by year 3 (latest)
Not sure if that is a good idea in Switzerland.
Personally I wouldn´t like that either

And investors do not want to break even, they want to gain money, ideally at least double the investment.
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Old 16.11.2017, 17:55
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Re: Looking for an investor for a Gym

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Not sure if that is a good idea in Switzerland.
Personally I wouldn´t like that either

And investors do not want to break even, they want to gain money, ideally at least double the investment.
I'm not saying people want a gym where instructors go up hugging them, I went to my gym for 5 years 5 days a week, so it felt very much like a group of friends rather than just a gym.

Some one above asked how long to pay back (although this is more relevant for a loan) so hence I said break even by year 3 (hopefully sooner, depends on the size of the investment). After 'breaking even' its obviously all profit...

Also, doubling your investment in a short time investing in a small business is pretty good going. I'm not saying its not possible, and certainly over a few years thats obviously the goal. Just depends on whether the investor wants to stick around.
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Old 16.11.2017, 18:18
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Re: Looking for an investor for a Gym

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Exit strategy wise, if the investor wants out I believe they would break even by year 3 (latest).
Based on that, you're aiming to repay the investor 50k a year, if you want majority of the stock, that's at least 100k in profits a year for a startup.

Assuming a very rough cost per membership of 1000chf per person, and that you make, say 15% profit margin, that's 666 members needed each year.

Now, this isn't a market I know well enough to say what the average profit margins are, so picking a figure roughly based on markets I do know.

I presume you are familiar with the J-curve for new businesses - saying that a business will be profitable in 3 years is pretty ambitious. Saying it will return the initial capital is quite a big claim.

The questions that I would be asking if this was an area I was interested in would be:
- what experience do you have running a gym? starting a company? with marketing? what do you bring to the table? what have you already done with your own capital to start this project? what are the current P&L figures? what is your growth plan? (ok more than one)

All of these are pretty "public" - if the answer to any of these is so sensitive that someone finding out means they can take this idea, then is the idea solid enough to last the competition? I.E. if your business is better than the competition because of a difference, what stops them copying your idea 2-3 months after you started? It's quite easy for an established gym to add classes (freelance trainers), so copying the idea wouldn't be hard... which means your plan needs to be tried, tested and already in progress.

Put it another way. Let's pretend I have 150k to invest, and know the health & fitness market well.

Why would I give you the 150k, rather than put them in an established gym that is showing a healthy pipeline, or even start my own gym with freelance trainers?

Going by your original figures (I'll assume 150k for 49% of the company), that values your company at 300k. What do you have for the 300k right now? I would expect, at a minimum, a business lease (maybe too small and you want to grow?), a healthy list of clients already paying, and a list of trainers that work for you ad-hoc for classes.

If what you have is an agreement with a rented space to use it as a studio a few nights a week, that's a start... but it isn't worth 300k in my eyes.

Hope this doesn't come across as brash - trying to be helpful.

EDIT: Can I suggest, that based on your motivations in your post above, that maybe a cooperative/club/non-profit may be a way forward?
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  #24  
Old 16.11.2017, 18:23
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Re: Looking for an investor for a Gym

what's a lifestyle gym? can you make love in the showers?
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Old 16.11.2017, 18:57
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Re: Looking for an investor for a Gym

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Based on that, you're aiming to repay the investor 50k a year, if you want majority of the stock, that's at least 100k in profits a year for a startup.

Assuming a very rough cost per membership of 1000chf per person, and that you make, say 15% profit margin, that's 666 members needed each year.

Now, this isn't a market I know well enough to say what the average profit margins are, so picking a figure roughly based on markets I do know.

I presume you are familiar with the J-curve for new businesses - saying that a business will be profitable in 3 years is pretty ambitious. Saying it will return the initial capital is quite a big claim.

The questions that I would be asking if this was an area I was interested in would be:
- what experience do you have running a gym? starting a company? with marketing? what do you bring to the table? what have you already done with your own capital to start this project? what are the current P&L figures? what is your growth plan? (ok more than one)

All of these are pretty "public" - if the answer to any of these is so sensitive that someone finding out means they can take this idea, then is the idea solid enough to last the competition? I.E. if your business is better than the competition because of a difference, what stops them copying your idea 2-3 months after you started? It's quite easy for an established gym to add classes (freelance trainers), so copying the idea wouldn't be hard... which means your plan needs to be tried, tested and already in progress.

Put it another way. Let's pretend I have 150k to invest, and know the health & fitness market well.

Why would I give you the 150k, rather than put them in an established gym that is showing a healthy pipeline, or even start my own gym with freelance trainers?

Going by your original figures (I'll assume 150k for 49% of the company), that values your company at 300k. What do you have for the 300k right now? I would expect, at a minimum, a business lease (maybe too small and you want to grow?), a healthy list of clients already paying, and a list of trainers that work for you ad-hoc for classes.

If what you have is an agreement with a rented space to use it as a studio a few nights a week, that's a start... but it isn't worth 300k in my eyes.

Hope this doesn't come across as brash - trying to be helpful.

EDIT: Can I suggest, that based on your motivations in your post above, that maybe a cooperative/club/non-profit may be a way forward?
I have no problem sharing figures and my business plan, but its just not something I wish to share on a public forum where everyone hides behind a fake name. All of that is also quite a lengthy response, so i would rather share via email.

I've worked with two start up gyms, one in London and one here and ran a personal training and pilates business in London for close to 7 years before selling it earlier this year. I think the concept is probably quite hard to convey to someone who has no knowledge of the fitness industry but it is very very different from a conventional chain gym.

The equipment is free weights only, focus on functional fitness and functional physique, movement and biomechanics, mentally stimulating, technique based. The best way I can explain it is think personal training in a group. I know that sounds like a bit of an oxymoron but thats the idea, as far away from a body pump or an aerobics class as you can get.

The estimate figures of memberships are slightly off, classes only memberships range from 200chf to 400chf per month (Balboa, atomix, booster pilates) and my memberships also assumes about 30% off the classes to be filled with drop in and class pass membership, bringing in significantly higher returns (Cost per class at Atomix 34 chf, Balboa 32 chf and booster pilates 45 chf).

If you are interested, here are two boutique gyms that are based on a classes membership. What my gym would also provide is gym access outside of classes, which was one of the biggest complaints during my market research. If you go to a classes only gym, you also need a gym membership if you want to train on your own.

http://balboamove.ch/en/

https://r4reach.com/

The above are only examples to give you a better understanding of the type of gym, they are not examples of what I want to create.
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Old 16.11.2017, 19:02
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Re: Looking for an investor for a Gym

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Based on that, you're aiming to repay the investor 50k a year, if you want majority of the stock, that's at least 100k in profits a year for a startup.

Assuming a very rough cost per membership of 1000chf per person, and that you make, say 15% profit margin, that's 666 members needed each year.

Now, this isn't a market I know well enough to say what the average profit margins are, so picking a figure roughly based on markets I do know.

I presume you are familiar with the J-curve for new businesses - saying that a business will be profitable in 3 years is pretty ambitious. Saying it will return the initial capital is quite a big claim.

The questions that I would be asking if this was an area I was interested in would be:
- what experience do you have running a gym? starting a company? with marketing? what do you bring to the table? what have you already done with your own capital to start this project? what are the current P&L figures? what is your growth plan? (ok more than one)

All of these are pretty "public" - if the answer to any of these is so sensitive that someone finding out means they can take this idea, then is the idea solid enough to last the competition? I.E. if your business is better than the competition because of a difference, what stops them copying your idea 2-3 months after you started? It's quite easy for an established gym to add classes (freelance trainers), so copying the idea wouldn't be hard... which means your plan needs to be tried, tested and already in progress.

Put it another way. Let's pretend I have 150k to invest, and know the health & fitness market well.

Why would I give you the 150k, rather than put them in an established gym that is showing a healthy pipeline, or even start my own gym with freelance trainers?

Going by your original figures (I'll assume 150k for 49% of the company), that values your company at 300k. What do you have for the 300k right now? I would expect, at a minimum, a business lease (maybe too small and you want to grow?), a healthy list of clients already paying, and a list of trainers that work for you ad-hoc for classes.

If what you have is an agreement with a rented space to use it as a studio a few nights a week, that's a start... but it isn't worth 300k in my eyes.

Hope this doesn't come across as brash - trying to be helpful.

EDIT: Can I suggest, that based on your motivations in your post above, that maybe a cooperative/club/non-profit may be a way forward?
I find your edit slightly insulting, but I am going to put that down to lack of knowledge of the industry and ignore it.
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  #27  
Old 17.11.2017, 09:16
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Re: Looking for an investor for a Gym

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I find your edit slightly insulting, but I am going to put that down to lack of knowledge of the industry and ignore it.
As I said, I don't know the industry. My approach is one of "ideas on their own have no value". It's harsh, but it's the way I think. You can have an idea for the next google - but until there is something tangible, it has no value. Get me a proof of concept, and a customer base then it starts becoming valuable.

Starting with a club/cooperative gets you a customer base, a flavor of the market and a low investment way to start.

Then again, I don't know the health&fitness industry. I guess there aren't many freelance instructors in Switzerland running training off existing platforms like meetup in rented spaces...
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Old 17.11.2017, 09:40
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Re: Looking for an investor for a Gym

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As I said, I don't know the industry. My approach is one of "ideas on their own have no value". It's harsh, but it's the way I think. You can have an idea for the next google - but until there is something tangible, it has no value. Get me a proof of concept, and a customer base then it starts becoming valuable.

Starting with a club/cooperative gets you a customer base, a flavor of the market and a low investment way to start.

Then again, I don't know the health&fitness industry. I guess there aren't many freelance instructors in Switzerland running training off existing platforms like meetup in rented spaces...
I am currently working for myself as a personal trainer with a full schedule, on a freelance contract at a pt gym, i do mainly one on on one but also run 5 corporate bootcamps (banks, one law firm) and i do contracting as a performance coach for a well known company. I also contracted at a start up gym for 6 months in Zurich, helping them gain more business. There i trained hundreds of people weekly.

This isn't som a hobby for me, it is a full time career. I have no interest in starting some sort of a community center or a charity fitness project. This is a project with a solid business plan and solid numbers with someone very driven behind it.
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Old 17.11.2017, 10:07
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Re: Looking for an investor for a Gym

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I am currently working for myself as a personal trainer with a full schedule, on a freelance contract at a pt gym, i do mainly one on on one but also run 5 corporate bootcamps (banks, one law firm) and i do contracting as a performance coach for a well known company. I also contracted at a start up gym for 6 months in Zurich, helping them gain more business. There i trained hundreds of people weekly.

This isn't som a hobby for me, it is a full time career. I have no interest in starting some sort of a community center or a charity fitness project. This is a project with a solid business plan and solid numbers with someone very driven behind it.
Last post from me

Next step: put everything you have on this thread into a 1 page introduction (please not powerpoint!). If it's longer than one page, it's too long. At a minimum it should answer the questions I put above.

Then work on a more detailed business case, document it, and be prepared to present it.

Also worth looking at crowd-funding systems... while I would never invest 150k into a market I don't know... I may put a smaller amount in.

That said, your business case needs developing and documenting. Investors shouldn't need to ask the questions...
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Old 17.11.2017, 10:24
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Re: Looking for an investor for a Gym

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Last post from me

Next step: put everything you have on this thread into a 1 page introduction (please not powerpoint!). If it's longer than one page, it's too long. At a minimum it should answer the questions I put above.

Then work on a more detailed business case, document it, and be prepared to present it.

Also worth looking at crowd-funding systems... while I would never invest 150k into a market I don't know... I may put a smaller amount in.

That said, your business case needs developing and documenting. Investors shouldn't need to ask the questions...
I have an introduction, a detailed business plan and figures, all written out with a business advisor that I will happily share with anyone who is actually interested, just not on a public forum full of people hiding behind a fake name As I said in my first message this is in no way my only way of looking for investment, it was just something I put out there incase there was an investor who might be interested in this kind of a project.

I've looked at crowd funding and crowd lending too, both options I am keeping open. I find crowd lending the most appealing, but would like first year as interest only so exploring whats available.
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Old 17.11.2017, 12:10
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Re: Looking for an investor for a Gym

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Basically there is a gym in London and one in Helsinki that I absolutely love and really miss both. I want to create a combination of the two with added extras and with the visual aspect (art etc.)
Can you give us the names of these two gyms you see as a template for your planned Zürich gym? Having a look at them might inspire some different reactions from members here.


I watched a programme on RTS a while back, it was on a new coffee bar that opened up in a large old stone bus stop somewhere in Romandie, it was to be demolished. Some young people got together with their coffee bar idea but had no funds to save and buy the building. They asked for public investors via something like "You Fund". Their incentive was to offer people free "membership" for either 1 or 2 years depending on the amount invested. By becoming members, investors were free to consume as much free coffee as they wanted for the duration of their membership, food was obviously a pay for extra.
I found it a very innovative idea.
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Old 17.11.2017, 12:37
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Re: Looking for an investor for a Gym

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Can you give us the names of these two gyms you see as a template for your planned Zürich gym? Having a look at them might inspire some different reactions from members here.


I watched a programme on RTS a while back, it was on a new coffee bar that opened up in a large old stone bus stop somewhere in Romandie, it was to be demolished. Some young people got together with their coffee bar idea but had no funds to save and buy the building. They asked for public investors via something like "You Fund". Their incentive was to offer people free "membership" for either 1 or 2 years depending on the amount invested. By becoming members, investors were free to consume as much free coffee as they wanted for the duration of their membership, food was obviously a pay for extra.
I found it a very innovative idea.
Yes of course, the other one I already linked above, Reach Fitness. It's one of the UK's leading group fitness gyms. They also focus heavily on personal training and offer no gym access.

https://r4reach.com/

The gym in Helsinki is called Movement Factory. In addition to your usual strength and endurance training classes they offer classes such as gymnastics, acrobatics, handstands, street work out, mobility etc a part of their schedule. They also offer gym access outside the classes and personal training.

The site is unfortunately only in finnish but google translate may work.

http://movementfactory.fi/

Both gyms operate with an online booking system and a scan card so there is no reception staff.

As I said, these are two gyms I love, and what I want to start up isn't a copy of one of them but an attempt to create a unique one of my own, inspired party by these two.

I have had several meetings with both owners, which has also been very helpful in planning the practical side of things.
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Old 17.11.2017, 14:21
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Re: Looking for an investor for a Gym

Genesys
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...Basically there is a gym in London and one in Helsinki that I absolutely love and really miss both. I want to create a combination of the two with added extras and with the visual aspect (art etc.)
Rule 1
Your craving is not necessarily my craving.

Rule 2
You are not a representative sample of the market.
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Old 17.11.2017, 14:26
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Re: Looking for an investor for a Gym

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Genesys


Rule 1
Your craving is not necessarily my craving.

Rule 2
You are not a representative sample of the market.
So you would start a business you were not 100% passionate about? Surely I have to believe in my own idea first before I can convince anyone else to.

I don't think you have read the whole conversation if you think I want to open a gym just because 'I miss my old gym.'
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Old 17.11.2017, 14:33
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Re: Looking for an investor for a Gym

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So you would start a business you were not 100% passionate about? Surely I have to believe in my own idea first before I can convince anyone else to.

I don't think you have read the whole conversation if you think I want to open a gym just because 'I miss my old gym.'
Don't get me wrong. I've set up five businesses so far and failed in two. Please re-read dispassionately
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Old 17.11.2017, 20:06
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Re: Looking for an investor for a Gym

https://www.hiitaustralia.com.au/

Is an interesting one to look at as well, they franchised it and believe they now have 5 gyms in the east coast of aus. It's one of the most succesful classes only gyms in the whole of Australia.

I think they opened 4 years ago, their classes can have up to 80 people. Alot of the classes have extras such as a live DJ etc.

Not necessairly what I want to do but a very succesful gym to look at with a similar business model (minus the gym access)
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Old 17.11.2017, 21:28
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Re: Looking for an investor for a Gym

I would only change gym if he coaches it.



I never thought gym would be a socializing place, in fact I avoid those who try to chat me up, distracting me from my treadmill . To be hugged by the receptionist sounds...uhm. Why not go to a regular gym with a bunch of buddies instead of trying to change the gym into something some selective club people wants, it might not fit into other clients ideas, in a discrete culture. I am not saying I don't get it, and good luck to the OP, seriously. I do think that the plan has one fault, gyms are so pricey here, even the cheap ones. It will not work if it is set up to a very small group of gym huggers, or art lovers, or mindful living worshippers. I like efficient places, the decoration or potpouri in a yoga class is a bit irrelevant. The reasons gym business have been a success is not because there is a huge unsatisfied crowd out here, most people train or work out outside, in fact. But because those gyms that kept up the business actually suit everybody, in a versatile style.
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Old 17.11.2017, 21:44
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Re: Looking for an investor for a Gym

OP,

I think (I might be totally wrong though) that Auravita in Rapperswil is the kind of gym you'd like. Maybe you can buy a franchise? (again, have no idea if this is that kind of business)

http://www.auravita.ch/index.php?id=30

I liked that place so much I thought that there should be more places like this...
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Old 17.11.2017, 23:02
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Re: Looking for an investor for a Gym

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I would only change gym if he coaches it.



I never thought gym would be a socializing place, in fact I avoid those who try to chat me up, distracting me from my treadmill . To be hugged by the receptionist sounds...uhm. Why not go to a regular gym with a bunch of buddies instead of trying to change the gym into something some selective club people wants, it might not fit into other clients ideas, in a discrete culture. I am not saying I don't get it, and good luck to the OP, seriously. I do think that the plan has one fault, gyms are so pricey here, even the cheap ones. It will not work if it is set up to a very small group of gym huggers, or art lovers, or mindful living worshippers. I like efficient places, the decoration or potpouri in a yoga class is a bit irrelevant. The reasons gym business have been a success is not because there is a huge unsatisfied crowd out here, most people train or work out outside, in fact. But because those gyms that kept up the business actually suit everybody, in a versatile style.

I think that have the wrong idea, i train hard, the gyms i go to everyone trains hard, but its in a sociable environment where you make a friend or two along the way. My idea of a gym is sometjing you look forward to, not something you dread (like a lot of people) and the reason many of the classes gyms have been successful is because of the social aspect. You may have enough griends not to have to meet anyone new but alot of people are also looking to socialise. Why not combine socialising and working out.

Anyone who works out or wants to look after their body should have no complaints with "mindful" (your words not mine) living but to try and paint me as some alternative hippie is just a bit off.

Ps. There are no treadmills at my gym so its probably not for you anyway.

Last edited by Nelly123; 17.11.2017 at 23:35. Reason: Add on
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Old 18.11.2017, 09:51
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Re: Looking for an investor for a Gym

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I'm not saying people want a gym where instructors go up hugging them, I went to my gym for 5 years 5 days a week, so it felt very much like a group of friends rather than just a gym.

Some one above asked how long to pay back (although this is more relevant for a loan) so hence I said break even by year 3 (hopefully sooner, depends on the size of the investment). After 'breaking even' its obviously all profit...

Also, doubling your investment in a short time investing in a small business is pretty good going. I'm not saying its not possible, and certainly over a few years thats obviously the goal. Just depends on whether the investor wants to stick around.

This idea might work, who knows. But I think you're losing time and enthusiasm along with it, by looking for someone who is willing to block so much money for a few years and have from little to nothing to say in the business, and to give you total freedom. (sorry, I couldn't resist and read the other thread too)
Try to get a loan from the bank, like everybody else. Or start small, like someone else in another post above has suggested.
There are a few really welcoming gyms as far as I know, it's not like this market is craving for something new. There are zumba classes, pilates, yoga, jazzercise, many of them in small independent studios with a friendly atmosphere. (been in some of those and liked it despite my OH making fun of what he thought it's like in the '80s) Not to mention tae bo, kickboxing and what not in this range..which are still popular.
Anyways, I wish you good luck, but I think that a good idea without some flexibility (no pun intended hehe) will stay just that - a good idea on paper, or theoretically.

Last edited by greenmount; 18.11.2017 at 10:14.
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