To Lease or Not to Lease? 5 Questions to Ask First
5 Questions to Ask Before Signing a Lease
by Sean Carey, FR Nation Success Coach
While there are certainly benefits to working in a gym, many personal trainers aspire to be business owners one day. If that is you and you are researching the “next” step, you’ll want to weigh the options of leasing a space.
However, like anything you may have never done before, “you don’t know what you don’t know.” I remember the first time I started looking to buy a house, I had no clue what mortgage insurance was or that I even needed to check things like, “are the outlets grounded?” That’s not even taking into consideration personal preferences either.
In order to help fit pros that may be considering getting their own space, we’ve asked our Success Coach leasing expert at Fitness Revolution, Sean Carey to provide his top 5 questions you need to be asking yourself before ever signing a lease.
Question #1: Can I afford to get into a lease right now?
Do a financial audit of both your business and personal finances. In order to truly assess the cost, be sure to check out question #4.
If now is not the right time, create a plan to clear up any financial issues and start saving to make the move.
Question #2: What space is necessary for me to operate my core offering effectively and efficiently?
When thinking about a space, you’ll want to consider square footage, ceiling height, office space, restrooms and common area needs.
Do a wants vs. needs analysis. You may even want to rank your wants and needs based on priorities so that you don’t compromise something critical.
Ask yourself “Am I just looking at this space because it cheap and/or close to my current clients or is this space going to truly meet our needs?”
Question #3: What term should I be considering?
Based on your short and long-term vision, the term of your lease could help you move closer to your goals or handcuff you from moving in the right direction.
Question #4: What work will be required to get the space into the condition necessary to run your business and provide the “experience” you want?
Some things to think through: Who will be responsible for the work the space may need? How much will it cost? What is the timeline for any work needed? What happens ifsomeone doesn’t meet the timeline? Is your start date set in stone?
Question #5: What will the lease I’m about to negotiate “really” cost me each month?
If you looking at a “fixer upper” space, you may want to have a contractor provide an estimate so you have more than a guess to make plans.
Sometimes there can seem to be hidden costs associated with leasing. But they aren’t hidden if you make sure that you ask.
Are there common area maintenance costs? What costs and fees are the tenant’s responsibility vs. the landlords? Is the space zoned for my type of business?
The biggest thing you want to uncover is that you FULLY understand all the implications of what you are getting into. As long as you can confidently say yes, and have the resources (time, money, energy) to manage it, then leasing may be a good option.
Don’t let leasing scare you, but like anything that requires a long term commitment make sure you are prepared! One of the best ways to prepare yourself for something is to find someone who has been there before and can give you insight.
Have you noticed the trend recently where people ask for advice on Facebook? If people are walking through an unknown, they tend to trust people that have “been there before.”
So if you are looking to lease a space, try and find a fitness professional that can offer you some help.
Looking for one-on-one help getting started with your fitness business?
You may be a great candidate for the FR Nation Accelerator Coaching Program. Apply today for FREE to see if the Accelerator Coaching Program is a good fit for you and your business.