You have found the perfect business idea, and now you are ready to take the next step. There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple step guide to starting your boxing club. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
STEP 1: Plan your Business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
- What are the startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How long it will take you to break even?
- What will you name your business?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
What are the costs involved in opening a boxing club?
This is highly dependent on the area you choose to open in. Boxing clubs will need gym space, gloves, and at least two boxing rings so people aren't constantly waiting for their match. Depending on the quality of your equipment, a ring can cost up to $5,000 or more and a single pair of gloves can be $100 (generally you'll need at least 20 pairs.) You’ll also need a variety of workout equipment, from weights to jump ropes to punching bags to headgear.
You may end up having to allocate much of your budget to insurance for both customers and employees. Lawsuits with gyms are common simply due to the nature of the sport.
What are the ongoing expenses for a boxing club?
Much of the your expense will come at the beginning, but should also factor in the following ongoing costs:
- Equipment replacement/maintenance
- Advertising costs
- Administrative supplies
- Employee salaries
Who is the target market?
Clients should have a healthy respect for the art of defending oneself. You’re not looking for people who want to savagely hurt their opponents, but you are looking for people who want their bodies to be stronger, leaner, and healthier.
How does a boxing club make money?
Boxing clubs make money by charging people for classes or for a general membership where they can use the facilities and equipment. The prices you set have to take into account not just the skill level of the trainer, but also the price of the equipment used and the rental costs of the space.
How much can you charge customers?
This depends on the area you choose to open in. An in-demand, underserved location can likely charge up to $20 per class, and hundreds of dollars for a workshop. Other areas may only be able to charge closer to half that price. Research what similar classes in your area cost as a basis for comparison.
How much profit can a boxing club make?
Between membership fees and boxing lessons, boxing clubs can make a good deal of profit. If you have 50 people sign up for memberships at $30 a month (even without classes), that’s $1,500 a month minus the rental costs.
How can you make your business more profitable?
Boxing clubs often sell boxing equipment or accessories with a healthy profit margin, which is a great way to make a little extra cash. People may choose to buy at your club exclusively over somewhere else (e.g., online) because the staff can make personal recommendations as to the best equipment for each type of fighter.
You may also want to consider offering mobile lessons, where you may go to a community center or a school to give beginner boxing lessons.
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is very important. We recommend checking if the business name you choose is available as a web domain and securing it early so no one else can take it.
After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free
STEP 2: Form a legal entity
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC prevents you from being personally liable if your boxing club is sued. There are many business structures to choose from including: Corporations, LLC's, and DBA's.
You should also consider using a registered agent service to help protect your privacy and stay compliant.
For most small businesses forming an LLC is a great option, but if you still want to weigh all your options check our our article, What Structure Should I Choose for My Business?
STEP 3: Register for taxes
You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!
You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.
STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Open a business bank account
- This separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Get a business credit card
- This helps you separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- It also builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money and investment later on.
STEP 5: Set up business accounting
Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
State & Local Business Licensing Requirements
Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a boxing club business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.
Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.
For information about local licenses and permits:
- Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office.
- Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources.
Release of Liability
To avoid liability and potential lawsuits, boxing businesses should have their clients sign waivers from all sort of injuries. Here is an example of one such form.
Recommended: Rocket Lawyer makes it easy to create a professional release of liability form for your boxing club business when you sign up for their premium membership. For $39.95 per month, members receive access to hundreds of legal agreements and on call attorneys to get complimentary legal advice.
Certificate of Occupancy
A boxing club business is generally run out of a gym. Businesses operating out of a physical location typically require a Certificate of Occupancy (CO). A CO confirms that all building codes, zoning laws and government regulations have been met.
- If you plan to lease a location:
- It is generally the landlord’s responsibility to obtain a CO.
- Before leasing, confirm that your landlord has or can obtain a valid CO that is applicable to a boxing club business.
- After a major renovation, a new CO often needs to be issued. If your place of business will be renovated before opening, it is recommended to include language in your lease agreement stating that lease payments will not commence until a valid CO is issued.
- If you plan to purchase or build a location:
- You will be responsible for obtaining a valid CO from a local government authority.
Review all building codes and zoning requirements for your business’ location to ensure your boxing club business will be in compliance and able to obtain a CO.
STEP 7: Get Business Insurance
Insurance is highly recommended for all business owners. If you hire employees, workers compensation insurance may be a legal requirement in your state.
STEP 8: Define your brand
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
How to promote & market a boxing club
Promotion is very much a local matter, which is why it helps to know the other fitness opportunities in a community. Putting up flyers on bulletin boards in coffee shops, gyms, and even in community centers like the YMCA can be a good way to generate chat about your business. Consider giving free classes (with coupons for the next class) to young children, teenagers, and adults of every age.
You should also have a professional website that lists your information and advertises your classes. Structure workshops for different skill levels. Market different workshops to different types of people (e.g., parents, young women, etc.) to create a broader appeal. Let people know that boxing can round out people’s fighting style even if they already know a different sport, such as karate.
Recommended: Get started with local advertising for your business with a $300 credit from Yelp.
How to keep customers coming back
Your instructors should always be top-notch, and your facility should be well cared for. Workshops should never feel repetitive, and they should teach skills that can be carried outside the club. Boxing clubs may face a certain stigma in the community, making word-of-mouth particularly powerful.
Owners should also understand the primary motivations of why people are interested in boxing. This sport is a regulated form of violence, but it’s also a great way for people to test their self-defense skills and sharpen reaction times. Once you know more about the demographics in your club, you’ll know more about how to market.
STEP 9: Establish your Web Presence
A business website allows customers to learn more about your company and the products or services you offer. You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers.
Start A Boxing Club In Your State
Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state.
This business is for people who eat, sleep, and breathe boxing. However, any potential owner should also have a good idea of how to organize classes, teach, and enforce safety standards in their boxing club.
What happens during a typical day at a boxing club?
Boxing club owners may face the following agenda on any given day:
- Teaching classes
- Creating schedules
- Equipment inspections
- Advertising the business
- Administrative duties
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful boxing club?
Owners should have a certain amount of natural boxing talent, but they should also have people skills to connect with customers. Owners should also be creative when it comes to designing classes for both kids and adults at varying skill levels. There is an art in taking the basic moves each group needs to learn and turning them into a fun class.
What is the growth potential for a boxing club?
The growth potential for a boxing club business is there. No matter how far the economy dips down, boxing clubs still have the potential to thrive. Not only is it an outlet for many to let out their stress, but it also helps participants feel empowered.
TRUiC's YouTube Channel
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One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.
Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
Resources to Help Women in Business
There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:
If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.
What are some insider tips for jump starting a boxing club?
Experts will tell you to really understand the neighborhood before opening up a boxing club. You need know a good deal about the existing gyms, and whether or not the community needs are being served. You should understand your target client backwards and forwards regardless of what you’re offering. For example, if most people seem to be coming into the club to burn calories, this will determine your marketing strategy moving forward.
Your instructors should be able to provide basic First Aid on anyone injured (this includes CPR). Ceilings in the club should be high, and there should be lots of space on the floor. You may even want to consider joining a trade association for martial arts for additional support and credibility. Check with your state for any special restrictions or mandates for boxing clubs as well.
Also, don't shy away from the negative aspects of the sport. Address people's fears so they feel comfortable in trying your club. Some may feel that boxing is too brutal, so it’s a boxing club owner’s job to give potential customers perspective on how they can use the techniques to benefit their life.
How and when to build a team
You’ll likely want to build a team as soon as possible. You won’t necessarily need a lot of staff, but customers should know they have support and attention from the second they step into the club. Even the people who clean the bags will likely end up interacting with your customers on a regular basis. You should look for instructors who understand people as much as they understand how to stay light on their feet during complicated maneuvers.