Business Overview

Popularized after the TV series “American Ninja Warrior,” ninja warrior gyms offer obstacle courses and training classes. Customers utilize the facility as a fun way to build strength and get in shape. More serious gym members are there to train competitively in preparation for the national competition.

Who is this business right for?

Fitness gurus who are passionate about helping others become stronger are best built for this profession.

What happens during a typical day at a ninja warrior gym?

To cater to the needs of your clients, your days will be kept to a regular schedule. Daily activities include:

  • Fielding phone calls and emails, answering questions for current and potential clients.
  • Overseeing tours of the facility for potential clients.
  • Ensuring facility remains clean and maintaining obstacle courses.
  • Researching the latest fitness trends.
  • Following official “Ninja Warrior” activities to ensure your gym offers the best courses to prepare customers training for the show.
  • Networking within the community, both on a local and national level.
  • Planning, hosting, and participating in events.
  • Marketing your business.
  • Overseeing and training staff.

Additionally, there are a number of administrative tasks that must be addressed regularly. As the gym starts to build a solid membership base, you may want to add a member to your team who can handle these duties.

What is the target market?

While it is natural to assume the large part of your customer base will be dedicated to their fitness regimen, this is actually not the case. Most ninja gym owners indicate the majority of their revenue is generated from classes, activities, and camps for young children. This is an excellent and safe place for kids to become a part of the show, expending energy and getting fit, in the process.

Your second largest client base will be individuals who are there to build strength in a more social atmosphere. The men often have a climbing or parkour background, while the females’ athletic background is often in dance or gymnastics. The obstacle course layout is a welcome change from their regular conventional gym workouts.

You will also have a consistent number of clients who are fanatics of the show. These athletes are dedicated to their ninja warrior training. Their primary goal is to make it onto the show and win the competition.

How does a ninja warrior gym make money?

Your gym will generate revenue from each customer that comes in to take a class or utilize the facility.

What is the growth potential for a ninja warrior gym?

As “American Ninja Warrior” continues to grow in popularity, so, too, will ninja warrior gyms. Last year, over 75,000 athletes auditioned for the show. These numbers are expected to grow, offering a unique business opportunity to entrepreneurs dedicated to achieving their goals.

Getting Started

What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful ninja warrior gym?

As a gym owner, it is important that you are passionate about what you do. This passion should shine, motivating your clients to always strive for more. Since your client base will be diverse, you should be able to connect with every age group and personality type.

To meld and balance one’s passion with business successfully is no easy feat. If you are inexperienced with the intricacies of running a business, consider taking a basic business course online or at your local college.

Your customers expect to see physically fit instructors running the facility. They also expect a certain level of knowledge regarding Ninja Warrior competitions, obstacles, and current events. For long-term success, ninja gym owners are urged to become a certified Ninja Warrior training facility.

What are the costs involved in opening a ninja warrior gym?

Industry leaders estimate a budget of $50,000 to $250,000, depending upon the size and complexity of the facility.

Initial start-up costs include the following:

  • Leasing/purchasing building large enough to comfortably build your obstacles — Gym owners report leasing 11,000 to 30,000 square feet for their gym.
  • Becoming an official Ninja Warrior training gym — Ninja Warrior offers three separate packages, with prices ranging from free to $85 per month.
  • Official blueprints for obstacles — Can be purchased online and includes schematics, lumber shopping list, cut list, and building instructions. Prices range from $10 to $55.
  • Labor and materials for building obstacle — Each obstacle can cost upwards of $600. Some retailers offer starter packs, which will set you back $5,750 to $8,500.
  • Mats and other equipment — Mats are $500 a piece. Use the square footage of your facility to determine how many mats are necessary.
  • Insurance — Consult with an attorney and/or insurance agent to determine necessary insurance.

What are the steps to start a ninja warrior gym?

Once you're ready to start your ninja warrior gym, follow these steps to ensure that your business is legally compliant and avoid wasting time and money as your business grows:

STEP 1: Plan your Business

A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. A few important topics to consider are:

  • What are the initial costs?
  • Who is your target market?
  • How long it will take you to break even?
  • 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.

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STEP 2. Form a legal entity

Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC prevents you from being personally liable if your security guard company is sued. Consider using a registered agent service to help protect your privacy and stay compliant.

STEP 3. Register for taxes

You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.

STEP 4. Open a business bank account

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 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.

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.

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.

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Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state.

Where can I find a business mentor?

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.

What are some insider tips for jump starting a ninja warrior gym?

Leaders in this industry offer the following tips:

  • When designing and installing the course, leave yourself the option to easily remove and replace each obstacle.
  • Get your community involved by hosting events. This will only help build your business, as excitement builds and inspires others to train.
  • When developing your brand, consider the broad age range you are trying to appeal to. Maintain consistency.
  • Stay aware of the latest Ninja Warrior events and obstacle additions.
  • Consider the hours your clients keep when building the gym schedule.

Growing Your Business

How to promote & market a ninja warrior gym

Modern businesses are fortunate to have a number of free online tools to assist in marketing. Make sure your gym is listed on Yelp and Google Business and maintain active social media accounts. You will also need to get listed in the official Ninja Warrior “gym locator” database.

The most effective way to grow your business is by getting out into the community. Inspire individuals to become better athletes. Lead by example and hold local competitions that everyone in the community can get involved in. Partner with a local charity to gain exposure for your business while giving back on a local level. The Ultimate Ninja Athletic Association is another great resource for marketing and business tips. They also hold national competitions. Attend these events to help strengthen the community and learn about the latest in industry trends.

Recommended: Get started with local advertising for your business with a $300 credit from Yelp.

How to keep customers coming back

To ensure positive feedback and customer retention, maintain a clean and safe facility at all times. Everyone on your staff should be knowledgeable and friendly.

How and when to build a team

As classes start to fill up, you will want to add members to your team. Your diverse customer base requires an equally diverse team, comprised of both men and women. All gym personnel should attain first aid and CPR certification.

Legal Considerations

State & Local Business Licensing Requirements

Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a ninja warrior gym. 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:

Maintain Personal Asset Protection

Don’t think that just forming an LLC, or any other type of business, will save your personal assets in case of a lawsuit or other matter by itself.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your LLC is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.

Two of the simplest steps that will protect your business, and yourself, are to:

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.
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To learn more about maintaining your LLC's corporate veil, read our guide and protect your personal assets.

Liability Waivers

To avoid liability and potential lawsuits, ninja warrior gym 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 ninja warrior 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 ninja warrior gym is generally run out of a gym or warehouse. 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 ninja warrior gym.
    • 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 ninja warrior gym will be in compliance and able to obtain a CO.

Earning Potential

How much can you charge customers?

Fees will vary depending upon the services and amenities offered. An average fee structure would include the following:

  • One day/session pass — $15
  • Pass for five sessions — $50
  • Monthly pass with signed annual contract — $30
  • Monthly pass without signed annual contract — $40

What are the ongoing expenses for a ninja warrior gym?

The bulk of the monthly budget will go towards leasing your space and utilities to cool/heat the facility. Prices vary greatly, depending upon location and size of space. Additional expenses, which could run from $3,000 to $10,000 per month include:

  • Official Ninja Warrior training expenses
  • Insurance
  • Marketing
  • Hosting events
  • Travel expenses
  • Continuing education
  • Payroll

How much profit can a ninja warrior gym make?

Successful ninja warrior gyms report an annual revenue of $200,000 to $500,000.

How can you make your business more profitable?

Industry opportunities to increase profits include:

  • Host children’s parties
  • Summer camp
  • Online training videos
  • Dedicate a portion of your space for a conventional gym. This will help build a more loyal customer base.
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