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.
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Learn how to start your own Ninja Warrior Gym and whether it is the right fit for you.
Start a ninja warrior gym by following these 10 steps:
- Plan your Ninja Warrior Gym
- Form your Ninja Warrior Gym into a Legal Entity
- Register your Ninja Warrior Gym for Taxes
- Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
- Set up Accounting for your Ninja Warrior Gym
- Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Ninja Warrior Gym
- Get Ninja Warrior Gym Insurance
- Define your Ninja Warrior Gym Brand
- Create your Ninja Warrior Gym Website
- Set up your Business Phone System
There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your ninja warrior gym. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas.
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 much can you charge customers?
- 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 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 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
- Hosting events
- Travel expenses
- Continuing education
Who 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.
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
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.
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Ninja Warrior Gym Name Generator
When registering a business name, we recommend researching your business name by checking:
- Your state's business records
- Federal and state trademark records
- Social media platforms
- Web domain availability.
It's very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.
STEP 2: Form a legal entity
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your ninja warrior gym is sued.
Form Your LLC
Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC
Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services. You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.
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?.
Small Business Taxes
Depending on which business structure you choose, you might have different options for how your business will be taxed. For example, some LLCs could benefit from being taxed as an S corporation (S corp).
You can learn more about small business taxes in these guides:
- LLC Taxes
- Sole Proprietorship vs LLC
- LLC vs Corporation
- LLC vs S Corp
- How to Start an S Corp
- S Corp vs C Corp
There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.
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.
Additionally, learning how to build business credit can help you get credit cards and other financing in your business's name (instead of yours), better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.
Open a business bank account
Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:
- Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- Makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.
Open net 30 accounts
Net 30 accounts are used to establish and build business credit as well as increase business cash flow. With a net 30 account, businesses buy goods and repay the full balance within a 30-day term.
NetMany net 30 credit vendors report to the major business credit bureaus (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Equifax Business Credit). This is how businesses build business credit so they can qualify for credit cards and other lines of credit.
Recommended: Read our best net 30 vendors, guide and start building business credit.
Get a business credit card
Getting a business credit card helps you:
- Separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- Build your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money later on.
Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from Divvy and build your business credit quickly.
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.
Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.
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 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:
- 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.
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.
STEP 7: Get business insurance
Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.
There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.
Learn more about General Liability Insurance.
Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.
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.
If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners, we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.
If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator. Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.
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.
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.
Still unsure about what kind of business you want to start? Check out the latest Small Business Trends to help inspire you.
STEP 9: Create your business website
After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.
While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:
- All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
- Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
- Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.
Using our website building guides, the process will be simple and painless and shouldn’t take you any longer than 2-3 hours to complete.
STEP 10: Set up your business phone system
Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.
There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2022 to find the best phone service for your small business.
Recommended Business Phone Service: Phone.com
Phone.com is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.
Start a Ninja Warrior Gym in your State
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
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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 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 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.
Take the Next Step
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.
Learn from other business owners
Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.
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 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.
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.