OSG Affiliate Article II: Built-in Business Partner

by Eian Birtcher

When questions come in about owing/starting a gym, one of the most common ones I get is “How did you get your wife/girlfriend on board?” Or “What does your wife think of it?” I am going to share some advice based of my experience so far.

If you are starting a business, these are very important questions to consider, because as Cory G says, they are going to be your built in business partner. If you do not treat it this way, you are probably going to have to choose one or the other. The business or the relationship. Developing and growing a business is just like a relationship, it requires long hours and a lot of work, which is what makes finding a balance between the two of them very difficult for people. Here are my tips when getting started.

1. Lay Everything Out TOGETHER

Yes, you are probably the one with more knowledge on the market, the equipment you will need, you are the one with the big dream, you have to take your spouse into consideration from the get go. Let’s look specifically at location, and initial capital, two of the things you’ll need to get things rolling.

Your gym’s location is going to be critical for its success, finding a building in a high traffic area that is not already flooded with competitor’s is difficult. Beyond that you have to remember, this is a business, that you obviously do not plan on letting fail, so you have to think long term. This is where your spouse comes in, is it an area where you can see yourselves living in the future? Would you want to raise kids in that area? What are the schools like? Answer these questions now to make things easier in the long run.

The second big one is capital. Where is your money coming from to get your equipment and secure the building? Regardless of how many times you have calculated things, or how great you think your plan is, business is a huge risk. Starting a gym isn’t cheap, whether you dip into savings or borrow money, pulling the trigger for the initial investment can be intimidating. Money can add a lot of stress to relationships, you and your spouse will have to be aware of this. As Cory has said in the past, things will cost three times as much, and take three times as long as planned to get where you want, so be ready.

2.Let Them Be Involved

The most important advice I can give when going into business, is to let your spouse be involved. When getting the gym going, you will be so focused on the big things; finding new members, maintaining the gym, personal training, etc, that I guarantee you will miss some of the small things. This is where you let your spouse take ownership. In my case, Brandi handles all of the bills, rent, electric, water, trash, everything. This takes a huge burden off of me, not having to remember when everything is due, and allows me to focus more on the big picture.

In most cases, people want to have ownership of something, and want to see things grow. It will be much easier for your spouse to support your dream if they are able to play a part in it. If successful, the business will be a part of both of your lives for years to come, so take it on together.

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