For health buffs and fitness enthusiasts, opening your own gym is a dream come true. Finally, you have the opportunity to share all the methods, routines, and classes that you are passionate about with a larger community. However, whether you are just starting your business or you have been running your studio, boutique, gym, or franchise for some time now, you know that running a gym takes much more than endorphins. All that gym equipment has to be bought somehow. And if you do not have the cash to fund your gym equipment (as few business owners do), you will need to look into your gym equipment finance options. Gym equipment finance is a small business loan that offers gym owners the capital they need to buy fitness equipment for their commercial gym. The gym equipment bought with the proceeds of the financing will, in turn, serve as collateral for the gym equipment finance loan used to purchase it.
What are the common exercise equipment financing options?
How you fund your developing or new gym business requires careful consideration and should be viewed as a strategic decision, in the same way, that you decide on things such as your membership fees, location, and your target market. It is essential to realize that every business is different, so the right option depends on your individual circumstances. There will often be several funding choices available to you, and the most common are:
Taking out a loan
Bank loans are a common and viable alternative to ‘self-sourced’ financing. Borrowing rates can occasionally be attractive, and you own the gym equipment from day one. Nonetheless, there are also some challenges:
- It can be tasking to find a bank willing to lend in the present financial climate
- You will have to apply directly to the bank (that is, with no support from your chosen commercial gym equipment supplier)
- The financing application process can be long
- Prior history might be a pre-requisite
- The loan might be conditional you to commit all of your banking needs to that bank
- Besides, the bank might require additional security
It thus is more sensible to keep any bank funding lines available for other financing needs, like providing working capital or financing fit-out or set-up costs.
Apart from traditional bank loans, the internet is changing how we do everything, and accessing debt finance is no different. ‘FinTech’ (Financial Technology) businesses such as Top Financial Resources’, crowdfunding among other alternative lenders, bring new funding options to market. Even though still in their infancy, these options can provide attractive solutions for some businesses.
Leasing (sometimes referred to as ‘financing,’ ‘rental’ or ‘hiring’)
Paying for the use of gym equipment over time and drawing upon the income it generates is usually the most logical financing solution. Thus, leasing is a very popular used method of funding. We will cover professional gym equipment hire and compare it with buying in more depth later.
Another type of working capital loan to consider as an alternative to gym equipment finance loans is invoice financing. Through invoice financing, company owners can access advances for their outstanding invoices. This advance is, in turn, secured by the invoice itself. Also known as accounts receivable financing, invoice financing can enable gyms to free up cash flow while waiting for clients to pay up.
Buy equipment using equity raised from investors
An option for self-funding exercise equipment purchases is to use the money raised from investors. Again, this enables you to negotiate as a cash purchaser; however, the fact remains that you are tying up the company’s valuable cash resources in assets. Besides, equity is typically more costly than bank debt and can dilute your investment in and control of your company. For these reasons, equity financing is not usually the most ideal source of finance for fixed assets.
The benefits and drawbacks of gym equipment finance
Let us look at the pros and cons of this funding product.
Pros of gym equipment finance
A major selling point of a gym equipment financing is that it lends you funding for what you need right away and allows you to gradually pay off that large expense. And since gym equipment finance loans are self-collateralized, you will not need to put up any extra collateral—and put your personal or business assets on the line—to secure an equipment loan. Thanks to that extra security, eligibility qualifications are a little less strict for equipment loans than they would be for unsecured loans. So, if your credit score is somehow challenged, or if you are a new or as-yet-unprofitable gym, you might still have a shot at approval for an equipment loan.
Cons of gym equipment financing
The drawback of gym equipment financing is that you need to pay interest as a part of your repayment plan. Provided the gym equipment you are buying is less valuable, or if your credit scores or gym’s financials are struggling, you will end up with a heftier APR. It is important to note that if your lender does not provide you 100-percent of the cash necessary to purchase your gym equipment, you will need to make up the difference out of your own pocket.
Gym equipment loans vs. leasing
If the idea of being tied down to your gym equipment scares you—possibly since the technology advances so rapidly, and exercise fads change just as fast—then you can look into gym equipment leasing. In which case, you are merely paying the owner for the use of that equipment. Generally, an equipment lease indicates that you are paying a monthly fee to rent that equipment from the titleholder—which, in this situation, is your lender—for as far as your leasing agreement lasts. For gym equipment, that agreement might last anywhere from six months to several years. When the lease ends, you will have a few options: You can renew your lease, return the equipment to the partner, purchase the equipment at its fair market value, or upgrade to a new piece of equipment. For that reason, it might be wise to lease machines such as stationary bikes, treadmills, elliptical machines, and similar equipment whose models and technology advance rapidly.
The benefits and drawbacks of gym equipment leasing
Just like gym equipment financing, there are benefits and drawbacks to gym equipment leasing. Let us take a look at both.
Leasing gym equipment pros
One benefit of leasing your gym equipment is the tax advantage: Based on the specifics of your offer, you might be able to include your monthly lease payments as a deduction on your tax returns. Of course, you will have to double-check with your business accountant and your equipment leasing company to be sure those expenses are legitimately tax-deductible.
Finding gym equipment finance companies is comparatively simple and can be attained with a simple Google search. Most gym equipment finance companies take a holistic approach to underwriting, indicating you likely will not need to offer years’ worth of financial documents in your application, and they might also consider companies with challenged credit scores.
Another selling point is that there is a probability your equipment lease includes maintenance services, in which case you do not have to worry about paying for that out of your own pocket. And since you are not buying your equipment with a lease (not unless you choose to down the line), you will not need to provide a down payment to secure your deal.
Leasing gym equipment cons
The shortcoming with equipment leasing is that it can become expensive over time. Since you will not pay interest on your monthly rental bills, your lending institution might hike up those monthly payments to make up for the revenue they’d gain if there were interest attached. In some cases, you might actually end up paying more money by leasing that rowing machine than you would if you would buy it outright.
How can Top Financial Resources Help?
Top Financial Resources is a gym equipment finance leader with low monthly payments and multiple loans and lease options. Besides, when looking for gym equipment leasing companies, you want to know you are working with a lender that understands your business. At Top Financial Resources, we know that having the best exercise equipment can help your gym succeed. Our committed loan specialists, who are amongst the most experienced staff in the industry, work with you:
- To prepare a customized gym equipment finance solution that is ideal for your business goals and needs.
- Provide unbiased assistance, with complete transparency
- Our guiding principle is ‘flexibility in approach,’ offering tailor-made solutions to meet individual requirements.
- And you will be happy to know that we have built up strong, long term relationships with financial partners that share our passion for health and fitness.
- We have a fast & easy application process: There is a no-cost, no-obligation application with funding in as few as 24 hours.