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What does it really cost to open your own MMA training center?

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The world of Mixed Martial Arts and more specifically the UFC absolutely dominates the world of fastest growing sports in the world. The last couple fo years has seen a decrease in the rate of growth but it is still growing at an exponential rate. It’s continued rise in popularity certainly means bright opportunities for those investing in the MMA business in one form or another. The business that incorporate the MMA market are comprised of business like supplements, apparel (like MMA Shorts), training gear, venues, and one of the most popular workout and training MMA gyms. Even the business mogul Donald Trump has dipped his toes into the MMA business through Affliction Banned. But perhaps the most popular dream for most martial arts practitioners has always been to open their own school, training facility, or MMA gym.

Get On The List!

Of course, times are changing and to open and keep open a successful traditional martial arts school like Taekwondo, Karate, or Kung  Fu you may need to incorporate MMA into the school as well.  In order to prevent a mass Exodus of your martial art students chasing the newest fad you need to already provide it. So for those considering opening their own traditional martial arts or MMA training center, what does it really cost?

Critical Qualities In Starting A Gym

1, Delegation

One of the most critical elements a successful gym owner need to be able to do is Delegate! Can you tell others what to do and how to do it and most importantly let them do it without looking over their shoulders? If you can then you have potential, if not then you really need to work on this quality. If you try to do everything yourself you will literally work yourself into a state of burnout and in the end will lose your gym. So, it is important to know that your business will only be as good as the people around you.  Whether that is through partnerships, hiring, or other owners.   When choosing who will be a part of your business realize these are the people responsible for creating your dream!

2, Clear Goals

Can you describe your goal to someone in less than a minute? If not then you need to get a clear vision of your goal and describe what it looks like, feels like, and sounds like. Work on describing it in detail until you get it under a minute. This way when someone from the bank where you are getting a loan, someone who owns a local business, or a potential customer, asks you about it you can explain it quickly and keep their attention while you doing it.

Training Equipment

Not everyone has the huge resources to open an American Top Team style MMA training center with full gym and MMA training equipment, if you do that’s great, but let’s look at the basics.

The fixed costs of getting into the MMA business include; planning & accounting, business formation (.llc, .inc, sole proprietor), telephone lines, building rent, Insurance, training equipment expense, computers and initial marketing plus signage.

Obviously, these costs can vary widely depending on the amount of resources you can afford to devote and how large of a training center you are going to open, but these will normally range from $500 to several thousand dollars.

Opening Your MMA School or Gym

The first step to opening your own MMA school after that is to find a location. Rent for a viable MMA studio can vary widely across the US depending on the area, how visible the location is and the size. However the good news is that with the recent real estate crash there are amazing deals to be had on renting commercial properties. In fact many commercial locations in strip malls across the country are even offering 3-6 months free rent in extreme circumstances in order to get new tenants. For a 600-3,000 sq foot space you are probably looking at a monthly rent of between $500-$7,000.

What about equipment?

You can save a ton of money on start up costs by demanding that students buy most of their own training gear, including target pads, shields etc. And if they can buy from you, that offers another revenue stream. You will no doubt need to invest in at least 2 of each of the following; grappling dummies, heavy bags or wave masters and large target shields which will set you back to the tune of around $900 and can be bought online from sites like here at The MMA Zone. If you need to provide some gloves and other targets for new students to start with, you will want to budget around double that number. You can even buy your own UFC style octagon online for between $9,000 to $25,000.

So the bottom line for you if you are looking at opening your own MMA center is probably a minimum investment of around $3,500-$5,000. But as with any business there are always unexpected costs and expenses. You don’t want to get caught short just as you are starting, so any savvy business owner will know they also need to have at least 3-6 months worth of operating expenses in reserve for emergencies as well!

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About Tony Hackerott

Tony Hackerott has written 338 post in this blog.

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2 Comments For This Post

  1. Accountant Marketing Says:

    A bit pricey for me as well.

  2. Iron MIke Says:

    Hey Great article, thanks for taking the time to write that article about opening an MMA gym. It was really helpful.
    I have begun an anti-HIB(harassment,Intimidation, and Bullying) blog and I want to open a Gym.
    Peace, Iron Mike

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