Richland Fitness

Being a Johnstown City Police officer, Dave Morgan knows the importance of keeping himself in the best shape possible. Combined with his wife Kelly’s nursing background, together they are a team of regular fitness gurus. Working out and staying healthy is very important. But they found the local fitness centers didn’t meet their needs for one reason or another.

Dave found the same issues existed for many of his co-workers when he spoke with them. So, the couple decided to start their own fitness center counting on attracting many of the people they spoke with, and using their local reputations to obtain additional referrals.

Dave and Kelly began looking at franchises, but soon realized that with their local connections, they felt confident they could operate a non-franchise fitness facility on their own. Dave and Kelly contacted their financial advisor who referred them the Saint Francis University Small Business Development Center (SBDC), having been an Saint Francis University SBDC client himself. Together, they met with a Saint Francis University SBDC consultant, and several Saint Francis University SBDC student consultants, to discuss their plans.

The Saint Francis University SBDC conducted industry research to help the Morgan’s understand the trends in the industry, challenges, and opportunities. Additionally, the SBDC researched the market and provided Dave and Kelly with the demographics and a market analysis for their target area. Dave and Kelly then worked with the Saint Francis University SBDC to complete their three year business plan and financial projections.

Dave and Kelly were pretty adamant about their location they wanted for the business. When they received the lease proposal from the property owner, they met with their Saint Francis University SBDC consultant to review it. The lease called for the Morgan’s to pay for the entire build out of the facility. The consultant recommended to Dave and Kelly to negotiate for the property owners to do the build out in exchange for a higher lease payment and set lease term.

After some lengthy discussion with the property owners, Dave and Kelly were able to negotiate the build out into their lease. With the lease secured, Dave and Kelly approached their local bank for financing.

In May 2012, Dave informed the SBDC that he and Kelly were approved for a SBA guaranteed loan through their local bank. Their business, Richland Fitness, created two full time jobs and several subcontracted employees. As of June, Richland Fitness had over 550 members with new members joining every day.