Whether it’s an increase in rent that has you looking for a new space, or a need for a bigger location, moving your business can come with a lot of unforeseen challenges. Sure, you can try and plan for the things that might come up during the process. But often, unless you’ve been through a relocation before, there are a lot of surprises that you probably won’t see coming. And not the good kind, either.

So, who better to help you navigate your business’s first big move than the savvy studio owners who have been through it before, and lived to tell the tale? We asked a few recent relocators to share the most unexpected thing about making the move that they wish they had known earlier. Read on for their take on what you should be prepared for if you’re relocating your fitness studio!

“When you finally get the news that your floor has been sold or building or landlord decides he won’t renew your lease, most businesses get three months to move. I got three weeks. Fifteen years of building a business, gone in three weeks. The best you can do is be honest to your vendors, clients, neighbors everyone let them know what’s going on with the business and the move. You’d be surprised on who may help you out. Search for a new spot and hope you find a landlord that will work for you. I got very lucky and found a landlord who understands what I went through, and has been giving me a chance to rebuild my business.”
Jimmy Fusaro, owner of XFit

“Soundproofing is a big expense that I don’t think a lot of studio owners think about. In my old space I didn’t need to soundproof it because I didn’t have as many neighbors. But when you get into an office building or a space where you have a lot of neighbors, you need to make sure that you put some money aside for soundproofing. It was in my new lease, and it was something that I really wasn’t expecting to have to spend money on. All your common walls need to be sound proof, meaning any walls that are shared with other spaces. I even had to put rubber on my floors, because below me there’s a nursery. And the worst part is that I can’t take it with me when I go. If you’re able to find a space that doesn’t need to be soundproofed and fits with all of your other studio needs, definitely go for it. I was looking for something that had more square footage, and was off the same train line as my old studio, so this space worked out great because I was able to achieve that. But things like soundproofing did incur a big chunk of change.”
Carmen Arroyo, owner of Femme Body Fitness

“Expect the unexpected! Sometimes when we plan and seek perfection, and something unexpected happens, it causes a ton of stress! Go in knowing the road will be bumpy and the journey will be long, and enjoy the ride! We had a sewage backup three times in the first two weeks of opening and had to fix the main line pipes. I would never have guessed that would happen!”
Lisa Eskenazi, owner of Simply Fit Astoria

“My biggest advice to studio owners who are relocating is, ‘Make sure you have a solid internal team set in place to help you move.’ When we relocated, we needed our students to know exactly where to go and exactly when to show up to the new studio. The seamless transition happened because of the people around me who communicated the information effectively; we literally had class in the old studio one day, and class in the new studio the very next day. Our community was super supportive of the move and went with the flow, because we made it a priority to build relationships with both each other and our students.”
Jessica Rosen, owner of One Dog Down

“I have been in the yoga industry since the mid 1990s in New York City, and have opened different yoga locations ranging from 2,500 to 5,000 sq ft. Back in the 90s, when you worked with a realtor and requested a space of 2,500 sq ft, they would show you a space that is 2,500 sq ft of usable space. Now, when you ask for a location of 2,500 sq ft, in some instances your realtor or broker will show a space of 1,500 to 1,800 sq ft with the market price of 2,500 sq ft space. When you confront the realtor or management about what happened to the rest of the space, the typical answer is the ‘lost factor’ (meaning the percentage of the building area’s shared space or common areas). In this case, you will have leverage to negotiate the price depending on the lost factor amount. This is why it is very important that you carry your own measuring tape to the appointments to make sure the space measures up to what was advertised, and you are getting what you are paying for. The typical space will have a maximum 10-15% of lost factor. If you are not aware of the lost factor, you would basically be paying for space that does not exist.”
Jhon Tamayo, owner of Atmanada Yoga