Kevin O’Leary Helps Couple Fight For Their Gym
Running a business with your partner can be frustrating, especially when you have very different views on their future.
That’s the challenge of O’Shares ETF Chairman Kevin O’Leary in the latest episode of CNBC’s new series “Money Court”. In the episode, O’Leary sits down with an engaged couple to help chart the best course for their boutique fitness studio.
Michelle Berry and Jason Brown run Elite Fitness, a small gym in Minnetonka, Minnesota, where both serve as personal trainers. Brown wants to invest $ 50,000 to find a new larger space for his business while Berry wants to stay put and avoid going into debt.
As the date of their wedding has not yet been chosen, the couple want to settle their business dispute before saying “yes”. And since they signed a contract agreeing to comply with O’Leary’s recommendation, his decision will be binding.
In a good month, Berry and Brown each generate about $ 10,000 in income. They pay a total of $ 1,000 per month for rent and utilities for Elite Fitness.
Currently, clients pay individually for each personal training session. Brown wants to expand their 3,300 square foot location to a larger space, so the gymnasium can launch a more standard membership service. But Berry wants to stay small.
“It’s too risky to grow in today’s gym market right now,” she says. “There is no reason to have a larger facility and incur additional expenses.”
The couple still have $ 10,000 in debt since opening their current location five years ago, and Berry says she doesn’t want to add more debt to the pile. She also wants Brown to prioritize marriage over business.
“We have a wedding to plan,” she said. “Acquiring all this debt and opening a new gym goes even further.”
But Brown says the couple need to act quickly because Elite Fitness has a month-to-month lease and the building they are in has recently been acquired. He fears that if they don’t move proactively, they will end up getting kicked out on short notice.
“If we are put in this position, we will not make it,” he said.