Welcome to December! What some recognize as the holiday season, professionals in the fitness industry recognize as the busy season. Maybe it’s the influx of homemade treats and festive beverages that gets people fixated on working out. Whatever it is, when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, losing weight or getting fit is consistently one of the top choices. Chances are you’ll see an increase of prospects coming through your doors over the next few months.
Sure, 2015 is still a few weeks out, but now is the time to prepare for the New Year’s push. If you wait until January, you’re too late. The more time you spend today, the better prepared you’ll be for the upcoming months.
Consider these five tips while strategizing:
Set goals. As with anything in business, you need to establish goals. Entrepreneurs are always working toward something. This season is a perfect time to create both long-term and short-term goals. An easy short-term goal would be selling more memberships than you did last January. Write this down and refer to it in staff meetings. This will keep the team motivated and focused on building the business.
Pick an excellent offer. In order to be competitive this time of year, you need an offer prospects can’t miss. It needs to be different than any year-round offer you have. Try a limited-time offer: A new member welcome kit, free gift certificate, a special deal with another local business, etc. Put this on all your marketing materials. Hang up community flyers, send out direct mail, utilize social media, etc. The more you promote it, the more traction you’ll see.
Host an event. This is a great way to get more people in your club before the New Year’s rush. For example, do a toy drive; for every toy a member donates, they get a t-shirt. If a prospect donates a toy, offer them free enrollment. Another example: hold a gift-wrapping session at your club — all are welcome! This is a fantastic way to foster relationships between members and the community. Ask them to bring friends who don’t belong to the club. For every prospect that attends, give them a deal on membership or special personal training package. The possibilities are endless!
Staff your club. It may sound like a no-brainer, but you should definitely ramp up your staffed hours during the busy season. If a prospect isn’t able to talk to an employee on their first try, it’s unlikely they’ll try again. Poor customer service will hurt your club. Voicemails and emails should also be returned in a timely manner.
Keep your club clean. First impressions are everything. When prospects show up and want a tour, an easy way to wow them is with a spotless gym. Dirty or broken equipment and garbage are sure-fire ways to ruin that. Be sure to fix any faulty items and clean everything – from the front desk to equipment to bathrooms.
Tis the season to kick your marketing efforts into high gear! Set your business up for a successful 2015 and build a strong foundation with new members.
By Hayley Schnell, communications manager at Lift Brands.