Many club owners continue to be squeezed between the big box franchises and the $10-a-month clubs. In addition, they’re grappling with the fact that our population has become obese and sedentary. In order to survive in today’s world and economy, clubs need to evolve and adapt.
So how do successful clubs respond so they don’t just survive, they flourish? How do they gain more profit and not only stay above water? Here are 10 ways clubs are increasing profit that you can implement right now.
Offer Different Membership Tiers: Offering membership tiers is a way to create an al-a-carte membership package that allows your members to only pay for what they use. That way, prospects won’t be turned off by having to pay for unused services, such as group classes or tanning.
Prioritize Personal or Small Group Training: Small group training is a hot trend right now. Take advantage of it by marketing your small group classes heavily. In addition, one-on-one training is still very important and is a great source of non-dues revenue. Be sure to push it.
Make Use of the Web: You no longer have to go door to door to reach your customers. Social media and email marketing can do that for you. For example, use Facebook ads to target prospects in a specific age group, or blast out upgrade opportunities via email to your current membership pool. We must touch the people who would not necessarily initiate action to contact us, and the web is a great way to do so.
Offer Online Joining: Many individuals prefer doing business via the computer. To target that demographic, be sure to offer online joining. You don’t want to miss out on their business just because they didn’t feel like chatting with a sales rep that day.
Settle Past-due Accounts: If a credit card has been returned multiple times, don’t just give up on that account. Consider hiring a licensed and bonded returns management company to follow up on customers whose accounts declined. It’s a great way to protect your investment and cash flow.
Focus on Retention: I’m sure you’ve heard it many times before: It costs more to gain a new customer than it does to keep a current one. And it’s true. As a result, make sure you’re focusing on keeping your current customers happy and not just acquiring new ones.
Use Technology to Cut Staffing Costs: Do you really need five reps to sell memberships? In today’s technology-savvy world, not necessarily. Make use of online joining and member portals to save on staffing.
Prioritize Direct Billing: Having members pay their recurring billing with a checking account, versus a credit card account, saves on merchant fees.
Maximize Your CMS Investment: Team up with a club management software company that can evaluate your current systems and let you know where savings can occur.
Think Outside the Box: Club owners must think outside the box and develop different ways to gain revenue from their current customers, while opening up their facility to a larger demographic. Always keep your ears to the ground and think of new ways to keep your gym not just afloat, but thriving.
David Porter has been a sales consultant at Twin Oaks Software Development for many years. Previously he ran several businesses, including Suburban Athletic Club outside of Boston, which he co-owned and operated for 10 years. He can be reached at 860.829.6000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.