It’s no surprise the health and fitness industry is one of the most profitable in the world — valued at around $34 billion, to be exact — and this trend shows no signs of slowing down.
Industry growth and renewed dedication of millennials to fitness regimens have helped start a new gym revolution, one that means more competition for gym owners than ever before. From big-box clubs and boutique facilities to online fitness “gurus,” the industry competition is fierce. Members have access to a wide variety of price ranges, fitness options and membership perks, so what will make your gym stand out?
With this in mind, here is a list of five ways to make your gym profitable in the face of competition:
1. Offer services your members want — and get rid of the ones that are never used. Running a profitable gym doesn’t just mean increasing members. It also means streamlining your internal operations to minimize waste and unnecessary spending. One way to do this is to track the services your customers spend the most time using, whether it’s the weight machines, spin class or yoga studio, and then trim down those features that aren’t really drawing a crowd.
2. Increase your membership with targeted outreach. The biggest challenge many gym owners will face when welcoming new members is standing out from the noise in the marketplace. How can you organically increase new memberships without investing in costly campaigns or lowering membership rates? The answer is proactive lead tracking. When a new lead comes into your system, your sales team should be able to see how this person heard about your gym. This insight promotes proactive outreach and helps connect potential new members with your team before they can go with a competitor.
3. Make sure your staff is performing at 100 percent. You didn’t open a gym to spend all your time running after staff to ensure things are getting done. But a gym is a business, and as a gym owner, you need the right tools and resources in place to ensure your staff is performing at the highest possible level. This means tracking and integrating all clock-in and clock-out data, payroll and human resources in a single location for 100 percent visibility. This gives managers a better look at where staff members are falling behind, and provides more accountability and responsibility in the overall success of the team.
4. Stay up-to-date on the latest trends and industry updates. The fitness industry is constantly changing, and thanks to social media, new fads are popping up seemingly overnight. To ensure your team is always up-to-date on the newest workout trends, follow social media influencers and accounts popular with your target demographic. Once you have your target audience narrowed down and a better idea of the new workouts they’re interested in, you can add new classes or test new offerings to see if people are interested.
5. Engage and communicate with members to increase retention rates. While increasing new memberships is extremely important, this doesn’t mean you should forget about your current customers. Gyms have a notorious problem with retention, which can cause profits to fluctuate wildly. To ensure your current members are happy and engaged with your services, communicate with them often. Fitness centers should be social enterprises. Post pictures of classes on social media, tag people in pictures and encourage social sharing among your members. Engage your members as much as possible to boost retention.
With these five tips, go out and build the most profitable gym possible.
Joey Rice is the marketing director for Paramount Acceptance, a software and billing provider that has been serving the fitness industry for over 40 years. For more information, visit gymsoftware.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800.316.4444.