More Marketing Isn’t the Answer

There’s a lot of marketing noise and advice out there in every industry, but in the gym and fitness industry, there seems to be even more. After all, we’ve had to close up shop this year, bring on more health and cleaning expenses and even pivot to the online space–changing up our offers and searching out new prospective clients.

It’s not been an easy year. But yet, some small gyms have thrived. And others? They continue to struggle.

For many business coaches who serve the gym and fitness industry, the answer seems to be marketing. If you can just get in front of more people…if you can just sell more services…if you can just…if you can just…

Sure, more customers and more revenue is great, but it’s not the answer. Not by a long shot.

Before we get to the solution…

We know you love what you do. Your happy place is working with your training clients, developing training programs, and teaching classes. You want your clients to meet their health and fitness goals, and you know how to get them there.

You opened your business–your gym, practice, studio–because you wanted a space where your clients could gather and you could help more people. Working for someone else wasn’t working for you because you couldn’t create and launch the programs you wanted to. Working out of your garage could only get you so far–and the weather got in the way a lot of the time.

But you knew what would help clients so you opened your own place. And while it’s been a lot of hard work, you’re proud of what you’ve built.

Now, with COVID causing all kinds of chaos, you hear from business coaches, friends and family, heck, even your competition, that more (or better) marketing is the answer to making ends meet this year.

Throwing out more marketing isn’t going to get you over this hump. In fact, chances are that more marketing and more sales (aka more revenue) isn’t what you actually need.

What you need is to keep the revenue you already have.

It feels really good to look at your revenue and see that you have a $250k business. Or a $500k business. Especially if you started off training clients in your garage or at the park down the street.

But those great revenue numbers are just that–numbers. They don’t tell the whole story of your business or your lifestyle.

We’ve had the honor to look behind the scenes at some amazing fitness businesses and we see a lot of the same challenges again and again. When revenue increases, expenses also increase. That’s nothing out of the ordinary. But we see expenses increase at a rate that’s not aligned with the revenue.

If you’re building a scalable, sustainable business, you need to have systems and processes in place that help to make your life easier. Having 20 personal training clients should feel very similar to having 10 personal training clients because you have automations that take care of scheduling, billing, follow-ups, and more. Going from 10 clients to 20 clients should double your revenue, but it shouldn’t double your work (or your expenses).

We believe that before you throw marketing at your business to try to make up for the COVID gap, you should take a close look at your numbers and determine where you can make cuts and where you can tighten the belt–as well as where you’re wasting time and money because the operations side of your business isn’t efficient.

Yes, this is one of the less sexy sides of business ownership. But it’s a lot sexier to have money in the bank and some free time on your hands than it is to feel the stress and frustration you’re feeling right now.

Book a call with us today and let’s talk about how we can help!

Shannon Simmons

Shannon has been consulting with small businesses for over 10 years. After 2 years in public accounting she saw a need to work for small business owners to teach them how to grow financially healthy businesses. She has built on her Master of Accountancy degree from Manchester University by becoming a Certified Profit First Professional and a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor. When she’s not meeting with entrepreneurs or assessing their businesses, she enjoys time with her husband and 2 children serving in their community, playing and watching sports, marveling at nature or reading a good book.

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