With as many workout types and preferences as there are people in the world, the most important part of opening a gym or fitness center is to figure out what you excel at and focus there first. But then what, you’ve opened your gym and have your first members, how do you make not just a living but create profitability for your business now and in the future?
Many gym owners are personal trainers who open a gym to make more money. With the growth in the health and wellness industry over the last 5 years and the prediction it will be the next Trillion-dollar industry, there’s definitely room for you to have a piece of that pie, but you must treat it as a business not a hobby or as your own personal gym where you work out with your friends and family.
Here are 9 strategies from leaders in the gym and fitness industry on increasing profitably in your gym. They may not all work for every gym, but find one you can implement today and track the results as you increase your bottom line.
1. Go beyond your Profit & Loss and find other indicators to measure on a regular basis. For example, know what percentage of your revenue comes from recurring monthly memberships vs. one-time purchases. With this information you can determine many other areas to improve in your business. Nick Berry, CEO and Co-Founder of Fitness Revolution,
2. Diversify. Some of your best clients will want personal training. Others will want group classes and within those classes you will need a range of levels. Provide both, but limit the numbers in your group classes. Your best clients will pay more because they are receiving more personal attention than they will in a large group class. Chris Cooper, Lead Mentor at Two-Brain Business
3. Cross-sell a system. When a client is purchasing personal training sessions, they also need to purchase nutritional services or massage therapy sessions or chiropractic. Fitness professionals can only do so much in the gym. The client’s whole health needs to be addressed. Sell a health system, not just personal training sessions. Also, because we are selling a health system we can market fitness and health, not price, but we can’t be sales people. We are fitness professionals. It is our job to educate clients about why they need all of our products to work together to increase overall health and wellness. Stephanie Joanne, Brand and Business Coach for Fitness and Health Professionals.
4. Build Relationships. Support your trainers in building real relationships with clients. Focus on retaining trainers. The relationships trainers build with clients will lead to increased retention of clients. One way to retain trainers is to pay them more than they can earn by taking advantage of other opportunities available in your area. While this may seem counter to increased profitability, it’s much easier and cheaper to retain a current client than to gain a new one. The money you pay an excellent trainer is less than you’ll spend on marketing to obtain a new client. Craig Patterson, CEO MadLab Group.
5. Know and increase your retention. When a client buys a specific number of personal training sessions, know when that package is close to running out and know what conversations you are going to have with them so they realize the importance of continuing with personal training. Know their goals and work with them to reverse engineer how you’re going to get there together as you sell them a whole health system. If they’ve seen any results at all from their first buy, they’ll buy more. Stephanie Joanne, Brand and Business Coach for Fitness and Health Professionals.
6. Increased brand awareness. Create a brand around your facility. Your clients are buying their home equipment, health supplements and fitness gear somewhere. If you can put your name on it and sell it to them for the same price, you make the profit, not the retailer down the street. One low risk model is to find a partner who will put a kiosk in your facility. Your clients can order their merchandise, pay for it and have it shipped to them. You have no inventory costs; your client gets what they’re already buying but with your name on it. You make a profit and your brand awareness will be increased through this client’s use of the product. Bill McBride, President and CEO of BMC3 and ActiveWellness.
7. Find the right clients. First, you must understand your own value and be willing to charge for it. Second, find the people who are willing to pay you what you are worth; people you want to work with who want to work with you. When you find this sweet spot, you will be able to serve those clients better, achieve better results and keep them coming back for more. Adam Staneki.
8. Get referrals. Get creative. Think outside the box when asking for referrals. For example, for a gym that doesn’t usually give guest passes, let your new client know your guest policy. Offer to reserve a guest pass for their 5 closest friends and family members. Then call their referrals to let them know a guest pass is waiting. Or, when someone is taking advantage of a promotion near the end of the promotional period, offer to extend it to friends and family if they visit within the next 10 days. Stephanie Joanne, Brand and Business Coach for Fitness and Health Professionals.
9. Find your niche. There are many types of gyms out there – what makes yours special? Again, this is the first thing you should determine when you open your gym. Once you figure out what makes you special, focus on attracting and maintaining your client base. Your profitability will increase as a by-product of serving a smaller set of clients better – more effectively, more efficiently, more profitably. Shannon Simmons, Profit Advisor.
Some of these tips may seem obvious. Maybe you’ve heard them before but hopefully the examples will help you view profitability from a different perspective. It’s not only about increasing the Gross Income of your gym with the next new member. There are many other ways to increase your profitability.
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Shannon Simmons, a 10-year business owner, and 5-year Profit First Coach is the owner of Netbooks Accounting Services, LLC. She is one of the original Profit First Professionals when the concept was created by Mike Michalowicz.
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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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