The holiday season tends to sneak up on people. One minute, pumpkin spice is everywhere, and before you know it, you’re knee-deep in holiday parties and last-minute gift-giving. Don’t let that happen to you this year! With a little forward thinking, you can get your fitness business ready for the holidays without the extra stress and rush.
1). Set Your Schedule
Naturally, your holiday schedule will be different from your typical schedule, not only because members have different routines during the holidays, but because you want your staff to enjoy time off with their families, as well.
If your business has been through a couple holiday seasons, you already know what your members like. Mornings classes on New Year’s Eve are popular, similar to larger community classes the day after Christmas, while evening classes on New Year’s Eve or Christmas Eve will have low attendance.
Also consider the days and weeks leading up the actual holidays. People are busier–and often more stressed–than normal. You could add some 30-minute classes to your schedule, or some meditation and restorative yoga.
2). Talk to Your Staff
Find out which of your staff members will be in town. They might enjoy picking up an extra class or two to cover for someone who’ll be traveling. Assign staff members to your special schedule as soon as possible so everyone can plan accordingly, and so you know what to tell members who start asking about the holidays.
3). Consider Holiday Membership Packages
The holidays are a great time to offer specials. Some people might like to buy memberships as gifts, while other prospects want to join now and get a jump start on their upcoming resolutions. A little incentive in the form of a special membership package can be just the right thing.
Along the same lines, this is the time to consider your new year marketing promotions. You can start working on any materials you may need, especially if you have to order them from a company that could get slammed with orders during the holiday season.
4). Workout Challenges
We all need a little extra motivation to stay on track with our fitness goals while pie, turkey, cookies and eggnog try to derail us at every turn. Not only that, the colder weather and busier schedules make it harder for people to get to class. You could have a competition to see who actually loses weight in December, but it might be a little stressful or discouraging for participants. Instead, they could compete to see who attends the most classes in December or who achieves the most PRs. Don’t forget to give prizes to your winners!
5). Social Media Planning
Make space in your social media strategy for news about extended hours, extra classes, special offers, holiday perks and parties and anything else that will be different at that time of year. Consider any special photos you might need to take or source. Also, if you do any special events, make sure there is someone to photograph everything to share with the unlucky members who weren’t there!
6). Prepare for the New Year’s Rush
You know the gym is never as busy as it is in January, so get ready for that now. It might mean adding extra open hours or classes to the schedule, including some classes just for beginners. Make sure you have the staff to cover it and gym member software to manage it. Have a plan in place to orient and touch base with each new member, and make sure they’re all receiving a personalized experience, despite the crowd. You want to maintain as many of those newbies as you can, so they have a chance of achieving their goals this year rather than experiencing another failed resolution.
The holidays are stressful enough without getting overwhelmed by the necessary adjustments to your business. Start now, and move into the holiday season with the joy it’s meant to bring, and give your business the opportunity to flourish through it all.
Looking for ways to promote your holiday specials and new classes? Get your copy of our free 10-Step Marketing Guide.