As the saying goes, “slow and steady wins the race.” Instead of thinking of improving your gym’s business as a huge and daunting task, think of it in terms of small, meaningful, achievable steps you can take. Chip away at your business goals little by little and you’ll enjoy continuous, measurable improvement.
Refresh Your Customer Service
Independent gym owners are used to multitasking and wearing many hats. You might be the receptionist, new member coordinator, personal trainer and cleaning service all wrapped up into one. Yes, you’ve got much to do and think about, but don’t lose sight of why you do all you do: for your members!
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Do you sometimes find yourself thinking of your customers as challenging or bothersome? If so, it’s time for a customer-service “reboot.” Greet each customer with a smile, by name, and with a genuine compliment or question. Have you noticed Jim making an extra effort to make time for his workouts? Tell him you’ve noticed, and say “good job!” Have you noticed Sally, who used to be a regular, is usually a no-show these days? Call her and touch base. Or better yet, automate your emails so that one is sent when her absence triggers an alert. She’ll appreciate that you’ve noticed her absence. Personal attention is a big reason why people choose a small gym over a global gym.
Evaluate Your Offerings
Help your clients stay committed and keep them from falling off the wagon by providing fresh fitness offerings. Adding or modifying classes, bringing in guest instructors, and creating special promotions keep customers engaged and interested. You may also attract new customers in the process.
Consider holiday-themed offerings like a Valentine’s Day partner class or a charity WOD at Thanksgiving. Adding yoga or mobility classes are a great way to go if you have a CrossFit box. If you have a yoga studio, consider scheduling prenatal or restorative classes.
Also consider adding retail offerings like dietary supplements or logo apparel. Your members will buy supplements somewhere, so selling high-quality products you approve of is a win for everybody.
Try a New Marketing Tactic
There are many ways to increase your gym’s name recognition and attract customers. We have a comprehensive marketing guide for you if you’re interested in freshening up your marketing. But to start, do you have a website, Facebook page or Twitter account? If not, sign on and update your pages frequently with compelling content and member photos.
Networking is also a great way to make new connections and get potential customers in your door. A really creative marketing tactic is sponsoring an event or donating a trial membership to a local non-profit. Finally, referral programs are must to bring in amazing new members.
Solicit Member Feedback
Research shows it costs about 10 times more to attract a new customer than it does tokeep an existing customer. In your quest to grow your fitness business, avoid taking your existing customers for granted. The fitness industry is competitive, and your members have plenty of options for working out. You’ll never know if you’re giving them what they want unless you ask. Send out a survey with specific questions to gauge customer satisfaction. You might ask questions like:
- Are there classes or class times we don’t offer that you’d be interested in?
- Are the childcare hours we offer sufficient?
- What improvements would you like to see us make?
- What are your favorite and least favorite things about working out here?
Maximize survey participation by placing stacks of surveys, pens, and collection boxes in shower rooms and at the front desk. Or better yet, send out an electronic survey. Make sure you and your team encourage participation. To boost participation, consider making the completed surveys entries to a drawing you’ll conduct on a certain date for a prize of your choosing.
Operating a small business requires dedication, commitment, and continual reinvention. To never improve is to fail, but making small, steady improvements is a winning strategy.
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