jumping jacks

The majority of the population, at one point or another, has the made a New Year’s resolution that included the phrases go to the gym, lose weight, get in shape. And many of them then committed to purchasing a membership. As a fitness business owner, it’s important to keep in mind the following do’s and don’ts for the New Year, so you not only sell memberships but retain these members for the long term, enabling them to actually achieve their resolution.

We all theorize that more people join gyms at the beginning of the year, but don’t have the data to prove it. We looked at the average percent increase in gym members added for Zen Planner fitness businesses. In the past, Zen Planner customers in January have increased their member base by an average of 18% with this slowly declining throughout the year, but making another jump in June when summer starts and again in August when everyone gets back to their post-summer routines.


DO make sure your member management software is clean, organized and ready to go
  • Depending on the size of your fitness business, purchase your software three to six weeks before you plan to open or expect a rush of members.
  • You should be completely functional with the software and have everything set up correctly to make things smooth for both you and your members.
DON’T give discounts
  • People are already interested in signing up for a gym, school or studio, so why decrease the value of your services with a discount?
  • Discounts hurt you in the long run, as it’s revenue you’ve earned, but are not collecting on. Plus, when you bring members in on a discount it becomes difficult to charge them full price in the future.
DO set up an onboarding ramp for new members
  • If new members feel lost or left behind, they aren’t going to stay at your gym.
  • Set up an onboarding program and make sure your staff are trained and comfortable with this process.
  • Create a new member welcome packet to help with your new members transition into your community.
DON’T wait until the last minute to start marketing
  • People will have an idea of where they want to go well before the New Year, so start marketing early to get those individuals’ attention.
DO keep in mind your other priorities
  • Tax season is right around the corner! Keep track of everything you need and start this process early so you aren’t stressed at the last minute.
  • New members are great, but don’t forget about your existing community! These individuals have been loyal to your business for years, so don’t neglect these key relationships during this busy time.
DON’T forget to track attendance
  • Make sure you have a reliable way to track attendance, whether through your staff members or member self-service.
  • With all the new faces walking through the doors, you don’t want to end up losing money by missing this basic, yet essential step.

Make sure you have a plan in place to keep your new members loyal. Get your free copy of our guide, Essential Strategies for Member Retention.

New call-to-action