While personal and family commitments tend to be at an all-time high in November and December, it’s the ideal time to get all of your ducks in a row at your fitness business so you can start the New Year fresh. According to IHRSA, more than 12% of new gym members join in January. Whether you own a school, gym, box or studio, your busiest season is right around the corner. Here are our top three tips to ensure you’ll go into your busy season, and the New Year, feeling organized, prepared and ready to kick ass.
Have a Strategic Business Plan in Place
Business plans are not just for new businesses. William B. Gartner, Clemson University entrepreneurship professor states, “The importance of a comprehensive, thoughtful business plan cannot be over-emphasized.” Did you create a business plan before opening your gym, studio or school? If not, don’t fret; you actually might be in a better place now to create an accurate plan, compared to where you were before opening your doors.
According to the Harvard Business Review, “Efforts to write the ‘perfect’ business plan usually lead to being precisely incorrect rather than approximately correct. One problem is that the content that most people focus on in business plans has little to do with the reality that will actually emerge. Many start-up plans emphasize a gigantic potential market and how getting just the smallest sliver of it will make them and investors rich.”
As a current business owner, you’re more experienced and have a much better idea of what is and what is not possible. Take the time in November and December to write a strategic business plan, as well as an in-depth marketing plan, to help guide your business next year. If you need help writing a business plan, get your copy of our free Fitness Business Plan Template, a step-by-step guide on how to create a strategic plan for your gym, school or studio.
Set SMART Goals with Your Members
It’s almost time for people to start making their New Years resolutions. In 2015, two of the top 10 resolutions were focused around health, with “stay fit and healthy” coming in at number one and “lose weight” following in second place. Unfortunately, only about 8% of those who make resolutions successfully achieve them. Losing weight and getting fit also make another top 10 list, the most commonly broken resolutions.
The biggest problem with these resolutions is they are not specific enough. If someone’s goal is to simply “lose weight”, at what point will they consider this goal a success? After five pounds? After 25 pounds? And the goal of “getting healthy” will mean something completely different from person to person.
As a fitness professional, you can and you should have a big influence on helping your clients develop SMART resolutions for the New Year. Over the new two months, schedule quick meetings with each and every member to help them create solid and achievable goals for the next year. Making sure that your fitness business will be an integral part of achieving their goals will help with member satisfaction, and more importantly, member retention, next year.
Implement the Right Member Management Solution
Are you still manually collecting checks each month and using tools like Excel to track attendance? Or do you currently have gym management software but feel like it just doesn’t do everything you need it to? Right now is the best time to research member management solutions, so that you can select the right solution by early December and have it implemented before the New Year.
January will be stressful enough with the influx of New Years Resolutioners at your fitness business. Make sure you’re going into your busy season with the right solution that will significantly reduce administrative time for you and your staff, as well as enable your fitness business grow.
If you’re starting the research process for new fitness business software, make sure you know which questions to ask potential providers. Download our helpful checklist, 9 Things Your Gym Software Must Have, so you’re going into every single demo properly prepared.