The relationships you build with your vendors and suppliers play a critical role in the success of your fitness business. They provide you with the goods and materials you need to run your business smoothly.
To maintain your competitive edge, you need to choose the right suppliers and actively work towards developing positive relationships with them. Here are five tips to consider when choosing your fitness equipment suppliers.
1.) Avoid an “I Win, You Lose” Mentality
“The best entrepreneurs are those that are driven, passionate, and that won’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”
While there is a kernel of truth here, this mentality can also break your business. Although many bootstrap entrepreneurs embrace this concept, it can be shortsighted when it comes to your long-term goals and retail sales. It can damage your supplier relationships, and over time it’ll destroy your competitive edge.
2.) Consider the Key Service Elements
Your service provider is directly involved in your business and is an integral part of your team. Your choices for suppliers will be vast, but there are a few key elements that every business should be on the lookout for when choosing a supplier:
- Networking opportunities
- An extensive presence in your industry
- The option to outsource tasks to free up time and finances
- An enjoyable and pain-free experience when interacting with them
- Value-added services (such as fast delivery services, discounts, advice, etc.)
3.) Look for Brand Enhancers
The best suppliers help you enhance your business and take it to the next level. They should provide innovative products of the highest quality at competitive prices that are within your budget.
In terms of equipment, we’ve personally had a good experience with Rogue Fitness. Rogue offers competitive equipment packages that can easily meet the needs of your gym.
Keep in mind that your choice of fitness equipment suppliers should be efficient and economical for your business. Any custom retail equipment should also represent who you are as a business. Find the equipment you need at a price you can afford, then research, review, and haggle your way into a deal that will help elevate your brand.
4.) Know Your Needs
When you’re working with tech suppliers, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Using management software can be a great way to outsource painstaking tasks and free up your time, but it can be difficult to choose the right one.
Before you start searching for vendors, you need to understand what your biggest needs are. Do you need to prioritize affordability? Are you looking for flexibility? Look for software that performs those functions first, and then consider which comes with a learning curve you can handle and is readily accessible.
5.) Stay Informed
The best and most influential brand enhancer isn’t who you buy from or who you hire – it’s you.
The trick to staying successful in the fitness industry is to remain engaged and keep learning. There’s a large supply of quality, free content out there, such as Juggernaut Training Systems’ blog posts or the podcasts from Barbell Shrugged.
Dig around, explore, and find great resources online that tap into your business so you can stay ahead of the curve.
Article originally published March 2015 and updated June 2022.
Choosing the right suppliers is just one of the ways you can upgrade your gym. Looking for other ways to take your gym to the next level? Zen Planner is here to help.
We pride ourselves on catering our proven gym management and billing solutions to the particular needs of your gym. Reach out today and book a live demo to see everything Zen Planner has to offer!
Zen Planner is a management and billing software for boutique fitness businesses.
We help gym, school, and studio owners streamline their day-to-day tasks so they can get back to doing what they love — helping their members. Enjoy all the features you need to manage your fitness business, including robust reporting dashboards, automated payment processing, skills and belt tracking, attendance history, and online retail.