Gym Insight Blog - 11 August 2017
There is a certain romance to the idea of a hardcore backstreet gym where you find the driven athletes and bodybuilders. One that’s as run down on the inside as it is on the outside. You can imagine the grisly old owner-slash-coach taking payments in cash and keeping accounts in his head. Only Hollywood writers and Elmore Leonard could get away with this idea of a seedy and decrepit shed. The reality is that the club industry is hyper-competitive and if you want to attract the type of consumers who are committed to fitness, you will have to clean up your gym and make all the needed repairs to your fitness club.
Gym Insight Blog - 7 August 2017
Across all of the activities that you organize to market your gym business, do you know what the critical touchpoints are in the structure of your membership marketing and management process? Touchpoints are the events and situations that define how you monitor and measure the customer journey that your members experience throughout their customer lifecycles.
Gym Insight Blog - 2 August 2017
Selling more gym memberships is a good thing in principle, but do you know how much it costs you to get that sale? There are two parts of the expense required to generate revenue in any business, the cost of sale and overhead cost. Those costs you can attribute to making each sale and everything else, which you pay to vendors, but which you cannot assign to a particular transaction.
Gym Insight Blog - 20 June 2017
Putting your employees and representatives in sharp uniforms is one of the most fundamental ways to put a professional face on your fitness center operation, studio, or small gym business. There is a whole range of reasons to put your staffers in uniforms, and the key features are the associations that tie it all together.
Gym Insight Blog - 1 June 2017
Someone recently made a very excellent comment on the Gym Insight Blog. The commenter posted that, while walk-ins are great, they don’t just materialize out of thin air, clubs have to work for them.
Gym Insight Blog - 3 May 2017
Here’s some more economics stuff, but it’s golden, so if you’re an aspiring fitness entrepreneur, stick with me here. If there were perfect competition, no one would make a profit. The fact is there are hidden opportunities that arise because the gym industry has quirks that make it possible for an enterprising gym enthusiast-slash-professional to make a splash.
Gym Insight Blog - 14 February 2017
The new technologies of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are set to change the fitness industry if the current trend continues. Both VR and AR have threatened to do something interesting for years now. But this time the promise might turn into VR products that consumers can use. Your gym members may soon demand fitness equipment that allows them to connect to digitally rendered worlds and games while they work out.
Gym Insight Blog - 13 January 2017
Security is taking on a whole new meaning now. There are still all of the general concerns about physical security risks and the need to secure credit card transactions with the new chip card systems. Now, everything’s connected digitally too, it’s not just a new-age-y saying, it’s true that even the smallest businesses depend on either a computer or a tablet to handle business transactions.
Gym Insight Blog - 9 January 2017
The digital economy has changed everything about the fitness experience. Your gym membership is now as much about connecting with people as it is about the workout. The workout experience counts most, but the club experience as a relationship is vital too. Everything from social media engagements, shout-outs for results, to the attitudes and demeanor of your staff members count as part of that experience. Look at everything that you do and evaluate it from the perspective of your members.
Gym Insight Blog - 10 October 2016
Do you know what I object to most in the fitness business? It’s those big-box chains that sign up members for the low monthly rate, but secretly hoping that customers never turn up to occupy space in any of their one million and six facilities. Low membership fees are fine in themselves, and it’s a good thing that gyms give their members the hope of getting off the couch and getting fit. However, it just offends my sense of honor and the principles that got me into the business in the first place. Also, a strategy that delivers premium services is going to add more value in the long term.
Gym Insight Blog - 5 October 2016
Sometimes keeping your small gym business lean is just a matter of tying your proverbial shoelaces, sprucing up your operational practices and squeezing that little bit of extra mileage out of your resources. Even a fundamentally sound business needs to protect itself against the risk of squandering resources and frittering away advantages in a competitive market.
Gym Insight Blog - 12 September 2016
Fitness was a $17 billion a year industry in 2014, and it continues to grow every year. Your small gym business has every opportunity to make selling a central skill that will drive your business forward. What’s more, all of your employees are counting on you to pull through. So, who in your gym is responsible for selling new memberships? The answer has to be all of you! You need your team to understand that their jobs depend on their ability to bring in new members and turn curious window shoppers into loyal customers. So, getting the team together for sales training and discussions is critical to getting everyone aligned and focused on capturing sales, whether it is new memberships, classes and development sessions, or add-on sales for extra income.
Gym Insight Blog - 1 September 2016
There is always more room for another list on the Internet, particularly when it is as important as reinvigorating marketing strategies for small gym business owners. There may be more relevant marketing ideas that only you can know about driving your business ahead. So, while you ponder on what business marketing ideas will give you a boost, read through these seven marketing tips for gym owners, and perhaps you will find something that inspires you.
Gym Insight Blog - 29 August 2016
Some gym equipment comes and goes as fashionable or convenient to the user. Other gear just turns up one day, and then you wonder how you ever got along without it. It’s beginning to look like a solid bet that wearable technology for the gym is here to stay, and it soon might be indispensable too. The Wearables.com website has just posted an exciting article about the wearable tech in use at the Orangetheory chain of gyms. It is an excellent example of how wearables and fitness make such a great pair. This class-based exercise sweatshop uses feedback to encourage, inspire and badger members into putting in their best performances.
Gym Insight Blog - 22 August 2016
A recent post on the Club Solutions Magazine’s website reminded me of how proactive you have to be as a business owner; in the gym management business you live and die by your ability to lead. As an independent gym business owner, you’ve probably found the key to your success is working with people to achieve a common objective. The goal of your business is to inspire and assist in the growth and improvement in the physical health of all of the people around you. It’s the ultimate secret to success in fitness; you have to help others make the kind of living wage you wish for yourself and exemplify the fitness they hope to achieve.
Gym Insight Blog - 27 July 2016
What is marketing about if not finding new customers? And when business is at its slowest surely that is the time to shift down a gear and get the marketing efforts going properly. Marketing is about customers, who they are and what they want, as well as how you can mold your business to pick up some new members. You can bring in new members who want what you have and to do it at the lowest possible cost to you in the process. Of course, marketing takes an investment of time and energy, if not capital. If you are an experienced small gym business owner, you already know that running a business is hard work and never-ending. So, while it may not be a welcome reminder of all the hard work, here is another one about the work you need to do to market your gym.
Gym Insight Blog - 20 July 2016
It seems like retention is one of the biggest topics here at the Gym Insight Blog. Well, it is a critical issue that you absolutely must address. That’s because holding on to your membership is the difference between success and failure in any people oriented business; it’s the difference between sleeping in the back office and purchasing a comfortable home with the profits from your successful fitness center. Your marketing goals must be to gain new customers and hold on to the ones that you already have, these are two complementary but different functions in marketing your business. Winning new members is all about discovery and curiosity; new members will give you a chance once. Holding on to your customers is all about keeping them interested and satisfying their needs, which is often easier said than done.
Gym Insight Blog - 28 June 2016
Strange as it may seem, this is a rebuttal to my previous post about boosting revenue. Yes, increased margin is good, but too much of a good thing can take your gym off focus, especially in the early days. Some of the most successful companies have the simplest offerings, i.e., they stick to what they do best. In that post, I gave a list of different things that gym owners and managers can do to boost revenue, based on the various points on the profit and loss statement and how you can leverage them to improve your cash flow. It was like financial jujitsu if you will. Before you get to that point in your gym business journey, you will need to get some of the basics out of the way.
Gym Insight Blog - 30 May 2016
How are you doing with taking credit cards at your gym or studio these days? The term is “dip”; you dip your chip card to pay now. That is, of course, if your gym is using the EMV chip card slot on the merchant terminal, rather than still swiping the magnetic strip. As a quick reminder, magnetic strips are “bad” because they carry your account number and information in the open, for anyone to read. And that is what criminals have been doing; they are reading the unscrambled account information on magnetic strips to make counterfeit copies and make fraudulent purchases. The chip puts a stop to all of that, assuming that you use it consistently. Don’t forget, if you do accept a card payment that turns out to be fraudulent, you might end up carrying the bill if you swiped the card rather than dipped it.
Gym Insight Blog - 16 May 2016
I recently finished reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs, which I thought was a fascinating life story. There are so many things about this guy that pertain to any business that it’s an irresistible topic to tackle on the Gym Insight Blog. But I promise to visit the subject only one time, unless there is a call for an encore in the comments of course.
Gym Insight Blog - 20 April 2016
Since the topic of membership retention is still fresh on the pages of the Gym Insight Blog, let’s talk about the strategic points to hold on to your customers a little longer. No doubt, you have some idea of what you are doing well and what can be improved, and there are uncounted sources of ideas for retention on the Web, but it never hurts to have an over-arching strategy in place, right?
Gym Insight Blog - 6 April 2016
Individually, unless you have a specialized studio that caters to an elite clientele, each customer is just a marginal element of your monthly revenue. Not that you should ever think of them that way literally. Instead, you should look at the big picture: The total value of a customer is quantifiable, and once you’ve measured it, you can systematically improve it. Who cares about lifetime value? If you own a gym, or you manage the operations of a small gym for someone else, you need to care about such things. Customer lifetime value (CLV) is a metric that does what its name implies: it tells you about the lifetime value of each customer in a way that enables you to model of your business and improve it in the real world.
Gym Insight Blog - 31 March 2016
You’ve undoubtedly heard the expression cash is king, and you’ll probably agree without much hesitation that revenue is the vital resource for your company. Even if you never deal with cash per se, revenue is the cash that drives your business forward; it’s the very breath of your organization. Your membership structure is most likely your primary income source and all your members contribute a share to your success. However, there are always opportunities to give better service or provide products that will make your members’ experience better and which will boost your revenue in return.
Gym Insight Blog - 28 March 2016
It’s about time once again to review the trends that are in the ascendant and what has changed in the last year or two in the fitness industry. Fortunately, we don’t have to guess or dig too deeply. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) produces a survey of the top twenty trending issues in the minds of fitness professionals.
Gym Insight Blog - 22 March 2016
Even in this digital-first era, when it comes to operating a business, it still all boils down to the basics. By this, I mean a few specific skills and functions that we have addressed in some detail over the years, here on the Gym Insight Blog. But being basics, they never suffer for a little repetition. Of these, membership retention stands out as one of the most critical factors. Small progressive improvements can take you from a struggling small business owner, sleeping in the back office, to the top of your local marketplace.
Gym Insight Blog - 1 March 2016
When it comes to hiring new people for critical positions in a growing business, gym owners often find that it’s a tricky affair; the needs are many, and so are the hazards. It’s one of the things that can have a lasting impact on your company and your ability to scale your outfit up to enterprise scale. When your gym membership grows, and you have a small hourly or commission-based team that needs more direction than you can manage on your own, it is time to start considering the possibilities of bringing in one or more professional managers. There’s only so much training, motivating, and supervising that you can do on your own. You might have plenty of trainers and people that you brought along from the beginning. However, to keep your business thriving and growing, it might make sense to bring in outside managerial experience.