How to Keep Fitness Clients from Cancelling

We’ve all bought something we’ve not used. The question is why didn’t we use it? Maybe it was aspirational – something designed to change us or make us a better person, but actually using it becomes the challenge in itself. Gym memberships are a lot like that – our clients sign up because they have goals and ambitions for their health and physiques. Showing up, however, means facing their own insecurities and lack of knowledge. So they don’t go — ever. Targeting Low-Usage New Members The best time to curtail this sad outcome is right within the first 30 days [...]

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Can Your Gym Become an Essential Business?

This fall, Planet Fitness made news when four locations in California owned by the same franchisee reopened under the designation of an “essential” business. Their tactic? Pay for a membership in the Medical Fitness Association and follow its  phased reopening guidelines, while directly contacting local health officials for permission to open.  The gyms petitioned their Public Health Services department citing adherence to reopening guidelines published by MFA and vetted through the CDC. The MFA guidelines, in some cases,are stricter than the CDC’s published work: expanding social distancing recommendations based on a population’s health risk and the type of exercise.  The effort worked for Planet Fitness and, since then, more than 500 gyms have sought membership [...]

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Turning Gym Cancellations into Cash

What if I told you there was $500 in monthly gym memberships sitting in your computer? As an owner of a studio, would you search for it? Well, it’s right there — in the cancelled customer column. Let’s look at how we can bring these old friends back into the fold. Make a Plan to Contact Everyone knows turnover is high in the gym business, and lately that number’s crawled upwards. However cancelled and frozen accounts are a golden opportunity. These customers signed up once. They know your club. Now it’s up to you and your sales team to rekindle [...]

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How to make Money with a Digital Business Model

Within a year, online fitness has become an industry staple for nearly every gym, boutique, or trainer. The question, of course, is can you make money at virtual fitness and, if so, how do you recoup the investment? Online classes are, by their nature, a volume business. You’re going to have to sell more classes or train more people to make the same money as you would with an in-person experience. Why? Because you’re now promoting a lower-cost service while investing in new tools and novel marketing techniques. And, unlike selling a physical product, your concept is vulnerable to market [...]

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Gym Management Software — The Hidden Truth Behind That Low Monthly Fee

Choosing the right club management software is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as an owner. Whether you run a single-location Muay Thai studio or a multi-site full-service gym, controlling costs, managing employees, and tracking clients are the cornerstones to your success. If you don’t know how much money you’re spending – or making – then your very job is at risk. Ironically, many fitness companies who sign-up with well-known, heavily-advertised gym software products are forced into that very position. Like a wrestler flat on the mat, they concede control of their business to a third party by [...]

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Inventing a Gym Without a Roof

There are plenty of good reasons to coax your health club members outside - autumn weather is perfect, they can benefit from the shot of vitamin D, and their participation supports their favorite gym as it regains footing after the COVID-19 shutdown. Regardless of the motivations, creating this "gym without a roof" concept is an excellent option for every club at this time. These impulsive opportunities to pack in 10 pushups or swing across extra-wide monkey bars build stamina, muscle endurance, strength, and agility - all in a few moments' time. In many ways it's because exercising in the fresh [...]

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Build Your Gym’s Niche With High-Quality Personal Trainers

There are two types of clubs growing in our economy: boutique centers, and low-cost, bare bones gyms. Many of those in the middle - think Gold's Gym, 24-Hour Fitness, New York Sports Club, and Town Sports - found refuge in the bankruptcy courts as COVID-19's shutdown ravaged their business models. So what can you do to ensure your gym's future in this difficult market? One method is to create a vertical within your facility by hiring personal trainers with nationally-recognized, specialized certifications. Expanding this way boils down to two questions: Who do you want to attract as a customer and [...]

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Recovery Equipment – Is It Worth It?

Recovery fitness is the phrase of the day for health clubs, boutique gyms, and personal trainers. The equipment used by athletes today ranges from foam rollers to cryotherapy tanks and every idea in between. The rage reminds me of a former health club catering to professional and elite level athletes. There, next to the pull-up bars and heavy ropes, was an automated massage table. Each time I considered it, the sheer idea of lying in full view and receiving an electronic massage in the center of a busy gym just shamed me into paralysis. During my eight years attending that [...]

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COVID – 19 Clean – What’s Next For Gyms?

By this time, most everyone knows the basics of keeping their gyms and health clubs COVID-19 clean. Since we've figured out the basics, now is good time to consider the chemicals, techniques and emerging technologies that may make the difference in keeping your gym healthy and safe. Disinfectants When choosing cleaning products for your gym, consider that every product approved against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) includes an EPA registration number on its label. Although the CDC tracks coronavirus cases, it is the EPA which regulates chemicals and is the go-to source for correct cleaning information. Does That Chemical Work? To determine if [...]

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Back in the Day Gyms Rocked!

Remember when fitness was an exploding rocket, taking off like a firebrand in everyone's consciousness? The future seemed endless with new innovations blending technology and health, fun and funky athletic trends, and a swath of boutique and health club options catering to every age, income, and preference. The future will be "virtual, gamified, and totally immersive," claimed a January 2020 Fast Company article. Then came the COVID-19 shutdown and gym attendance petered out, to the point where an estimated 70% of health club members have not returned to their local gyms. Many turned to exercise at their home - a [...]

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Who’s Training in Your Gym?

Everyone, it seems. From teens to octogenarians, we're all pumping iron and taking classes to stay in shape. Thanks to medicine and technology, we are both living longer and more aware of how habits impact our health. And because of that, gyms are no longer the realm of young, beautiful adults. Today, your gym can attract everyone from a 16-year-old high school athlete to an 76-year-old retiree, and chances are, it will.However, just because everyone's exercising, doesn't mean we are all the same. There are many key generational differences and understanding them will help you refine services without wasting time [...]

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Keeping Gym Clients on the Roster

What does it take for a person to show up at the gym after they've paid their dues? What is the difference between the individual who exercises regularly and the one who drops the ball? Scientific research suggests it may all boil down to competency and support. People need to feel good at what they're doing and know others are in the game with them. Recent psychology research on motivation calls this the self-determination theory (SDT). How interested a person is in continuing something is driven by how well an activity meets one's need for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Exercisers [...]

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Healthcare & Health Clubs: How to Make the Relationship Work

Does it make sense for your gym to expand into medical fitness services? The answer is - it depends. On one hand, your health club benefits from a growing base of business built off of referrals from the medical community, but, on the flip side, you can expect a large upfront investment requiring time, money, and space. You would be jumping into a growing trend led, in part, by the American College of Sports Medicine's Exercise is Medicine initiative launched in 2007. This powerful move by a leading organization is an attempt to reset the conversation on the importance of [...]

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Rebuilding Gym Customers’ Trust in the Pandemic Era

Health clubs are in a pickle right now. Not only are they struggling under a load of new regulations and expectations, but they must figure out how to lure clients back into the gym -where the money is made. Just how can gyms rebuild faith in their brand, their facility, their people? Is there a roadmap to follow? Here are the Facts In truth, gyms are not petri dishes of disease. Early non-peer reviewed research shows minimal transmission of COVID-19 at gyms when proper distancing and hygiene methods are in place. The Oslo-based study randomized 3,764 people split into two [...]

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Train Your Gym Staff Like Pros

What if every gym employee approached their job like a salesperson? How would that affect your health club's businessevery day? Would it help or hurt customer retention? Why would you even want to train employees in basic sales techniques? Wouldn't that become annoying? Probably not. See, sales is not just about selling something. It's an attitude. Employees are a core component of any marketing strategy.They reflect the composition of your gym, your target market.They are the face of who you are as a business and you hired them because of their skills, personality, and ability to relate to customers. So [...]

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