Predicting The Unpredictable As we hit mid-year in 2017, I’d like to touch on a few points about where the fitness business is going. You just need to look at the news to wonder if things will be unpredictable. I think we have reached a time in which you must be the certainty. By that I mean it is up to fitness entrepreneurs and gym business owners to have the discipline and do the things that make your world a little more stable. Preparing For The Future That Is Next Year The days when you would set up and open [...]

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New gym memberships make owners and managers feel great, no doubt! But it’s even better if you can hold on to the old memberships longer. Reducing your rate of club turnover and increasing the customer lifecycle are critical practices in building successful fitness businesses. Here on the Gym Insight Blog, I have made the point many times before that retention matters as much as sales. But getting these numbers right is so important that it doesn’t hurt to dive into retention and selling gym memberships once again. If you structure your sales and onboarding process well, saying “no” at the [...]

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Blockchain? Bitcoin? Ether-what? In my head, I hear you say, “What does this cryptocurrency stuff have to do with the gym business and my fitness club?” Well, it turns out that the robust technology behind these new things is useful for many different industries, including fitness. Technology is hitting the fitness industry as hard as any other business vertical. Here at the Gym Insight Blog, I’ve been trying to keep up and inform readers about what’s new and what’s likely to be coming along soon. So, considering the excitement about cryptocurrencies lately, I want to highlight it here too. Another [...]

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Podcasting Revisited For 2017 Podcasting is a topic that I think is worth revisiting. So, this is an update to a classic Gym Insight blog post, with more good stuff for gym owners. Through podcasts, you can discover insights for gym owners, stay current with issues in fitness, business management, and any other topics that might help you keep up with ideas and opportunities. Producing a podcast is hard to do but don’t ignore a fantastic opportunity for fitness professionals if you have something to say, just because of a little hard work. Listening: A List Of Noteworthy Podcasts In Fitness [...]

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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. Branding By Association Members want to know who is in charge – Some common sense guidelines apply to uniforms in any business. Successful branding is about putting all of your visual and written material in one marketing strategy framework. The obvious factors include things like [...]

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When you work very hard to build something significant, and someone makes what sounds like an unjustified remark, it hurts. If you don’t restrain yourself from attacking it can turn into a circus in all the wrong ways. Ever see a minor complaint turn into a public relations disaster? It seems like it happens all the time these days and companies still miss opportunities to turn customer griping into chances to amaze larger audiences. Negative Reviews Can Make Your Service Better When someone makes a complaint in public or gives you a bad review, it’s going out to the whole [...]

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To Sprout Roots Is The Essence Of Transformative Change What got you to where you are now will not necessarily get you where you need to go; this is a lesson that startups in fitness and every other business sector continuously relearn through firsthand experience. An oak tree is entirely different from an acorn; it has to make some huge transformations to become such a great tree. So, you started a gym, and you have members, you pay your bills, your home mortgage, and usually eat two or more meals a day. However, you realize that you are going to [...]

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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. Yes, that is absolutely true, you are going to have to invest some time and effort to generate walk-in inquiries. The result you want is a new face loitering by the front desk asking questions and taking the tour. Advertise and Brand Building The old school concept of marketing is as valid as it ever was, you need AIDA: attention, interest, desire, and action, to cultivate [...]

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The Digital Natives Expect You To Bring Your A-Game There is a simple logic that justifies marketing to Millennials; it is the fact that, being young people, they will be around for years and years to come. So if you can capture the mood and attitude that appeals to them, you have a shot at building relationships with a valuable demographic. Millennials are the offspring of past generations that were subject to sophisticated marketing, even if the media was less advanced. This recent generation has grown up within that context, and they are the first generation that is truly native [...]

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Big Fitness is doing well these days, and that can have an impact on small gym businesses. However, the market looks set to continue growing over the next few years, which means there’s enough business to go around. The shape of the fitness industry is changing, and it may be unrecognizable by the mid-2020s. Success at the top is a good thing; it represents expanding opportunities for small gym business owners, here’s why. The Shape Of Big Fitness Companies I was reading a report about the Top 100 Health Clubs of 2016 that Club Industry posted last August, and as [...]

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If you’re one of the many Insight Gym Management Software users, you have used our cloud-based services. So what is this cloud and why does it help small business owners and fitness clubs run businesses? Talk about the Cloud seems to be everywhere these days. Any time you use applications like Facebook, Slack, MS Office 365, or one of the many others, that’s the cloud. Apps that appear in your web browser or your mobile device put all of the work on the far side of the connection to deliver better service and to do it efficiently. The cloud is [...]

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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. Getting In The Mix While Standing Apart Even if the biggest McBigBox franchise were to open right across from your studio or club, the fact that it’s there might be a sign that you are in the right place and you can pick [...]

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This One Hack Will Generate Early Feedback Here’s a tech term that you can use as a principle to drive your small gym business empire ahead: In tech jargon, they call it Dogfooding. The expression, to “eat your dog food” is not a literal thing, obviously. I don’t think that trend has gotten off the ground yet thank goodness. However, if you don’t take heed and begin to practice this brand-building principle, you might literally end up sleeping in your back office. Dogfooding applies most intensely when you’re attempting to make significant changes. For example, when you roll out changes [...]

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It’s Not What You Think So, what does a small fitness business or startup look like? From the outside, it might resemble any one of a variety of business models that have nothing in common. Inside it's likely to be a different story. Your business probably has an architecture that fits into a format that any gym manager will recognize, a club with a subscription membership. It’s a service business that has consumers for members. You have to deal with a competitive market, fight against lots of similar companies, and also contend with the giants that have unlimited resources. These key [...]

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Insights That Nudge Your Membership If you are an independent fitness business owner, it always helps to find the simple hacks that get exceptional results. Let's look at some awesome hacks to analyze your operational data in search of small changes that give you big rewards. There is even a new scientific way of thinking about customer behavior that might help find the points where a nudge will get your members to get the fitness results they signed up for in the first place. Hacking Members With Nudges The latest thinking in economics (bear with me) is about applying common [...]

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