As you know, fitness is more than just providing a place to work out; it’s about community and building a network of like-minded, healthy, and happy people. Whether you’re networking for gym business owners or your membership, it’s the connections you make that root your fitness enterprise in your local community.
Success comes from connecting in this business because it’s about people and building your membership one person at a time. There is one extra essential ingredient that goes into making your community, and that’s passion.
If you have the love and motivation that emanates from the energy of passion you’re halfway to success in this industry. Everything else is something you can build, buy, borrow, or do without.
Networking For Your Membership Community
A shared passion for a particular strand of the fitness vine is the glue that cements friendships and business networks. I wrote some time ago about Orangetheory, the group workout HIIT franchise that has grown to national significance in the past decade. This company, and others like it such as CrossFit and SoulCycle, brings together people for fitness.
Shared workouts that take you to peak states of exertion are some of the most bonding experiences you can have. A group that pushes to the edge together takes something of that one-ness away from the event. Sharing HIIT workouts like Orangetheory makes gym members more receptive to one another.
Just stopping to chat before and after the workout makes you more likely to link up with new networking contacts. There is even some credible evidence that the energy you get from a group workout improves workplace performance and creativity.
The urge to network through fitness presents as many opportunities for imaginative gym owners as you can dream up. For example, find a suitable local fitness meet-up group and offer your facility to host events. Whether you use Meetup.com or some other event platform, you’ll know you’re doing it right when the attendees begin to inquire about your offerings and sign up for new memberships.
Networking With Your Local Business Community
The other primary type of networking for gym business owners is about your community just as much as for your members. There are more online networking resources for club owners than you can shake a barbell at.
You should also make every effort to network with your local business community as well. Try out different networking events in your area. Your local Chamber of Commerce is likely to have meet-ups and other organizations put together events that will help you make connections.
Your local business networking organizations will accept you and so will the local business owners. After all, you’re all doing the same thing in the niche that works for you. Of course, there could be some envy on the other side because, as a gym business owner, you’re doing the thing you love to do, am I right?
Bridging The Boundaries Between Owners And Members
In the big picture, all the people and business entities connected with your fitness club are your stakeholders. Depending on the angle by which they came to you, your stakeholders have differing interests, but there’s room for overlap. Business contacts can become members and members lead to business opportunities.
As a gym business owner, your goal is to be the nexus of a community, and your community will bring business back to you, in turn. Having a group of enthusiasts around you is the vital ingredient. Members who feel at home with your club will sing your praises. Recommendations you gain this way cut the cost of your marketing and raise your profit margin.
Think About Your Goal
Once you strip away the distractions, you have the core of what you want to achieve in fitness. If you can identify the goal toward which you work, if you can work out the essence of your community, what you share with your members, peers, and employees, you can do something that goes beyond the average in fitness.
Your members are at your gym because they want to get or stay fit. However, anyway that you can make your community more socially integrated as part of their lives, the more they’ll want to stick around.
Whatever reward you get from improving your retention rate is fantastic, but the positive connection to other people, who want to be a part of your fitness club world, is the highest reward your passion for fitness can bring.
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