Diamonds Are Forever but Club Retention Changes Daily

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  • Diamonds Are Forever but Club Retention Changes Daily

Glittering Membership Management Performance Indicators

If you can do things that keep and reduce change to the minimum your club might just be on the path to finding diamonds. Retention is the key concept of club management. It brings your small gym business dreams to life. That is a constant, but, unless your retention rate is one-hundred percent, it means change is the only constant.

Setting Retention to Maximum

If you have a limit to your membership management capacity, the longer members stick around, the less you have to invest in recruiting new ones. The difference is like that of diamonds and dirt; of earning a living or struggling to survive. So, retention is a Key Performance Indicator in consumer-orientated businesses like fitness.

To start a business, you have to add customers, obviously. In the initial stages, you will just be glad to sign up new members as fast as you can. That is step one; as you get better at selling the service, you have to begin looking at other things like holding on to members and selling premium services to them, before they cancel their memberships.

Controlling Cancelations

Controlling cancelations is the heart of retention. You can only sell new memberships so fast, and there is a limit to the capacity you have in one gym. Each new member has a cost associated with bringing them onboard. Once you hit the peak, you should be able to dial back the recruiting efforts.

When you reduce the associated costs and maximize the lifetime customer value, it’s like diamonds in your pocket. On the other hand, cancelations are like a bad dream, one where you’re trying to fill a barrel of water faster than it drains out the bottom. "Well," you say, "The obvious thing to do is plug the leak." Ah-hah! That is the essence of a retention strategy, so good call!

The bad dream analogy is basically correct. However, it’s much tougher to plug the leaks in human enthusiasms. There are thousands of possible leaks that could lead to cancelations. The art is in finding and plugging them starts by understanding what retention looks like in practical terms.

Create Policies and Procedures to Mine the Diamonds

Of all the policies and procedures, establishing an onboarding procedure is the most important. The next most important set is how you handle cancelations. You might lose people in the process, but you can start a process of continuous improvement. You learn to do the things upstream that help retain future member.

If you minimize the disappointments and frustrations that inflate cancelation figures. If you can save as many as possible at their intended exit, that is a good thing. Learn the lessons and apply them to your onboarding and client programming, and that is even better.

Living the Fitness Club Dream

Developing procedures to support your retention goals is a discipline. The immediate impact might be small, but with time, you should see that retention increases month-by-month. If you are working in fitness and reading about financial performance, you’re serious about the gym business.

Of course, it’s all of the other things that really make operating a small gym business that make it worthwhile. If you’re honest about your current performance and put thought into where you wish to take the company, the numbers will show you what you must improve about your procedures. Live the dream, not the nightmare by maximizing your retention rate and the lifetime customer value.

All the Right Retention Tools in One Place

The most effective way for small gym business owners to pursue their diamond dreams is with the right gym management software suite. The Gym Insight Suite of Gym Management Software Tools is an excellent example.

With Insight, you have tools to manage the information of your business and the daily operations. If you have not yet done so, you can check out Insight with a couple of mouse clicks. Then you are ready to take a personalized tour and begin managing your membership for reduced member cancelations and enhanced client retention.


Fagan, Lawrence. "Lifetime Customer Value Calculation and Why It Matters." Gym Insight Blog, April 6, 2016.

—. "The Big Picture in Client Acquisition and Client Retention." Fitness. Gym Insight Blog, December 28, 2018.

—. "The Big Picture in Client Acquisition and Client Retention." Gym Insight Blog, December 28, 2018.

Stepp, Tracy. "Six Strategies to Improve Employee Retention and Your Bottom Line." Fitness. Club Solutions Magazine, February 15, 2017.