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Strategies to Improve Your Gym

Regardless of how well your business is doing, there are always ways to improve. Instead of thinking that improving is an overwhelmingly daunting task, try making small, yet significant improvements each month. Creating meaningful and achievable goals will help you chip away at your bigger, long-term goals as you enjoy greater success. The following are a few strategies you can use to slowly, but surely improve the business at your fitness club.

Energize Your Customer Service
As an independent gym owner, great customer service is one of the most important aspects of your business. After all, if your members don’t feel as though they are taken care of, than before long you won’t have any members. Depending on the size of your gym, you may be a trainer, the receptionist, and a new member coordinator. You clearly have plenty to do, but it’s important now to lose sight of the reason behind all that you do – your members.

When you’re in this business for a while you may find that customers begin to wear on you. They become challenging, and downright bothersome. When that’s the case it is time to refresh your customer service. This can easily be done by changing the way you greet customers – compliment them, smile when you say their name, and make an extra effort to notice how well they are doing at your gym. Go ahead and tell them, “Great job!” or “Looking good!” If you notice a frequent member who hasn’t shown up for a while, go the extra mile and give them a call to touch base and make sure they are alright. One of the main reasons people choose smaller gyms over a global one is the extra personal attention.

Evaluate Your Offerings
There’s no doubt that many of your gym members do the same old routine day in and day out. They hit the elliptical or treadmill for 30 minutes and call it a day. You can help your clients stay committed by providing them a variety of diverse fitness offerings. Bring in guest coaches and instructors, provide workshops and informative courses, add or modify classes, and in general create new and exciting ways for your members to stay engaged and interested. In doing so, you may attract new customers. After all, fad studio gyms come and go, but you can change up the classes at your gym and add routines that are being offered as “fads” rather than committing the entire gym to a fad.

Another way to evaluate your offerings is to sponsor 5K runs, connect with a charity, or add something special such as a “wedding season” boot camp. Members love these types of promotions and they keep things fresh and exciting.

You could even add more to your ProShop. Beyond tank tops and towels, consider offering supplements. Your customers will buy them somewhere, so why not sell high-quality products to them right at the gym. This will not only make you look like a leader in the industry, but will keep your members coming back to you for the product. A win-win for everyone.

Try a New Marketing Tactic
Do you consistently advertise in the same newspaper or billboard location? Maybe it’s time to mix up your marketing tactics to increase your gym’s brand recognition and attract new members. You may need to invest a little up front, but it will be well worth it when prospects start becoming members. At the very least, you should have a website for your gym, a Facebook page and an Instagram account. Be sure you regularly post to social media to keep your members engaged, and add blogs to your gym’s website so you can be found through SEO.

Networking is another great marketing tactic that can help you make connections and get more customers. As mentioned, sponsoring an event like a 5K or donating to a non-profit, makes you look good and is an amazing way to bring in new members.

Solicit Member Feedback
Word of mouth is a great tactic and is one of the best ways to attract new members. Studies have shown time and again that it is 10 times more expensive to attract a new member than it is to keep an existing one. In other words, don’t take your current members for granted. The fitness industry is extremely competitive and your greatest assets are the members you already have. They have plenty of options, so it’s important to give them what they want or they may leave you for another gym. But unless you ask, you can’t be 100% sure what it is that your members want. So from time to time send out customer feedback surveys and/or questionnaires. Ask questions like:

1. Do you take classes? Are there any classes you’d like to see here? How are the class times working/not working for you?

2. Do you find our child care sufficient?

3. How would you rate our staff?

4. What improvements would you like us to make?

5. What do you enjoy about this gym? What do you dislike? How can we make your experience better?

The key to sending out a survey is to make sure you take the feedback to heart instead of getting defensive or ignoring it. You don’t have to make every little change that your customers request, but overall, it’s a good idea to listen to your customers and make sure they feel as though they are being heard. If after a few rounds of sending out surveys you notice that your members aren’t filling them out, you can maximize participation by offering a small discount at the Pro Shop or the smoothie bar, or you could do a raffle and make sure everyone completes a survey by a specific deadline so they have a chance at the prize. Members are more likely to do a survey when there is some kind of motivation.

Running a gym requires a ton of commitment, dedication, energy, and continual change to keep things fresh and new. If you never improve your gym, you will find yourself failing. But making small, steady improvements will help you grow and succeed in the industry.