Gym Owners: Tips For Your Business
The traditional gym model relies upon failure for its success. How so? People sign up for a one-year membership usually as part of a New Year's resolution or just before summer bathing suit season. Many drop out after a few weeks and most after a few months.
This model relies on the failure of your gym to meet the needs of your customers. Is that really how you want to do things? Sure, with heavy advertising you can keep getting people to spend $300 or whatever an annual membership is and leave most of that unused.
But there is a better way. First, you need to figure out what your customers want. Then, you need to ensure that you provide a fairly sure way for them to get that. And while they are working on that goal, you need to shift their mindset to something more permanent.
Their goal is usually to "lose weight," by which they mean change their body composition such that they have a lower ratio of fat to lean mass. The fact that your customers are still talking about "weight loss" after the first month at your gym is a red flag of failure.
The "weight loss" folks follow the typical program provided by the typical gym:
Is it any wonder that, after a few months of this, people just give up?
Why gyms have machines:
But many people just want to "get toned." They don't want hard work outs. What can you do about them?
What about those big shakes? A problem that occurs with newbies is they get all kinds of bad advice. They start spending big time on supplements, because they don't see results. Or they start scarfing down extra protein rather than just reducing their junk carb intake. Suggestions:
Following these tips will dramatically reduce turnover. But only if you make it clear from the outset that customers who sign up are making a contract with you to meet their goals. "If you work with me, I will do my best to help you meet that goal. We have defined it in terms that are reasonable, achievable, and time-bound. If you don't do your part, you keep your body fat and I keep your membership fee."
Yes, you will lose the dilettantes who pay their fee, show up a few times, and don't come back. Or who keep showing up but don't ever change in appearance. Those are not the walking advertisements you want for your gym.
If you get results, you will get more customers signing up and staying on. You can reduce your advertising spend dramatically. Why? Because word of mouth and repeat sign-ups will provide you with the customer base you need to be profitable.
The articles on this site are authoritative, because:
Where an article is not bylined with a specific author's name, it was written by Mark Lamendola (see photos on home page and elsewhere on this site). Mark is a 4th degree blackbelt, has not been sick since 1971, and has not missed a workout since 1977. Just an example of how Mark knows what he's talking about: In his early 50s, Mark demonstrated a biceps curl using half his body weight. That's a Jack LaLanne level stunt. Few people can even come close. If you want to know how to build a strong, beautiful body, read the articles here.
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