You have had your gym opening. It went according to plan and the opening was a success so you have a good amount of gym members.
What now? How do you keep your members and ensure the growth of the gym so that your business flourishes? We at Gymleco have worked in the gym industry for 25 years and Kai Räty, one of our customer managers, has started several successful gyms. We gathered the best advice for having a successful gym and business.
1. Make the gym personal
Make sure to see and hear all your gym members and keep the communication personal. Not only with the 5% who are in and train 7 days a week, but also interact with the rest of the gym members who are not seen or heard as much. Pay attention and help them with the gym machines, the training exercises or just with tips on training according to their goals. It creates trust and makes your members loyal. So that they don’t switch gyms as soon as they see a better offer. In addition, both your job and the gym environment will be much more fun Remember that new customers are more expensive than existing ones so take care of your gym members.
Tip from Kai: “At my gyms, we implemented a system that displayed a profile picture with name on the computer screen at the front desk as soon as a gym member walked in through the entrance. Using it, we always greeted the member with their name. Everyone was pleasantly surprised about getting a personal greeting when they entered.”
2. Do events for your gym members
To make the gym members come back and feel that they are getting something more out of the gym, it is a good idea to create different happenings. It can be anything from specific training sessions to lectures, competitions and tournaments. Think outside the box! Engage members to join and participate. It doesn’t have to cost a lot. Talk to your partners and see if they can stand competitive prices in exchange for exposure. Members will appreciate being part of the spirit of the gym and feeling like they are part of a community.
Tip from Kai: “We used to have a collaboration with nightclubs and have recurring parties with our gym members. It was very appreciated as we built a strong community of people who liked to meet outside the gym environment too!”
3. Use cost-effective exercise equipment
Gym spaces costs a lot of money so it is important to optimize your premises. Calculate the surfaces and make sure they are cost-effective:
- Use gym equipment that is surface efficient. Make sure that as many members as possible can train at the same time without your gym feeling crowded.
- Make sure gym equipment is in the right place. See how your gym members move around the gym and move your gym machines accordingly.
- Use your gym space for purposes other than just the gym. During times when there are few gym members working out, bring in local youth organizations or similar to ensure that the space is used 24/7 and that it is used for a good purpose.
Tip from Kai: “We contacted the local pensioners’ association and created a collaboration with them. Three days a week we had the group training with up to 60 pensioners. For the pensioners, morning training on weekdays was perfect and that’s when we had the fewest gym members in the gym.”
4. Create added value at the gym
There are a lot of gyms out there so for a customer it can be difficult to stick around if new offers appear. Therefore, make sure to create added value for your gym members. Offer free coffee or free solarium. Serve breakfast some mornings. Have a spa session or personal training once a month. Only the imagination sets the limits. Start from what you yourself would have wanted and ask your gym members what they would like.
Tip from Kai: “I’ve had free tanning beds, a free coffee lounge and given out a bunch of free products. The important thing is to be clear about what the actual value is of what you’re offering. So that the customer knows what he or she is getting.”
5. Stick to the calculation
Stick to your calculation of income and expenses you set from the beginning. If it turns out that you are not getting as many members as you intended, do not lower the membership price. The price is set for a reason.
Just as you use added value to retain customers, you can also use added value to attract new customers. Have a free month or give a starter kit of fun products when the customer signs up. Talk to the local companies and get business partners. Offer discount or deals from those companies. It provides good advertising for the companies and gives you the chance to offer something unique.
Tip from Kai: “To bring in more gym members, we rented portable coffee machines and went around the commuter trains handing out free coffee and information about the gym. Think outside the box when recruiting new customers.”
In summary, there are several ways to recruit and keep gym members. If you need more tips or are looking for new surface efficient gym equipment, get in touch with us at Gymleco. We look forward to helping you and your gym be as successful as possible! If you need help in the start-up phase, read our article that gives concrete tips when starting a gym and get in touch with us for help planning your dream gym.