4 Ways to Increase Gym Membership to 600+
I love the training business! Maybe it’s because I get to change the lives of my clients every day. Or it could be that I dig hanging out in the gym and wearing sweat pants for a living!
In seven years I have grown my gym, in a small New Hampshire town, to 600 members. I started a tiny 1,200 sq foot studio with zero clients. I had just finished a stint in the Army Infantry and immediately opened the gym, even though it was the middle of a terrible recession, and everyone around me thought I was bat-shit crazy. Since then, I have grown to a 12,000+ sq ft facility and learned a lot along the way! Here’s four things you can do to grow your business.
#1: Be an Expert
Want to get clients? Be a training expert. It’s better for you to be an absolute NINJA at one or two things that you love than the guy who does everything for everybody. Having a niche will attract the right clients and even repel clients that would not otherwise be a good fit for your business. Training experts get massive results for their clients and are highly paid and sought out! Find a couple of things that you LOVE and dive in.
You should be outsourcing the things you aren’t great at. Why struggle with something that isn’t one of your strengths? I used to try to do it all myself. I was an Army of One. That severely limited the growth of my business. Now I focus on a few high return activities that I enjoy. Here’s just a few of the things I am not good, at or would prefer not to do: Bookkeeping/accounting, creating websites, creating marketing materials, and cleaning.
I know my strengths and play to them. Get help with the things that someone else can do better for you and get really focused on your money making strengths. You should do the things that make you happy and have the highest return for your business. There are tons of people that are experts, that want to help you with the things you shouldn’t or can’t. Also, it’s amazing how much you can love your job when you only do things you like.
#3: Market Yourself
If you own a gym you are NOT in the training business. Your actual business is the marketing and selling training.
I used to believe that the best trainer will always win. Coaching was always the most important thing to me. Now I know that the best marketer of training wins. That does not mean you shouldn’t strive to be a great coach; but you must also learn to market your services.
The gyms and coaches with the best marketing will beat their local competition, even if the training is not equal. Embrace that you need a solid marketing plan to grow your business. Focus on three or four high return activities that resonate with you, and your business, and do them consistently.
Market every day! My current marketing focus is on content creation, blog posts, videos, social media updates, referrals, charity workouts and fun community events.
#4 Build a Community
We try to give back to the community, not for recognition, but because it’s the right thing to do. We routinely do charity workouts, donate services, raise money and gifts for children in need, and support police officers and soldiers who have been killed or injured. It’s part of our business model.
Give back to your community and good things will happen in your business. As a result of our fundraising efforts we have raised thousands of dollars for charity, helped some local people in need, gotten a ton of great publicity, won an award from the Governor of New Hampshire, and received the Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award.
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