We’ve talked about how to attract local customers to your gym. We’ve talked about how to improve your memberships. And we’ve talked about why people quit the gym, and ways you can encourage them not to leave. Attracting and retaining members is obviously a great way to grow your business and a surefire way to secure an income. But there are other ways to make your gym make money for you. We’ll look at some of the methods of getting additional income from your gym in this article.
1. Sell Complementary Goods
It’s frustrating to get to the gym and realise you’ve forgotten your towel/headphones/socks. Many gym-goers would happily pay for the convenience of having these simple items. With markup often really high (up to 100% for some products), it’s smart to capitalise on having potential customers already on premises.
2. Make the most of the time/space available
Gyms tend to be busiest after “work” hours, so from around 5pm to 8pm. But for the rest of the day, unused space is wasting money. Use these quiet times to offer off-peak memberships at a slightly reduced rate (e.g. to Senior Citizens who are likely have free time during the day). Or, run lunchtime speed-sessions which are a great way for working members to get an energy boost during their break. Ideally, these would be 30-45 minute classes/workouts so that people can fit it into their day.
Do you have “dead” areas of the gym - a room that doesn’t get used, or an empty corner? Consider renting it out to a masseuse etc. so your members can relax as well as exercise on your site. Obviously, if it’s an empty corner, you’d need to put drywall or similar up for privacy!
Mixing up training routines is a great way to help your members beat their goals and smash through plateaus. Not only do workshops give you an additional income source, they also make your gym-goers more successful. As members learn more about how to move and how to use equipment correctly, they’ll find they consistently perform better. This success around their targets and abilities will improve retention (which is another positive for your revenue).
A good starting point for planning your workshops is to begin with the questions you’re often asked. E.g. - how do I use weights to tone up without getting bigger? How do I bulk up quickly? What supplements/nutrition plan should I be using/following? How do I deal with DOMS?
If you’re not an expert in any of these fields, consider reaching out to your contacts and network. Sometimes industry professionals would consider running a free/heavily discounted class in order to access your member base. You could also look internally at your staff/members. Perhaps there’s a nutritionist who uses your gym that could lead a workshop, or an osteopath who can teach people how to use foam rollers for recovery after a particularly heavy session.
|Workshops can be useful to help your gym members educate themselves about other aspects of healthy living.|
4. Boot Camps
This can be another great way to relieve overcrowding pressure in your gym. If you’ve got a park, beach or woodland nearby, encourage members to join a boot camp and get outside. It’ll free up equipment indoors for other gym-users, and give the boot campers a great energy boost and change of scenery. If you're short on outdoor space, you can run them internally - just try to aim for times when the gym is less busy, unless you've got a space set aside for classes etc.
Use boot camps to make the most of peak seasons as well. For instance, gym membership increases in January as part of the New Year resolution. Run a “New Year, New You” boot camp to take advantage of this increased level of interest. New members will meet other gym-goers, as well, which will increase your chance of retaining more people. Other potential camps could focus around getting “beach body ready” or a “mini olympics” series, or internal crossfit challenges.
|Bootcamps can be a great way to source extra income for your business. If you don't have indoor space available, head outside for a change of scene.|
5. Host Events
Friendly competition gets the blood pumping and can create a great atmosphere. Think about running an in-club competition or challenge. You can have the results on the website, or on a whiteboard, with a daily/weekly running total. Seeing the current leaderboard positions will motivate people to push themselves.
Events unrelated to the gym give people a chance to get to know their fellow gym-goers on a more personal level, which will make them feel more comfortable/included at the gym. Social dinners or drinks are a great way to get the conversation going and introduce new and existing members, even if it’s only a Christmas dinner or a summer BBQ.
Health retreats or fitness holidays can be a fantastic boost for your members and their relationship with your gym. Tailor them depending on your members. You may get better uptake if you go somewhere local for a weekend rather than to Bali for a week. Remember that people have other commitments, and put the feelers out to check interest levels before you organise anything. Don’t forget to take deposits if it looks like it’s all going to go ahead!
Check out this article for ideas on how to fill events and get people engaged.
|Events (especially active ones) are a fantastic get-to-know-you team builder to make your gym members feel more comfortable.|
Still not convinced that increasing revenue per member is a great way to boost your income? Think how much more your gym would make annually if you added £20 of income per month from each member.
- If you have 20 members, it’d be an extra £4,800 a year.
- With 50 members, it’d be an extra £12,000 a year.
- For 100 members, we’re talking an extra £24,000 a year.
It’s possible that not all of these will work for your gym - pick out the ones that suit you best. Let us know how successful you are, and if you’ve found anything else that works well for you!