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70+ Gym Business Secrets for Gym Growth in 2024

70+ Gym Business Secrets for Gym Growth in 2024

Posted by Tyler Spraul, Certified Strength and Conditioning SpecialistĀ® (CSCSĀ®) on December 12, 2023 ā€” Updated on December 22, 2023

These gym business secrets can catapult your gym to the next level of success, but it takes time. The real secret to gym business success? Committing to doing the “little” things every day. For years.

Gym Business Secrets

Remember, we need to be reminded more than we need to be taught. Put these gym business secrets into action in your gym, one day at a time, and see the results.

Understanding the intricacies of gym management, client retention, and innovative gym marketing strategies is crucial in a competitive market to have a successful gym business. In this article, we will explore key fitness business secrets that can drive growth and efficiency in your gym business and will directly increase gym revenue and profit and make your gym stand out. These include leveraging technology, mastering client engagement, optimizing your services, and more.

Fitness Income Ideas

And if you are just getting started, be sure to check out our gym business ideas and the list of gym business models to learn what is required to open a gym and how to start a fitness business. Then see why using the best gym management software and the best personal training software all in the same platform can accelerate your gym growth.

Exercise.com is simply the best. We were using three or four different apps or softwares to do what we can now do all in one with the Exercise.com platform.
Brandon Stroupe
Founder and President, APEC Sports Performance

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1. Embrace Gym Technology for Efficiency and Engagement

Leveraging gym technology is not just an option but a necessity for gym growth. Exercise.com stands out as a premier choice for gym management software, offering a range of features tailored to the needs of fitness professionals.

Comprehensive Management Tools: Exercise.com offers an all-in-one software solution for managing memberships, scheduling, and billing.

Best Gym Management Software

Custom Branded Apps: Enhance your brandā€™s presence with custom-branded gym apps for both iOS and Android.

Custom Branded Apps

Client Engagement Features: Utilize built-in tools for client engagement, like workout and nutrition tracking, to keep members motivated.

Workout Logger

Streamlined Communication: Facilitate seamless communication between trainers and clients through the platform.

Gym Marketing Automations

Data Analytics: Access insightful data analytics to make informed decisions about your gym’s strategy and growth.

Gym Reports
AMPD Golf Performance
“Working with Exercise.com and their team has been an amazing experience and a dream come true in terms of accomplishing a vision! Their workout technology has helped us effectively engage our community, and I highly recommend Exercise.com to grow your business!”
Andrew Banner
Co-Founder, AMPD Golf Performance

Get a demo now!

2. Focus on Exceptional Customer Service

Exceptional customer service is the cornerstone of any successful gym business. It’s about creating a welcoming environment where clients feel valued and supported.

  • Personalized Interaction: Ensure that staff members know clients by name and understand their fitness goals.
  • Responsive Feedback System: Implement a system to gather and respond to client feedback promptly.
  • Regular Client Check-Ins: Schedule regular check-ins with clients to discuss their progress and any concerns.
  • Quality Staff Training: Invest in continuous staff training to maintain high standards of customer service.
  • Client Appreciation Events: Host special events or offer perks as a token of appreciation for your members.

Gym Client Retention Secrets

  1. Customized Member Onboarding: Develop an onboarding program where a staff member or personal trainer meets with new members to set goals and introduce them to different gym areas. We implemented a ‘First Workout’ program where new members are guided through a sample workout routine.
  2. Loyalty Rewards Program: Set up a gym loyalty system where members earn points for gym check-ins, referrals, or participating in gym events. These points can be redeemed for discounts on memberships or merchandise. We’ve seen a significant uptick in referrals since introducing this program.
  3. Interactive Fitness Challenges: Organize monthly challenges like ‘Total Weight Lifted’ or ‘Miles Run’ with leaderboards displayed in the gym. We’ve hosted a ‘Summer Slimdown’ challenge with weekly check-ins and prizes, which has been a hit among members. Learn how to run a fitness challenge and see gym member engagement soar.
  4. Regular Health and Fitness Seminars: Partner with local health experts to offer free monthly seminars on topics like nutrition, injury prevention, or mental health. Hosting a seminar on ‘Healthy Eating on a Budget’ brought in local nutritionists and was well-received by members.
  5. Personalized Communication: Use the best gym CRM system to record members’ preferences and milestones. Sending personalized emails on their gym anniversary or a congratulations note when they reach a milestone has helped in building strong relationships.

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3. Get Innovative with Your Gym Marketing and Community Building

Effective marketing and community engagement are essential in attracting and retaining gym members.

  • Social Media Engagement: Actively use social media platforms to connect with your community and share valuable content.
  • Referral Programs: Implement gym referral programs that reward members for bringing in new clients.
  • Local Community Partnerships: Have your gym partner with local businesses and organizations for cross-promotion opportunities.
  • Content Marketing: Provide valuable content like fitness tips, success stories, and healthy recipes on your blog or social channels.
  • Specialized Workshops and Events: Organize workshops and events that cater to the interests of your members and local community.

Gym Marketing Secrets

  1. Leverage Micro-Influencers: Identify local fitness enthusiasts with a modest but engaged following on social media. Offer them free memberships or exclusive gym access in exchange for regular posts and stories about their gym experiences. For instance, a local yoga teacher or a fitness blogger can share their workout routines at your gym, driving their followers’ interest.
  2. Geo-Targeted Online Ads: Utilize platforms like Google Ads and Facebook Ads to create campaigns targeting potential customers within a specific radius (e.g., 5-10 miles) of your gym. I’ve had success with ads offering a free first-week pass to local residents, which significantly increased foot traffic and conversions.
  3. Engagement-Driven Social Media Contests: Create contests that require participants to check in at your gym on social media, post workout selfies, or tag friends. For example, a ’30-Day Fitness Challenge’ where participants post daily workout updates can create a buzz around your gym.
  4. Strategic Membership Discounts: Offer discounts during typically slower months. For instance, a ‘Summer Shred’ discount in June, when sign-ups typically dip, can attract new members. This strategy helped me boost my gym’s membership by 20% during what used to be a slow season.
  5. Testimonials as Social Proof: Regularly collect and share gym member testimonials and transformation stories on your website and social media. I’ve used video testimonials that capture members’ journey and experiences, which resonate more with potential clients.

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4. Offer Diverse and Innovative Services

Diversification in services offered can significantly boost the appeal of your gym to a broader audience.

  • Varied Fitness Programs: Offer a range of fitness programs catering to different skill levels and interests.
  • Specialty Classes and Workshops: Introduce specialty classes like yoga, Pilates, or martial arts to attract diverse groups.
  • Personal Training and Coaching: Provide personal training and coaching services for those seeking more personalized guidance.
  • Nutritional Counseling: Include nutritional counseling as part of your service offerings to emphasize a holistic approach to health.
  • Online Training Options: Utilize Exercise.com to offer online training and virtual classes, expanding your reach beyond the physical gym.

Gym Operations Secrets

  1. Energy-Efficient Equipment: When purchasing equipment, prioritize models that are known for energy efficiency. This approach not only reduces operational costs but also appeals to environmentally conscious consumers. For example, replacing traditional treadmills with self-powered models significantly cut down our electricity bills.
  2. Automated Member Feedback System: Implement software like Exercise.com that allows automatic sending of feedback forms post-workout. I set up our system to send a feedback request after every 10 visits, providing us with continuous, manageable feedback.
  3. Preventive Maintenance Schedule: Create a monthly checklist for equipment maintenance and assign specific staff members to oversee this task. Regular maintenance of equipment, like lubricating treadmill belts and checking for loose bolts in weight machines, has reduced our equipment downtime.
  4. Multi-skilled Staffing Model: Train your staff in multiple roles ā€“ for instance, a receptionist who can also conduct gym tours or a personal trainer knowledgeable about nutrition. This cross-training approach ensured smooth operations even during staff shortages.
  5. Optimal Floor Plan Design: Design your gym layout strategically. For example, place popular machines like treadmills and ellipticals at the back, so members walk past other areas like the free weights and class studios, encouraging broader use of facilities.

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5. Maximize and Multiply Gym Revenue Streams

Identifying and maximizing various revenue streams can significantly contribute to the financial health of your gym.

  • Merchandise Sales: Sell branded merchandise like workout gear, supplements, and fitness accessories.
  • Membership Upgrades: Offer premium membership options with additional perks and benefits.
  • Special Programs and Challenges: Host paid fitness challenges or special programs that provide unique experiences.
  • Corporate Wellness Programs: Develop corporate wellness programs tailored for local businesses.
  • Rental Spaces: Rent out spaces in your facility for events, workshops, or other fitness instructors.

Read More: How to Create Multiple Gym Revenue Streams

6. Get Strategic with Your Gym Data and Analytics

Utilizing data and analytics is key to understanding your clientele and making informed business decisions.

  • Member Usage Patterns: Track and analyze member usage patterns to optimize class schedules and gym hours.
  • Financial Reporting: Use data analytics for detailed financial reporting and to identify profitable areas.
  • Client Progress Tracking: Monitor client progress and use the data to tailor individual fitness plans.
  • Market Analysis: Stay informed about market trends and adjust your strategies accordingly.
  • Feedback Analysis: Regularly analyze client feedback to improve services and client satisfaction.

Gym Financial Management Secrets

  1. Dynamic Pricing Model: Implement a pricing model where membership fees are lower during off-peak hours and higher during peak times. For example, offering a 20% discount for members who only come in during off-peak hours (like mid-afternoon) optimized our gym’s usage and attracted price-sensitive clients.
  2. Diverse Investment in Equipment: Balance your equipment investments between high-end models for serious athletes and more affordable options for casual gym-goers. This approach caters to a diverse clientele, like having premium weightlifting equipment alongside standard machines.
  3. Strategic Use of Space for Revenue: Rent out studio space during off-peak hours for activities like dance classes or martial arts training. We’ve rented our studio space to yoga instructors in the mornings, creating an additional revenue stream.
  4. Optimized Membership Packages: Offer different types of memberships, like off-peak, family, or corporate packages, to attract different groups. Offering a ‘Family Plan’ that allows member families to join at a discounted rate increased our memberships significantly.
  5. Cost-Effective Marketing Budgeting: Allocate your marketing budget based on the performance of past campaigns. Invest more in high-ROI channels. For example, reallocating funds from traditional advertising to digital marketing improved our member acquisition cost efficiency.

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7. Don’t Stop Believingā€”and Learning and Adapting!

The fitness industry is constantly evolving, and staying informed about the latest trends and best practices is crucial.

  • Professional Development: Encourage continuous learning and professional development for yourself and your staff.
  • Industry Networking: Engage in fitness industry conferences and networking to stay connected with the latest trends and innovations.
  • Adapting to Trends: Be flexible in adapting your services and offerings to align with current fitness trends.
  • Feedback-Driven Improvements: Regularly solicit and act on feedback from clients and staff for continuous improvement.
  • Exploring New Markets: Be open to exploring new market segments and niches within the fitness industry.

Gym Staff Management Secrets

  1. Skill-Based Hiring Process: Focus on hiring staff with a mix of fitness knowledge and excellent communication skills. During interviews, I prioritize real-world scenarios to gauge their problem-solving and interpersonal skills.
  2. Regular Staff Performance Reviews: Conduct in-depth reviews to discuss not only their performance but also their career aspirations. This approach helps in identifying areas for development and potential future leaders within your team.
  3. Incentive for Upskilling: Offer a bonus or pay raise for staff who gain new certifications or specializations. When one of our trainers became a certified yoga instructor, we expanded our class offerings, adding value to our service.
  4. Team Building Retreats: Organize annual retreats focused on team-building activities. These retreats have significantly improved staff cohesion and morale in our gym.
  5. Empowerment through Responsibility: Assign staff members ownership of specific gym operations, like managing the class schedule or overseeing gym maintenance. This empowerment leads to increased accountability and job satisfaction.

Implementing these gym business secrets, supported by robust solutions like Exercise.com, can significantly enhance the growth and sustainability of your fitness business. By focusing on these key areas, gym owners and fitness professionals can create a thriving and dynamic fitness environment that stands out in a competitive marketplace.

Implementing these gym business secrets can significantly enhance the efficiency, profitability, and overall success of a gym business.

What are some of the top secrets of successful gym owners?

Successful gym owners often focus on creating a unique and engaging client experience, maintaining high-quality facilities, offering diverse and trendy fitness programs, and fostering a strong community culture. They also prioritize effective marketing strategies and efficient business operations.

Read More: Most Successful Gym Owners

What makes some gyms more profitable than others?

Some gyms are more profitable due to factors like prime location, competitive pricing strategies, a wide range of services and amenities, strong member retention rates, effective marketing, and a focus on niche markets or specialized training programs.

How do I attract clients to my gym?

Attract clients to your gym by offering unique and tailored fitness programs, hosting community events, providing introductory offers or discounts, leveraging social media marketing, and building partnerships with local businesses.

How can I make my gym more profitable?

To make your gym more profitable, optimize your membership pricing strategy, diversify income streams through personal training and group classes, invest in marketing, and continuously improve the gym experience to retain members.

Read More: How can I make my gym more profitable?

How can I improve my gym business?

Improve your gym business by regularly updating equipment, offering a variety of classes and training programs, enhancing member engagement, adopting the latest fitness technology, and ensuring excellent customer service.

How profitable is owning a gym?

Owning a gym can be profitable, but profitability varies widely based on location, size, services offered, and management efficiency. Successful gym ownership typically requires a strategic business plan and a strong understanding of the fitness market.

Read More: How profitable is owning a gym?

What makes a gym stand out?

A gym stands out by offering unique services or programs, exceptional customer service, a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, state-of-the-art facilities, and by fostering a supportive community environment.

Read More: What makes a gym stand out?

What makes a gym attractive?

A gym becomes attractive when it offers a clean, well-maintained facility, a variety of modern equipment, diverse fitness programs, knowledgeable and friendly staff, and a welcoming atmosphere for members of all fitness levels.

How do cheap gyms make money?

Cheap gyms often make money through high volume memberships, selling long-term contracts, offering additional paid services like personal training or classes, and through ancillary sales like supplements, merchandise, or snacks.

Read More: How do gyms make money?

How do I grow my small gym business?

Grow your small gym business by focusing on niche fitness markets, offering exceptional customer service, employing effective digital marketing strategies, and creating a strong sense of community among your members.

How many members does a gym need to be profitable?

The number of members a gym needs to be profitable depends on various factors, including the gym’s size, overhead costs, membership fees, and additional revenue streams. Typically, a few hundred active members are necessary for smaller gyms to be profitable.

Read More: How many members does a gym need to be profitable?

What makes a good gym owner?

A good gym owner combines a passion for fitness with strong business acumen. They prioritize member satisfaction, maintain a high-quality facility, stay informed about fitness trends, and effectively manage staff and resources.

Do small gyms make money?

Small gyms can make money if they efficiently manage operational costs, maintain a loyal member base, offer unique services, and effectively market to their target audience.

How do you succeed in gym sales?

Succeed in gym sales by understanding your target market, offering flexible membership options, creating compelling promotions, providing excellent customer service, and building strong relationships with prospects and members.

What is the toughest thing about being a gym owner?

The toughest thing about being a gym owner is balancing the various aspects of running a business, including financial management, marketing, staff management, and maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction in a competitive market.

What are the most profitable types of gyms?

The most profitable types of gyms often include boutique fitness studios specializing in specific workouts, high-end luxury gyms with premium services, and budget-friendly gyms with high membership volumes.

Is it hard owning a gym?

Owning a gym can be challenging due to the competitive fitness market, the need for continuous investment in equipment and facilities, and the challenges of attracting and retaining members.

What do gym customers want?

Gym customers typically want a clean and well-maintained facility, a variety of equipment and classes, knowledgeable and friendly staff, a supportive environment, and flexible membership options.

Read More: What do gym customers want?

How do I promote myself to attract clients?

Promote yourself to attract clients by building a strong online presence, offering free workshops or trial sessions, networking in your community, seeking referrals from existing clients, and highlighting your unique skills and training philosophy.

How can Exercise.com help me grow my gym?

Exercise.com can help grow your gym by providing a comprehensive software solution for managing memberships, scheduling classes, tracking member progress, processing payments, and marketing your services. Its platform streamlines operations, enhances member engagement, and offers robust tools to manage and grow your gym effectively.

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-Certified Strength and Conditioning SpecialistĀ® (CSCSĀ®). He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life.
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