For fitness professionals, operating a gym has always been a juggling act between managing the business, growing the business (through client acquisition and retention), and performing the business (through personal training and coaching). A common concern that is inherent to each of these areas of responsibility is generating gym improvement ideas.
Exercise entrepreneurs need to be flexible and innovative when trying to solve how to improve the gym experience for their members and staff. With that being said, it shouldn’t feel like a daunting task. Small changes over time can make a big difference. If you want to keep your members happy and your revenue sustainable, just remember these key tips: Cleanly Habits, Creative Promotions, Collaborative Culture, and Custom Software.
Fortunately, Exercise.com has you covered with the latter. Request a demo of our fully-customized business management software platform today.
“How Can I Improve My Gym?”
It’s a question every gym owner asks themselves, and it’s a question that should be repeated often. Becoming complacent doesn’t attract new members and it certainly doesn’t boost morale. On a broad scale, focus on these four things. The time of year, the state of the world, and the money in your budget, will determine how much you dive into each of these ideas – but, no matter the time or your financial situation, you can do something, and that’s always better than nothing.
Gym Improvement Tip #1 – Cleanly Habits
This is as literal as an improvement tip can get: part of improving your gym is improving the physical appearance of your gym. But, that doesn’t mean that you need to shell money out for new equipment. Try sprucing your current equipment up first. Schedule routine cleaning days where all hands are on deck. Make sure that machines are thoroughly cleaned, the floors are mopped, mats are disinfected, and the knurling on barbells and dumbbells is polished. Don’t be the gym that collects dust; at the end of the day, aesthetics matter.
Here are a few additional aesthetic upgrades that won’t break the bank:
- Replace your cheaper pieces of equipment once they begin to wear down. Things like exercise bands, mats, and jump ropes are relatively low-cost. To make some of that money back, consider selling the equipment that you’re replacing to members at a significant discount (as long as it’s still in working condition).
- Utilize the power of greenery. Add some air-purifying plants into your gym (Boston Ferns and Spider Plants are two air-purifying plants that survive well in low light). Put fresh flowers in the bathrooms/locker rooms and entry-ways. Make your gym a calming and inviting place to be.
- Set up some basic care items in the locker rooms. Things like deodorant spray, hair ties, and feminine products, for example, can help someone out greatly if they’re in a pinch.
It seems simple enough, but you would be surprised at the number of fitness facilities that do the bare minimum when it comes to making sure their spaces are genuinely clean. Going the extra mile and providing your members with a clean and inviting environment helps to keep them around.
Gym Improvement Tip #2 – Creative Promotions
Unless you are flush with cash, it can be very difficult for gym owners (especially beginner business owners) to furnish their workout space with every conceivable piece of exercise equipment to entice prospective clients. However, what you may lack in upfront cash you can replace with unbridled creativity, especially in the promotions you offer.
Think beyond the typical referral and rewards programs offered at just about every cookie-cutter franchise establishment. Don’t be afraid to be unique and innovative. Implement some of these promotion suggestions to increase client engagement in revenue in your gym:
Tap Into Pop Culture
Start a Marvel-inspired “30-day Abs like the Avengers” campaign. Advertise a Game of Thrones-themed “Mother of Dragons Fat Burning Challenge.” Ever wonder who has better buns: Star Wars fans or Star Trek loyalists? Well, pit the Jedi Masters and Sith Lords against the Trekkies in a “Galactic Glutes Competition” to see which faction of fans have butts that are out of this world. Tapping into the pulse of pop culture can infuse your gym with a rejuvenated heartbeat.
Judging by the box office returns, cable television ratings, and social media impressions pop culture and nerd culture have seemingly fused into one large, loud, and lucrative entity that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Take advantage of this zeitgeist moment for niche and nerd culture by incorporating elements of these well-known, well-liked franchises into your gym’s marketing. By drawing them in with the flashy (maybe even cheesy) pop culture promos, you give yourself the chance to win them over with the substance of your technical expertise and fun fitness environment.
Starting a Walking Club for Seniors
Senior citizens are often an overlooked and underserved population in the health and fitness world. This trend is both poor ethics and bad business. Many senior citizens are retirees (or work part-time) and have ample time and disposable income and hate to be alone. That means, if you’re able to attract a couple of seniors to participate in your walking club, chances are they will recruit family members and other seniors in their community to join them sooner than later.
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Support Local Charities
Sponsor a 10k run or half-marathon with all proceeds going to your neighborhood Boys & Girls Club. Organize a weekend of 24- or 48-hours of fitness as a fundraiser for a local Easter Seals chapter or the Special Olympics. Raffle off 3-month gym memberships or 12 weeks of personal training to support the SPCA in your community.
Whatever the charity, whatever the cause—the point is to get involved with the people in your city and county. Your acts of goodwill will also be good for your business because people often love to invest in people and organizations that they feel are supportive of them. Also, by getting involved with local charities, you are expanding the reach of your brand by introducing your services and offerings to a demographic outside of your natural market.
Gym Improvement Tip #3 – Collaborative Culture
A gym that fosters positive social relationships and a sense of community among its members will lead to sustained, repeat business.
Victoria Wickett, the co-founder of BOMB Fitness in Toronto, has developed an award-winning culture at her facility by eliciting feedback from her clients and implementing it. For example, her gym runs a year-round children’s fitness club called BOMB Fit Kids that “just came out of requests from our members who really wanted to bring their kids to have something easy to participate in.” (You can read her full interview with Exercise.com here.)
Because of the collaboration between Victoria and her husband and co-founder, Kevin Bennett, and their community of members, BOMB Fitness was able to retain members who might have left because they didn’t have a sitter for their children or their children were bored waiting for them at the gym. Not only that, those previously bored kids are now active members of the BOMB Fitness gym community, giving Victoria and Kevin generations of repeat customers.
Once you’ve created that culture of collaboration and inclusion, the best way to promote that solidarity is through customized merchandise. You’ve worked so hard to build and develop your gym community into a team, so it’s only right that they should be outfitted as one.
When done correctly, brand merchandise serves two main purposes: It reinforces the sense of solidarity and community of your gym culture, and it increases your brand recognition through wearable advertising. In order to maximize the potential reach of the products your offering, you want to make sure you invest in a robust ecommerce platform. You don’t want to limit your sales to only in-person transactions; which leads us to our final gym improvement tip.
Gym Improvement Tip #4 – Customized Software
Your gym is, first and foremost, a business; and businesses need to be managed efficiently. Using business management software that is specifically built for gyms helps gym owners save time and stay organized.
The Exercise.com software platform allows gym owners to track members, manage staff, automate billing, generate business reports, manage scheduling, and communicate with their members. Additionally, trainers can use the workout and health assessment software to create and log workouts, conduct assessments, train clients on-the-go, and even sell their training programs (and gym merchandise) using the platform’s ecommerce feature. The best part is that all of this is done through fully customized web and mobile apps, making your gym easier to manage.
If you want to improve your gym, focus on the four tips above. This won’t happen by chance; you have to be intentional about it, so why wait? Get started with Gym Improvement Tip #4 today and schedule a demo with Exercise.com to see how a business management software platform can improve your gym.