Member Experience

7 Tips to Run a Profitable Gym

Run a profitable gym in a competitive fitness market by focusing on seven key areas like marketing, retention, sales opportunities and member experience.

Sam Karoll
September 10, 2022
7 Tips to Run a Profitable Gym
Run a profitable gym in a competitive fitness market by focusing on seven key areas like marketing, retention, sales opportunities and member experience.

The fitness industry is extremely profitable, with an estimated global value of more than $34 billion. It’s also one of the most competitive industries in the world, with fierce rivalry between big box gyms, boutique studios, internet fitness gurus and more. When people have so many options for workout styles, membership benefits and pricing, how do you stand out and create a profitable gym?

Here are seven tips for increasing your gym’s revenue in a competitive market:

1. Provide the Specific Services Your Clients Need.

Keep a close eye on which areas of your business attract the most attention - and revenue - from current members. Don’t waste money on trying to save programs that don’t provide an ROI or that create unnecessary expenditures. Also, avoid trying to be all things for all people. Run a profitable gym by combining what your members want and what you’re really good at. That’s the sweet spot!

2. Book Personal Training Sessions.

Not only is personal training one of the highest opportunities for revenue, it allows clients to work on their goals while getting exclusive interaction with your coaches. In the class setting, have your coaches be on the lookout for members who consistently put in the effort but could get results faster with some additional, individualized training.

Market your gym’s personal training options through your social media channels and make it easy for members to book sessions through your gym management software.

Personal training at a profitable gym

3. Skip the Freebies in Favor of Paid Trials.

These days, every fitness business provides a free class or week pass. While you want to encourage prospects to try out your gym, make sure you’re attracting the ones who are seriously considering a membership.

Consider a paid trial instead. You’re making an investment in your visitors and that should yield ROI. In turn, prospects are generally more dependable when they’ve invested in you as well. This is how you begin to set the bar for the value of your services during the initial phases of their membership journey.

4.  Provide Premium Options.

We live in a customized society and people like to feel special. Instead of offering a one-size-fits-all membership plan, sell hybrid gym memberships that allow your members to pay for what’s important to them and their goals.

Even if members choose the most basic package to get started, you can use your membership management software to track things like purchases and attendance, to see which products and services they’re most interested in. Then you can upsell accordingly and make your gym more profitable!

5. Keep Up With the Latest Fitness Trends.

The fitness industry is continuously shifting, largely due to social media. As a gym owner, you need to be aware of the latest fitness trends, while at the same time not letting them detract from what you’re doing well. Know that fads come and go, and that people are always searching for the “magic pill,” or next best thing. Trends that appeal to your target audience may come along - and that you may choose to offer if they’re in your wheelhouse - but make sure they’re not detrimental to your core offerings.

6. Engage and Communicate with Members to Boost Retention Rates.

From a profit standpoint, taking care of your current members is considerably easier and less expensive than attracting new ones. It’s imperative that you’re consistently working to improve your members’ journey, from the moment they start researching your gym to when they’re reaching milestones of five years, ten years...

Happy members at a profitable gym

The importance of the membership journey can’t be understated. Get a gym management program that not only allows for ease-of-use and wowing your members along the way, but automates as much of it for you as possible. Book a demo to find out how easy this is.

7. Rally Your Team.

You started your gym because you wanted to help people live better lives. Chances are, your coaches have the same goal. Empower them to use their unique skills and personalities to work with you toward accomplishing that shared goal. Reward your rock star coaches for going above and beyond. Hold your team accountable for the rules and policies; you’ve set them to make the gym profitable and successful. Challenge everyone to create new ways to level-up your members’ experiences. Set the bar high as the leader and let that high standard trickle down to your coaches and members.

Running a profitable gym in a competitive market is challenging but not impossible. Give your members the products and services they want, and focus on creating an extraordinary experience for them. This is how you’ll set yourself apart from your competition and continue to grow.

Sam Karoll

Sam is our Community Manager for PushPress. He also owns and operates Xplore Nutrition, a personalized nutrition coaching service designed "for your lifestyle and goals by a Coach who's always available."

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