Once you’ve decided to open a gym, the prep work begins. From securing a location to hiring staff, you’re preparing for the grand opening. In the midst of it all, be sure to save time for planning one of your biggest opportunities: The gym presale.
A presale is simply selling a membership, punch card or merchandise before your gym even opens for business.
Allowing you to begin building revenue immediately, the gym presale effectively starts you off “ahead of the game.” When your doors open, you’ll already be serving customers and running classes with people in them. This is fantastic social proof for others looking to join.
How A Gym Presale Helps In Your First Year
Without having data from previous years in business, it’s hard to predict the ebbs and flows of revenue in your first year. Most businesses start out on an exponential ramp, but the obstacle is the slow period towards the beginning.
Running a presale allows you to prepare for the uncertainty and start some positive cash flow ahead of time. The months leading up to your opening are a perfect time to build marketing momentum and start enrolling members.
Bring people in for a tour before the facility is done. Build excitement around your plans. Create a special, founders-tier membership with an extra perk.
Here are five reasons to get your gym presale game face on:
1. Start Off Strong.
The goal of the gym presale is to start off with some recurring revenue in your account. The first few months will fluctuate as you build up to meet your expenses. Having a set number of memberships can enable you to cover gym operations and set goals to work up from there.
You also want to make sure your coaches have people to coach. Therefore, starting off strong looks like this:
- Some Registered Classes: You don’t have to flood your schedule right out of the gate. Allocate your coach resources: Instead of four classes with five people in each, start with two classes and at least eight in each. Focus on filling up a few classes at a time and add as needed. If you execute your presale correctly, classes will feel a little more full than they otherwise would.
- Modifying Services: Sometimes it takes a while to get your class structure right. Listen to members who provide valuable, critical feedback to help you improve your business. If traffic is an issue for getting to classes on time, modify as needed. Or if the pricing structure doesn’t grant them the value that you anticipated, be open to input. This feedback can provide a benefit your business early on.
- Exponential Growth: You start your growth sooner, which leads to better results in a perceived shorter amount of time. You’re simply beginning the process, and profiting, sooner than you would if you got started without a gym presale.
Note that your presale should be a secondary focus of launching your business. If at any point your presale gets in the way of your primary goals, cut back and focus on opening the doors first. If you balance them properly, you should get the payoff without delaying your public start date.
2. Experiment To Advance.
Every new business has to experiment. The business model may not be new, but your select demographic of clients is. The specific group of members at your gym is different from members at other gyms based on your unique selling point and offerings.
Especially at the beginning, you’ll experiment with structuring classes, providing services and running gym retail sales. Some will do well, some will not. Dialing everything in is part of the fun of running a business. The not-so-fun part is the negative mark on your bank account for the experiment “misses.”
A presale can help you soften the blow from these misses by padding your account. This allows you to keep plugging along with your business plan and experimenting with other options.
3. Build Brand Awareness.
There are very few brands that pop up overnight and become an immediate success. You have to start somewhere, so why not start before the gym even launches? Here are some ways to build brand awareness during your presale stage:
- Create Visuals: Whether it’s window hangings, roadside signs or flyers on cars, the goal is getting your brand out in the public. As you’re getting started, you’ll want to cast as wide a net as possible. Create visuals to distribute to make everyone aware of who you are and what you offer. Include info about your grand opening, website and contact info.
- Social Media: Create and launch your gym’s social media channels early so that you can start gaining a following. Collaborate with other small businesses or influencers to get help spreading the word about your gym presale and grand opening.
- Budget Double Ad Spend for Launch Week: If you have a digital marketing strategy for your grand opening, consider doubling down for your presale. Determine the presale timeline and spend advertising dollars smartly to get the word out.
Pro Tip: Once you start generating leads, make sure you have the right CRM in place to guide them. Book a demo with the PushPress Grow team today to find out how!
4. Accelerate Word-of-Mouth Marketing.
There’s nothing more powerful than word-of-mouth marketing. Once someone buys into your brand, their influence outweighs almost anyone else’s as far as their friends and family are concerned.
Think about the last time a friend recommended something to you. The product itself is irrelevant, it just matters that they convinced you to try it. Because of the referral, you’re exponentially more likely to check it out. Now picture how that can work for your business.
A new member tells three friends to sign up, and before you know it, those three friends each bring another two friends. That’s ten new members, nine of which you didn’t have to work for.
Of course, it’s not as simple as multiplying like bunnies. But that’s exactly how powerful word-of-mouth marketing can be. If the service is good, the price is right and the quality is top-notch, people will tell others. They’ll brag about the new “hole-in-the-wall gym that just opened up.” That’s how you create raving fans, doing your marketing for you.
5. Build Member Loyalty With Early Access.
Once you’ve picked the date for your grand opening, find a time in the weeks leading up to it for an early-access event. Give some tours, provide a workout and include some fun giveaways for those early brand ambassadors. Encourage them to invite friends to kick off a strong gym referral program before you ever open your doors for business.
Also consider an exclusive pre-opening party. The night before the gym opens, host a party that only gym presale members can gain entry to. Include a brief timeframe where their friends and family can come and tour. After that, it’s exclusive access for your new community.
Discuss your plans for the business, make acquaintances, share some food and drinks, and provide some extra giveaways as a thank you, if possible. Build that brand loyalty and customer buy-in now to lock in your legacy members. They were there before the gym even opened. They were one of the first members ever.
In Summary: Become a Force Before You Open
The gym presale is an incredible opportunity to create revenue and brand loyalty before you ever open your doors. The presale allows you to start off strong, experiment with options, build brand awareness, accelerate word-of-mouth and build member loyalty. Whether you offer founders-tier pricing or member perks, get creative with your presale and set your fitness business up for success.