This is it. The calm before the storm for us gym owners. It’s that magical time of year when no one shows up because they’re eating sugar cookies and candy canes. It’s followed by that chaotic time of year when everyone shows up because they ate too many sugar cookies and candy canes. We know it well: The New Year’s Rush.
On one hand, it’s an opportunity for us to meet some new faces and drive revenue. But if we’re not prepared, trying to accommodate the rush can be overwhelming. The more years we’ve been in business, the more data we have to show us what to be prepared for.
Even if it’s your first year as a gym owner, the PushPress team has you covered with some tips and tricks to survive - and thrive - in the New Year’s rush.
The Dos And Don’ts Of Rush Season.
To help manage the chaos of the New Year’s rush, we’ve put together six “dos and don’ts” for gym owners:
DO: Start Your Planning And Promos Now.
Have you ever wondered why the fitness companies with huge budgets start running ads right after Thanksgiving? They’re not trying to make a sale during the madness of the holiday season. They’re planting the seed for the New Year’s rush. In that moment, when people think, ‘I need to do something,’ their brand will be top-of-mind.
The moral of the story is, if you wait until January 1st to start promoting your gym, it’s too late. Start your planning and promos now. Chances are, your classes are slower this month and you have the time to do it.
Take the time to create a marketing strategy and calendar. Carefully craft an offer for your target audience. And while the offer may not be available until the first of the year, start sharing teasers now. Use your social media channels, gym blog and word-of-mouth to start getting prospective members hyped up to buy.
DON’T: Discount And Devalue Your Services.
There’s a reason gyms see a substantial increase in traffic this time of year. The New Year’s rush is the result of resolution setting, of people deciding, ‘I have to do something.’
People come to you and your gym for help with something they can’t do on their own. They need your expertise and that’s the value you’re providing them. Don’t devalue your services by offering a discount.
For example, let’s say you decide to drive through a construction site and all four of your tires now have dozens of nails in them. It was your choices that got your car to this point and you now need new tires. You can’t make them or change them on your own so you go to the dealership to enlist the help of a professional.
With cash in hand for four new tires, what if the owner of the tire dealership said, “I know you’re willing to pay for four tires but if you buy three, I’ll give you the fourth for free.” That tire dealer just lost money on what you were ready and willing to pay full price for.
Every time you offer 10% off or “get a month free with a 12-month membership,” you’re discounting a service that people intended to pay full price for, especially during the New Year’s rush.
DO: Perfect Your Processes.
One of the best ways to drive revenue and retention is to provide an extraordinary gym member experience. This comes from really taking the time to create a solid gym operations manual and then dialing in each section.
From your mission statement to staff roles to your sales/marketing plan, make sure you’re executing the written plan. That takes it from a concept to a deliverable and allows you to measure your progress.
The slower months of the year are a great time to work on perfecting your processes so it’s smooth sailing during the chaotic times.
DON’T: Cater To The Wrong Crowd.
It’s great to have a group of new faces in the gym and the goal is to turn them into raving, life-long members of your gym. But don’t neglect your current, long-term members in favor of the New Year’s rush crowd.
Chances are, your regular members will understand why classes are more full and your calendar is packed. If they love your fitness business, they’ll be excited to welcome new people and show them why your gym is the place to be.
But this shouldn’t mean they have to make unnecessary sacrifices or feel like they’re not as important as the new people. Welcome everyone while working extra hard to remind your long-term members why they’ve been loyal for the long haul.
DO: Delegate And Automate.
Delegation is a skill that will greatly benefit you, especially during the New Year’s rush. Turn to your team for help with any of the tasks you can hand off. From cleaning to community event planning, match the unique skills each of your team members possess to the tasks that they can take off your plate.
Then, let technology do the work for you! Did you know you can automate things like lead follow-up and member milestones? PushPress Grow offers incredible automation options that will save you time and effort. Book a demo with our team today to find out how!
DON’T: Prioritize Dollars Over Sanity.
As a gym owner, there will be overwhelming moments. And the New Year’s rush might just be one of those times. Above all, remember that your mental health matters.
Even if you’re delegating and automating to get things off your plate, and you feel like your processes are rock solid, it’s normal to feel like the weight of gym ownership is heavy. Prioritize yourself and ask for help. Find a community of gym owners or two, and seek out the things you really enjoy about that #GymOwnerLife. Just remember, there’s only one you, and you matter.
In Summary: Handle The New Year’s Rush Like A Boss
Even though the New Year’s rush is an opportunity to meet some new faces and drive revenue, it’s important to be prepared. Start now, during the slow season, to plant the seed for your promotions and dial in your processes. Don’t discount or cater to the wrong crowd. Delegate and automate where you can, and above all else, take care of yourself.