You might be a frequent visitor to your favorite gym, paying your membership dues diligently, but oblivious of the fact that the gym owner is going through a lot to keep their business running. This is a sad reality for many small gym clubs today.
Many of them open their gyms with the belief that profit-making will be so easy once they get enough members to sign up for classes. Little do they know that making profit in the gym business is a bit more challenging.
It is wrong to just assume that the more members you have, the more money you make. Technically, that is true but the gym business is much more complicated than that. Both members and gym owners are guilty of this wrong perception.
The gym requires a lot of expenses aside from the sweat of the gym instructors. If these expenses are not properly accounted for in the membership fee, or sorted out through other means, they pose a big problem in the long run.
So yeah? If you notice your gym owner carrying a moody face when you visit, he/she is probably struggling to get new clients, make profits or just stressed out with the whole management aspect.
In truth, managing a business is hard, and managing a gym is even harder, but when you take the right steps, it can prove to be a rewarding venture.
Let's walk over some of the reasons your gym owner might be seriously struggling with managing their gym.Photographer: Jesper Aggergaard | Source: Unsplash
Possible Reasons Gym Owners Struggle
No proper market research
One of the reasons a gym owner is probably struggling to get new clients is poor market research. Gym owners need to conduct proper research on their target market and competitors.
If there is any research that must be properly done, it is the target market research. They must ensure they’re targeting the right people for the value they are willing to offer? Instead of using their resources to target people who already have gym membership elsewhere, they can focus on creating awareness among people who need the service but are currently not registered anywhere.
Also, owning a gym is a widely tapped market, hence it is important to study competitors' strengths and weigh in on their weaknesses. If not, the gym might end up being one of those gyms that offers no real value to customers and the absence of such values will subsequently reduce the number of customers.
That way, they won't sweat too much trying to beat the competition but work on creating value. So it is best for them to strategize on the best marketing approach to get people who don't train yet but need the service you àre willing to offer.
Sometimes it is difficult for your gym owner to make enough profit alone with his training unless he has a lot of money for capital. It is advisable for him or her to partner with other businesses in line with fitness.
For instance, they could partner with nutritionists or physical therapist to provide individualized services. The gym can even attract more members because of the variety of services available.
Another way to partner with smaller businesses is to rent out space to them, such as restaurants, daycare facilities, gym wear stores, hair salons, and so forth. The businesses pay off the gym owner some in monthly installments for using the space in the gym area.
The benefits of partnership are numerous. Therefore, if your gym owner goes solo, he may struggle a bit unless he has access to lots of funds.
Rates are Lower Than Maintenance Expenses
Your gym owner is struggling to make enough profit because they might have failed to add the cost of other maintenance expenses to the membership rate. This is a common mistake gym owners make.
Staffing costs and maintenance of equipment at gyms are extra expenses that should be covered by gym profits. But sometimes gyms only charge for their sweat in training and neglect to include these costs. Which will, in turn, affect the growth rate of the gym and the business.
If you signed up for a gym that did not deliver what they said they would, you would be disappointed, wouldn’t you? You will not feel that your money's worth was justified, so you might leave. For this reason, gym owners must strive to provide adequate value even if it means raising their prices.
Ultimately, if the service value is compromised, the members they are trying not to lose will still leave. People won't get the value they need from gyms until gym owners increase rates above what the members are comfortable with.
While most gym owners are expert trainers, if they have to train every member themselves, it can be time-consuming. Having more hands can prevent stress and a negative impact on their mental health. This will help them serve customers better.
However, managing staff can be somewhat difficult, especially if the rates are not raised. They might struggle with payments, training them or getting good hands.
Lack of a Community
Having a strong community is key to the lifespan of a fitness business. Besides being healthy, let them have a sense of belonging and social interaction.
The lack of a community network can be a reason a gym owner finds it difficult to retain members. You can build a community by organizing workshops, training, boot camps or physical health challenges. They feel like part of a fitness group rather than just having occasional training sessions.
Currently, the health and fitness industry is growing at rapid pace. So it's very understandable that gym owners will experience one or two setbacks as would any other business. By constantly conducting growth reviews to identify and solve the root causes of gym management issues, you can curb gym management struggles.