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How to Increase Gym Membership Prices

TL;DR
Looking to increase gym membership prices? Check out this comprehensive guide to calculate your new rates and communicate the increase to members!

If you’re like most gym owners, you’re probably not charging enough for your services. You might even be aware of it, but afraid of what might happen if you announce that you’re increasing gym membership prices.

Great news! You’re not alone and there’s no need to fear.

As a group of gym owners ourselves, the PushPress team gets it. We understand the struggles and fears that come with operating a fitness business. And that’s why we love using our collective experience to help you.

How to increase gym membership prices
Use this helpful guide to accurately calculate and effectively communicate an increase in gym membership pricing.

Increasing gym membership prices doesn’t need to be overwhelming or complicated. Check out this step-by-step guide to successfully implement an increase in your gym.

Why You Need to Raise Membership Prices.

At the end of the day, your gym needs to be profitable. Although this may seem obvious to many gym owners, others are willing to burn the candle at both ends without ever making their business financially viable.

The most successful gym owners know that it’s possible to run a rewarding business while driving profits at the same time. But this only happens when your members are paying you what you’re worth.

Further, when you were first starting a gym, you likely began the journey because you want to help people. Which works out well because almost everyone who walks through your door is looking for help. Whether it’s fitness, nutrition, accountability or something else, they need you.

Even if you have a rockstar team of coaches and staff, your collective time is finite. Plus, your knowledge and experience is valuable. When you put all of these things together, it should be pretty clear that you should charge appropriately for what you’re providing.

Five Steps for Increasing Gym Membership Prices.

1. Highlight the Value.

When was the last time you worked on your gym’s unique selling proposition (USP)? A USP, also known as a differentiator, is a phrase that describes what makes your product or service unique. It paints a picture in customers' minds of why they should buy from you instead of your competitors.

It’s also a great tool to connect with your price increase. Instead of just increasing membership prices, show your community why you’re worth it.

Have you expanded or raised the quality of your facility since you opened? What about purchasing new gym equipment, adding more classes or offering open gym hours? Things like this will show that your focus is on continuing to increase client value when raising gym membership prices.

Highlight value like new gym equipment
Highlight value like new gym equipment when explaining why you’re increasing prices. (Photo credit: Fixed on Fitness)

By highlighting your USP and providing proof of their membership value, your community will see why their brand loyalty is warranted.

2. Calculate the Price You Need to Charge.

This is the most important step in the entire process. Calculating exactly what you need to charge can change the trajectory of your gym.

Three things to note:

  1. Charging what you need to and charging what you want to are two different things.
  2. The membership pricing you decide on should not be a guess.
  3. It’s imperative that you don’t base your pricing on what your competitors are charging.

Need help? We’ve done the work for you! Simply Download the Price Increase Guide. Then follow the instructions and plug in your gym’s numbers.

Once you’ve completed the other steps, use the email in the download to communicate the new pricing to your members.

3. Simplify Your Current Membership Levels.

Increasing membership prices is a good time to do a little gym management housekeeping. If you’ve owned a gym for a while, there’s a good chance you have a variety of different membership levels and pricing.

Simplify your membership options by restructuring and reducing. A good goal is to aim for offering no more than three levels. Not only will this make management easier, but will help with new sales as well. The simpler it is for prospective members to understand your options, the more likely they’ll be to sign up.

One more thing: This could also be a great time to ditch the gym membership discounts. Remember, your goal is to attract the clients you really want. This happens when you offer value and a solution to their problem. If you deliver on those things, clients will pay the price that you’re asking.

4. Include a Grace Period.

When increasing membership prices, it’s a good idea to give your clients a grace period between when they receive the info and when the increase goes into effect. In other words, try not to send the price increase email today and raise their rates tomorrow.

The timeline can be as simple as an upcoming billing cycle. For example, if your email goes out in early December, “The new pricing will take effect for the January billing cycle.”

This allows your community time to read and respond to your notice with any questions they may have. In addition, it makes your email come off as more friendly and accommodating.

Prevent membership churn by answering gym members questions
Prevent membership churn by providing a grace period for gym members to ask questions.

5. Anticipate a Potential Loss of Members.

Although it’s unlikely that you’ll get an abundance of pushback when increasing gym membership prices, it’s important to be prepared for negative feedback or churn.

Experienced gym owners will attest that, in most cases, the fear of everyone canceling is normal, but generally not realistic. Remind yourself that you’re helping change lives, and that your time and services are valuable.

There will occasionally be those few people who just don’t see it that way, and that’s okay. They’re not your target audience and they likely won’t be happy wherever they end up. But it’s also a good opportunity to have conversations with anyone who expresses concerns. You may end up finding out more about how you can better help them achieve their goals.

For those few members, however, it’s important to be prepared. Anticipate the total number of members you could afford to lose in correlation to increasing membership prices.

Time to Increase Prices in 3, 2, 1... GO.

Good news! We’ve created the tools to help you increase prices at your gym. Simply fill out this form and we’ll send you the Price Increase Guide calculator and an email template to communicate the news to your members.

Download the Price Increase Guide

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