How can your gym and fitness business compete with the industry giants?
Everyone has heard of LA Fitness, Virgin Active and Fitness First amongst others but how can smaller local gyms compete with these huge companies opening new sites just around the corner every other month? Being a big corporate organisation doesn’t always have its advantages in the world of fitness and it is these negatives that smaller gyms can take advantage of. Below are our top tips on how your gym and fitness business can gain a competitive advantage over the larger rivals.
1. Find your USP
What is it about your gym and fitness business that makes it stand out? What do you do differently from the rest? This could be a particular style, the quality of your gym or simply the way you interact with your customers. For example, a gym and fitness business who has successfully marketed their USP is GymBox. Although this is a chain this gives a great case study of how a new gym entered an already crowded market in London to become a success, driving customers away from their rivals. They completely rebranded what it means to ‘go to the gym’ and turned it into an experience, from the look of the gym using neon colours and strobe lighting to fun new classes such as ‘Bike and Beats’ and ‘Rocket Yoga’. This came as a complete contrast to the corporate beige look and feel of places such as Fitness First where the trip to the gym is one of necessity and not to be enjoyed. Once you know your USP don’t be afraid to shout about it particularly if it is something which the fitness giants do not achieve as successfully.
2. Be Personal
The one thing that is lost more than any other in big companies is the ability to be personal to their customers. As a small gym and fitness business, it is much easier to interact and get to know your customer base. Clients like familiarity and feel valued if a gym and fitness business tailors their approach towards them. This could be as simple as sending them out offers which are specifically applicable to them such a free pass to their favourite class or a treat on their birthday. Customer service will also be an important factor here, giving an excellent and personal experience to your client’s means they are much more likely to stay loyal and not stray to the bigger competitors. This approach can also be applied to different types of membership and price, chains will have a strict pricing structure which they must abide by, you may be adapt your discounts to certain age groups or professions or even allow different access times for different prices dependent on customer demand. However, ensure you are still competitive and not underselling yourself.
3. Listen to your customers
Ask your customers what they like and what they want more of at your gym and fitness business and adapt to this. Large fitness chains do not have the flexibility to react quickly to customer feedback as it has to be passed upwards to head office before a decision can be made. In addition, what customers may want in one gym may differ from another and this makes it harder for those organisations with a tall structure and many levels of management to control. As a small gym and fitness business with a flat structure you have the ability to listen and act accordingly quicker to customer feedback so whether it means putting on more classes or getting some new equipment, your customers will appreciate being listened to.
4. Get Involved in the Local Community
As a small gym and fitness business, local exposure is essential and it pays to raise your brand awareness within the community. This could be sponsoring local events such as a fun run or offering your facilities to local groups such as after-school clubs. You could even give free taster sessions for groups like local mums or sports clubs which gives you the chance to show off what your gym and fitness business has to offer.
As with any gym and fitness business is important to have appropriate insurance to make sure you are covered for any injury or damage that may occur int he course of your activities. To get a comprehensive and competitive insurance quote just visit our Gym Insurance page.