March 16, 2023
Gyms are as popular across the country right now as they’ve ever been. This has led to a huge rise in the number of gym businesses, and much greater diversity in the types of gyms available. Whether it’s bodybuilding and weightlifting, general fitness, on-trend lifestyle gyms or anything in between, there are gyms out there to serve every demand.
All this interest can be a curse as much as it can be a blessing. If you’re already running a gym in a saturated marketplace, it can be difficult to know how to take your enterprise to the next level and increase your membership and profitability. This guide gives you seven great tips on how to grow your gym business.
Naturally, some of these tips will be more suitable than others to your specific needs. Some of these may be ideas that you’re already pursuing, but could perhaps do with a refresh or change of approach. In any case, these are the seven tips we’ve picked out that should help the broadest possible range of gym business owners:
Never underestimate just how much people enjoy a competition or a freebie. Holding regular giveaways is a great way of encouraging engagement through your existing membership, as well as grabbing attention from prospective new members, too. This doesn’t have to be a grand affair with a huge jackpot prize: it can be small, targeted incentives such as gym-related accessories, free months on memberships, or one-day gym passes. Adding welcome gifts to new memberships can also act as a powerful incentive, too.
Some of the most useful tools in generating more business and members are working out just outside your office door right now. Your existing customers are already positively engaged with your business, so getting them to work spreading the word is one of the simplest ways to expand your customer base. You can do this through a referral system, which gives membership discounts and offers to those who recommend a friend or relative that then takes out their own membership. Similarly, giving discounts for long-term membership will make your most loyal members feel even more positive about your brand.
It may seem a little old-fashioned now, but emails can still be highly effective in reaching out to people with your message. Generating a regular flow of news and communications to send to people will make them feel that there’s a real buzz around your gym. This is especially the case if you can mix up your content flow with a variety of different emails: this could be your latest offers and discounts, tips on exercise and nutrition, community event details, general encouragement, or a combination of all of them in a newsletter-style email.
Connected to the previous point, variety should be the spice of life on your website, too. After all, once prospective customers have gained an interest in what you have to offer, your website will almost certainly be their first port of call. They should be able to get all the information they need to know and explore lots of different types of content that shows your gym in the best possible light. Video content is especially important: creating some short promotional and longer instruction videos is a great way to connect with people: these can easily be hosted on YouTube and embedded into your web pages.
No doubt you’ll already have a presence on a number of social media channels, but are you making the most of the opportunity? It’s your platform to share stories of satisfied customers, build a strong community, and even create workout groups that can then come together at your gym. If you employ personal trainers directly, then you may also want to explore software that allows customers to book sessions via social media, to maximise ease of experience.
Just because there are other gyms in your area doesn’t have to mean that they’re automatically your competitors. You may want to consider joining forces with another gym that has different facilities to yours: offering a common membership or special offers that encourage crossover between the two gyms and give customers access to more amenities and equipment. And don’t forget to keep in touch with the personal training community: they’ll have insights on what’s going on among local gym-goers, and how you can adjust your business model to take advantage of new opportunities.
The community and culture within a gym can be critical to its success. For example, if a gym has a more macho, masculine feel to it (especially around the free weights area), then it’s easy for other members to feel intimidated and end their memberships. If you’re trying to appeal to a wide range of gym-goers, then a positive and inclusive atmosphere is a must. This can be encouraged by holding social and community events, expanding group exercise opportunities, or perhaps even opening a cafe/restaurant area where people can unwind.
However, you choose to grow your gym business, you’ll need good insurance to protect your financial standing and business assets. This is especially the case if you employ staff, as you’ll need to have employer’s liability insurance in place.
For more than 25 years, Protectivity has been providing gym insurance policies to businesses just like yours. Our cover includes Public Liability, Business Interruption Cover, Employers’ Liability and Buildings & Contents Cover, so however big and successful your business becomes, you can operate with confidence that you’re protected against the unforeseen. Our policies can also cover gyms that are open 24 hours a day.
Find out more on our affordable gym insurance, including flexible payment plans.