Chances are if you’re reading this, you own a gym, box or fitness facility. You probably are full of passion for creating an environment in which people can come in, workout, sweat hard, chase goals, and be supported both in and out of the gym. You pour your heart, soul, and wallet into your box and you love every bit of it. New members are walking through the door begging to sign up to be a part of your gym every day… or are they??
In order to be successful, you’re going to need to build your community on a constant basis. That means not only getting new faces in the door but getting them to sign up. Lucky for you, you clicked on the right link, and we’re going to teach you 7 proven ways to grow your business and acquire new members.
Strategy #1: Create A Special Sign Up Offer
Maybe it was your gym itself, a member, or a flyer at a local business that brought the new face in, but how are you going to sweeten the deal? Create a special sign up offer for your services and capitalize on the ‘feel-good’ of the first workout. Whether it’s a 10% discount on their first month, a free piece of swag/merch, or a 20% discount on a year membership paid upfront in full, make the new guy feel a little more special and chances are, they’re going to hang around a bit longer.
Strategy #2: Know Your Members
Are you really good at helping people lose weight? What about getting athletes to the competitive level, sectionals, or even the CrossFit Games? Do you maybe have a group of masters athletes or kids classes that you offer? Knowing who your gym and services cater to will help you figure out how to not only market the gym but sell it, too. Developing your community with this in mind will only enrich the experience of both current and new members. Try to do away with the ‘jack of all trades’ mentality and capitalize on what you’re really good at offering.
Strategy #3: Create a Referral Network
After you get to know your members, where are you going to find these people aka the ideal new member at your box? Here’s where creating a referral network with similar businesses in your community comes in handy. They can help you streamline your marketing efforts so you’re not just taking a shot in the dark to get new faces in the door.
Think about what people associate with fitness and health: grocery store, yoga studios, massage/chiropractic/PT offices, juice and smoothie bars, and supplement shops are all a good place to start. You put flyers in their businesses and you put theirs in yours, for example. Both businesses win here and share the like-minded traffic, in turn, increasing the number of people looking for a good new gym to call their own.
Strategy #4: Value Add - Offer Retail Products
Adding a retail section to your gym, studio, or box, can help you earn additional revenue to grow your business. Think about what products your members need or use, that can help them reach their goals. Offering things such as supplements, sports drinks, and your own branded merch, such as apparel and blender bottles, is exactly what you need to earn more income and to scale your business. What better way to monetize extra space in your warehouse, right? Plus, members love supporting things they love and people they trust. But there are several important factors to keep in mind when you’re designing a retail area, and deciding on what products to offer: high-quality supps and sweet merch. Let’s explore these in more depth below.
Value Add #1 - High-Quality Supplements
On average, box owners can make an additional 5-10k per year, with a great supplement partner. With so many brands and products, it can be confusing to figure out what products you should sell and why. Adding supplements to your retail area can help create another line of revenue in addition to helping your members crush their goals. But, creating a great partnership is equally as important to help create a successful business.
What to Look For In A Wholesale Partnership:
- Healthy Profit Margins
Make sure the company you partner with offers healthy margins, around 40-50%, so that you can maximize profit to buy a new piece of equipment, pay some bills, hire a new coach, or even knock out that wall in the lobby that you hate.
- No Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ)
As a gym owner, it’s hard to justify taking on a large amount of inventory and upfront cost, without knowing if the products will even sell. Most brands enforce what’s called a minimum order quantity or MOQ. MOQs require you as the reseller to purchase a certain amount of product in order to become a wholesale partner. Most leading manufacturers require 10-20 unit order minimums, or $1,000-2500 in total product spend. Considering it's such a large financial risk, look for a brand that offers no MOQ. This will give you the flexibility to order a smaller amount of product, limit your upfront cost, and minimize risk. Swolverine’s wholesale program has no MOQ. We’ll help you grow and grow with you.
- Fast & Affordable Shipping
When you need a product, you need it fast and you need it at a reasonable cost so it doesn’t eat your profit margin. Am I right?! Most brands can take anywhere from 10-14 days before they even ship your product. Look for a brand that offers fast shipping times, so you can get your members what they need and earn extra revenue. Swolverine’s wholesale program offers guaranteed 24-hour shipping from the time of payment.
- Quality Products & Service
Most importantly, your members trust you. So, don’t sell something cheap expecting great results. Partner with a company that offers products that are transparent, use clinically verified doses, proven ingredients, and proprietary blend free supplements, who work closely with you to grow your business in the right direction.
VALUE ADD #2: MERCHANDISE
Nothing feels better than being out in public and seeing your business’s name on someone’s t-shirt. Creating your own branded merchandise is a great way to get your name out there while earning a little cash on the side. We’re talking about apparel, shakers, stickers, beer koozie (because of beer, duh), hats, and whatever else you can think of. It’s an easy way to increase the camaraderie amongst your members while showing potential members that this is something they want to be a part of, all while growing your business and increasing awareness.
Strategy #5: Optimize Your Website & Create A Strong Online Presence
If your website sucks, so will your customer acquisition. It’s just a fact. Why? In the 21st century, your website is going to most often be the first interaction they have with your brand. They want to easily find your services, class times, costs, coaches, and location. That being said, take the time to simplify and optimize your site. Make it personal and professional.
Some staple info to include on your website are:
- Drop-In Policy & Cost
- How to Visit The Gym
- Full Schedule of Classes
- Hours of Operation (that are accurate)
- Pricing For Membership
- Contact Information
Other questions to ask yourself about your website are: do you have images of the interior, coach profiles, current contact info to get in touch, and are your hours correctly displayed (because honestly, nothing sucks more than trying to get fit, and showing up with the gym is closed)? Lastly, is your website optimized for both mobile and desktop?
We get it – you’re not a tech guru, you’re a fitness professional. Yet overlooking simple marketing tools, like your website, can make or break you. If someone can’t navigate your website they’re not going to walk in the front door. Every little opportunity to you have to make a complete stranger feel like they’re going to fit in at your box and get what they want out of your services, you need to do it. And if you’re technically challenged, hire someone.
Strategy #6: Make Sure People Can Find Your Business
If I were to do a quick internet search, let’s say, “CrossFit Gym Near ____”, would your gym pop up in my search? If not, that means I’m not going to find you because you didn’t register as a local business on Google. This means you’re not on the map, literally.
Another way to stand out? Registering for a Yelp account so that people can find you in their general vicinity. Whether it’s a drop-in or someone looking for a life-time gym commitment, if your business pops up, while it’s no guarantee, the chances of getting them in the door are so much higher. Did we mention that you can do them for free?!
Google My Business
With a Google My Business account, you get more than a business listing. Your free Business Profile lets you easily connect with customers across Google Search and Maps.
CREATE GOOGLE MY BUSINESS ACCOUNT
Add Business To Google Maps
After you register for a Google My Business account, then follow the steps below to add your business to Google Maps:
- Go to GoogleMy Business. Click “Get on Google”
- Enter Your Business Name and Address in the Search Box.
- Select or Add Your Business. Click on your business listing if it appears among the suggested matches. ...
- Verify Your Business. ...
- Confirm your Business.
Register Business With Yelp
Add or claim your business, keep your page up to date, respond to reviews, view click and call reports or get ahead of the game with premium upgrades and simple, powerful advertising tools.
CREATE YOUR FREE YELP BUSINESS LISTING
Strategy #7: Value Add - Offer Nutritional Coaching
The greatest thing about nutrition coaching is that it doesn’t take up any space in your retail area AND it doesn’t cost you any money. Your members expect results, and more importantly than finessing on the regular, is your members' nutrition and diet plan. But, hiring a certified nutrition coach as a full-time employee is expensive. And you probably didn’t get into coaching and building a gym because you wanted to be a nutrition coach, right? Or…maybe you did. So, what do you do? Partner with a nutrition coaching/programming company to help your members reach their goals.
Most nutrition companies will offer a kick-back, or referral incentive, whenever you refer them a new client. Check out The Swole Kitchen. They offer 1:1 custom nutrition coaching for your members, to help them reach their health and fitness goals. Plus, they offer 10% back for every member you refer.
It’s the most ideal way to increase your revenue, grow your business and make your members happy with an added value.
All in all, at the end of the day, the members are going to be what keeps your doors open and pay your bills so that you can provide the services you want and fuel the passion that you have. While creating a strong sense of community is important, just as much as having the right hours and pieces of equipment, creating a steady stream of new members walking in the door is your biggest key to success. Use the tips above and capitalize on what you’ve got to offer!
Ready To Provide The Best Line Of Supplements For Athletes And Active Lifestyles In Your Gym? Take 30 Seconds To Apply For The Swolverine Wholesale Program And See Your Business (And Members) Make The Difference In Their Performance!
SWOLVERINE is an endurance athlete and active lifestyle brand. Made for the elite athlete, and the strong-willed our products were designed to fuel your athletic performance. We perform when you perform.
We believe that everyone can optimize not only their athletic performance but their human potential. The way we believe we can optimize performance is through transparency, clinically effective doses, and clinically proven ingredients with evidence-based outcomes. We provide the nutrients you need to power your active lifestyle.