Owning and managing a gym or leisure centre is no easy task. On top of running the business and managing your time, business owners must constantly put effort into attracting and retaining members, making sure their members are happy, and managing staff.
Whether you have just started or have been running the business for years, hurdles will unavoidably present themselves at some point. The good news is that these hurdles are mostly preventable.
In this blog, we’ll explore 7 common mistakes that gym owners make and how to avoid them.
1. Only Focusing on Client Acquisition
New members are the lifeblood of any fitness business. New members bring in more revenue, which means that you can expand your products, services, or even premises.
However, it’s all too easy to forget to take care of your existing members. This is one of the biggest mistakes to avoid.
Did you know that the probability of selling to a customer is 60-70%, whereas the probability of selling to a new customer is 5-20%? That’s a huge difference and neglecting your loyal members can have a major impact on your bottom line.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be actively looking for new members. As mentioned, they are vital to your business growth and can really help boost your revenue.
Instead, gym owners should look to attract new members and look after their existing ones.
Are you delivering great client experiences? Keeping your members satisfied is key as it not only helps you with client retention, but it could help you gain new members too. A great customer journey and excellent customer service creates brand advocates who are likely to spread the word of your gym to their friends.
2. Not Communicating with Your Members
Members often want clear and frequent communication from their gyms. This has been particularly true following the Coronavirus pandemic where members needed reassurance and guidance from their fitness providers in a time of great uncertainty.
Social media shouldn’t just be part of your marketing strategy, but part of your communication strategy too. Over 66% of the UK population has a social network profile. If you are not using social media, you are missing out on a great way to communicate with your clients.
Communication should go beyond social media, however. You can send emails and texts, or even build alerts into a native app.
3. Ignoring Online Joining Options
The world is increasingly digital-based, which means that your customers and target audiences are used to being able to do everything online.
Ignoring online joining options and insisting new members come into the gym to sign up will hinder your efforts to build a bigger membership pool.
Members want convenience and having to go to the gym during working hours is extremely inconvenient for many, especially those who work long hours or don’t live close to the facility.
Online joining services are available 24/7 for those who need them, which means that a staff member doesn’t have to be available to sign a new member up. Prospective members can simply go to your website at a time which suits them and sign up to your gym.
Cutting down the lengthy sign-up process is key as it makes your offering more attractive and convenient.
This also cuts down administration time for staff members, leaving them free to focus on members on the gym floor.
4. Only Letting Your Members Book Classes On-Site
If your members can’t plan in advance, they can’t commit to coming to your gym on a certain day. This might lead to reduced attendance, a lack of perceived value, and cancelling their membership.
Making classes, gym sessions, and courses bookable online is a great way to help members pre-plan their workouts and see what you have to offer.
To find out more about online booking capabilities, check out the Leisure Hub.
5. Not Realising Which Members Are Likely to Leave
Retaining your members is extremely important. Remember, it can cost up to 7 times as much to gain a new client than simply retaining an existing one.
Monitoring your members’ attendance, bookings, and payment rates are crucial as it allows you to work out which members are at risk of leaving. Those who haven’t been to your gym in a while or who routinely don’t pay their bills on time are more likely to cancel their membership.
Having this knowledge allows you to intervene before that member leaves, perhaps by suggesting new classes for them to try or by helping them manage their payments.
This significantly increases your gym’s retention rates and feeds into a better member experience as the member will feel valued.
6. Getting Caught Out by The Competition
One of the most dangerous mistakes to avoid in the fitness industry is not being aware of competing gyms in your area.
If a gym near you is offering a better price for the same membership, a new type of class, or an unmissable deal, then your customers might be tempted to go there instead of to your gym.
This is also true if the competition has better equipment, friendlier staff, or cleaner gym floors. It even extends to competition engaging with their (and your!) target audience effectively and innovatively.
Whilst you don’t have to do exactly what every other gym is doing, being aware of what competitors are up to is an important tool, as it gives you the option to act quickly.
7. Not Asking for Help
The best businesses recognise when they need to outsource areas. This can improve efficiency and boost revenue.
If you’re worried about making mistakes in your business, you may want to invest in systems that will streamline your member experience, increase efficiency, and take the stress out of day-to-day management.
Leisure Hub is an industry-first, cloud-based solution that aims to combine several technologies into one, simple to use platform.
Combining booking, membership joining, ticket hub, renewals, payments, debt management, marketing preferences, document management, green online receipts, and data protection functionality, Leisure Hub allows users to interact with their gym or leisure provider through one consistent, familiar interface.
This means that your members don’t need to visit multiple tabs or websites to manage their membership, saving them time and effort and increasing your retention rates.
Leisure Hub is the very first, totally unified solution in the leisure market. The innovative piece of software drastically improves customer service and reduces administration costs and time.
Owning any type of business comes with its fair share of challenges. A lot of mistakes can easily be prevented by offering a great service, paying attention to your clients, and keeping up to date with technology.