Club Insider

Are You Working Hard But Not Getting The Results You Seek?

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Jim ThomasJim Thomas

This is what I frequently hear from gym owners and operators: "I'm working hard; we have a great facility, but we're just not getting results we need." Then, they look for a marketing silver bullet to help drive some traffic. That is always short-lived, and they still haven't learned how to properly run their business. Here are some foundation-building items that must be in place in order for your business to have sustained success:

  1. 1. Have A Budget In Place. This is the starting point. I see way too many businesses just winging it without really knowing the ramifications of their decisions. In addition, even though they talk about needing sales, there is no accountability for production (or even a clear understanding of what's needed). So, before you do anything else, sit down and map out your expenses; what will it cost to run your gym? Now, ask yourself this question: how much do you want to make? Next, create your various line item revenue centers and how much is needed for each. You will now manage based on these objectives.
  2. 2. Have A Marketing Plan In Place. We need to get away from the band-aid approach here. What I mean by this is always looking for the latest social media fad to drive traffic. They never seem to last, and you're right back to where you started. Instead, come up with a marketing plan of action that will blanket your trade area. This can be done at minimal cost. In the end, you want to become omnipresent in your trade area; everywhere people turn, they see you.
  3. 3. Have A Sales Process In Place. Just call it a process if you like (leave out the word sales), but it needs to be in place. I can't begin to tell you how many clubs work very hard to get people to call, to get people to come in for a visit but have no process of any kind in place to get them to become a client or new member. First, if you don't have a telephone inquiry script in place, get one. Second, be sure you log in every call with contact information and sourcing. This can be a start. Now, when a customer enters your business, you must have a process that puts them in the best position to become a member or become involved with your facility. Too many facilities simply point out all the features and show a schedule of classes or training. Nothing will turn you into a commodity quicker than this. Here's the key: solve problems for people, provide solutions and build value.
  4. 4. Have A Nurturing Process In Place. Once your customer has decided to become a member or take advantage of training, you need to keep them engaged by nurturing them. By this, we mean maintaining interest and desire. This is no small matter as the better you do at this, the less pressure you will have on the sales process. In the end, this is your foundation to help maintain lower attrition numbers.

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