Make more money for your fitness club or studio
While many businesses were hard hit by the pandemic, fitness businesses have really been through the ringer. Mandatory closures left many club and studio owners unsure of how long it would take to recover financially. It’s estimated that the fitness industry lost $20.4 billion (with a ‘b’!) in 2020, according to IHRSA. To speed up this recovery, we’ve put together a list of new streams of income – products and services – to consider to make more money for your fitness business.
1 – Inside of your club or fitness studio
Branded merchandise: t-shirts, hoodies, baseball caps, and premium workout apparel are just a few examples of the branded products your fitness business can sell to increase income.
Keep in mind that it will require extra manpower from your staff and at least some inventory bought in advance to begin selling branded merchandise. To avoid out-of-control inventory, we recommend starting small and using a print-on-demand shop with low or no minimums so you can order more as needed.
Packaged nutrition products: pre-workout and post-workout drinks, shakes, electrolyte replenishers, and other nutrition products continue to grow in popularity. There are many companies that offer wholesale prices or special terms to fitness businesses for them to provide such products to members while also making a profit.
For hydration at the gym, think beyond water. There are many coconut waters and electrolyte drinks that are healthier than the sugar-laden sports drinks we grew up with. Before you start filling your vending machine or snack bar with food, drinks, and nutrition products, ask your members what they enjoy and what they would like to see! You can ask gym-goers in-person, email a survey to your clients, do a poll on social media, or all three.
Snack/smoothie bar: if you have an empty space in your club or studio, consider setting up counter service and maybe even limited seating for a snack and/or smoothie bar for a quick post-workout recovery. Quiet blenders and easy-to-clean seating are a plus!
2 – Outside of your club or fitness studio (in-person)
Many fitness businesses have already taken this route during the pandemic after their doors were forced to close. Maybe you attempted a cardio-in-the-parking-lot class or saw (and judged) yoga on the sidewalk from a competitor (yoga mats are just not padded enough for concrete). But there are more options than the pavement in front of your business to host in-person classes outside the four walls of your gym or studio. You can also consider:
- Offsite at a park or sports field nearby
- At a local business through a corporate partnership
- At hotels, churches, or independent senior living facilities by establishing community partnerships
Whichever route you choose, remember to check your insurance coverage to make sure you are covered, or get coverage, for your business to operate outside of your building. And don’t forget to get those waivers signed. 😉
3 – Add-ons to existing memberships
As you probably know, it’s easier to increase revenue by selling more to your current customers than it is to bring in new customers. With your member base, there’s lower marketing costs to reach them, an existing relationship between them and your business, and (hopefully!) you already have your members’ trust. Add-on services or packages may include:
A short-term weight loss program: 6 or 8 weeks for example, which may include nutrition consultations, high-intensity classes, weekly personal training, and assigned accountability partners.
Specialized personal training options: sure, any fitness business can offer personal training. But consider offering specialized training to set yourself apart from your competitors. The training sessions could be tailored to people pressed for time – quick 15 or 30 minute sessions for people on their lunch break. Or focus on a specific audience and consider what they would get out of it, like senior citizens who are intimidated to even touch a weight machine but want to build strength, or runners who need cross-training to avoid injury and improve their performance.
4 – Virtual offerings
I know what you’re thinking – this isn’t a new idea! Many fitness businesses began some type of virtual offerings during the pandemic. But, it’s worth evaluating what you have done (if anything) virtually and consider how you can differentiate, expand, and promote your virtual offerings. Here are just a few options:
- Unlimited classes per month
- Set number of classes for those who don’t want to commit
- Personal training sessions /consults / coaching
- Nutrition coaching and ongoing support
Stop, collaborate and action
We’ve seen how the pandemic has affected our gym and fitness studio clients. There’s simply no magic solution to recoup losses overnight. Branching out in your business with new products or services will take careful planning, staffing, marketing, and possibly an investment. Before you make changes, ask your current customers if they would be interested in the new products or services. Once you have decided how to expand, make your plan and go for it. We’re cheering your business on and we’re just a phone call away if you need us.
For more advice and ideas, check out ‘The Comeback Guide’ to help you regroup and move your fitness business forward, or our ‘3 Numbers Guide’ to learn about three most important numbers for your fitness business to monitor and improve.
Have you already had success adding new products or services in your fitness business? If so, we’d love to hear what worked!