The New Year comes fast, and with it so does a newfound motivation for fitness. Each year gyms see an influx of customers, with about 30 percent of all new members coming from the first quarter of the year, and the majority during January. As a result, the beginning of the year is crucial to any fitness business. We have compiled some tips to help ensure your gym is prepped for 2015.
Staff up. IHRSA Research found that Gen Y gym members are more likely than others to select ‘I don’t know what I would do there’ as a barrier to joining a gym. Adding extra personnel to help members while on the gym floor by either giving them a tour or providing ideas for a workout plan, could help make new members feel comfortable. Additionally, it could also be to the manager’s benefit to have extra hands to ensure the cleanliness is up to par. It’s common to have attendance drop after a few months, so consider hiring seasonal workers to curb overhead costs.
Clean, clean, clean. A clean gym is a successful gym. According to Harris Interactive Research, 88 percent of adults wouldn’t exercise in a gym or athletic facility if they found it to have cleanliness issues. It is standard practice to encourage members to wipe down machines after every use, but many times this is left undone. Be sure to order extra cleaning products to ensure there are ample supplies for the influx of customers. Have your staff do frequent cleaning sweeps to wipe down equipment, clean locker rooms, empty garbage cans and restock towels. In addition, it’s important to communicate this etiquette to new members either during orientation or through signage on the gym floor.
Optimize the floor plan. Bodybuilding.com found that the mood and feel of a gym is often decided in the first 10 seconds upon entering through the doors, so floor layout and design are crucial to success. A test run can help you effectively evaluate if the equipment has an optimized flow. In addition, be sure that equipment and classes meets the needs and skill levels of new members.
Stay relevant. Fitness companies and enthusiasts are constantly innovating new methods to stay in shape. As a result, monitoring what’s trending will help keep your club fresh and interesting for both new and loyal members. Whether it is equipment or types of classes offered, be sure to update your gym to reflect what’s gaining traction in the industry. The 2014 Healthclub Management Handbook found that niche operations, such as cycling microgym SoulCycle, are flourishing in the U.S. While it may not make sense to shift the focus of your gym – take these trends into consideration and perhaps add additional classes or times to accommodate the uptick in interest during the New Year. Some gyms are also adding nutrition to their repertoire as more consumers look for advice on healthy and balanced eating.
According to the Healthclub Management Handbook, the most common reason for leaving a gym boils down to a lack of motivation, ultimately leading to infrequent visits and a feeling that the membership lacks value. Jumpstart the New Year and help motivate and support your members by not being just a fitness facility, but an overall partner in your members’ health.