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Owning and operating a gym can be very rewarding, especially as you see how you’re helping people transform their bodies and lives positively. Unfortunately, the fitness industry is very competitive, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out.
To retain your customers and attract a steady stream of new ones, you need to find additional ways to get the word out about your gym and offer unique services and amenities that cater to existing and new patrons. The following 10 ideas can help you assemble a plan of attack to start getting your gym noticed.
1. Create an Atmosphere Unique to Your Gym
Use lighting, décor, and music aligned with your brand to enhance the gym’s surroundings. Consider adding custom logo mats in various places around the gym, especially at the entrance, to stay in your customers’ minds. You can add custom logo mats in the locker rooms and get a cushioned, durable workout floor cover with your logo, a mantra, or a catchphrase that ties in with your gym’s branding.
You can also create logo tee shirts, mugs, and more for sale to your customers. They will become your brand ambassadors by building more awareness of your gym when they wear the gear outside of the gym and post pictures of themselves with your logo merch on social media.
2. Give Exceptional Customer Service
This tip might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s easier said than done. Great customer service requires you to hire the right people to represent your brand and provide training on how you would like them to interact with and help your customers. Take your cue from businesses you admire for their customer service, can-do attitude, and respect for their customers.
3. Emphasize Cleanliness
This is another basic tip, but not one to overlook. Covid-19 brought the public a new level of awareness regarding virus transmission, hand-washing, and the need to keep surfaces clean and sanitary.
Customers will feel safe and trusting of your gym environment if they see evidence that you take cleanliness seriously, such as hand sanitizer in various places around the gym, clean restrooms and locker rooms, and staff that periodically spray and wipe down equipment.
4. Offer Personal Training
Many people would like to do a regular gym workout, but it takes time and research to know which exercises will achieve a certain outcome, how often to do them, and how to work out safely without injury.
Personal trainers provide all of this plus accountability, meaning customers will keep returning. Group classes are great for some members, but others want or need the specialized attention from a personalized trainer and are willing to pay for it.
5. Provide Nutritional Counseling to Members
Working out doesn’t always provide the outcome people want, and diet could be the missing link. Suppose you have a dietician or nutritionist on site.
In that case, you can offer members value-added services such as meal planning, weight and fitness benchmarking, targeted diets for weight gain or loss, increased muscle, and other fitness goals.
6. Invest in New Technology to Set Your Gym Apart
You can invest in interactive fitness equipment, offer virtual reality fitness programs, and have an app designed for members. Through the app, you can provide workout tracking, exclusive content such as online workouts and nutrition advice, and help members connect.
7. Offer Add-On Services That Create Additional Value for Members
Create spa treatment offerings or host workshops that appeal to your gym’s clientele. Workshops could include health and wellness topics, from diets and supplementation to different workout techniques and machine circuits for beginners or more advanced users.
8. Cater to a Specific Customer Niche
Some businesses suffer by trying to be all things to everyone. When you define your customer and offer programs they’re passionate about, you will have more engaged members who will spread the word to other prospects. Niches include yoga, boxing, CrossFit, and many others.
If you don’t want your entire gym dedicated to a niche, try offering specific classes that target popular niches that match the customer demographics in your local area.
9. Offer Flexible Options for Memberships
At the start of each new year, many people have working out on their resolutions list but don’t want to commit to a long-term gym contract until they find a gym they like. Offer short-term memberships, pay-as-you-go options, and other plans that can attract these customers. You can also partner with local businesses, such as wellness stores and health-conscious cafes, to offer joint promotions and other incentives to increase your marketing reach.
10. Host Fitness Events and Challenges
Offer up your gym for networking events, charity functions, or a fitness expo to build more awareness about your gym. Create fitness challenges for existing members to add some fun, and encourage them to bring a non-member to participate. Offer prizes for the winners to make the contests more fun and encourage participation.
So there you have it. Having your gym stand out requires effort and creative thinking, but it’s possible. Using some (or all!) of these 10 strategies, you can create a gym environment and experience that builds loyalty, enhances the customer experience, and attracts new members.