The health and fitness industry continues to grow, as everyone has become more interested in keeping fit, losing weight and improving their general health. According to the State of the UK Fitness Industry study, total gym membership stands at almost 10 million and the industry as a whole is valued at just under £5 billion.
With a demand for new and innovative gyms, just what does it take to become a successful gym owner? Typically, when planning a new business venture, a gym owner will focus on four key areas: determining the best location, acquiring suitable premises and equipment, designing the floor plan and identifying and attracting potential clients.
Although it’s a good place to start, once you’ve attracted new customers, how do you keep them? One of the most popular roads to success at the gym involves having goals. According to a survey by Bodybuilding.com, around two-thirds of people who join a gym like to set themselves fitness goals.
Having a goal can help people to stay on track, which is vital, as once they start to lapse, 38% of gym members say it’s “too hard” to get back on course. This is where the gym-owner can help. Too many people give up on fitness because they can’t keep up with the routine single-handedly.
A personal trainer can come to the rescue of customers who are starting to lose their verve. Rather than leaving everyone to their own devices, personal trainers can help people to achieve their goals.
Organise groups for members. For example, 38% of people say their goal is to lose weight, rather than to simply improve tone. Introduce weight-watching groups, where members can share their weight concerns and discuss their goals in a community-like gathering.
As a gym owner, you too can have goals: set yourself a realistic goal of how many new members you expect to retain three months down the line. Then, introduce your new initiatives and gauge how well you’re doing by carrying out some research to see how many of the newbies are still coming regularly. This will let you know if you’re on the right track, or if you need to rethink your game plan.
Even if things are going well, there’s always room for new ideas. Don’t get complacent, as this could be your downfall.
Make sure you provide various workout classes, with trained instructors. Even the most dedicated gym-goer can get bored, so try to vary the routine, introducing activities such as Zumba, yoga or Pilates.
If people are new to these types of exercises, you need to nurture them. Having a class for beginners, where they can learn about the techniques, can help to coax people into joining. Then you can have an intermediate class – again, it’s all about setting goals.
Understand customer demands and make sure you fulfil all their needs. For example, no-one wants to go to a gym where they’ll be worrying about their belongings while they’re working out.
The looker room can be almost as important as the gym itself. Not only is it somewhere to get ready and then to wind down and reflect after a workout, it’s also a place where personal possessions must be kept safe.
Modern gyms have equally modern changing rooms, with safe and secure lockers, leaving customers feeling at ease while they’re working out. Adding to the décor and enhancing your brand, lockers ensure personal belongings are kept safe and secured.
Why not include healthy food and smoothie options at your facilities? Many nutritionists believe it’s good to have a high-protein, healthy snack after a workout, so cater to this need in the gym.
The secret to a good gym? Well, if it’s well-organised behind the scenes, this will cut your workload significantly.
It will also improve the image of your gym if you have the latest cutting-edge technology – today’s gym-goer will expect it!
As a gym owner, you need to be a good communicator, both with employees and customers alike. Make sure you keep a handle on all aspects of the business and give it your personal touch.
Don’t remain shut in your office all the time – have a wander around, chat to your staff to make sure everything is going okay and engage in conversation with the people who have chosen to spend their hard-earned cash with you.