Tips to Prep Fitness Studios for the New Year Rush
With all things ‘holiday’, fitness businesses are sure going much slower than they would have liked.
However, this is the best time to plan. January certainly opens up new opportunities, but not without the stress of handling too much too fast with too little time!
Fitness studios need the right planning and resources to gear up for the New Year rush because you know too well by now that January comes with new hopes and resolutions to get fitter and better. Fitness studios, boutique fitness, gyms, fitness franchise, and so on need to ride onto this energy of goals being chased and resolutions being met and present your business as the best fitness place in town when you reopen!
Keep your fitness business focused on specific goals that help you retain current customers, help you gain new ones, optimize your member experience and keep your staff motivated. Do it easily, without the hassle, and help these people kick off their fitness journeys with zest and zeal.
This is the Ultimate Checklist to welcome the January rush filled with fitness resolutioners, curious first-timers, and ‘back from break’ gym rats with offers and experiences they can’t pass!
Have a look.
How do Fitness businesses prep for the January rush?
1.Revamp Studio to Manage Capacity
Yes, we are talking numbers here. As your fitness studio or gym prepares for the January rush, the first thing you are preparing for is the number of people expected to step into your studio. This means you must either redo your entire place for better space management, buy new and right equipment or manage with whatever you have in a rather clever way. Start of the year, you sure do not want to turn away people just because there was a long waitlist, the space was too cramped, or enough treadmills were not available.
So plan accordingly. Run some extra classes if you have to, restructure your fitness class timings and breaks, enforce time limits on equipment usage, manage waitlists better so that every client gets an equal chance to benefit from your service for what they paid, and if at all possible renovate your studio to optimize space usage right now when the load is less.
2.Keep online fitness classes on
Sure, your target audience is people looking to reach their fitness goals. The energy is high at the beginning of the year, but not everyone may be looking for a session inside your studio. Keep your opportunities open for people who still want to access classes from the comfort of their living rooms or a home gym or have a tight enough schedule to make it to the gym!
Just take your fitness classes up a notch when it comes to hosting online. Because delivering an in-person fitness class and an online one is quite different. An online fitness class should get everything right, from video, lighting, sound, technology, internet connection, and a motivating personality to put it all together during live streaming.
If order to keep your members engaged and connected via a zoom session, first make it simple for them to easily connect, keep a fine set-up to look professional and get right into the zone minus all other distractions, and finally personalize your classes for each member to offer value, authenticity and be as relatable as possible even if it is from behind the laptop.
Give them a premium experience this new year where sweating in a Zumba class or pumping those guns feels as easy as it is for someone training in person!
3.Offer Free trials and Introductory packages
One of your target audiences for the January rush is surely the fitness resolutioners. These people want to get fit yet are curious onlookers for amazing deals and discounts. Grab their attention at the first go and offer first-time visitors offers that are better than your competitors and something that they can’t say no to!
Get into the shoes of new fitness enthusiasts and entice them with the best introductory packages to achieve their fitness goals. You can also offer discounts on an Annual subscription or get them a Free Trial of your studio experience to give your potential members an opportunity to find out what your studio offers with no strings attached! Offering free trials makes new clients feel unrestricted and not pressured to opt for a membership. If they like your services, they will certainly stay back.
4.Make Scheduling a Breeze
You know that your boutique fitness studio, gym, yoga studio, or online fitness classes are amazing and a treat for anyone looking to transform their bodies and minds. Make that super accessible during the peak season of January, when everyone is looking out for it.
Set up an online booking system on your website, customize it with a branded storefront putting all your services out there to choose from. It makes it easy for customers to find their perfect workout at a time that suits them perfectly. Upgrade their experience and add advanced filters to search for categories, classes, class packages, tailor-made sessions, and more.
Not just that, an intuitive scheduling system smoothens the process of bookings, limits the chances of double-bookings, and allows a seamless way to check-in. Let’s not get bogged down this new year with weighty administrative paperwork, client bookings, invoicing, and more!
5.Manage memberships better
As gym and fitness business owners are looking for a surge of clients by the start of January and the New Year, so are potential clients looking for the most beneficial deals to sign up. According to an IHRSA report, more than 12% of new members join in January, after which 80% of resolutions are forgotten by February!
Hence, planning to retain most of the new joiners is extremely important. Create membership plans that are realistic, personalized, and affordable. You can get the undivided attention of your new clients only if you provide them with a variety ranging from classes to pieces of equipment and constantly keep nurturing their early excitement.
Create a super welcoming and inviting space for your clients. They should feel they are in the right place to achieve their goals.
As studios need to showcase their customer reviews, it is useful to survey existing members regularly to learn about their problems and expectations and deliver accordingly. This not only helps retain existing clients but also in converting new clients into long-term members.
Apart from the fact that gym memberships are a constant source of revenue, it is well-known that it costs five times as much to attract a new client than to keep an existing one. Now the fact that January is most likely to bring down your cost of acquiring a new member, it only makes sense to retain your new clients and members with exciting offers, customized packages, well-rounded wellness routines alongside a usual class, and upgraded membership experience before and while accessing your services like easy bookings, easy checkins, easy walkins, or even a free class as a loyalty reward!
6.Support Studio Staff
You know you are up for a tidal rush of clients in the New Year, so brace yourself up and manage better. All of it also starts with how you handle your studio staff. It is essential that you support your studio staff in all ways possible since they are the ones who personify your brand. They are essentially the brand's human side and have a lasting impression on your new clients.
Firstly, calculate the load of surge that you generally get during the peak. Evaluate the numbers from last year in January. If one trainer normally handles up to 5-6 clients, you may want to double that number. If needed, hire new trainers (even if it’s for a few months). Let your staff not feel overwhelmed and overworked.
Secondly, organize staff schedules better, so they are constantly motivated to give their best without draining out. Synchronize trainer schedules and breaks and send out personalized calendar updates to efficiently manage your team members' coordination.
7.Put it all together with Marketing efforts
The upcoming phase is bound to be competitive. How to stand out from the crowd? After you finish all the prep to open your studios with full gusto in January, spending a little time marketing your offerings just before the start of the New Year is important.
Craft irresistible offers and make them all the more creative. Work on something that is gullible and relatable to your audience. If you think most potential new clients are up for weight loss after the holiday hogging, you might give them just what they are looking for. For instance, come up with a program that says- “Shape up in Six Weeks” or “Shed off for the Summer Season- 8 Weeks Challenge”. Go for an early bird promotion where clients get a discount if they book early. Other marketing techniques could be around referral campaigns where if someone refers a friend, they get a discount or a free class. Offer family passes to people who sign-up with their family members.
Do it through affordable and easy social media campaigns- Facebook marketing strategies, Instagram marketing, Youtube marketing, organic content marketing for fitness studios, generating leads via video marketing techniques, or even paid marketing channels to attract the right audience.
Marketing strategies help your fitness business with audience growth, engage with followers, keep them updated on your studio offerings, promotional offers, upcoming events and announcements, and also a glimpse of the experience of your existing members through customer testimonials. Social media also help in getting your studio brand amplifying through trending hashtags and reels.
With all eyes set on January, it is nevertheless the best time for fitness businesses to ride the wave with full fervor and planning to drive maximum revenue and returns. Hence, the New Year rush strategy has to be foolproof without leaks. Try to capitalize on this possibly short-lived influx and focus on how to make it as durable as possible.
Maybe this could be a resolution for fitness studios and gym owners!
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The Ultimate Checklist for fitness businesses with the right planning to gear up for the New Year rush without the stress of handling too much, too fast!