COMMON MISTAKES GYM OWNERS MAKE PT. 2

We’ve already covered five other mistakes in part 1 of common mistakes gym owners make, so here are four more mistakes made by owners and how to avoid them.

YOU FOCUS SOLELY ON MEMBERSHIPS

Yes, memberships are the lifeline of your club, however, if you remain completely focused on bringing prospects in, you will eventually lose connection with current members and you won’t give any attention to other opportunities that generate income, like your point of sale items.

Retention is just as important as signing new members, so keep current members satisfied by running special promotions and discounts on club merchandise, personal training and fitness class packages. This will help you maintain strong retention and generate more revenue at the same time. Above all, remember to find a healthy balance between prospects and current members.

YOU’RE AFRAID OF INNOVATION

The fitness industry changes all the time and if you aren’t open to change, then your club will stagger, and you’ll eventually be unable to keep up with member standards. To avoid making this mistake, keep up with fitness trends, ensure your club is active on social media, both organically and through paid advertising and above all, be open to member feedback and actually listen to what they need and want. Make sure your club is active in the community by being a part of organizations like IHRSA or Association of Fitness Studios (AFS) to gain more business insight and stay current with industry trends. 

TOO CROWDED WITH TOO MUCH EQUIPMENT

On a positive note, your fitness club is so popular that it’s overflowing with members. The harsh reality is that not only is this a common gym owner mistake, but it’s also a huge culprit for gym membership cancellations. Why would this be your fault though? Your club and business structure lack balance, with equipment, physical space and too many members to accommodate for.

For one, you know the square footage of your gym from the get-go, so unless you’re planning on expanding it, you know how much equipment can fit in it. With more members coming through your doors, more equipment seems like the best solution, but realistically, members need space to breathe and move, so as an owner, it’s your job to find the right balance between these. Keep tabs on the less popular equipment and areas of your club, so you can decide what should be subtracted to create more space.

The same thing goes for group classes and training sessions. If you’re noticing a higher count of members attending a specific class, offer that class more frequently to avoid overflow, increase traffic and up member satisfaction. The best way to gather these numbers is to pull attendance and hourly traffic reports through gym management software. Be sure to talk with your equipment vendor supplier about equipment layouts and mapping out better use of your space.

LACK OF UPKEEP

Upkeep applies to the quality of your equipment and the cleanliness of your club. If you’re not mindful about these things, your retention will suffer. Machines like treadmills and ellipticals break down all the time. Although the wear and tear are not your fault, a common mistake among owners is allowing these issues to linger.

Not only does this prevent members from using your machines, but the lack of proactivity devalues your memberships and gym. This applies to the cleanliness of your club as well, and dirty facilities are a huge culprit to membership cancellations.

You care about your club, so constantly taking care of it is vital to reducing attrition. To make yourself more aware of possible upkeep issues, refer to our Daily Service Notes–a report that allows ASF to transfer member feedback to owners and learn more about how to maintain a clean facility here.