We’ve all been there. Cold weather sets in, it starts raining, and suddenly those massive sign-up targets you were hitting in January seem very far away.
Just be thankful you’re not operating in the Northern Hemisphere!
Compared to other global fitness markets, Australia’s relatively mild seasonal variations in temperature have resulted in a very consistent rate of gym attendance and membership signups. Aside from some big jumps in January (New Year’s resolutions!) and peaks in July and August, the distribution is fairly even. That being said – May is far and away the slowest month for gym membership sign ups in Australia.
Taking control of these slow periods is crucial to maintaining a stable and consistent income flow. Follow these easy tips to keep your gym full and your membership growing – no matter the time of year.
1 . Change things up
With less administrative overhead to deal with, quiet periods give you the chance to focus on developing interesting and innovative new classes, bootcamps and other services to improve the satisfaction of existing members, and to attract new members.
There are is a huge amount of variety in the fitness world, and the industry is continually changing and evolving. Using quiet periods to experiment with new ideas is a great way to keep people engaged – use social media and advertising to make people aware of your cutting edge offerings and you’ll see results rapidly.
2 . Make it easier to sign up
Offering extended trial periods during quiet times can be extremely attractive to people who are on the fence about committing to a gym membership. When demand is low, it often pays to give consumers more exposure to your service.
The great thing about quiet periods is that your gym is uncrowded, so equipment is available and properly stored. Beginners can often be intimidated by a crowded gym, so this is a great chance to give newbies ample opportunity to familiarise themselves with your facilities.
3 .Take advantage of referrals
Generating leads through advertising and promotions can be pretty hit and miss. Sometimes, the best resource is your members themselves. Offering referral deals is the most effective way to leverage this resource, and these sort of promotions can have huge flow on effects. Follow this simple guide to maximise the effectiveness of your referral campaign, and you’ll be wishing it was quiet again in no time!
4. Spring cleaning (in May)
A recent Canstar Blue survey found that inadequate housekeeping was amongst the biggest complaints which Australian gym-goers have. More than 30 per cent of individuals surveyed were unsatisfied by the level of cleanliness at their club. Dirty changerooms, misplaced equipment and sweaty benches are massive turn-offs to prospective members.
By taking the time to address these issues, you can maximise your conversion rate, and keep those membership forms flying in the door.
5. Focus on retention
There’s an old saying – a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. If your sales strategies and promotions aren’t working as well as expected, it might well be that you’ve exhausted the sales potential of your local market for the time being.
If you suspect that this might be the case, instead divert your attention into maintaining and developing your existing client base. By allocating your resources into developing your gym and improving customer satisfaction, you can reduce churn, and ensure greater sign up numbers during busier periods.
6. If it works, it works
This might seem odd, but sometimes the best thing to do is nothing at all. If your existing sales and marketing strategies are still showing reasonable yields, even during quieter than average periods, it is a sign that you are on the right track.
In the world of business, it is impossible to guarantee a constant flow of new customers. Avoid getting too stressed out about minor seasonal variations, and use this time to develop your gym and marketing techniques to guarantee future success.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your fitness career and help people live happier, healthier lives, why not join the Fitstop franchising family? Visit www.fsfitness.com.au/franchising to find out more.