Since March 2020 you have lost a lot. Welcome to the fitness industry’s “new normal.” There will be significant obstacles of operating a business at 50% capacity, with the same expenses month after month. Can your business survive? Can you, your family and home survive? Not many people understand what it takes to be an entrepreneur. You’ve risked everything to operate your own business and the forced closure has probably been the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a business owner. There is nothing easy about things being out of your control.
There are really only two real plays right now; first is to raise your rates, praying your loyal members appreciate the situation you’re in. Second, would be to reward your loyal members with additional services that will improve their experience and outcome.
Business 101: Sell more to the people that know, like, and trust you.
It’s highly likely that the most profitable service you provide comes from your Personal Training Department. For the sake of discussion, let’s say your PT Dept. contributes 50% to your overall monthly revenues and 50% from monthly membership dues.
If you’re now operating at half capacity, you just lost significant monthly revenue. That’s quite daunting.
Raising your rates isn’t the worst plan, and perhaps people are willing to pay for more exclusivity and cleanliness right now. However, that’s never a comfortable or easy play. Another, and more logical strategy is to add a new service that goes hand-in-hand with personal training; nutrition.
Consumer’s today have a new hyper-awareness for good health and a strong immunity. Meaning, there’s a clear argument to be made for implementing a solution for nutrition programming into your roaster of services. If you were looking out on the gym floor, what percentage of your members would welcome a nutrition solution? 50% – 75%?
Understand that if you’re not providing a nutrition solution for your members, there’s a very good chance they’re spending their money elsewhere and honestly, right now they’d probably rather spend it with you. This is where the mutually beneficial partnership of a strong fitness program combined with solid, real-food nutrition programming will be very appealing to your current and prospective customers. The future for clubs will be packaging your offerings as the “complete solution” to a problem. Clubs trying to solve every problem with “X number of workouts per week” or just a fitness membership will not survive this new world.
How much easier would it be to provide your members a service you know they need and want? Imagine an entirely new profit center solely dedicated to nutrition. Adding a secondary department that’s systematic, scalable, delivers results, and increases monthly revenues? That just makes sense. There’s never been a better time to position nutrition for improving immunity, staying healthy and getting back on track, post pandemic.
It’s common knowledge that in Canada, the weight loss market is a $7 billion dollar a year industry, meaning there’s no shortage of customer’s needing this service. And with 50% less members even your employees are looking for additional ways to earn more money to survive.
Having two profit centres, feeding one another, just makes sense.
Don’t raise your rates, increase the value.
Carolyn Fetters is the Founder and CEO of Balanced Habits™, based in Southern California. She can be reached at email@example.com or 657.231.6779