Should you Embrace Black Friday?

Should you Embrace Black Friday?
By Erin Phelan

By Erin Phelan

Fitness Industry Council of Canada

You might be getting caught up in the buzz of Black Friday, one of the biggest consumer events of the year, traditionally held the Friday after American Thanksgiving. And while you might be tempted to slash your prices and offer two for one memberships, Chris Cooper of Two-Brain Business cautions gym owners not to fall into that trap.


Cooper, who has helped coach thousands of gym owners to profitability and huge success, will speak to Fitness Industry Council of Canada on Friday, November 17th at 1:30 PM in a special webinar entitled Top Tips to Generate End of Year Revenue. And, amazingly, embracing Black Friday is not on his list.


“The best gyms in the world do not offer discounts because they don’t need to offer bargain basement memberships that come with free expired protein powder,” says Cooper on his recent podcast. “Instead, I encourage gym owners to build value and not weaken their foundation.”     


Cooper offers great tips to seize the psychology and energy around Black Friday, while not diluting the value gym owners provide. Here’s how:

  1. Remember your worth….and add more value.

Gyms are in the business of selling a service, and it has to be at a profitable rate. This means that you have to place a value on your time “Discounts attract the wrong people because we don’t have unlimited time and attention. If we are spending time and attention on clients that have paid us 20 percent less than everyone else, it robs us of what we could earn in that same amount of time,” advises Cooper.


Try this instead: Everyone loves a good bonus, and someone coming to your gym for the first time might love a Black Friday Bundle of Healthy Recipes, or an e-book with 10 DIY workouts to explore in the gym.


  1. Teach Good Habits

Who is likely to purchase a one-year paid-in-full membership? Likely the client who is going to commit to the gym and their exercise habit – so why give them a discount? Cooper does the math for us – even a 10% discount is the equivalent of a month for free. “The worst part is it will teach these great people to wait for a sale before signing up again,” says Cooper, who adds that most gyms today are likely undercharging for their services.


Try this instead: When your potential member – who has seen a Black Friday sale down the street – starts the conversation that the gym down the street is offering discounts, offer a simple response:


We don’t play those games.


It shows the clients you are serious about your business, and helping members achieve their lasting results. Feel free to offer your current members guest passes for Black Friday, to bring friends who should try your amazing gym!”


  1. Be Proud of Your Rate

The competition for gym members is fierce and has become even more competitive in the last few years. If someone questions your rate, Cooper advises this as a response: “For the level of service we offer, our rate is inexpensive.” This will open the pathway of conversation where you can outline exactly what your services are, what the membership offers, and why your gym is a standout! More importantly, if the potential client goes on to join a cheaper gym – don’t sweat it, says Cooper. “You don’t want everybody. Don’t pour your care into fickle clients who are only after the cheapest rate. You might be the cheapest today, but someone else will be tomorrow”.


Try this instead: Offer even more value – have meaningful conversations with potential clients, offer a free guide or an additional course that you can deliver online that doesn’t cost you too much, create simple content that you can share – audiobooks and podcasts are great resources. And, most importantly….

Come to Top Tips to Generate End of Year Revenue in 2023 on Friday, November 17th at 1:30. This is FREE for all business owners.

Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) is the not-for profit trade association that represents the voice of fitness facility operators across Canada. Representing more than 6,000 facilities with more than six-million members nationwide, FIC pursues a legislative agenda in the hope of bettering the fitness industry for both consumers and operators. FIC aims to work with both industry and government to improve the health and physical activity levels of Canadians.

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