While Christmas may be the most wonderful time of year, as a gym owner or
manager, you know that January is actually your most wonderful time of year.
Come January, an onslaught of perspective members will jog through your doors
with renewed intentions, resolutions and resolve.
What will they find when they visit your gym or fitness center? How will it compare
to the one across town? Will they join your center or opt for one of your
If you want to make the best impression possible, here are five areas that need to be
in ship-shape by January 1.
The team members you station at your front desk are crucial in making a great first
impression on visitors.
Make sure those team members are friendly, trained and customer-service oriented.
- Train your staff in phone etiquette and how to greet guests.
- Prepare a list of the most commonly asked questions and the answers you
want your team to give. Role-play with them to test their readiness.
- Have a folder or brochure that contains information about your gym’s
facilities, machines, services, and membership fees.
Remember that prospective members are likely to visit several gyms and fitness
centers in your area. Make sure your facility meets or exceeds the standards of your
- Give the gym a deep clean including the high traffic areas like reception and
- Repaint areas if necessary. A coat of paint makes everything look clean, fresh
- Make sure your bathrooms and shower areas are spic and span: scrub that
grout, clean those mirrors, and make your floors shine.
- Make sure every piece of equipment is in working order. It’s frustrating
enough to have to wait in line for a machine but it’s just bad business if a
piece of equipment is unavailable for use because it’s out of order.
Walk around your gym and do a ‘sniff inventory.’ If you don’t like what you smell,
you should do something about it because your competition may be one step ahead
of you on this one.
Research has shown that:
- Sixteen percent of fitness club members don’t wash their workout clothes.
- Thirty-three percent exercise without deodorant.
- An odor-causing bacteria, ‘micrococci’, thrives in polyester fabrics favored by
What can you do about these unpleasant odors?
Consider using a cold-diffusion scent system that atomizes essential oils, converts
them into molecules and disperses them throughout your gym. These systems will
not only extinguish those gym smells, but they will also help eliminate air-borne
bacteria, viruses and molds, and work to enhance your members’ moods.
Your Overhead Music
What kind of music are you playing in your fitness center? Or are you playing
anything at all?
The right (and legal) music chosen for your target audience offers a number of
- Increased workout enjoyment: Music makes workouts more fun and
distracts from logging the tedious miles and minutes. In fact, researchers at
North Carolina’s Elon University found that when runners watch videos or
listen to music, they’re more likely to run faster and burn more calories than
those who aren’t.
- A motivated staff: Your staff will not only enjoy having overhead music but
they will remain more motivated, happy and engaged in their job. Music
distracts from mundane tasks and makes for a more pleasant workplace – a
great retention tool.
- A stronger brand: By choosing music that matches your target demographics,
you’re creating a new element to your brand that makes it more appealing to
your customers. Making music part of your brand experience helps define
who you are and helps your fitness club members identify more closely with
Your New Member Campaign
If you’re expecting new members to join, you should be ready for them and treat
them like royalty. These ideas will go a long way in making them feel welcome and
reducing drop out rates.
- Develop an orientation program and schedule new members to attend.
- Develop a ‘welcome-to- fitness’ package and fitness challenges to get new
members involved quickly.
- Set up an email campaign for new members. These emails should welcome
them and give them an overview of the gym. You can also use it to minimize
buyers’ remorse and reinforce the benefits of their gym membership.
- Produce simple ‘how to’ videos teaching new members how to use the
various machines and services you offer. They don’t have to be ‘million dollar
videos’ – just clean and well though-out videos shot with your iPhone. Send
them in your email campaign to reinforce member benefits.
We don’t have to tell you that the gym and fitness center industry is more
competitive than ever today. But by implementing these ideas before January 1,
you’ll be ready to not only compete for new members and just as important, you’re
more likely to retain them.