The New Year is a time for reflection, anticipation, and, invariably, resolutions—many of which involve health and fitness-related components. Year after year, getting in shape is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions.
According to one study, the most common resolution in 2021 was “doing more exercise or improving my fitness.” Accordingly, the New Year presents a golden opportunity for gym owners to recruit and retain new members. If you’re in the fitness industry, here are a few ways to do just that.
Plan Sales and Promotions in Advance
Well-planned and executed sales and promotions can supercharge your membership and attract even more people. You’ll have to give logistics some thought, however. For example, you’ll want to make sure you can welcome everyone and still comply with local capacity limits. Likewise, you may have to add classes to accommodate the new members, so be sure to communicate with your trainers.
Replace Old Equipment
Tired, worn-out equipment is a turn-off, especially these days, as many people return to the gym after a long pandemic-induced hiatus. Their expectations will be lofty, both in terms of cleanliness and equipment appearance.
December is a great time of year to take stock of your workout odds and ends and see what needs upgrading. Are your mats haggard? Are your fitness bands cracking? The month before the new year is an ideal time to write off these business expenses before the next fiscal begins.
Build a Member Onboarding Strategy
Existing members often find the influx of new members annoying. As a gym owner, it’s your job to ensure peace and harmony. You want to make new members feel welcome while respecting the status quo for existing members. Effective strategies include creating social media groups where members can interact, introducing new members in group exercise classes, and holding social events like coffee mornings.
Engagement is critical to onboarding and retaining new gym-goers since 80% of members will quit within five months of enrolling. Hanging on to even a tiny proportion of these newbies will have a massive impact on your long-term bottom line. A few ways to drive engagement:
- Incentivize repeat returns
- Talk to new members—find out why they signed up, take the time to find out their fitness goals
- Encourage participation in group classes
Help Members Achieve Their Goals
New members who see tangible fitness results are less likely to fall off the wagon when February rolls around. As the saying goes, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” To that end, software solutions like Wodup help members track results and reach goals. They also allow gyms to build communities and foster camaraderie—and healthy competition—between members.
Gym memberships are staging a comeback and nearing pre-pandemic levels and, with history as a gauge, are sure to rise in January 2022 as people try and shed a few holiday pounds. For gym owners, this is the time to recoup some pandemic losses and drive long-term membership by leveraging these strategies. Do you have any techniques you’ve used in the past to manage the New Year’s gym influx? Share them with our readers in the comments section below!