Don't Lose 30 Members Next Year - Here's how.

Author: Adam Lesniak   Date Posted:16 October 2015 

Don’t let 20-30 members go MIA next year.

A trend in 2015

Over the past few years we’ve attended more competitions, local throwdowns and community events than you can imagine, which has given us a lot of great insight into any broad trends that have been occurring in the industry.


This year, it seems a few gyms lost 20-30 members through the winter period.


In business we need to spot trends, consider if they are important, learn from them and do something about it if something needs to be done.


You guys identified that there was definitely a trend happening this year.  Of course, it would be easy to think you were the only one, but many gyms lost 20 – 30 members towards the end of winter.  Some were unable to start new programs and others have had to put off business improvement intiatives, which is a real shame.  There is no doubt, together we can learn from it and do something about it. 


Now, we can make some guesses as to why 30 good people went MIA but chances are that each person has a different reason for not turning up.  That would be a lot of work to solve 30 different problems so let’s try to solve just one and it has to do with the difference between expectation and invitation.


Expectations vs  Assumptions vs  Invitations

In business, we have certain expectations and we make assumptions based on those expectations.  We expect that if we are a good coach, we have good equipment, the box is clean and our clients are seeing results, people will stick around.  If this happens for 9 months straight, we assume it will happen for the other three, which, it seems, isn’t always true.


Quick math on 100 members tells you that you are loosing 30% of your potential revenue for one quarter of the year if 30 people disappear during winter.  All of those people don’t come back the next month at the same time so the problem is really bigger than we think as it spills into a longer rebuilding period only to happen again a few months later.  This can really put the breaks on a small business so let’s break the cycle and keep it from happening again.


We now know we can't expect all clients to stay during winter so let’s assume they will leave unless you invite them to stay.  So this year, we will invite them to stay through the danger period.



Here’s a few points you can use to invite them to hang around:

  1. Call them, if they haven’t turned up in 2-3 days
  2. Make some dot points to explain what was happening before, during and after the drop off period – get rid of the bad / promote the good
  3. If the people who dropped off come back, make sure to find out why they disappeared.  Get feedback from other key members, too
  4. Mark the danger period on a calendar and set up a reminder 6 weeks prior to the drop off period next time it is due to come around
  5. Set up a series of short, engaging challenges, in-house events, community / team building experiences or anything else valuable to your members starting just before and running through the danger period.
  6. Create a specific way for people to interact with each other during that period – Make it a group that people want to be a part of and encourage contribution
  7. Get a feeling of who is likely to drop off and personally sell the programs to them
  8. Get your influential members on board to spruik the programs, too


Getting members involved

As you can see, it doesn’t need to be a big song and dance.  Keep the programs short, sweet and fun.  You could even ask the members who are likely to drop off to be a part of the team who organises and runs these events you’re going to set up.  Making people a valued member of a team is the best way to get them to step up.


Being proactive is the term that is usually used in this scenario.  You now know the problem exists, you know when it is likely to happen and you know what to do about it.  Make it happen.


I’m sure ideas are running wild for you now.  If you have anything you feel would be helpful to share, please do.



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