Retain your members and watch membership numbers skyrocket
Author: Taylor Espuis Date Posted:20 June 2018
As a gym owner do you find yourself constantly stressing about the number of members you have? Hint: It is waaay cheaper to retain members than to chase new ones!
- As a gym owner do you find yourself constantly stressing about the number of members you have?
- Do you feel like you always have people walking through the door but you just can’t reach your member goal?
- Are you repeatedly taking two steps forward and one step back?
If you find yourself saying YES to these, then I am going to provide you with a few small steps that will allow your business to take big steps forward (and no more steps back).
STEP 1 – Stop focusing on bringing new people through the door
This may be going against everything you are currently doing, and I know you may be thinking “but if I want my membership base to grow I need people coming through the door” and you are correct. However, there are 2 reasons why I want you to switch your focus to retaining your members instead.
#1 Gaining new members can be easier than retaining them
In order to gain new members, you do marketing and you’ve been running your gym long enough to know what works best for you. Whether it be putting some dollars towards Facebook ads or doing a local mail out. Doesn’t matter how you do it, the important thing is you know how and what works for you.
A lot of the time as gym owners, you spend all your effort (and budget) getting people through the door and little to no effort on keeping them. Where as in reality it should be the other way around. After all, what good is having a new member walk through the door only to have an existing one leave.
We have several gym owners & coaches who work at Again Faster, or are close colleagues, and they'll tell you they see this pattern often. One in, one out!
#2 It is waaay cheaper to retain members than to chase new ones
As mentioned in #1 you know what works but there is a 99.9% chance it costs money. I am going to build on this point later.
STEP 2 – Work out what is killing your retention rate
There is no one size fits all approach to running a business, and running a gym is no different. But we have seen a lot of gyms and we have seen everything from them thriving to them just trying to survive.
We confidently stand behind the fact that CRAPPY EQUIPMENT IS THE NUMBER ONE KILLER OF RETENTION RATES.
In our experience, the biggest factor someone considers when they walk in the door of a new gym is the equipment. After all they are going to be using daily and no one wants to pay upwards of $40 a week to use equipment that is past its used by date. If it is the number one reason they walk through the door then it is also going to be the number one reason they will stay.
STEP 3 – Upgrade, refresh or replace your gear
Upgrading your gear or replacing broken equipment is the number one way you can show your members you are investing and committed to providing them with the best training experience possible. How can they not be happy when they can see they directly benefit from the money they pay each week?
If upgrading your gear is out of your budget than refreshing is just as good. Giving your barbells a good clean can make them look as good as new and keep them in working order for longer. In fact giving all your gear a regular clean will keep everything looking new and fresh. Another option is putting the money you put towards your marketing efforts, towards new gear instead – told you I'd come back to it.
STEP 4 – Realise your money is better spent on your current members than getting new ones.
I understand that this one is hard to get your head around when boosting your member base is your number 1 priority. Let me give you a few extra points to consider.
- A happy member has no reason to think about leaving
- A happy member is the most valuable thing in your gym. Why?
- WORD OF MOUTH - Having someone out there saying positive things about your gym is going to bring people through the door.
- retaining your members lowers the stress of bringing in new ones
- Its cheaper
- I’ve mentioned it again – Why would you spend $2,000 on marketing when you could be spending that on tangible equipment which your members will use!
- At this point I will say – don’t eliminate marketing altogether. Instead prioritise what you need to be spending money on. Once you increase your retention rate and you have a solid base of happy satisfied members, then you can look at marketing again BUT don’t neglect your existing members (then you will be reading this article from the top)
If you are desperate to boost your member base but the idea of spending money elsewhere is still making you nervous, contact the team at Again Faster and we will be more than happy to help ease your mind and guide you through the process. At the end of the day we care about your success just as much as you do!