"New year, new me" – the mantra that usually defines fitness goals that you, me, and everyone we know resolve to accomplish in the new year. The first few months of the year are when gyms are the busiest. People are on a mission to get healthier, eat right, change bad habits, and work out. Out of the 41% of Americans that make resolutions, 46% of them are related to making better decisions and being more active for physical well-being. As a gym owner, fitness instructor, or health and wellness professional, how can you capitalize on new year’s resolutions to get fit? It’s common that as soon as the new year hits, those who make these kinds of resolutions spring into action with gusto. But more often than not, the enthusiasm dissipates, as life happens.
Here are some ways you can cultivate the early momentum to plan for long-term success:
- Offer a 10-pass program.
Some newcomers to the world of healthy eating and exercise can feel like the gym is a foreign place. It can be helpful to get these folks started at more practical pace. Invite members to commit to a pre-paid 10-pass program for a discounted rate. 10 visits to the gym sounds a lot more feasible than going five times a week for the entire year. And if the program is pre-paid, members will feel more motivated to get up and go. Once they more comfortable with these routine visits, they may be more inclined to sign up for an annual pass. You can incentivize things even further and offer no initiation fee to sign up for an annual pass if they’ve signed up for the 10-pass program. If this kind of program doesn’t suit your business model, think about a similar program that could work for you.
- Collect contact info for new members.
Communicating with new members and keeping them engaged is key. But in order to communicate with them, you’re going to need contact info. When new members sign up, be sure to collect email addresses as part of the membership form, and make sure to receive consent to send promotional or informational messages. There are a variety of email communications you can deliver like spotlight features on members at your gym, weekly meal plans, wellness articles, and promotional updates.
- Run a gym-wide contest.
What better way to motivate members than to have a friendly contest? Invite members to sign up and promote an incentive to really drive the participation. Whether it be a contest to see who can checks into the gym the most, who can do the most pull-ups by the end of the year, or some other fun challenge, make sure the prize is worth the sacrifice. You can award the winner(s) with a free month of membership, gym swag, or access to exclusive fitness classes.
- Train your staff.
There are so many gyms and fitness options people can choose from these days. Why should they choose you? Identify key differentiators for your gym and use them to your advantage. Make sure your team is trained to deliver great customer service in order to keep members happy and coming back. Encourage your staff to interact with members. It’s important to build a community feel at the gym in order to help members feel welcome, motivated, and engaged. There’s a sense of vulnerability that comes with working towards a fitness goal. Developing camaraderie among members and staff and nurturing those positive vibes can get you far. If your staff isn’t aware of your business goals and properly trained, it’s hard to get to where you want to go.
Resolutions can often be cut short and not always carried out for the entire year. But, if you implement some of these practices, you can turn an enthusiastic declaration to get healthy at the start of the year into a lifelong habit for your members. If you haven’t done so already, it’s never too late to start thinking about resolutions for your small business, too!
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