Having been running the Zoom and Online Fitness Instructors community on Facebook for nearly two years, I’ve noticed that every now and again, someone (we) need a bit more than just technical support. Because we’re navigating how to run a successful fitness business, all by ourselves.
And when things don’t go as planned, or business isn’t where we need it to be it can be hard to find support, that doesn’t cost a small fortune!
I recently took part in a Facebook Live in collaboration with Gymcatch and fellow fitness professional Anna Martin, owner of AMF World. You can catch up on the full video below, but I also wrote up a few key take-aways from our conversation to help you kick-start your business in 2022 and beyond!
Be Flexible and Adapt to Changing Circumstances
Flexibility has become essential for businesses operating in periods of disruption such as the current global pandemic.
It’s important to get to know the ebbs and flows of your customers and understand how they are being affected by what’s going on in the world at any given time.
The good news is that, with the help of technology, our businesses are better prepared to adapt to the changing circumstances and needs of our customers than ever.
For many fitness businesses impacted by the pandemic, this meant moving from face-to-face to virtual classes.
Taking your fitness business online is an obvious choice when it comes to preparing for the future and reaching out to a wider audience. Virtual classes are a great way to add extra flexibility to your services.
With online classes, if no one books onto a session or your customers have to cancel, you haven’t wasted money booking the studio space or your time commuting to the gym.
Make The Hybrid Model Work
The new post-covid19 customer is spoilt for choice. Some people are still looking for the convenience that virtual classes bring, whilst others favour 1-2-1 or small group sessions. Creating a hybrid business model that allows for both can help you to retain customers and attract new ones.
Virtual fitness classes or sessions are faster revenue channels. The running costs are lower and you can reach more people online. Monetising from your workout videos and online content is a great way to increase revenue streams and enhance the services you offer. You can make use of quieter times to pre-record as much content as possible and get it online.
But while there are many benefits to online classes, make sure that you don’t alienate any customers who do want to return to face-to-face sessions. Otherwise, you may end up losing business.
Talk to your customers and find out what they want and what works best for them.
Package and Price your Fitness Services Correctly
Structure your packages in a way that is simple and manageable, for both you and your clients.
Offering packages and memberships are great ways to build recurrent revenue and get your clients to stick around for longer. But don’t give people endless choices. They want to be told what they need to do. The easier you present this to them, the more engaged they will be.
You should also make sure that you don’t undersell your services. It’s important to know what your competition is charging, as well as understanding your own value. And if you are considering raising your prices in 2022, think about what extra value you could add to make your proposition more attractive.
Diversify Your Income Streams
If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s not to have all of your eggs in one basket, just in case one fails. In the current business climate, it’s prudent for all small business owners to diversify their income streams.
There are many ways to diversify your income as a fitness professional. Some common ones are merchandising, producing online content, affiliations and partnerships, and advertising. These methods are all great ways to generate additional income.
Look for opportunities that feel like a natural extension of your brand.
Focus on Retaining Clients
Focusing your efforts on getting new clients can be taxing and expensive. Instead, why not focus on your existing clients? It can be more financially beneficial to get existing clients to spend more with you.
Returning customers are crucial to a business’ growth. Make your customers feel special and they are more likely to spend more with you. You could do this by adding rewards to your customer engagement plan to celebrate big milestones. These don’t have to be expensive. A social media shoutout is a great low-cost way to celebrate someone’s success.
Get people talking. Be what people are discussing at the dinner table. Returning customers are more likely to bring in new customers. Referrals through word of mouth are what keep many fitness businesses going.
Use Social Media To Your Advantage
One of the many benefits of social media is that everything is visible. You can now see what the competition are up to in just a couple of clicks. It is a great place to have a snoop around and gain ideas for your own business.
Social media is also great for promoting your own classes and services which you can easily do with an Instagram or Facebook post template. Not only will you reach a wider audience but you can also create an online community.
Your customers are your ambassadors and will help with sharing the work you do. If they are online, they can help amplify your message and give your business a big boost.
I hope this has helped to spark some ideas for you and your business in 2022.
If you have any questions, comments or tips of your own, please leave them below!