Congratulations! You worked hard to make it happen. All your planning and dedication has finally paid off, and your gym is open and ready for business.
This is an exciting time. It’s also the time to build a strong foundation of best practices to position your business to succeed. Throughout our conversations with hundreds of successful gym owners, we’ve heard great advice for starting off on the right foot. These tips from others who have been in your shoes will help you manage your gym effectively in its early days.
Don’t Be Afraid To Spend Money
You know what’s coming next, “You have to spend money to make money!” It’s only natural to feel nervous and hesitant about this in the beginning. Starting a business almost always costs more than planned. But now that your gym is up and running, your ability to bring in revenue is right around the corner. Don’t be afraid to spend money to speed that up.
Especially in the beginning when you’re just starting to build up a membership base, solid marketing is essential. And don't forget that the most successful gyms are built through word-of-mouth, referral marketing. This type of marketing is extremely effective because it’s unbiased and believable.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
At this point, you may feel like your family and friends are on gym overload. Trust us: they want you to succeed, and they’re happy to help when you need it. When your gym is running successfully, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to repay their kindness.
Also, remember that fellow gym owners are great resources for support. Every successful gym owner has been where you are right now. So don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and ask for advice. Better yet, consider joining a formal support network like the one our friends over at Factory Forged built.
Your Members Are Worth More Than You Realize
You’ll probably be shocked at the true lifetime value of your clients. Check out our customer lifetime value calculator here. Once you understand this number, use it for budgeting and all program and marketing decisions.
Be Choosy About Who You Hire
This critical piece of advice applies to any business owner: hire slow and fire fast. Even if you don’t need to hire right now, you will eventually. Make sure you don’t compromise on hiring. Every interaction your members or potentials members have with one of your coaches, instructors, or front desk people reflects on you and your gym.
Know Your Numbers
Everything you’ve done up to this point is for nothing if you don’t have a good grasp of your numbers. Ever heard the phrase, “What gets measured gets managed”? It’s true. You need to understand basic metrics and how they all tie together.
Some of the most basic metrics include average revenue per member, your monthly churn, and the cost to get new members. You also need an accurate revenue forecast and to understand how that number aligns with your expenses. If need a refresher on understanding key business metrics, here's a list of some free courses.
Think About Value Added for Customers
Your members will buy supplements and mobility tools somewhere. Why shouldn’t it be from your gym? By offering retail items, you make it easier for your members to buy what they need. You also bring in more revenue.
Also, consider adding programs to help your members work on specific skills. Six- to eight-week strength training programs are popular, as are workshops like gymnastic skills or endurance training. Any program you offer gives your athletes a chance to better themselves and brings revenue into your gym.
Remember That Your Gym Won’t Be a “New Gym” Forever!
Any time you embark on a new adventure there’s a learning curve. You’ll probably make mistakes along the way, and you might doubt yourself at times. This is all normal and part of the journey! But soon you'll be able to look back and see you've left the start up phase behind. Cheers to your success!