The fitness industry is undoubtedly seasonal, but unlike most seasonal businesses, gyms and fitness centers experience not one but two busy seasons. There is a surge in memberships before the summer as well as in the middle of winter. The latter trend is due to New Year’s Resolutions, which produce a mob of new gym-goers, or “resolutioners,” every January without fail.
According to Statistic Brain, 21.4% of all New Year’s resolutions for 2017 involved losing weight or eating healthy, followed by 12.3% for “life improvement,” which is most likely just another way of saying “losing weight.” The 7th most popular New Year’s resolution was specifically working out more often, coming in just below spending more time with family members.
That’s a lot of potential customers that could be all yours if you are able to invest in grabbing their attention and keeping their business.
LOCATING CUSTOMER HANG-OUTS
The owner of any seasonal business knows that when a massive pool of customers is up for grabs, the quickest way to draw them is through seasonal-themed deals. This could include various types of trial memberships, guest passes, free classes, discounts for members who bring in more members, or maybe a free consultation with a trainer. Your gym must advertise to as many potential customers as possible by directing a relatively similar amount of ads to a wide range of demographics. Social media has proven to be a vital tool for attracting new gym goers, largely thanks to the availability of groups and fan pages that revolve around specific interests. Many customers already follow your gym’s Facebook account, meaning you can find out what groups they belong to and advertise on those pages.
YOU’RE NOT EXPECTED TO DO ALL THIS YOURSELF
Making sure your ads are reaching multiple demographics and maintaining an active presence on social media are daily responsibilities that you probably don’t have the time or knowledge for. The rewards of effective digital marketing campaigns, however, are far too lucrative to dismiss. You can reap these rewards by hiring a digital marketing team dedicated to bombarding potential customers with advertisements when they are most likely to see them.
This would be easy if the busy season didn’t follow the slow season, when new memberships are down and funds are tight. It’s during this time that you must begin your marketing campaigns and increase brand awareness. Potential customers become members because the exclusive offers have been in their heads for months.
AN IDEAL SOLUTION HAS ARRIVED
Alternative financing companies like United Capital Source offer many small business loan programs for gyms and fitness centers. A Merchant Cash Advance, for example, supplies funding today in exchange for a fixed percentage of future daily credit card sales. There are no fixed, monthly payments or due dates, and funding will reach your bank account in a matter of days. With this program, you could hire your team way ahead of time without impacting day-to-day operations, allowing the marketers to figure out which ads are performing best and amass a sizable collection of resources for leads.
The majority of the debt would be paid off when the campaigns start to bring in more members and more revenues because repayment is tied to sales whether they are up or down. Most gym memberships are purchased via credit card, and giving up a small percentage of these sales will have minimal impact on cash flow at most considering gym members begin paying monthly fees right away.
MAINTAINING YOUR LEAD
If you thought it was difficult to attract new customers, you may very well need even more funding to keep them. Previous research has shown that 80% of people who join gyms after the New Year cancel their memberships within the next five months. It’s up to you to make your gym an enjoyable experience for your new customers and consistently remind them that they made a good choice in doing business with you, as opposed to a competitor. This can be accomplished through a variety of strategies that will not only satisfy current customers but increase revenue as well.
A client of United Capital Source was able to generate significant daily income – a rarity for most gyms – by installing a juice bar. Customers found the bar impossible to resist after a workout, and would often use the bar to socialize long after their workouts had ended, giving the gym a more hospitable image. Other gyms prevent customers from leaving by hiring reputable trainers to offer more specialized classes, purchasing new equipment geared towards their most common customers, or adding high-definition TV screens.
EXPERT ADVISORS ARE HERE FOR YOU
If you aren’t sure which funding program will be most beneficial, feel free to consult the funding experts at UCS. When you take out funding with UCS, you will gain the help of a company that has successfully financed numerous fitness businesses and will provide crucial advice for budgeting well after you’ve repaid your first funding program with us.
All of the aforementioned endeavors are unquestionably intimidating but UCS business funding experts are trained to guide you every step of the way to ensure the right amount of money is coming in and out of your business. UCS is aware that because gym membership has become more affordable, it’s entirely feasible for an up-and-coming gym to stay competitive by immediately capitalizing on opportunities to do so. When one such opportunity presents itself to your gym, call 855.933.8638 or visit the UCS website. Our application takes just minutes to fill out, and approvals can be granted in 24-48 hours!