If you’ve run a fitness business for any amount of time, then you’ll know that there are inevitably quiet periods. Whether it’s a health club, personal training gym, or yoga studio, there are months when the footfall drops off and things get real slow. This can have a dramatic effect on revenue, cash flow, and profitability, but there are practical ways to deal with it.
In this article – we share effective strategies for dealing with quiet times in your gym or fitness business.
The Covid-19 lockdown that many of us find ourselves in is an extreme version of an ‘off-season’. Some of these ideas will help you to get through the quiet period until things return to normality. But this article is intended as more general advice for temporary lulls in business, so you might prefer to read our article on staying afloat during tough times for corona-specific guidance.
Ask Yourself Why It’s Quiet
The first thing to do is ask yourself, why is it quiet? Is it because the weather has been particularly nice to people are training outdoors instead? Are they busy with preparations for Christmas or saving their money for presents?
It’s also important to take an objective look at your business too. Could people be staying away because the interior is tired or changing rooms aren’t quite spotless? Are you still delivering the same value that you set out to do when you first opened?
Once you’ve identified the root cause of the quiet spell, you can take practical steps to address it. Here are are few of the most common ones and how to deal with them.
- Sunny weather – offer outdoor activities like bootcamps, park runs, sunset yoga, or healthy BBQ cookery classes.
- Extreme cold – if snow is preventing people from getting to your facility, then offer online classes and live-stream workouts that they can do at home.
- Christmas – run time-saving workouts during lunchtimes so that people still pop in even though they’re busy or hold seminars educating members about how to prepare healthy Christmas food.
By adapting to the situation, you can turn a challenge into an opportunity that drives revenue instead of decreasing it.
Run Promotions & Events
Sometimes people need a little extra encouragement to visit your facility. Running gym promotions and holding fitness events are fantastic ways to do this. They give people a reason to make the effort and help them to maintain a regular workout routine.
Try tailoring your activity to the season. Hold a charity event or competition that raises money for people especially affected at the time of year. In the summer, this could be for victims of droughts and in the winter it might be for homeless shelters.
Use Quiet Times Effectively
It’s also important to use any quiet periods in your business effectively. It’s the ideal time to take a holiday, prepare for the busy season, or work on self-development. Read some business books, renew your fitness certifications, or develop specialist training skills.
Don’t be afraid to treat off-seasons in your business as an opportunity to take a break and recharge. The fitness industry tends to peak in January, then dip in the summer and early winter. That’s why the best (cheapest) month to join a gym is usually November – because everyone is running price promos.
So, if you’re reasonably confident that members will be back in a month or so, why not take advantage and look after your own wellbeing?