To varying degrees, every business can be made more profitable, but it is not always easy for the business owner, especially when they are buried in the daily kaleidoscope of many hats (i.e. operations, advertising, sales, webmaster, customer service, social media rep etc.).
Here are seven ideas for your consideration:
- Fitness professionals (generally personal trainers) often set pricing too low from the start because they are looking for new clients.
- Then, once people start signing up the fitness professional is reluctant to increase prices for the fear of losing customers.
- It is important that you are confident in the change you make to people’s lives and the value you offer as a result.
- You need to price yourself accordingly from the start.
- At a gym, customers generally expect to sign up for a three-, six- or 12-month commitment package (although the general trend in the current UK climate is to promote rolling and 3-month contracts).
- Fitness professionals should offer similar terms, rather than pay-as-you-go (PAYG) which can become problematic in terms of forecasting cash flow (although this does not mean you should not offer PAYG, just try to limit its use).
- The business needs some degree of certainty in its finances and commitment packages facilitate this.
- With this in mind, no client is going to achieve their goal in one week, so by locking them in for a term you are not only facilitating training success for your client but financial success for your business.
- Success relies:
- On your sales process;
- Your ability to sell your products/services; and
- Clearly explain its value.
- You need a very good pre-qualification and consultation process.
- When they go well it is very easy to offer a solution to the client, and consequently for the client to readily accept.
- Remember you are never ‘selling’, you are ‘solving’.
- Your client wants to lose weight, but why? Find out what they are really telling you. For example:
- Are they feeling self-conscious when they look in the mirror?
- Are they not going out as much because nothing fits?
- Do they want to run around more with their kids?
- Is the problem with their current fitness provider taking them for granted?
- Address those problems and you are offering a very powerful solution.
- Client testimonials are vital because proof builds trust.
- You have to be able to prove your worth – and the value proposition to the client.
- Fitness businesses rely on two elements:
- New customers; and
- Retention of current clients.
- Do you have a strong retention process?
- What do you offer between training sessions?
- Perhaps you could be emailing articles containing nutrition tips or on social media (e.g. set up a private Facebook page for your clients).
- Are you offering workshops or monthly outings?
- If you are providing value outside the typical sessions it becomes very easy to ask for a little more in terms of your fees.
- At the same time you improve results for your customers as you build a community, which also creates accountability.
- Tell people what you are providing – the core service (i.e. fitness) and the periphery services (i.e. social media, articles, community, advice, guidance etc.)
- If you are selling merchandise to clients, do not order a batch of products and hope clients buy them.
- Instead, inform your clients about what you are going to supply and ask for pre-orders.
- This is good business sense for two reasons:
- If you don not receive any or few pre-orders, this could be an indication that the product will not sell.
- You will not have merchandise sitting around and collecting dust.
- Using your email articles/social media you could ask your clients what they would like to buy – e.g. branded clothing with personalisation rather than just branded.
- Strategic partnerships with local businesses can be very good strategy because they offer a lot more ways for customers to find you.
- You might consider a strategic partnership with:
- A medical professional: e.g. GP, sport medicine consultant, or nurse.
- An allied health professional: e.g. physiotherapist.
- A barbers or hair salon: you might offer a reciprocal discount for customers.
- You do not want anything too bizarre but you would be surprised at where opportunities lie.