This is the biggest expense for gyms and health clubs

Posted on 03-03-2024

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Hidden Profts Marketing. That's why the articles in Body Life Magazine in 2024 will focus on timeless and fundamental marketing choices facing ambitious entrepreneurs in the fitness industry. 

No. The biggest cost is not your staff. Nor your rent. Not even the purchase, depreciation, and/or lease of new equipment. Your biggest expense as a fitness entrepreneur is:

The turnover you have NOT made!

Go figure, you have a gym, a health club, or a fitness studio. You have them because you want to make a positive impact on people's health. And to get a nice income and freedom from it yourself. The entrepreneurial dream.

Return on your marketing investment (ROMI): 10X

However, most entrepreneurs forget to manage their business by numbers and on return on marketing investment. The better their return, the more impact they make. At HPM we strive for 10X minimum. 

Or 20X to 30X

It is really common in practice that with the exact same investment in marketing, one fitness club might just be playing even, while another makes a 10X return on marketing investment. Or 20X, or even 30X as we see in practice.

The top three causes:

Cause 1 - No decision taken
Members don't come naturally. Unfortunately. Everyone knows that. Even the biggest and best-known brands in the fitness industry advertise a lot and post on social media several times every day. This is precisely why they are successful.

These brands (think of the chains Happy Bodies, My35, Train More, and Basic Fit, among others) do what it takes to achieve ambitious goals. And that started with their decision to use marketing and sales as the way to achieve it.

Of course, as an entrepreneur, you don't want to spend money unnecessarily. Logical. Indeed, as a start-up, it seems logical to do everything yourself, because you have plenty of time, but not that much money. However, the latter is a problem; it is a false economy if you don't invest in membership growth unless you are a brilliant marketer yourself. 

A new treadmill or a new set of barbells or kettlebells will not bring in a single new member. The only thing that brings in new members is targeted marketing; new members via an active word-of-mouth policy, via optimal findability in Google, via your website, via ads in Google and social media, via e-mailings to former members and former leads, via ... 

You get the idea; a marketing policy that actively seeks out new, existing, and former members alike. All year round. That takes time, focus, and knowledge from yourself or hire a marketing agency. One that measures on ROMI (Result from your marketing investment) and preferably has been doing nothing but that for 20 years :-)

Cause 3 - Too busy with ... (you will be amazed)
True story: "Yes the phone rang and I knew it was a lead to make an appointment for a tour. But I was too busy with other things so I didn't take it. But I really will call the lead later, you know!" Those other things? Talking to customers, making coffee, updating administration.

A € 882 cup of coffee

OK, it worked, from all your (planned) marketing efforts come leads, interested people asking for more info. But if you wait longer than 2 minutes to follow up with them, your chances of never enrolling the lead as a member increase. Say on average, members stay with you for about 18 months. At a monthly rate of €49, that amounts to €882 revenue per member. From subscriptions alone, let alone from additional purchases and word-of-mouth advertising.

Then those reasons behind 'too busy' suddenly become very expensive. Serving a cup of coffee will then cost you €882 in turnover. Expensive coffee.

This also applies when you are training

After all, what do you do if an interested person walks in while you are giving training? Every entrepreneur in such a case will at least make direct contact with that person. Logically, that person is interested in what you offer. 

You immediately book an appointment for later that day or, if necessary, tomorrow or the day after. Forge the iron while it's hot. And hey... any member will understand if you give them a 2-minute break (and therefore might be happy, catch their breath) to speak to that lead and book an appointment. That's how they started with you themselves.

So the real biggest cost is:

Your biggest cost is what you need to recoup all your investments in time, energy, money, and people AND make a nice healthy profit. But don't. No marketing policy means no marketing plan. As a result, no structured word-of-mouth recall, and no member recruitment campaign policy. As a result, no steady stream of new members, at most what happens 'by accident'.

Now, what do you choose?

Do you take the decision now to turn your ambition into concrete action? Then I invite you to get advice on your marketing from HPM, fill in your details now and click 'send'.



This article was published in Dutch in Body Life Magzine Benelux, edition 1-2024



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