Most gym owners drive business growth in two ways: by finding new members and by keeping the members they already have. While marketing and retention are great for growing your community, they represent only a fraction of the ways to increase gym revenue. By shifting your focus to maximizing every available revenue stream, you can uncover ways to improve your earnings overnight.
Consider how your pricing, service offerings, and operations impact your bottom line. Imagine being able to capture every payment reliably; selling memberships at a fair price that reflects the value of your services; and members who are engaged and enthusiastic about your brand.
In this ideal scenario, your business captures the maximum amount of revenue from every member. You can relax while your gym rakes in profits from multiple revenue streams. No more struggling to attract more and more new members each month with expensive and complicated marketing campaigns.
Realize the full potential of your business by using these 10 methods to increase gym revenue:
1. Reduce payment declines
According to publications released by major credit card issuers, 15% of recurring credit card payments decline. For some industries, the decline rate can reach as high as 30%.
To put this in perspective, if you have 100 members paying $50/month, you’d expect to receive $5,000 in monthly recurring revenue. However, credit card declines will cost you $750 to $1,500 per month. That’s $9,000 to $18,000 in lost revenue each year.
Credit card declines can prevent loyal members from paying what they know you deserve. These payments weren’t lost to poor customer service, low-quality classes, or high prices. These losses are completely out of your control—that is, until you put a process in place to avoid payment declines.
Use a combination of technology and customer service processes to recover declined payments and add back revenue to your bottom line. Choose a software solution that offers payment reminders and automatic retries after failed payments. While you can hire staff to collect declined payments from your members, third-party companies offer the most cost-effective service solutions. Well-trained managed billing professionals can increase recurring revenue by up to 25% for a minimal fee.
2. Raise your prices
Are you charging what your services are worth? Many gym owners panic at the thought of raising prices because they immediately envision a mass exodus of even their most loyal members. In reality, a carefully calculated price increase will improve your gym’s financial health and profitability with little impact on member retention.
Consider the following scenario: Your gym has 100 members each paying $50/month. You plan to implement a modest 5% price increase of $2.50/month per member. Given the new price of $52.50/month, you expect to keep 95 of your existing members. Following the price increase, you’ll earn an extra $2,850 per year.
No clever marketing tricks or slick sales pitch required. Your simple price change has increased your revenue all on its own.
To keep member attrition to a minimum, communicate your new pricing appropriately. Give members plenty of notice. Explain why the change is necessary to continue the high-quality services that they value from you.
3. Use paid trials
Most gyms offers free trial memberships or guest passes to prospective members. These freebies pay off when they result in new members, but sometimes you end up spending money to support non-paying guests who never return.
Paid trials help to secure a return on your investment. Payees are more serious about keeping initial appointments. They’re more invested in learning about your gym, understanding your value, and building relationships with your staff.
Consider using a combination of free and paid trials in a way that makes sense for your business. For instance, you might offer a free trial of your basic gym access, but a paid trial for your premium classes or training sessions.
4. Offer premium memberships
Do you offer tiered membership options and pricing? If not, it’s time to start. Rather than forcing your members into a one-size-fits-all model, structure pricing options around their needs and preferences.
If you’ve tracked purchases and attendance in your membership management software, you can use reports to investigate spending patterns and identify popular services. For example, your members may fall into three categories:
- 50 “Gym Access” members: These members attend occasionally and typically do not use any ancillary services.
- 30 “Premium” members: They attend regularly and are likely to be receptive to a premium package that offers one free health coaching session per month.
- 20 “Elite” members: These are your best members. You can set your watch by their attendance and they’re the first to sign up for any new services you offer.
Once you’ve categorized your members and set your pricing model, you can send targeted promotions to each group to entice them to upgrade their membership package.
5. Sell retail items
Do you know how often members get to the gym only to realize they’ve forgotten something that will prevent them from working out? Stock essentials like earbuds, water bottles, and socks in your retail store to make sure members can get what they need.
If you’ve built a loyal following, invest in branded merchandise. Use an online service to print your logo on t-shirts, hats, yoga mats, bags, and more. A beautiful, eye-catching design goes a long way, so if you’re not confident in your logo or layout, try an online graphic design service.
6. Book private training sessions and lessons
Almost all fitness businesses offer one-on-one sessions, and most of them wish they could book more of these money-making services. The trick to maximizing this revenue stream is a combination of staff training and communication with existing members.
Market your private sessions to members using low-cost, easy-to-use communication channels. Put signs throughout your facility, post on social media, and send emails with special offers. Your goal is for every member to know that you offer private sessions.
From there, leverage your staff’s relationships with members to close the deal. Teach instructors to observe members’ behaviors and to discuss goals with them. An instructor may notice a member who puts forth great effort and attends regularly, but her technique holds her back. With a bit of coaching the member could excel. In seizing this opportunity, you’ll help a member meet her fitness goals more quickly and open a new revenue stream for your business.
If lots of parents visit your gym, you may want to consider adding childcare services at your facility. A busy mom or dad who doesn’t want to give up gym time will gladly pay extra to know their child is happy, safe, and nearby during a workout.
Before introducing childcare services, be sure to review the legal requirements for your staff, facility, and business. While these services can bring in a significant amount of additional revenue, you’ll need to plan carefully to make sure you’re able to provide high-quality care.
8. Host events and workshops
Members love workshops, boot camps, and fitness challenges because they help them stay motivated and reach goals more quickly. These paid events provide a lump sum that has an immediate positive impact on cash flow.
To make the most of this revenue stream, think strategically about the needs of your business and members. Review the calendar for times when an event could provide extra cash during a seasonal downturn. Add events to help members meet a common goal, like staying fit through the holiday season.
Need some fresh ideas? Browse this event list to get started.
9. Nutrition and health coaching
According to IHRSA’s senior research manager Melissa Rodrigues, 25% of fitness club revenue comes from ancillary services. Your members aren’t just looking for a place to work out. They’re looking for all kinds of services to help them stay healthy, fit, and confident.
Most members would be happy to pay extra for services to help them eat better, make healthy choices, and track their fitness progress. These services will make your bottom line happy as well. By adding health coaching or consulting, you can increase the amount of revenue generated by each member.
10. Sell advertising
Looking for an out-of-the-box way to increase gym revenue? Try selling advertising space in your facility or email newsletters to local businesses. If you’ve done a good job building your membership base, you’ll have a fitness-conscious audience that’s attractive to an array of advertisers. Create a list of local grocery stores, specialty shops, salons, spas, venues, and restaurants who might be interested in your new advertising opportunity.
Go beyond marketing and retention to increase gym revenue through alternative revenue streams, new services, and operational efficiencies. In doing so, you’ll allow members to strengthen their relationships with you, giving your gym its greatest potential for growth.