3 Common Mistakes Gym Owners Make
Gym Advice: 3 Common Mistakes Gym Owners Make
There are far easier businesses to succeed in that the fitness industry. In fact, 80% of new gyms go out of business in their first 5 years and that number rises to an alarming 16 out of 17 in 8. These may seem like discouraging figures but we’re here to help.
We’ve worked with hundreds of gyms in our 20 years in the industry and been to thousands more.Fortunately for us, and them, generally these figures are much lower amongst our customers due in no small part to our fantastic gym equipment and incredible after-care service…. However, we have noticed a pattern emerge between those that are successful and those that fall by the way-side and more often than not it falls down to these 3 mistakes:
A gym is a business
This is the number 1 downfall of most new gym owners. Generally gyms are run by fitness professionals who are gaining their first experience in business with their gym. Often they have spent years in gyms thinking ‘I can do this better’ and finally they have the chance. This transition from visionary employee to owner is like drinking from a fire hydrant. Although the internals and the staff are crucial to success, there are thousands of back-office hours required to turn your fitness haven into sustainable income. You need to focus on the ‘other stuff’ this means marketing, accounting, staff rotas, customer management, stock control and endless other ‘side’ duties that are required to run your new business.
It’s not YOUR gym
When we were in our 20s we all had that conversation after closing time about opening a bar. We’d have specials and deals and play our favourite music. We mentally plan out a bar that fits all our own needs. This can be a real danger when starting your own gym. It’s very easy to design a layout and focus that is tailored to us. Your insight is fantastic and you should always remember the things that you want from your gym, but you are not your customers. There have been a number of occasions where we have consulted with owners who are designing their gym for their trainers or based on their preferences. You can focus on a niche but do not neglect the masses, this immediately cuts out a large percentage of your potential customers before you even open your doors. You need equipment for everyone, just because you don’t use the cross-trainer doesn’t mean your customers won’t.
Your customers don’t necessarily share your beliefs
We fitness geeks are all about proper spinal alignment during squat patterns, but the average person? Not so much. They just want to squat and be able to put more weight on the bar. You need to realise this and just let it happen. We are not suggestion you blindly leave people to throw weights around, swing barbells and pass out under the squat rack but your customers are focussed on achieving their goals. If your weight-loss customers are getting slimmer, your lifters are getting stronger and your part-timers are feeling they belong, they will keep coming back. You don’t need to be pushing your own agenda, you just need to help them to push theirs.
If you are guilty of any of these you need to sort it out as soon as possible. For some advice or a change of focus then feel free to get in touch with our experts so we can make your gym as successful as our other customers.