Your membership fees roll in like clockwork every single month, and most gym owners consider it their bread and butter. But that’s not the only way to make money; if you’re not amping up your non-dues revenue, you’re missing out on a lucrative opportunity, says World Gym COO Jarrod Saracco.
“Membership dues pay your bills, but everything after that is the gravy, and that’s where gym owners can really see an appealing profit.” In fact, it’s a smart business practice to push that non-dues revenue to a place where you could still survive and thrive even if you never sold another membership again, he adds. Here’s how to make it happen.
Setting a Goal is Key
No need to overthink it, Saracco says, offering two simple methods. First try to get each gym member to double their dues every month. So, if your dues are $30, figure out how you can get them to spend an additional $30 per month. “Breaking it down like that is very doable,” he notes.
Another way to think about it is by setting a daily goal of a specific sum, such as $1,000, counting items from the cooler or the pro shop and personal training or signing fees—any revenue generated at point of sale. At the end of the month that’s $31,000.
Six Easy Ways to Boost That Revenue
So, you’ve got your goal…what next? Here are some of Saracco’s ideas for totally doable additions that will boost that bottom line.
1. Go digital.
Many areas of the country are still plagued by shutdowns, or might just have members who are leery of public spaces. Help them keep their fitness goals, while making a little extra revenue, by bringing the gym to them through one-on-one personal training or special classes that you offer for a small fee.
2. Engage them at the front desk.
After greeting a member, make a simple offer, suggests Saracco. “Need a bottle of water? Want a scoop of protein?” To make this tactic even more effective, make sure you offer charging privileges. “When you can just add it to their account, rather than having them fumble for cash, it makes it easier for them to say yes.”
3. Try a smaller, short-term personal training offer.
Saracco finds that many gyms are focused on selling a large commitment, such as recurring monthly packages or 20 packs. But many members might be more amenable to a smaller investment, such as one personal training session a month. And then once they get started, there’s always the chance they might upgrade. But at the very least, you’ve gotten more revenue than you would have otherwise, and you’re providing real value as you help them stay on target with their goals through a regular, low-key check in.
4. Create high-value, low-cost mini classes.
Members might find it easy to jump in to a reasonably priced six-week specialty class, like “Build a Better Bootie,” or “Kiss off the Holiday Weight.” At $10 a week for six weeks, you’ve just doubled their dues for two months.
5. Offer compelling products.
Think about anything members might be looking for when they arrive. Cover nutrition and hydration needs, then think about gear, like headphones or gloves. Saracco finds that leggings and funky branded socks are hot items. Change the mix seasonally so there’s always fresh merchandise to entice them back in to your shop, and have an end-of-season clearance where you’re still making your margin and possibly getting new shoppers through the door.
6. Think through your prices.
It’s great to offer supplements and other products, but you have to make sure your margins are in line. “Remember it’s not just the cost of the product. You have to factor in tax, shipping and commission to your people if you offer it,” says Saracco. He recommends trying to hit a 30%+ margin to make items worthwhile.
Need more ideas? Just ask your team, suggests Saracco. “You’ll be surprised at what you come up with when you think through your options. It’s a win-win when you provide more to your members and make more cash at the same time.”