I run a daily group fitness class for women and moms. We workout at a local park. The kids run around and ply or join in while the moms get in a circuit workout (cardio & strength, followed by stretching). The price is set at a punchcard fee ($6-$9).
I live on a military base overseas and so many people offer their services here for free! There are no less than 8-10 group training offerings, from circuit style to running groups to beach body coaches getting groups together to do the workouts. Not to mention that all the group classes offered at the gym are free (although no children are allowed, nor is childcare provided at the gym). Most are not offered by certified or insured professionals.
I have a loyal following and have offered referral programs, contests, family days, but few new clients are coming. I’ve run this class for 10 months now and still am working 5-10 sessions for free without turning a profit. How do I compete in a marketplace where people are giving away their services for free and the clientele don’t care if you’re insured or certified?
It’s true you are in a difficult position. You live in a community that depends on support from it’s members, which is great for a military community. I’ve had other friends of mine who run into the same issue as you did. When there are many services that offered for free or at a very low cost, it’s very difficult or almost impossible to change the minds of people who are involved to make them give you money for something they are already getting it for free. If you want to be able to make some profit, you might have a couple options. One, move outside the base (if that’s possible) and offer classes to the people who reside around the area. The other option is for you to come up with something so unique that people in your community are willing to pay money for it. Since there are a variety of classes offered at the base, you will have to become very creative. You will need to attract people from the other classes similar to yours and at the same time be able to charge $$ for it.
It’s a difficult challenge, but it can be done :-). Good luck!