How do you compete?
If I had to predict how to properly position your gym for success, I would put my money on the big-box, nice equipment, no-frills, easy pricing model. You can see this model exemplified in the fast growing franchise system Planet Fitness (I have no affiliation with Planet Fitness or any of its franchisees). In fact, I have my own health club, which also implements what I am about to tell you.
I believe that one of the best things you can do in your gym business (in any business) is to continually run real-world experiments. So test my theory out, create a new low cost membership at your gym:
1. Create a new membership option that is sufficiently restricted so that it won’t interfere with your current base (for example, the membership can only be used during off-peak hours)
2. Create a new marketing piece advertising “Prices as low as $9.99 per month!” or whatever you came up with in step 1
3. Measure your response rate and the rate at which you convert these low price leads into memberships
4. In the longer term, measure the attrition rate of these new memberships against the attrition rate of your higher cost offerings
I am not underestimating the power of value selling or the dangers of price selling. We can start to have those conversations again when the economy recovers. Right now, unless you’re in a high income area, you need to price sell, and you need to do it before your competitors do.
I hope this helps.
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