Hello Suzanne Lowrie,
This is something that needs consideration before opening a facility. The best way to do that is have a client base ready to follow you. Here are more ideas:
You can offer gift cards, volunteer, give discounts, referral/guest incentives, wear business logo clothing everywhere, do your absolute best to keep everyone on track and pleased enough to sing your praises, then get down and dirty in the trenches.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.
Here are few things you can try:
-Open house (grand opening day)
-Free or discounted memberships for a few months or up to a year to the first few people who will sign up (up to you to decide the number)
-Free classes and/or personal training sessions to the fist few people who will sign up
-First few people who sign up can qualify for some type of a grand prize
-Invite the owners of all of the surrounding businesses to your opening day and even allow them to try out your gym for free for one week
-Cooperate with some local nonprofit organizations and hold some type of fundraising event at your location
-Facebook and other social media exposure (you can also promote all of the above this way)
I hope this helps. Good luck to you!
I am sure you will get a number of good ideas. I am not sure there is one ‘best’ idea, because location, size, competition, available mass transit, type of offerings, focus, etc…. there are so many variables.
One general thing I would say is that with the people I have seen succeed there are some common things. First they understand social media and have update their online presence and respond to people who reach out to them on multiple platforms. This is less vital for a one person show, but was the case for some places i have watched do well, and not so well lately.
Also, getting to know other local businesses is very helpful. I know of a case where the local coffee house chose to send people to one place over another. I was not privy to the reason why they took that action…. but a ton of traffic went through that place. You might have lots of friends through the city talking about you, and that is great…. you might know a lot of people in your industry, and that is great also…. forging good connections with local physical therapists or massage therapists and so on is great…. but if the owner of the hair salon down the street talks to everyone in her chair about the killer ab class she had that morning, or the local coffee house puts up your schedule and tells people she works with you…. that is really golden.