Your gym should be a welcoming space.

First-timers should feel comfortable—and wanted—walking in and working out or taking classes.

Not only is being welcoming an important part of the human contract, but it’s doubly important for your business. First-time customers, of course, can become repeat customers and even members. Making sure their first experience at your gym or studio is positive is important for your bottom line.

Let’s look at some strategies you can use to make sure your business is as approachable as possible.

Roll Out the Welcome Mat

You never get a second chance at a first impression.

Make sure your front desk staff greets everyone who comes in and gets to know their name. If the customer is coming in for a class, make the instructor aware of the person’s name and the fact that this is their first visit.

It’s always nice to give someone a tour of your studio on their first visit.

Let them know where to store their belongings during class and where to find any equipment they may need. Be sure to point out the bathroom and showers if you have them.

When This IS Their First Rodeo

Unrolling a mat for the first time ever at yoga, or finding a spot in HIIT, can be scary. The customer may only have a dim understanding—or none at all—of certain poses or workouts. And that’s OK!

The key is creating a positive studio environment. Make sure your instructor walks any class with a beginner through even the simplest poses or moves.

Communicate to a newbie that everything is optional and provide modifications if they can’t quite get it on day one. You want them to feel supported and motivated to return to your studio and to keep trying.

Start With the Basics

Think about hosting a free pop-up event or introductory workout.

This will give community members a chance to stop in for a low-pressure look at what your classes are like.

Another idea is to host a dedicated beginner class if you have the attendance numbers to support it. This way customers won’t be intimidated by people who may have a lot more experience than they have.

If you can’t create a separate class, maybe you could assign a second instructor to work with new clients and give them help and modifications.

These are just a few great ways to connect with new customers and make sure they feel supported. With resolution season right around the corner, introduce or reinforce some best practices for working with them. It could pay off in the long run!


MINDBODY emerged from a simple idea: Business owners deserve the time to do what they love. From its first iteration, MINDBODY software has turned that vision into the technology that links tens of thousands of health, wellness and beauty professionals to the millions of clients they serve.

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