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9 Ways to Recession-Proof Your Fitness Business

By Shera Brady

If you own or manage a fitness business, you’re well aware of today’s economic climate. With the word ‘recession’ on many people’s lips, customers are tightening their budgets, and you’re looking to maximize value while cutting costs.  

Managing inflation isn’t easy—especially on your bottom line. In fact, 91% of small businesses say that inflation, supply chain, and workforce challenges are negatively impacting their business. When everyone is looking to save, it becomes more important than ever to demonstrate the value of your business and keep customers engaged and connected with what you do. We reached out to some of our Mindbody Certified Consultants to compile a list of ideas to help you optimize revenue as you navigate this economy. 

Here are some creative ways to recession-proof your business:

  1. Optimize pricing. Strategically pricing your memberships can make all the difference in this economy. Offering memberships with a minimum commitment, like month-to-month, can be a great way to acquire new customers without charging too much upfront. On the other hand, offering long-term commitments—like an annual membership at a lower monthly rate—helps retain customers who love your business and are looking to save. Plus, the longer they commit, the steadier your income. Day-to-day, Mindbody’s Dynamic Pricing feature helps your business harness the power of supply and demand, so you make more money from every class. Have a particularly popular in-studio class? Based on your settings, Dynamic Pricing adjusts the drop-in rate to increase as class fills up.
  2. Run the right reports. Tracking things like first-time visit conversions, annual growth over five years, and the profitability of specific services can pinpoint opportunities to improve the customer experience and prioritize certain services.
  3. Optimize both group classes and private training. Increase revenue per hour by restructuring the layout of your space to allow both group classes and private training at the same time. This gives group class members a glimpse at the 1:1 experience. Plus, if you offer personal training to first-timers, seeing how the group class works is a great conversion tactic!
  4. Host virtual workshops. When held virtually, workshops are an easy way to make additional revenue without being tied to your physical location or community. For your next virtual workshop, get the word out with Marketing Suite and social media ads. (Remember, with virtual, you don’t need to limit ad targeting to your local community.) Be sure to stock up on any products/equipment you highlight, like protein powders, essential oils, or foam rollers. Give attendees a small discount on any recommended retail items or their next workshop fee.
  5. Prioritize customer care. High quality care makes price less of a barrier. According to business consultant Carolyn Jikiemi-Roberts at Hot Yoga South, “If people really love your business, they don’t care how much they’re paying.” Ensuring a positive experience every time a client visits is key to retention. Work with your front desk staff to boost engagement and encourage your instructors to focus on client goals in every session.
  6. Utilize ClassPass. Notice some classes losing attendance? ClassPass uses features like SmartRate and SmartSpot to merchandise excess spots you aren’t filling with direct members. This is an easy way to buoy any classes that haven’t been filling up the way they used to. Plus, a huge audience of fitness lovers are already on ClassPass looking for businesses just like yours—why not tap into it?
  7. Complement offerings with retail. Not only does retail boost revenue, it’s also a great opportunity to increase visibility with branded items. Plus, if you offer virtual classes, your clients can achieve a better at-home experience with product bundles. Package equipment that complements your virtual classes and/or workshops like a set of bands, a kettlebell, or a yoga mat. Then, create specialized programming to boost both equipment and virtual sales. For example, host a virtual foam rolling workshop that uses a foam roller throughout. Clients who take part are more likely to purchase both.
  8. Talk with your staff. Often, your front desk and teaching staff have insight that you don’t—especially when it comes to clients. Ask them who is finding success and who seems in danger of cancelling (and then encourage your staff to focus on at-risk clients!). Sales training for front desk staff and instructors means your staff can generate income and offer great ideas for different sales strategies.
  9. Offer teacher training. Bring in considerable upfront revenue with teacher training. These programs can be held in-person, online, or a hybrid of both! You can even take time to record sections of your training and offer them on-demand, making it less time-consuming and accessible to audiences outside of your specific area.

Want more advice from industry leaders?

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About the author:

Headhshot of Shera in front of a painting

Shera Brady

Marketing Content Specialist

Mindbody

An avid reader from an early age, Shera has loved language and words nearly all her life. As a former Communication major, she realizes the impact of a well-written piece of copy and enjoys using that power to uplift and encourage others. She loves a springtime hike in the canyons by her home, and she sometimes buys hats and dresses for her cat.

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