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Beat the Summer Lull at Your Fitness Business

By Lauren McAlister

Summer is here, which for many fitness businesses means downtime at their studio or gym. As a studio owner myself, I’ve experienced what seems like “The Endless Summer” too. 

Long gone are the days of resolutions and defined schedules. Instead, clients are away on vacation, taking care of kiddos on summer break, spending more time outdoors, and, for some, all of the above.

While you can absolutely make the most of slow days at your fitness business, you can also implement a few strategies to keep customers motivated when the summer daze hits. 

Here’s how: 

1. Create a challenge

Challenges help kick things into high gear and encourage clients to stay consistent with their workouts. And, if there’s ever a right time to host a challenge at your business, summer is it. 

At my studio, I’ve seen, firsthand, how challenges create an atmosphere of friendly competition and accountability. They ultimately build long-lasting camaraderie among members. Plus, they can turn the tide on a typically slow season. 

The best part? Your challenge doesn’t have to be complicated. 

Consider a(n): 

  • Attendance challenge (think 15 classes in 30 days) 

  • Referral challenge (give points for each new referral)

  • Studio-wide health challenge (drink X ounces of water, walk X amount of steps, etc.) with a reward for those who participate

2. Host a summertime open house

In the midst of long days and warm nights, host an open house at your studio or gym. 

Offer free classes, highlight new services, and invite both new and existing customers to your business. Make it more of an outing with raffle prizes, snacks, and/or a live DJ in class. 

Offering a summer special? Your open house is the perfect opportunity to promote it⁠. Provide an extra discount or exclusive swag for attendees to sweeten the deal. 

3. Take your workouts outside

Sun’s out, guns out—and if you’re having a hard time getting customers to come into your studio, meet them outside.

Host a class in the park or at the beach and invite your local community.* 

Use bodyweight exercises and/or on-the-go equipment (bands, TRX®, etc.) to give prospective clients a great workout and get the word out about your brand. Outdoor workouts also engage existing clients who enjoy spending more time out and about this time of year.

*Check in with your local Parks and Recreation department for permit and/or license requirements.

4. Travel with them

While you can’t really go with your clients (unless you host a retreat), you can help them stay active while they’re away. 

Whether you record videos or write out a list of exercises in a printable doc, travel-friendly workouts are a simple and fun way to connect with your community, wherever they go. 

Promote these travel workouts on your blog, social media, and email marketing. That way, your business will stay top-of-mind and clients will be excited to return to your facility once they get home. 

Want to take it a step further? Create a social media challenge and invite clients to tag your business in their travel adventures and during their travel workouts. Reward the winner with additional swag or a discount on their next class package. 

You’re bound to attract prospects and keep clients coming back using these tips. Even during the dog days of summer. 

Ready to get the word out about your summer campaigns?

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About the author:

Lauren McAlister

Lauren McAlister

Manager, Marketing Content


Lauren is the co-owner of a fitness studio and a certified Nutritional Therapy Consultant. Born and raised in California, Lauren has a heart for working out, traveling, and baking paleo(ish) treats for friends and family. She's also passionate about crafting meaningful content for others in the wellness space, which makes her role at Mindbody a perfect fit.


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