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Abandoned weights in a dark, empty gym

Now's the Time to Rent Out Your Fitness Equipment

By Katherine Wernet

October 18, 2022

The fitness industry has been through a lot over the course of a year (and a few months) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It's likely you were forced to temporarily close your fitness studio at least once during this time and you may still be looking for ways to start rebuilding your business. If you're like most fitness studios, you are probably offering virtual classes and limited, in-person classes currently. However, until you're ready to operate at full capacity, you may be looking for ways to maintain a steady revenue stream. Fitness businesses across the world have seen success with something as simple as renting out their unused fitness equipment to their virtual clients. 

Why renting out your equipment is a no-brainer

It’s becoming more and more difficult to get to stores that sell anything but essentials, and renting equipment might be the only option for many.

Make that equipment keep working for you, and help your clients maximize their at-home workouts. You can either charge for rentals or include renting as a perk of keeping an active membership with you.  

For more on how to entice your clients to stick with their memberships, read this post. 

Are you offering live stream workouts? Your clients would love to be able to use the equipment they’ve grown accustomed to using when they workout with you at the studio or gym. Renting equipment just ups the reasons for clients to join you for streaming workouts.  

For more on how to kick off your live streaming efforts, check out this post. 

At CrossFit Inferno, Bill Grundler sent out an email to his clients letting them know about the option to rent. He shared what they could rent and how they could supplement: “The checked-out equipment will start with a KB or DB, a band, and a PVC pipe if you need it. Ideally, I would like you to have a heavy object and a light object. I think we can get the light objects around the house, or if you have some small dumbbells at home those would work great.” In his message, Grundler promises it’s temporary but the same hard-core workout his clients have come to expect at his box.  

Rentals don’t have to be limited to weights, either. Renting equipment is also a great option for indoor cycling studios and a sure way to boost attendance in live stream classes. Clients will be THRILLED to hop back on the bike and ride with you once again.  

How to set up rentals through your Mindbody software

If you’re not including rentals as a membership perk, you can create a new, equipment rental membership for a different fee.  

Once you’ve got that settled, track your equipment as inventory to keep track of which items you've loaned out. To do this:

  1. Set up each piece of inventory you offer as a product using Mindbody's Products.

  2. Create a new revenue category to track equipment rental products so your reporting is clear. 

  3. “Sell” the equipment/product for $0, since you're either including this in your existing membership or setting up a new membership to track the payment for the rental.  

When your clients have brought back the equipment, you can “return” the product, and the system adds the inventory back automatically. 

Reporting on rentals is easy, too.  

For Sales by Product, filter by the product/equipment you want, to view a list of clients who have rented out that piece of equipment. Tag new here, and head over to the Returns report for more info. 

For Sales, filter by the new Revenue Category that you've created to see a complete list of rentals. Tag new on this report, and head over to the Returns report for more info. 

For Returns, once you have a tagged list of consumers who have rented equipment, run the Returns report to see the list of consumers who have since returned their equipment. 

Make sure you get out the word that you’re renting equipment. Post about it on social media and send an email to all your clients. You may even want to offer delivery and pick-up services to sweeten the deal.  

While nothing compares to being with your clients at the studio or gym in-person, rentals can help keep your community connected.  

See more ideas from other fitness businesses like yours in Mindbody One.

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About the author:

Katherine Wernet

Katherine Wernet

Senior Campaign Program Manager


Katherine leads the salon and spa marketing strategy at Mindbody and is part of the team behind the Mindbody Wellness Index. While she started her career in film and television, a passion for small businesses won out and led her to Mindbody. She earned her MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management.

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