A few years ago, I was the proud owner of a successful ladies-only gym based just outside of London. After leaving behind many years in the motor trade and entering a new industry, there were a few lessons that I had to learn in order to make my club a success. We ended up winning Ladies Only Gym of the Year at the National Fitness Awards amongst many others, and I won Business Person of the Year awarded by the London Borough of Havering… so we must have done something right!
With that being said, I thought I would share five things that I learned from being a gym owner.
1. It’s not all about sales.
After a successful career as Sales Director at Mercedes Benz, I was confident that I could sell memberships. I have a fond memory of taking a phone call from an enquiry whilst painting the walls of the gym - phone in one hand, paint roller in the other! However, I quickly realised that I’m not just selling a pass for a place to work out, I’m selling an experience. Building a relationship with my members became one of the main things that I was focused on because I needed to make sure they kept coming back!
2. Sometimes saying Hello is all it takes.
From my experience, if you have a positive relationship with your members then they will be far less likely to leave. Positive relationships build trust - if they trust you as an individual, then they will trust your business with their fitness journey. Plus, if your members have a great experience at your club, they’ll be far more likely to tell their friends about it.
3. A Clean Gym Equals Happy Members.
This one sounds really trivial, but it's true! Before owning my gym, I had worked in the motor trade for so long that cleaning my workplace didn’t really go beyond keeping my desk tidy, so it wasn’t really something that I thought about.
4. Inductions are important.
Before owning a gym, I never understood the true value of a gym induction. It’s the key time to set the foundations for your member. If they have a poor induction, the chances of them never coming back will be considerably higher. Not to mention, a poor induction - or no induction at all - could result in injury or broken equipment… both of which I wanted to avoid at all costs! I used inductions to really get to know my member and what their goals were. Once I understood that I then had an idea of how I could provide them with the best possible service.
5. Maintain the equipment.
Again, equipment maintenance is something I didn’t have an appreciation for until I had to start doing it. Maintaining equipment reduces the risk of injury, and keeps up that level of service for your members - it shows that you are dedicated to providing them with a good experience every time they come in. It all comes back to building a trustworthy relationship with your members.