Depending on what you’re like as a person, the thought of Networking will either get you excited or make you cringe. Usually, networking is something that is reserved for the corporate sector but it can be incredibly useful for gym owners too.
We’re not talking about networking in a traditional corporate sense. We’re concentrating on finding your community; a group of people that have been on the same journey as you and the people you can rely on for advice when the going gets tough.
Owning a gym can be stressful and lonely at times, so having a group of people that can hold space and listen to you if you’re going through a rocky period can be invaluable. Being able to lean on your community can also help boost your confidence if you’re new to running a business in the fitness industry.
So, how do you begin to find your tribe?
Attend Industry Events
If you want to meet like-minded business owners in person, trade events and industry expos are the way to go. Often there’ll be panels with question and answer sessions with industry professionals, which allows you to learn from others that have been on a similar journey to yours. You’ll also learn about the latest fitness industry innovation and insights, which is great information you can apply to your club.
Above all, you’ll be surrounded by individuals that are attending for the same reason as you – making it the ideal situation to strike up a conversation with others. These trade shows and conferences take place across the UK, so there’s something for you wherever you are. Some of our favourites include Elevate, UK Active Conference and the Independent Gym Owners Conference.
Use Social Media
If attending in-person events doesn’t work for you, it’s still possible to find your community online through social media. There are countless pages and groups dedicated to bringing gym owners together and giving them a safe space online to ask questions, share experiences and get help. Finding a community online connects you with fellow gym owners from all over the UK (and sometimes all over the world). Unlike trade events, it’s fast and you can speak to people without needing to travel. Using platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is a great way to network if trade shows and conferences aren’t for you.
Join Online Forums & Groups
Beyond social media, there are also many online forums and online communities (such as Facebook Groups) that are controlled, private spaces for club owners to chat to each other about their experiences. Differently from social media, joining forums provides a more structured space for discussion; individuals often join these forums and groups intending to try to help others. Groups are usually moderated and some are even private groups, so if there are sensitive topics you’d like to talk about, private online groups could be the solution for you.
It’s worth mentioning that some suppliers in the fitness industry set up their online groups to bring gym owners together. For example, ClubRight customers will have the opportunity to join the ClubRight Community: a private moderated Facebook Group that connects our customers and gives them a safe space to ask questions and share their experiences of owning a business in the fitness industry.
In summary, finding a community of like-minded gym owners not only benefits your business but yourself too. Having a community of people around you means that you have somewhere to turn in a moment of crisis – even if it’s to simply talk about what’s on your mind. It’ll give you a sense of belonging and help alleviate some of the pressure that comes with running a business.
At ClubRight, we pride ourselves on the community that we build amongst our customers. Our goal is to build strong relationships with independent gym owners; we love to see them thriving and are on hand to help when it’s needed. To join hundreds of clubs across the UK using ClubRight to manage their clubs, book a free online demo or speak to one of our product experts today.