Being a gym owner is exciting, demanding, and a daring endeavor. However, it is a rewarding and inspiring experience. Owning a gym business is not like going on vacation as many people imagine. Running a gym business is an everyday challenge, and it’s easy to make mistakes.
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Here is a collection of mistakes that you should do your best to avoid whether you are a veteran or a new gym owner:
Not offering guidance, support, and advice to new members
As a gym owner, you put yourself in your customers’ shoes, especially newcomers. When someone is new to the gym in general or new to your gym, it is your duty to remove their unsureness and offer them consultation, advice, and support if necessary. It’s your prerogative!
People who are new to the gym in general, risk getting injured when they try on gym equipment with which they are not familiar. Without any guidance, newcomers will feel abandoned, unwelcome, and put off, which is not what you want as a gym owner and leader.
Newcomers need to feel that you appreciate their value as paying customers and it is your job as owner of a cutting-edge, multifaceted fitness facility to let them know you value them for joining your gym by providing them with the guidance and consultation they need and expect.
People like feeling appreciated. It is in their nature. Other people’s appreciation motivates them and increases their self-esteem, encouraging them to remain in the company of those people. Ignore them, and your new members will seek a gym that makes them feel important.
Treating all members in the same manner
There is a global tendency to avoid discrimination on any criteria and focus on treating people the same. The fact is that seasoned gym owners know very well that it is not good for business to treat all members the same in a fitness facility. It’s not at all a good idea!
A veteran weightlifter will not need you to teach him/her how to do a shoulder press, but someone new to the gym in general will. A veteran may need to talk to you about adding a new type of fitness machine to your gym or about one muscle-building supplement or another. Each member has a different set of needs depending on their age, lifestyle, constitution, goals.
The point is that you have to cater to each member’s individual interests, expectations, and needs! You have to adapt your attitude to the uniqueness of each member. Your role is to deliver your members the best client experience, and a customized approach will help you achieve your goal!
Not catering to the needs of a wide range of people
As a gym owner, you know that client acquisition is the best tool for becoming a thriving business. You cannot accomplish that goal if your gym targets a specific category of clients, such as seasoned gym users, aerobics practitioners, or any other client category.
You need to equip your gym with equipment that, as well as seasoned gym goers, can use, create an ambiance that welcomes both female and male clients, provide a variety of workouts to satisfy as many client groups, and diversify services, products, and support plans.
Embrace diversity on all plans, and you will reach a broader range of people, which will propel your business to higher levels of success. Your gym must welcome a mixed crowd!
Not having core values at your gym
As a gym owner, you must be aware that you establish and stick to your core values. Many gym owners forget to set a set of core values altogether. Others forget to stand by them as their business grows. Define your core values first, i.e., your mission and vision, and share them.
Core values are like the helm of a ship: they give you direction and guidance. Everything you do must be done in accordance with those core values, from the way you train your employees to the type of training programs you choose to implement and the way you talk to your clients.
It is important that your clients and employees see you stand by your core values with passion and dedication. They have to see you put your heart and soul into your business and its values.
Spending too much time on the floor and not enough time running the business
As a gym owner, you are probably as passionate about training as your clients, which is goof because training creates a new opportunity to mingle with clients and understand their perspective. However, too much training is never good because you have a business to run.
A business doesn’t run itself. It needs you, its driving force, to manage and grow it. Find balance and make the two ends meet through smart time management: train and run your gym well.
Managing a gym is a time-consuming endeavor because you are operating in a highly competitive environment. You have to be willing to put in the hours to market your business to meet your business goals. You need to go outside the business and bring on new clients.
Going at it alone and not choosing your team wisely
If you are the sole owner of a gym, it is understandable that you are doing everything on your own, but only in the beginning. No matter how exceptional your multi-tasking skills are, there aren’t enough hours in a day for you to handle every aspect of the business alone.
Plus, you may end up without a family or friends or business if you keep trying to do everything yourself. You need a team and choosing a team is not easy. Don’t hire people because you have to hire someone; hire people because they are valuable assets and fit into your gym culture.
A personal assistant and trainers are your main focus. Build a team, not a collection of egos. You must invest time in educating your trainers in the spirit of your core values. You must invest money in paying them for the value they bring to your business. You have to determine them to work alongside you to build a successful business. Make your goals their goals.
Not having a clear mission
Aside from core values, a gym owner needs to set clear business goals. What is your mission? What do you want to achieve by opening a fitness business? What sets your gym apart from other similar facilities? Why would customers pick you and not someone else’s gym?
Answering all of these questions is not easy. Determining clear goals and adjusting your actions to meet those goals is not easy. Establish what drives you and you will become an inspiration for your clients as well. Work towards your goals assiduously, and they will work towards theirs.
Focusing on memberships alone
Quality members attract other quality members, and any gym owner should focus on promoting quality rather than quantity because quality can bring quantity, but quantity doesn’t always generate quality. What does that mean for a gym owner? Don’t memberships matter anymore?
It is important to create a contagiously amazing ambiance that will determine members to bring on board their friends and family members because they genuinely want to share that place where they feel good, i.e., your gym, with the people that matter to them most.
There are many tactics to create that magical ambiance, a feeling of belonging, including customized memberships, customized training plans, motivated trainers that get results, and much more. Focus on building that atmosphere first, and each client will recommend you!
You have to listen to your clients, spend time with them, and understand what they want, what they need, and what they expect. Try to meet their needs, expectations, and desires and your time would be well invested as you watch your memberships skyrocket.
Running the business through social media
A Facebook page is good for business, any business, a gym including. Yet, any gym owner will eventually understand that a gym that aspires to higher levels of achievement and doesn’t have a professional website is not going to achieve those higher levels of success any time soon.
Social media is good, but it’s not enough. Social media is great in the beginning, but it’s no long-term solution. A website is your seal of trust and professionalism. What do you think about a business whose Facebook page doesn’t feature a website in the About section?
Yes, Facebook pages are great led generators, but what if your leads want to learn more? Where do they go? What if they need more in-depth information? Where do they go? How professional does your gym appear if you have no website for them to learn more about you?
Failing to use your website as a business tool
As a smart gym owner, you have determined that having a website in addition to social media pages is important, but how are you utilizing your website? Does it look like a brochure with googled pictures of fit people? Does it offer your visitors what they need to become clients?
If your website looks unprofessional, unattended to, visitors will believe that your gym looks the same. If your website offers a great user experience, your visitors will think that your gym offers a great client experience as well. You don’t build a website to keep yourself busy.
You build a website because you need it as a business tool. You need it to convince people that your gym is the gym that they want to join. You need your site to convince people that you offer them what they need, want, and expect. Does your website achieve that with your users?
Does your website offer your potential clients other clients’ testimonials to prove that you are who you say you are and you do what you say you do? Does your website convince them to push that CTA buttons? Does your website present users with relevant information?
If the answer is no, you need to act. You have to analyze your sales funnel, and you have to change your landing page so that users stay on your site and get in touch with you. You don’t need a website to display well-fit bodies; you need a website to generate more business.
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Failing to have a clear website strategy
Did you ever wonder if your website has a strategy when it comes to reaching the audience you are targeting? The whole point of a website for a gym owner is to be able to attract more clients and to do that you need a clear website strategy. You need a website that is structured and designed with your target audience in mind!
It’s not easy to tackle the responsibilities of owning a gym business. In fact, owning a gym can be a scary business for new entrepreneurs. If you go to the gym, develop and stand by your diet and training rules, and work hard, you will achieve all your fitness goals.
It is the same when you own a gym: define your core values and stick to them, be willing to work hard, and make sure you have a plan, and you will build a successful and thriving gym business. Why make mistakes when you can avoid them? Hopefully, this article has proved useful in this respect!
If you enjoyed reading this article on gym owner mistakes, you should check out this one on managing a gym.
We also wrote about a few related subjects like how to be a successful Beachbody coach, gym names, starting a fitness business, opening a gym, gym management software, gym marketing, personal trainer website, and gym WordPress theme.