Gym Update #1: It’s All About Retention 

Gym Update #1: It’s All About Retention 

This time last week, I wrote a post called: My own gym is failing 😥 -> CLICK TO READ

Explaining how I had taken my eye off the gym over the last few months, to the point that last month we actually made a loss

In the post, I said, I was going to change my own gyms fortunes & document the process

Therefore, each & every Sunday, I am going to explain exactly what is going on at the gym & what we are doing to fix it

Sharing everything with you, no FILTER, which means some of these posts, will be LONG!

💰 As the famous saying goes, it’s cheaper to keep clients than it is to find them

This is 100% true for every single business, no matter the business model

& this is where we are going to be focusing on the most

After all, finding the leads is the easy part 💪

We know that our average client lifetime value is a little all over the place

We have a number of clients who joined us when we opened over 3 years ago

Yet, we also lose a good amount of clients during or just after they have completed the initial 6 week challenge

So with our aim of getting to 220 clients being the BIG focus for the gym

Keeping clients & retention has to be the clear focus

Having taken a closer look at the whole business over the last week, we need to see how we can get clients to get to a minimum of 5 months

Then after doing a little research, and speaking with a few other Ads Clients about what was working for them when it came to retention, the reasoning was so clear…

You see, ever since we started, we have always run a 6 week front end offer, we will also be keeping this as there is a MASSIVE amount of research that shows this is the optimal front-end offer for gyms

What we will be changing is how we run & offer the 6 week challenge to ensure we move closer to 90% retention from the front-end offer

But before I explain all, we also worked on a few other things

Starting with staff communication & progress tracking

Having firmly taken my eye of the gym, I hadn’t been tracking anything, hadn’t been holding the staff accountable, hadn’t set any targets & goals for the business

The complete opposite to what we do at FitPro Lead Gen office, in that office, we all know what we are working towards, what the long & short-term business goals are & much more

& having had an honest conversation with a staff member at the gym this week, who also mentioned that they had started to feel deflated & struggled to find the motivation, this had to be the first thing we worked on at FitHub30 office

Starting with getting everyone set-up on a software called Basecamp, a simple chat, task manager, calendar & focus tool, that allows us to keep each other accountable, never forgetting key tasks & not falling behind on major goals

Now with goals, focuses, tasks & more laid out, it makes it easier for us all to know what we are working towards

Finally, on the FitHub30 office front, I am now going to be dedicating 2 days a week to work from the gym

Okay… let’s get back to the 6 week challenge

In order to increase retention & work towards a 90% retention goal for the 6 week challenge, the most obvious thing we had to change was the challenge set up

Ever since we had started, we had always run on an evergreen model, meaning we would always be taking on new clients & starting them right away

This is the first thing we had to change, having spoken with a few other gym owners who run similar businesses, the ones that were having the greater retention didn’t run evergreen models, they ran set-start date models

So here is what we are going to do…

Instead of starting new clients, each & every Monday, we are now only going to be running 6 week challenges, every 3 weeks, the start dates may differ depending on dates, for example not starting on Christmas Day, would push us back by a week

The reasons we are going to be doing this & moving away from the evergreen model straight forward, on the evergreen, they came in cold, knowing nobody, with no real onboarding except for the sales call/visit

Whereby with the new format, we will be holding 2 onboarding meetings prior to the challenge start date, these will be Thursday evenings at 6:30pm & Saturday mornings at 10:30am

Meaning, that each Thursday & Saturday before a challenge starts on a Monday, we will be inviting all new clients down for a GROUP onboarding meeting

This will give them a chance to meet all the other members taking part, building community, friendship & trust much quicker

This will also mean that nobody will get left behind or lost by starting everyone at the same time

So here is how it will look from Lead to Sales

1️⃣ Prospects will leave their name, email & phone, then will be redirected to a booking page to book in for the Onboarding session

👉 If they don’t book, we will be chasing them down via call, text & email to learn more & either sell or get them to book in for the Onboarding session

✅ If they pay or book onto the Onboarding, we will be adding them into a specific WhatsApp group, that has been created, just for that challenge

2️⃣ Once they book, they will then be taken to a page to either pay in full for the challenge or pay a small holding deposit

👉 If they don’t pay anything, we will be chasing them up via call, text & email to let them know we only accept 20 clients onto each challenge, if they would like to pay or place a deposit, this will secure their place, if they don’t & all spaces have been taken, we will follow up again, letting them know they can join the next challenge

✅ After they pay, they will be taken to a bookings page to ensure they have booked a place on the Onboarding session & link to the specific WhatsApp group

All this has been built in LeadDec & we have set it up in a way, that they only need to change the start date & the link to the WhatsApp group in one location & it automatically updates every part that needs to be changed

Now… when we have the Onboarding session, we may have 3 possible situations:

1) We have fully paid clients

2) We have deposit paid prospect

3) We have others who have not paid a penny

Leading us to create a presentation for the onboarding that basically welcomes them onto the programmes, explains how it all works, takes their measurements & has the feeling that they have already committed, which will help convert prospects in situations: 2 or 3

They will also be given welcome packs when they arrive, offered tea, coffee or Water, given pens & goals setting cards, again focusing on the give everything upfront making it harder for them to leave without joining

Finally, we will be asking everyone if they know anyone who would like to join them & explain the referrals offer halfway through the session & also asking them to complete the FREE t-shirt slip to claim their personalised FitHub30 t-shirt

In order to ensure these Onboarding sessions run smoothly, we have set it up in a way, that one person should be able to run it smoothly, but with the emphasis on always having 2 people to run

Okay, sign-ups are complete ✅ time to work on retention…

All new members will be entered into the specific WhatsApp group for that challenge, to start the community-building process with the 2 client care managers focusing on sparking up as much conversation & holding the members as accountable as possible. They will also all be added to the members Facebook group, where they can see what everyone else is up too

All coaches will be notified of everyone who is starting on this latest 6 week challenge & their notes from the onboarding to allow them to start conversations quicker & match them up with experienced members with who they will bond well with

On the back end, each week, they will have a personal check-in for one of the client care managers either via text or call, setting them a task for the week & following a prescribed structure to look at building an early long term client, these will include:

✅ Ensuring they have placed their free t-shirt order

✅ They have brought along at least one friend to try out a session

✅ They have received their welcome post card in the post

✅ They have been introduced to MyZone & a super discount we have for them on purchasing a belt (we will make a loss on this purchase)

Then at key stages, we will be looking to get them to commit to a long term offer

During week 1, we will look to get them booked in or if not a phone call, to ask them to commit to a 1 year offer, paid up front, offering a big discount, if not, looking at a 50% payment, followed by 5 monthly payments, they will have until the start of week 3 to take the offer

During week 5, if they didn’t take the initial offer, we will then offer them 4 months for the price of 3, this will be a paid in full offer only

Finally, in the final week, we will be calling everyone up if they haven’t already taken one of the 2 offers or spoken to us about moving onto our graduate monthly offer, explaining the monthly prices, which is another big change, we have made over the last week

Pre the last week, our prices were £97 for 3 sessions a week or £117 for unlimited a week, moving forward, we will now be charging £127 for 3 sessions or £137, which will give us a minimum of £90 per client after VAT, Tax & Stripe fees

🤓 A lot of big changes on the front end, that should lead to a major increase in long term clients

This week, we also had a charity day event down at the gym, raising money for Mind, granted, the day went well, we raised a good amount & the clients that took part enjoyed it

But… this was an event we let slide from a 24 hour event as initially planned to a rushed event only finalised at the start of this week

Again things for us to work on moving forward when it comes to planning & hitting deadlines

This brings me to the end of the first Gym Update 🙌

This coming week now, we are closed on Monday to pay respects to the queen, then we have our first Onboarding this Thursday & Saturday, with us so far having just 4 paid people attending & 3 others who have just booked

This week too, I am going to be moving our very slack & basic SOPs manual into a video vault, to allow all staff to know the complete ins & outs to each role, working more on Basecamp, and setting more tasks that include a gym refresh & touch ups

& not to forget, getting the gyms Christmas party booked 🎄

Until next week

David 🙂