Top Tips To Season-Proof Your Fitness Business

Is your PT business, gym or martial arts dojo bracing for a drop in cash flow and motivation levels over Christmas as the party season rolls around?

If so, the following top tips from PaySmart and our Industry Experts will help keep your business and cash flow healthy over Christmas – not to mention keeping your clients and students fit and motivated too!

 1. Schedule pre and post-holiday bookings in advance

Book in your clients’ training sessions before they leave. Not only will this ensure they get back into their training on time (assisting cash flow), but it can also prevent them from falling into bad habits while they’re away. If you help clients set compelling goals, they’ll not only be more likely to want to do the extra work before and after they go away, but will also probably make time to train while they’re away. – Andrew Simmons, Vision PT

2. Communicate clearly and early about opening hours, timetables and billing schedules

Ensure members and clients are aware of your opening times and days and when you’re closed for public holidays—and if you’re operating a reduced timetable. Also make sure your clients know their scheduled billing days, particularly as Christmas and Boxing Day fall on a Thursday and Friday this year. – Colin Walker, PaySmart National Sales Manager

3. Schedule special training events to keep students engaged

Consider running a special workshop or program to round out the year. Our annual end-of-year training and grading Summer Camp is a real highlight for our members—it keeps them interested in their training and generates a little extra revenue for us ahead of the holidays. – Neil Owen, Infinity Martial Arts

4. Don’t forget your “members and guests” Christmas party

For what can quite often be a slower time for new member sign-ups, throw a Christmas party in your club or studio. Offer small incentives (extra week membership, water bottle, towel, drinks vouchers or similar) for every member who brings a friend along, plus their friend gets a free month (13 for the price of 12) or $50-$100 discount for joining on the night. Your budget for any extra staff hours plus festive nibbles and drinks should equal one 12-month membership – that way you can easily measure the success of what can be a really fun and exciting event in your club. – Craig Mac, GymLink Australia

5. Help keep your members motivated with a holiday program

Provide a detailed program for members to use throughout the holidays to encourage them to come into the gym during this period as much as possible and to help reduce unnecessary cancellations and suspensions. – Tanith Gladigau, PaySmart BDM, VIC

6. Keep communicating

Don’t think the holiday period means your clients and stakeholders don’t want to hear from you. Stay in touch with news on achievements, events, promotions and the like, remembering the holiday period is when people make their resolutions about getting active, not least because they want to look their best at the beach! – Nigel Benton, Australasian Leisure Management

7. Get students focused and engaged in the New Year with special workshops

January and February is a great time to hold workshop-style classes to plan students’ development. Working together to help all the participants, the classes provide a very positive environment. Students are reluctant to miss classes they see as critical to their growth in the coming year and it helps them set the foundations for further learning to maximise their training. – Peter de Been, de Been 100%

8. Devise incentives to keep your clients and students committed

Try a “member of the week” prize like gift cards, free PT sessions or supplements for clients attending the gym regularly during the festive season. – Toby Belfort, PaySmart BDM, NSW

9. Limit your shut-down period

Rather than closing down for a full two weeks and risking fee suspensions, consider running special, more casual activities that keep your students coming. We run “open mat” sessions over Christmas and New Year—they’re not structured classes but allow students to come in and train at their own pace, drill, socialise and just enjoy being on the mat. It’s also a great chance for coaches to be on the mat without the pressure of running a class. – Dave Hart, Dominance

10. Offer a low hold fee to avoid cancellations

Consider offering a low on-hold fee for memberships that restarts after Christmas to avoid cancellations. That way your club still has a small revenue stream and customers can save a little money for the Christmas shopping. But more importantly you’re less likely to lose the member all together. – Brad Dobe, PaySmart BDM QLD & NT

11. Try a new member campaign

Create some stocking stuffers like a gift card for one month of training through January – it’s a great gift for your existing students to buy for friends who might be interested in trying out your program. You could also make up some t-shirts or other promotional/training material—price it to cover your costs and use them in house for all existing clients or in any other advertising throughout December. – Graham McDonnell & Phil Britten, WAIMA

For more information about PaySmart or to find out more about what the industry experts are saying, complete the enquiry form below or click here.

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