Covid-19, fitness centers

How to increase revenue for your gym, fitness center and health club during COVID-19

How to increase revenue for your gym, fitness center and health club during COVID-19

COVID-19 has led many national governments to put restrictions on gyms, fitness centers, and health clubs, cutting the occupancies in half or to only 33% in some places. In some places, gyms and health clubs are not yet allowed to reopen. 

While that may seem like a bleak reality, don’t count out the industry just yet.

Known to bounce back stronger, our industry experts have already seen businesses and individuals adapting and shaping themselves for a post COVID-19 world.

While gyms across the world have shut down – either voluntarily or by mandate, fitness enthusiasts and freaks have started searching for alternative means of working out. 

A study suggests that millennials could be the most fitness-oriented generation the world has seen, with 76% of them reporting that they workout at least once a week. 

Experts suggest that expanding revenue streams by solving the problems of fitness enthusiasts is a good way of expanding their revenue streams and combating revenue loss because of widespread shutdowns of gyms. After all, people still want to remain healthy and fit.

If you’re looking at how you can expand your gym’s revenue streams, you don’t have to look any further. Our industry experts have compiled a list of ways that your brand and business can adopt easily.

  1. Go Digital
    1. Start online fitness coaching and virtual classes
    2. Online Group Classes
    3. Host Virtual Workshops
    4. Curate new membership models
  2. Revamp your offerings and in-demand services
    1. Switch to outdoor workouts and boot camps
    2. Promote Personal Training based memberships
  3. Explore alternate revenue streams for your business
    1. Sell more retail items
    2. Create Nutrition Plans and Subscription boxes
    3. Earn commissions through Affiliate Programs
    4. Teach others how to thrive

10 ways you can maximize revenue from your fitness business  

Go Digital

Since the beginning of the pandemic, most gyms and health clubs were forced to close because of the close proximity that gym goers share. Few gyms had the foresight to start online virtual classes before the shutdowns happened. 

With most states on the East Coast deciding to not reopen just yet, and a second wave of shutdowns starting in states in the West Coast, gyms are stuck between a rock and a hard place. After a while, people will look to cancel their memberships as they won’t be able to come-in to use the premises.

In a situation like this, if you haven’t already, it’s time that you take your fitness business online and start offering your virtual services. 

Here are a few ways you can do this: 

1) Start online fitness coaching and virtual classes

Instead of missing out on potential membership revenue, you should look to switch to online virtual classes as a way of keeping your members from cancelling their memberships and earning without having to open your doors. 

After all, daily exercise classes can be attended from the comfort and safety of your members’ homes. 

One thing to keep in mind is that your members might not have access to gym equipment such as benches and Smith machines. Try incorporating easy to access utilities such as stairs, yoga mats, backpacks, and resistance bands into your workouts so that everyone can be a part of your online fitness class.

With Appointy’s Zoom integration, you can create unique Zoom meetings for every session and class that you book. Members and staff members receive the Zoom link through email as well as through the appointment scheduling software

Girl ready to log in to online fitness class

2) Online Group Classes

Fitness classes are always made more interesting by the group that you do it in. Challenging others and being able to beat them always pumps the body with a strong adrenaline rush.

Setting targets and trying to achieve them with friends is easier as you can always motivate and keep each other in check. There’s some truth to the adage, “There’s strength in numbers.”

Whether it’s pushing through the last few reps of a set, or avoiding that unnecessary slice of pizza: your buddies won’t let you slouch.

COVID-19 doesn’t change that mentality. People still want to exercise with their gym partner as their source of motivation. This opens an opportunity for fitness businesses to start online group training classes such as Pilates or Crossfit. 

Offer virtual group classes to your members to make more money per session as it will allow you to cater to more members at once. Additionally, allow your members to purchase additional seats for their friends and family at discounted prices. This is an easy way to increase your memberships and efficiently make more money in the fitness industry.

3) Host Virtual Workshops

Workshops allow you to actively engage with your community of fitness freaks. It is a great way to keep your community motivated towards achieving their goals. Take the chance to invite people who are interested in joining your gym as guests to these online events and online workshops. It will encourage them to join your community. 

Whether it be a simple online workshop explaining what IIFYM, Keto and Paleo diets are, or a workshop on endurance and flexibility training, members are always open to learning new things and challenging themselves. 

Hosting online workshops works two-fold in helping increasing revenue:

  • By charging a reasonable fee for the workshop, your gym can make a few extra bucks on the side to keep you guys going. People will not hesitate in paying as long as they are able to extract value from your offerings.
  • By inviting people interested in joining your gym, you can give them a sneak peek at how engaged your community is. This will give them the confidence to sign up with your gym and purchase a membership. 

Host online workshops and take multiple appointments for the event using Appointy’s capacity booking feature. Through capacity booking, you can set capacities on certain appointment types that are helpful for taking appointments for online events and online workshops.

Fitness enthusiast attending virtual fitness workshop

4) Curate new membership models

While the majority of gym-goers are still skeptical about returning to the gym just yet due to COVID, there are a few handful that are itching to get back to pumping the iron. 

This opens a potential opportunity for gym owners to attract this crowd as well.

In addition to offering online fitness coaching and virtual classes, you can also modify your membership models to offer a few new memberships such as: 

  • Hybrid Memberships: In a hybrid membership model, your members will be able to attend their favorite classes from the comfort and safety of their homes, choose to come into your premises for the “gym experience” or even do a combination of both.
  • Longer validity memberships: Due to the uncertainty caused by Covid19, many people are skeptical of committing to any paid plan. For these people, you can launch memberships with a longer than usual validity, something like a ‘buy now, use till 2021 model’. Club this with attractive discounts and your clients won’t be able to resist. Many hotels and airlines are already using this tactic to attract clients for now. 

Introduce your new membership models as a cheaper alternative to a full membership that potential members can take advantage of. Customers love the option of choice and will appreciate the new COVID-specific membership models that you will have to offer. 

Your new membership models can also be on an hourly basis, charging customers only by the hour of their presence on your premises or using your services. Having these kinds of membership models is a great way to get the people who are still interested in returning to the gym as part of your clientele.


Revamp your offerings and in-demand services

As the owner of a gym, fitness center, or health club you are no stranger to the convolutions that came with COVID: new client and staff expectations, frequent sanitation, and restrictions on capacity.

However, not all gyms can restrict capacity easily without taking a huge hit on their revenue. Without revenue, businesses are going to have a tough time paying their rent or staffers.

As a result, gyms, fitness centers, and health clubs should look into revamping their services and offerings to meet the new industry landscape.

Here’s how they can do that:

1) Switch to outdoor workouts and boot camps

Many gym-goers have cited their concerns about returning to the gym because they are not comfortable returning to shared environments with sweaty people. A recent article by Washington Post says that Gym goers are seeing the benefit of working out in the great outdoors. 

Keeping this in mind, it might be a good time to consider hosting workouts outside.

Hosting outdoor workouts can be a great way to bring diversity to your offerings. Attach a fee to your outdoor workout sessions to generate revenue from your new medium of getting people fit. Let any interested person be a part of the boot camp.

One thing that you must remember is to choose your workout space carefully. Many states currently have closed public parks and walkways. It’s important for you to ensure that you conduct your outdoor activities following the local laws and regulations.

Along with diversity, popular boot camps such as “Get your own summer body” or “Bikini Bod” during the summers will help your business maintain relevancy and increase revenue. 

Girl working out outdoors wearing a mask

2) Promote Personal Training based memberships

One of the most important resources of a gym is its in-house trainers. Whether it be helping new members get familiar with the equipment in the gym, spotting experienced members during training, or providing personal training to their clients: trainers are really what define the gym and its atmosphere.

If anything, this pandemic has brought to attention the importance of being healthy and leading a healthy lifestyle. Use this to your advantage by promoting PT based memberships to your members.

If you’re in the fitness industry, or have followed it for a while, you are no stranger to the difference that a personal trainer can bring to someone’s training program. Being their trade, trainers always know the nuances of training that helps novice gym-goers avoid injuries and make the most out of their workout.

You can encourage clients to opt-in for a personal training program both in-studio or online. 

Personal training session in gym

Explore alternate revenue streams for your business

While creating new ways of imparting fitness is always a good way to increase your breadth of revenue, there are a lot of different ways in which you can increase your fitness center or gym’s revenue.

For that, you don’t have to look any further than trying to provide a more end-to-end fitness experience to your customers and members. Check out the following revenue streams:

1) Sell more retail items

Including retail items as part of your gym is one of the best ways you can boost your revenue. Many gyms have a retail store of some sort and others are always considering starting their own.

Whether it be bottled water, on-the-spot protein shakes, or even clothing, gyms should always aim to increase retail sales as a way of boosting revenue. Here are a few tips to boost revenue from your retail store:

  1. Talk about your retail store in the community
  2. Make sure everyone can see it
  3. It should be easily accessible

Your retail store should also go along with your online coaching and classes. Many online fitness scheduling software, like Appointy, allow you to increase retail sales items to customers and members seamlessly. 

For example, if you have an online resistance training program for your clients that they can attend from home, add resistance bands to your store for customers to buy while booking their appointment. Once customers place an order, deliver their items to their homes for increasing repeat purchase and customer loyalty.

Girl checking out at gym

2) Create Nutrition Plans and Subscription boxes

People are more conscious of their health, more now than ever before because of the fact that COVID is affecting people with low immunities more adversely than others. However, good health does not only mean regular exercise but also maintaining a clean and healthy diet.

Take the time to discuss COVID-specific diets with your clientele that build immunity while also being simple to procure and make. Partner up with local certified nutritionists and refer your members to them. Your members will receive a balanced diet chart that they can follow to improve their fitness results. 

Additionally, you can also sell daily/weekly/monthly fitness subscription boxes that include healthy snacks for your members. Your members can pay a reasonable fee to subscribe to these boxes. This lets you create potent partnerships with people in your community and present yourself as an end-to-end fitness business. 

People prefer businesses that offer them all that they need in one spot rather than having to juggle between multiple businesses to meet their requirements.

Gym staff selling packaged healthy snacks and protein shake to gym member.

3) Earn commissions through Affiliate Programs

If you haven’t already, now is the time to partner up with brands and join their affiliate programs. As an affiliate, you can make extra revenue through commissions by directing your customers and members to the brand’s website and encouraging them to purchase a service or product

Each brand has its own program benefits. These vary from a high commission percentage to bonuses that you receive on completing certain criteria. Depending on the program, you can stand to make a lot of money to support your business and staff members.

For example, a gym, fitness center or health club that partners with Appointy as their affiliate receive a 30% recurring commission and a $100 bonus on referring 10 or more customers to us in the first month. Click here to learn more about our affiliate program.

4) Teach others how to thrive

As the owner of a fitness business, you’ve experienced a lot in terms of starting your own business, building the brand behind it, and taking it to the next level.

Let’s be real: the fitness industry is a cutthroat industry. People that look to join the industry and make a name for themselves are aware that to be successful: you’ve got to learn from the best.

With your expertise, there’s always an avenue for you to share your knowledge with fitness enthusiasts, professionals, and freaks alike. Take the time to create content geared towards teaching industry newbies on thriving, not only surviving. Write a book, start a podcast or get yourself into 1:1 sessions with interested individuals and business owners.

Our friend, Jay Cardiello, is a best selling Author, posts motivational content, is a TedX speaker and a whole lot more. He trains fitness professionals, athletes, celebrities and leaders

Fitness teaching session

Be proactive and not reactive

In conclusion, we’d like to say that the fitness industry is up for a few taxing weeks in the coming days, but is known to never back down from a challenge.

Don’t be discouraged. It’s often the last key in the bunch that opens a lock.

Whether it be switching to a new medium of fitness such as online virtual classes, increasing retail store sales or even shifting to online appointment scheduling: Appointy has you covered. With our critically acclaimed, 24×7 support team by your side, you can get set up in just 15 minutes!

With 10+ years of experience in the scheduling industry, we know a thing or two about scheduling 😉

Check out what Gareth Preston Personal Training, one of our clients from the United Kingdom had to say about Appointy:

Appointy's fitness scheduling software testimonial by a personal trainer

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About Appointy

We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium business face every day. 

If you have any thoughts on this blog, or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below. 

We love a good talk!