The holiday season is officially upon us! This time of year can bring as much frazzle as dazzle, especially if you’re a studio or gym prepping for New Year’s traffic.
January is notoriously a busy month for the fitness industry as New Year’s Resolutioners come in droves, ready to change their habits and start anew. This influx of new clients naturally can cause a degree of mayhem and stress (who has time for that?!), but remember, this too shall pass.
Here are four tips for maximizing your traffic come January 1, and retaining it come February.
Make sure your staff is trained
Now, you may be thinking, “Obviously, my staff is trained.” But hear us out.
We all know you have incredible staff, it’s what makes your facility so wonderful. That being said, it’s important to prepare your staff for what is to come, especially new staff members. Being overconfident on your booking system (i.e: quick check-ins, refunds, purchases, updating accounts, signing up new members) is an easy way to make sure both you and your staff are ready when you have an increase in class numbers and, possibly, new students outnumbering current members.
Pro tip: Reminding your staff to be a little extra cheery and friendly as people come in can create an exciting and positive atmosphere for new potential members, while also assuaging existing members, who may be a little frustrated with the higher than normal traffic.
Promotions are a great way to get new visitors excited and involved at your studio or gym while keeping current clients engaged and looking forward to the New Year, too. You don’t need to get fancy or even spend a bunch of money, just find ways to hook new clients and recognize loyal customers. Creating a month-long fitness challenge with a grand prize or a referral program for bringing in a friend during January.
Optimize your class schedule
We all know class schedules are vital to your business. During this time of year, consider either adding more classes if possible or being a little more mindful of the beginners that may be attending your studio or gym. Whether this means sprinkling in some more introductory classes or maybe adding an additional class at a popular time (if you have the bandwidth to do so, of course). Being strategic in the times you schedule classes is also important, keeping in mind people are back in work full swing with the new year!
Pro tip: This can be a great way to engage current users as much as a way to cater to new ones. Tell your clients you want to help them kick off their New Year on the right note, and ask what times or classes they’d like to see in January, too.
Retail, retail, retail
This is especially important to consider with the holidays approaching. Have you thought about what kind of swag you’re going to put up for sale?
Make sure your displays are strategically placed in your lobby (i.e: cute new necklaces? Place them at the checkout counter, easy to see, grab and add to their checkout pile). Place newer items at the front where people can see them. Dress up a mannequin or two to show off great pairing of outfits. Maybe even purchase and wear some of the retail too (as if you needed convincing)!
Don’t forget about gift cards! Everyone loves them, and you know recipients of your gift cards will bring more business to your studio, especially for those looking to kick their New Year’s Resolutions into full gear.
Connection and reconnection
Building relationships with clients is at the core of your business all year round, but it’s easy to push this aside in the hustle and bustle of a busy studio during the holidays.
Make sure your staff is prepared (and you as well) to connect and reconnect, especially with new clients. This is pivotal for turning first-time visitors into dedicated members. Connect with new clients before class, learn their names and how they heard of your studio or gym and what brought them in. Find out their goals and hype them up! Remember their name during class and shout them out in encouragement. Reconnect after class, see how their experience was and invite them back. A great personal touch is to do a follow-up phone call or email later that day or the next to thank them and get them back in!
While this may be the busiest time of year for the wellness industry, it ultimately boils down to one thing: your community. Help ring in the best New Year possible with your team, and we wish you a very Happy Holidays!