It may seem early days, but it’s time to start getting your gym ready for the New Year. Although it’s still December, it’s almost the time that every gym and health club owner looks forward to the January rush!
Traditionally, this is the time when thousands of people kickstart their fitness journey after a festive period of over-indulgence. More than 10.3 million people in the UK are members of a gym, in a market valued at around £2 billion annually.
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New Year resolutions
The most popular New Year resolutions are those concerning health and fitness. Almost half (47%) of UK residents who have made resolutions have pledged to get more exercise and improve their fitness. This ties in with 44% of respondents who plan to lose weight and 41% who intend to eat a healthier diet.
For many of us, January means joining a new gym, a health and leisure centre, or commissioning the help of a new trainer. Whether you run a large fitness chain, or you’re an independent gym owner; start your preparations now for the anticipated influx of members in the New Year.
Pandemic weight gain
Gym use has been fluctuating since March 2020, when the first coronavirus lockdown began. Gyms were closed three times in total.
As the New Year approaches, surveys suggest people are keen to shed the weight they put on while in lockdown or quarantine. It has become known as the “Quarantine 15”, meaning the average number of pounds gained.
More than a quarter (27.5%) of people have gained weight during the pandemic, according to a survey conducted by the magazine, Obesity. As a gym, it’s your job to help them get back to fitness. In January, 12% of all gym sign-ups occur, with the surge of interest attributed to New Year resolutions.
Prepare your gym
Prepare for the sudden arrival of new members now by getting your gym ready. If you need any renovations, now is the time to carry them out, especially if they involve any downtime. While gyms should be busy every month, December is always the quietest month of the year, as people are getting ready for Christmas.
Get your equipment serviced in time, as you need to avoid a scenario where you’re welcoming new members to your gym, but some equipment is displaying “out of order” signs. It won’t encourage them to come back. You need to have it serviced NOW because if any repairs are needed, you’ll need to organise this before Christmas.
Do you need more staff?
Decide if you need to take on more staff in January. If you released staff during the lockdown, or because you couldn’t afford to keep them on when you reopened and furlough ended, you may need to consider employing them again to cope with the January rush.
If you haven’t already implemented a booking system, decide whether you need to do so, especially if you have concerns you may not be able to cope with the increased demand.
Think about every aspect of your business and not just the exercise area itself. For example, how are new and existing customers welcomed when they walk through the door? When they have a question, is there someone who can answer it? Are your premises in a good state of repair?
Update social media
Make sure your social media accounts are kept up to date, with interested and informative posts. When customers visit your social media feeds, do you have a recognisable and consistent tone for your brand across all platforms?
Plan your marketing communications and make sure you have technical support if needed to provide posts on social media to promote your January opening hours, classes and special offers. Put your personality across to create a positive relationship with anyone reading the information. Make your content interesting and engaging and avoid coming across like a textbook.
Getting these details right now will enable you to relax over the festive period, knowing you’re ready to start the New Year.
In the sports and leisure sector, many venues install automatic doors to make it easier for large numbers of customers to enter the building.
As with any building that’s open to the public, sports and leisure centres must be accessible under the Disability Discrimination Act. A set of automatic doors is crucial to satisfy the regulations, as they can be opened with minimum effort.
They can also open wide enough to accommodate a large number of people entering and leaving at all times of day. Manual doors can lead to congestion and bottlenecks in busy areas.
Automatic doors also have energy-saving benefits that can help improve revenue for gyms or sports facilities. They will open for only the minimum amount of time needed to let people in and out. This helps to maintain a constant temperature inside.
You can also choose from double or triple gazing – automatic doors can also have heat curtains that operate when the doors open, switching on automatically, so it’s not blowing continuously.
For a gym experience to remember (for all the right reasons) and to keep your new sign-ups coming back again and again, make sure you get your gym customer-ready now.