As we head into mid-season, sometimes fitness facilities find themselves in a "rut.” This staleness may be due to the boredom of repetition from the day-to-day grind. Thus, many fitness facilities would be wise to devise a plan that would keep them out of trouble and moving forward.
Was your New Year’s Resolution to kick your advertising program in the ass and have a serious talk with your landlord starting January? Guess what? It’s Summertime! My dad once told me, once the Grand Opening or Open House Party is over the real work begins! Boy was he right.
So in this issue, I’m going to give you a few pointers to get you moving. Before we get started, please understand that I’m only giving you a smattering of what you need to know and do.
First let’s discuss advertising and marketing. Traditionally speaking, you should be spending 7-10 % of your gross income to further grow your business and the monies should be spent equally internally and externally. What do I mean by internally and externally? Well, internally means that you promote from within, you do things for your members and in return ask them to do something for you. Promoting externally would be radio, television, newspapers, flyers, social media, etc. With both types of programs (internally and externally), you should be measuring the results and the return on investment. However, with both programs, some of the benefits can’t be measured because the exposure alone will brand and further promote your business.
Now let’s move on to landlords. The foundation for a successful business is in the lease. It has always been my opinion that tenants don’t get what they deserve, they get what they negotiate. When it comes to your facility rent, landlords always seem to have the upper hand, and that’s generally caused by the tenant’s creating a poor foundation when they first go into business. If you’re looking for a new location, preparing to sign a renewal option, or having problems with the space you lease, now is the perfect time to pay your landlord a visit. Many landlords across the country are also feeling the pinch and may welcome a discussion about lowering your rent, offering you a rent concession, or possibly renegotiating your lease.
Next up … Social Media. This form of advertising can be very successful. Social Media can change your business and bring in more new customers, but it can also consume many hours of your time and be a lot of work. If you don’t know what the words tweet, post, and wall mean, you might want to consider hiring a professional social media specialist and do it right the first time.
And … now on to Web Site Presence. This form of advertising is a must in today’s market place. But for some reason many fitness professionals struggle with whether they should have their own website? In my mind there really isn't a question. Here are the facts: Your presence on the Internet is important because you can advertise your services, or anything else you feel is necessary for potential customers or current customers to know. The Internet is visited by billions of people a day, and having your own website for communicating to your customers and future customers is essential.
And lastly … Your Internet Footprint. Consumers are searching for you on Google, Yahoo and Bing, online before ever stepping into your gym. And unfortunately many gyms are missing out on that traffic by not being consistent with their business listing information. Google and other search engines search third-party directories and databases to see where the business is listed and how it is listed. The more places it finds the business, the higher it will rank the site in search and make it more visible for the consumer to see. If your business information is outdated or appears in different ways in different places, it will not only lower your visibility in search - it will make it difficult or even impossible for potential customers to find you. The key to getting started is building a strong foundation for local search success by making sure you are listed correctly on over 100+ listing site platforms.
For more information on any of these subjects, give us a call at 925-672-4800. You can also visit our website at www.globalfitnessassociation.com/info.