It’s no secret that the new year is a flurry of activity in the fitness industry. Giving some careful consideration to the direction you choose to steer your ship can go a long way in setting the course of your gym for the entire year.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, New Year’s resolutions are a real thing. Every year, people commit to making significant life changes this time of year. Sometimes, they work. Often, they don’t. After a holiday season of less than ideal nutrition and sporadic exercise, fitness-related New Year’s Resolutions are one of the most common choices out there. They are also one of the most common to forget about a month or two later. As affiliate owners, how do we harness that excitement surrounding fitness for so many this time of year and turn it into a sustainable lifestyle choice for potential new clients? Equally as important, how do we ensure it is a positive influence on our existing gym communities? Here are three things that we’ve found to work well at CrossFit Fort Vancouver. I hope you find them useful too.
1. Stay true to your gym’s identity and yourself as a business owner
If you haven’t already identified your mission, your values, your passion, what you’re good at, what fires you up, how you execute it, and why it even matters, start there. The new year can be an easy time to get sucked into fads, ‘fool-proof’ marketing strategies, amazing challenges, you name it… While the new year can absolutely be a great time to offer promotions that make it simple for new athletes to enter your community, make sure you are sending the message and providing the service that lines up with your mission and values. If you run a 6-week boot camp to get people in the door but you don’t even like boot camp-style training, it might not be the right fit. Sure, you might see a surge in membership around the new year, but how many of those athletes are you still serving in July?
2. Quality of members always beats quantity of members
How many gym owners would rather have 5 new athletes that become positive, committed, long-term members of the community than 15 people that come and go in 6 months? Every single one. Rather than following the latest and greatest marketing strategy on the internet, we need to focus on the actual product we are providing. What exactly that is may vary slightly from affiliate to affiliate but the key is providing results. If our athletes are improving, then there is great value in what we are providing. Before pursuing that perfect marketing plan, take a good long look at what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. Is it awesome? Could it be better? Are you consistently providing results? If so, then the new year is a great time to bring some new members into your gym. If not, if your systems are broken or in need of an upgrade, start there. Fix what really matters first, then enjoy the positive outcome it has on others and on your affiliate as a whole.
3. Most importantly, serve your current community first
This last idea seems almost too simple to include. And that’s why it’s worth mentioning. Embrace new athletes into your community with open arms. Welcome them, provide them with an amazing experience, and deliver them the results they came to you for. Along the way, do not forget about the people that are the lifeblood of your community. Talk to them. Coach them. Be a positive part of their lives and help them get better. Let’s not spend so much time, effort, and attention trying to please the new faces that we neglect those that got us here in the first place. After all, if we can continue to provide results for the people already here, we all win. Remember that athlete you were wondering where they’ve been this last week? Go reach out to them to let them know you care!
Author: Adam Neiffer
Adam Neiffer and his wife Lauren own CrossFit Fort Vancouver in Vancouver, WA where they reside with their two daughters Emma and Hope. CrossFit Fort Vancouver has a strong reputation for providing the highest-quality of coaching and service. CrossFit Fort Vancouver is one of only two affiliates to qualify a team for all 10 CrossFit Games Affiliate Cup competitions (2009 – 2018). Adam is the only team athlete to have competed at the CrossFit Games for 10 consecutive years. In 2017, Adam coached Team USA at the CrossFit Invitational in Melbourne, Australia. He is passionate about helping others and improving lives through fitness is the best way he’s found to do that.