When it comes to being a gym owner, knowledge is power. Knowing when your revenue will be up - when members sign up - and when it will be down, is key to your business’ success. So we’ve done some research from our database which can help you plan your year. Facing the challenge of seasonal fluctuations can be a stressful period for business owners in the fitness industry. The key is to manage your resources from the increases in demand, to ensure survival throughout periods of decreased demand. You know that there are an abundance of influences on consumer behaviour.
- Market size
- New competition
- Existing competition
- Consumer demand
- Societal influences
- Your location
- Fitness trends
Being knowledgeable about each of these factors will help you stay on top. We’ve done some research to find trends in when gym goers are most likely to sign up; and when they’re most likely to cancel.
The Facts: When do Members Sign up?
A theme consistent everywhere, from California to Mozambique, is that January is the busiest month for signups. And the quietest? Most convincingly, it’s May. The busy periods run on from January into February and March in North America, the three cooler months combining to 35% of annual signups. The month to watch out for is May, making up just 3.6% of new signups. Interestingly, throughout Australasia (Australia, New Zealand, Africa), the January signups figures are matched closely by July and August - the heart of winter. Again, May is the slowest month in the Southern Hemisphere; but it’ll pick up quickly as the days get cooler. Europe and the UK sees its peaks in signups in January; with June, July & November closely following. You’ll likely see signups slowing throughout March, April and finally May before signups pick up again drastically in June. Asia’s busiest month for signups is March, closely followed by January. August and November are also busy; however the month that you’ll need to watch out for is - you guesses it - May.
The Facts: When do Members Cancel?
April and January are the major culprits in the US - perhaps those New Year resolutions that don’t work out. Your retention is highest in June with an average of only 8 cancellations per gym. New Zealand and Australia’s cancellations are consistently high across the board; peaking in March with 31 per month, and dipping to its lowest rate of cancellations in May; with an average of 20.
How Can This Information Help me?
Working your promotions around knowledge of certain events and trends let you take advantage of the landscape across society and your industry. You can find this information specific to your facility in GymMaster’s reports, which will tell you which the better performing months in your gym are, and which are the quietest. Use this information. Plan your promotions around particular times of the year
- This data tells us that start of year rush doesn’t end as soon as January is over. Keep this in mind when allocating your advertising budget; service some of those decision makers still hunting for a good deal in March.
- When the quieter months hit, maybe it’s time to do some promotional push to get more new members through your doors
- Figure out why people are cancelling. Can you fix this? Can you create a promotion that would entice them to resign with you?
Work it to your advantage, quiet or busy. Remember that a little organisation can go a long way to managing and growing your business. See next week’s blog for more valuable insights.