Making More Money in Your Fitness Business: Moving Beyond Pay-Per-Class

Ileana del Río

Relying only on pay-per-class in your fitness studio can lead to unstable income and lack of client loyalty. For example, one month your spin classes could be super popular, and the next month no one shows up because they all joined a rock climbing gym instead. To build a successful fitness business, having multiple income sources is key. Here's how diversifying your business can help it grow while keeping clients coming back.

The Problems with Pay-Per-Class Only

Unpredictable Income: Imagine your monthly income being as unpredictable as the weather. One sunny month, tons of people pay for your classes. But the next rainy month, hardly anyone shows up. This makes it hard to plan ahead or reinvest in your business, like hiring new instructors or buying better equipment.

Lack of Loyalty: Without a reason to commit long-term, clients may jump around from studio to studio. This week they take your spin class, next week they try Zumba somewhere else, and the week after they're at a different studio's yoga deal. This lack of loyalty prevents you from building a true community at your studio.

Expanding Your Services

Offer Memberships:

Steady Income: Memberships turn your income from a guessing game into reliable subscription revenue. Instead of wondering how many drop-ins you'll get, you know roughly how much you'll make from membership fees. This allows you to budget properly and make smart investments back into your business.

Community Feel: Memberships encourage clients to become regulars who feel at home. When they see the same friendly faces weekly, they feel part of a group. It's way more motivating to push through that last set of burpees when your workout buddies are cheering you on.

Add Value With New Services:

Personal Training: Offer customized one-on-one workout plans. Personal training helps clients achieve specific goals like training for a marathon, rehabbing an injury, or simply having a dedicated coach push them harder. You could bundle personal training into premium memberships.

Nutrition Coaching: Healthy eating goes hand-in-hand with exercise. Provide guidance on meal planning, grocery shopping, and general nutrition education. Whether group workshops, individual consultations, or a dedicated app, nutrition coaching adds tons of value.

Specialty Classes: Attract niche audiences with classes like "Yoga for Runners" or "Strength Training for Cyclists." These targeted offerings draw clients with specific interests. For example, a former marathoner could teach your "Yoga for Runners" class.

Hybrid Options: Combine the best parts of memberships, pay-per-class, and new services. Clients love flexibility, so give them options like:

  • A membership with unlimited group classes, plus discounts on personal training
  • Class packages they can use for any session type, plus nutrition app access
  • The ability to pay for just classes, or upgrade to a full membership with extras

Using Technology

Make It Easier With Apps & Online Booking: Classes are just a tap away with online booking and fitness apps that let clients reserve spots, track their progress, and even stream classes from home. No more showing up to a full class or forgetting to log workouts.

Build Online Community: Use social media and online groups to create virtual hangout spaces where clients can share journeys and motivate each other. For instance, a private Facebook group for members to swap healthy recipes, celebrate milestones, and encourage one another. You could even host live workout streams or Q&As with trainers.

Expand Beyond Your Studio

New Partnerships: Collaborate with local businesses or influencers to reach new customers. For example, offer guest passes or discounts bundled with a nearby juice bar, yoga studio, or rock climbing gym to attract explorers looking to try new workouts.

Outdoor Classes: Take classes to parks and beaches for a fresh air experience. A boot camp circuit in a scenic outdoor setting, or beachside yoga at sunrise can draw in clients who prefer not being cooped up indoors.

Corporate Wellness Programs: Companies want to keep employees healthy and satisfied. Offer on-site office classes, discounted memberships for employees, or lunch-and-learn sessions on work-life balance. Corporate wellness programs are a rewarding way to make extra income.

Keep Learning & Innovating

The fitness world is constantly evolving, so stay ahead of the game by continuously educating yourself on new trends like:

  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
  • Dance-inspired cardio workouts
  • Mindfulness practices like breathwork

Attend workshops, get new certifications, and network at conferences to trade ideas with other professionals on creative programming, marketing, and customer retention strategies.

Look outside the fitness industry too for inspiration. For example, maybe you could apply user experience principles from the tech world to make your app and booking system extremely user-friendly. Looking at different fields gives you a fresh perspective to innovate offerings that "wow" clients.

Key Takeaways

  • Have multiple income streams like memberships, pay-per-class, personal training, and more to stabilize your revenue.
  • Use technology like fitness apps and online booking to make it super easy for clients to access your services.
  • Build a strong community vibe, whether in-person or online, to turn casual clients into loyal, raving fans.
  • Keep learning about new fitness trends and seeking inspiration from other industries to continuously upgrade what you offer.

The path to a thriving fitness studio goes beyond just teaching classes. By diversifying your revenue streams, leveraging technology, building an engaged community, and always evolving your services, you create an environment where your business and clients can grow together for long-term success.

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Ileana del Río
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