It’s the most wonderful time of the year—the magical season when you can kiss your black puffer jacket, hats and gloves goodbye until next winter (that is, if these northeast nor’easters ever end). No other season signals a fresh start like spring. As temperatures rise and trees and flowers come back to life, we feel ready to recommit to our fitness and wellness. For studios and gyms, spring brings with it opportunities for new beginnings, too. If you’re a studio owner, now’s the perfect time to do some spring cleaning to get your clients energized and counting down to summer. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Start with Your Space
When’s the last time deep cleaned and decluttered your studio? “As a business owner, spring is important because I can go through my business operations and do a full spring cleaning with it [which means] clean out the studios and eliminate things not used in storage,” says Paul Michael Rahn, founder and CEO of SWEAT in Chicago. Once the weather reaches more spring-like temps, choose a day for your big cleanup. Give staffers the heads up, order lunch and crank up some music to make it a fun team bonding experience. This is your opportunity to clean areas that are often neglected like windows, closets and office and storage areas.
Gina Mancuso is a physical therapist, trainer and founder of CoreFitness in Philadelphia, a mobile company that doesn’t have a brick and mortar location. But she still does a solid spring cleaning every year. “Our main ‘gym’ is the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art so we spend time keeping that public space clean, not only for our fitness community, but for everyone who comes to enjoy the museum and the awesome views of our city,” she says. “Instead of wiping down equipment, sweeping floors and cleaning mirrors, we are making sure the steps are clear of litter and the sidewalks in the area are free of any debris.”
A clear space brings with it clarity and a renewed sense of purpose.
Beyond cleaning, spring is also the perfect time to declutter and purge. Do you really need what’s in storage? Are you hanging on to extra T-shirts, water bottles or other things that have sat in a supply closet for months? Donating them will not only free your studio space but also find them a new owner(s) who will put them to good use. What about all the paper you’re using? If you hand out schedules and class updates on paper, consider posting that info on a board or screen instead. Less paper means less clutter which is good for the environment and your health. And a clear space brings with it clarity and a renewed sense of purpose.
Challenge Members to Spring Clean Their Fitness Routines
For many of us, spring marks a second chance to make good on our New Year’s resolutions. It also signals the countdown to bathing suit season. Think about how you can market a fresh start when it comes to working out. Rahn’s studio does a spring cleaning challenge ever year with members and potential clients. Not only is the challenge a strong revenue driver but it’s also a great way to get new clients into the studio come spring.
“We do a very strict 30-day challenge where we supply clean eating meal plans, 30 days of unlimited classes, and we utilize a machine called InBody to completed a before, middle and ending total body physical assessment that gives you weight, body fat percentage, and muscle gain percentages to track progress over 30 days,” he says. “We have done this three years in a row and each year we have more and more clients requesting this as a great kick starter to a spring of clean eating and good workout habits to gear them up for summer.”
Fine Tune Your Finances
Spring time also signals tax time, and that means it’s already the season to get your finances in order. “We get our taxes done and see how we did the previous year and make any adjustments we need to be more successful this year,” says Rahn.
Beyond year over year comparisons for the first quarter, the spring is also a good time to analyze your studio or gym’s profit and available cash. If you’re not already checking your weekly cash flow, you should start. Are your profits stuck in accounts receivable? Is there anything you can do—like adjusting the timing of monthly member billing or weekly deposits—that will help avoid a potential cash flow shortage?
Another key part of a financial spring cleaning is to review all your existing contracts. Are any up for renewal soon? Can you identify opportunities to save on any agreements? They key to getting the best possible deals is to start shopping for competitors early. If you’re happy with each contract, look ahead to renewal and think about possible enhancements. Can you get a discount for pre-paying for a service? You won’t know unless you ask.
Review Your Staffing Needs
When you review year over year numbers for the first quarter, look ahead to spring to see how busy you were during the past few years. Was your studio busier in the spring? Will you need more coverage or classes? Are there part timers who’re able to put in extra hours? While you’re looking at spring staffing needs, examine where you are with performance reviews and raises. It may not be the time for either but having a clear plan and timeframe is best for both for you and your employees.
Clean Up Your Email and Amp Up Your Social Media
Every spring, Rahn drives traffic to his site by running seasonal promotions across all his social media platforms. “Engage with clients via social platforms, run giveaways that are centered around how [members] are cleaning out their clutter this spring and relating it to health and wellness,” he suggests. Try giving away a free month or winning a chance to be a part of your studio’s spring fitness challenge. Beyond Facebook and Instagram spring promotions, make sure you push your spring campaign via email, too. And while you’re planning your email marketing, take the time to clean up your list of subscribers. Be sure to get rid of bounces resulting in inactive or invalid email addresses. Or send a special spring offer to subscribers who haven’t opened your email in a while. Dong some light cleanup is easy in most email clients and taking the time to do it will be worth it when you see your open and click through rates grow. In the end, an email cleanup is just another example of reenergizing your members and getting them excited for spring fitness and the countdown to summer.