In the last EQUIP blog post, I gave you a few ideas about how you can incorporate fitness trends into your overall service offerings. There’s one more important piece of the puzzle– when should you make changes to your offerings, and how often should you change up what you offer?
The when question can answer itself if you are presenting a workshop or a training series as a way to prepare for a specific event. Depending on your client population, most event-specific training programs are about 6 weeks long. Obviously, endurance events (such as a half-marathon or longer distance road or cycling race) require more training time. I don’t suggest shortening a training series to less than 4 weeks– you need long enough to build camaraderie in the group as well as adequately prepare the participants for the event.
Otherwise, when you offer a new service or class is going to be dependent on a few issues:
- Do you need to hire a new instructor?
- Do you need to order more equipment?
- Do you need to secure an appropriate space for the activity?
You need to give yourself at least a month to introduce your new service. This gives you time to promote it through your social media as well as through other marketing and PR channels. Furthermore, you want your regular clients to have time to adjust to the changes, particularly if the schedule for either classes or trainer availability is affected.
I suggest making changes to your offerings no more than once a quarter. People like stability and consistency, and if they get the feeling their trainer or gym is always changing things around, they may look elsewhere. If your business has a full slate of group exercise offerings, it’s particularly important to keep the schedule as stable as possible. This benefits “the regulars” who come to the classes as well as the instructors you depend on to teach them.
If you are new to the fitness business, keeping a stable schedule will help you grow your class attendance. Although it may seem like a waste of time and money to continue to offer a class where only a handful of people come, give the class a few months to create traction before wiping it from the schedule or moving it to a new time slot. And if scheduling group classes gives you a headache, try this fitness schedule template.
Change is hard, indeed. But it is also where growth lies. Go ahead and shake things up a few times a year. And ask for feedback so you can know how to please your market.
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