What’s the #1 Problem for your Gym? OBSCURITY!

July 29, 2014

By: Jim Thomas
President/Founder of Fitness Management and Consulting

That’s right! We see it frequently in clubs. No one knows that you’re out there and those that do don’t have you at top of mind. Many clubs are only doing a couple things to drive guest traffic and most do not have a specific plan for retention. They vastly underestimate what it will take to avoid obscurity and attract attention to themselves.

We received a call from a gym owner recently. He said he had been going back and forth to our web site and considering hiring us to help him get his gym back on track. When asked what finally prompted him to call, he said a guest came into his gym the previous evening, was very impressed and joined. Upon joining, they said, “this club is the best kept secret in town.”

Is your gym the best kept secret in town?

Here is the simplest and easiest way to begin your quest to avoid obscurity, attract attention and stay top of mind;

Get yourself a Club App. Market and promote to your member base. Follow up with club guests that did not join.

  1. You must get people to download your app. Too many clubs don’t have a club app…and those that do aren’t doing enough to get people to download it.   Include a paragraph in your new member letter letting your new member know this is your primary communication tool with members…such things as inclement weather, class changes, special offers, etc. For people who do not join, let them you provide information on the club app on how to lose weight and stay in shape.
  2. Prime Real Estate. How many people have a smart phone? If watching people at the airport or in restaurants is any indicator, it seems like everyone does. So, your message is pushed to the best of all real estate – right in the palm of the members or prospects hand.
  3. Geo-Fencing. You set your club app to deliver a push notification every time your member enters you gym with encouragement to take a class, try a personal trainer, bring a friend or maybe a discount on a smoothie when they are done working out. Or how about this, every time your member gets within a specified distance from your competition, they get a notification reminding them about your gym?
  4. Club Concierge Service. This is a great way to improve member loyalty (member retention). Notifications to encourage regular attendance. Celebrate birthdays, membership anniversary dates along with announcements of members who are getting great results. Use your app as the primary source of member communication for changes in schedule, weather related closing or anything exciting going on at your gym
  5. Resource Center. This is a great follow up tool for those that don’t join your club right away. Provide daily tips on exercise and proper eating for those that travel, have limited time, are trying to do it on their own. This will help with member retention along with staying at top of mind for prospects that may eventually join your gym.
  6. Motivation. Daily affirmations to help keep everyone excited and focused on getting results at your gym
  7. Sell a membership (or anything else). Of course, links to sell membership, personal training, etc.

17 Templates to Streamline Communication With Your Members in 2024


Check out Club Apps at And by the way, our new app will be released soon. Follow us on Twitter @GymConsultant for details.

Now, go attract attention to your gym!

Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting and turnaround firm specializing in the fitness and health club industry. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars and workshops across the country on the practical skills required to successfully build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. Visit his Web site at: