The bustling holiday season is coming to an end and your customers and prospects are making their health-conscious New Year’s resolutions — busy season in the fitness industry has arrived. This is the time of year when nutrition and fitness goals are top of mind and everyone is now taking action on those goals. Time to amp up the energy and win over new clients!

January is by far the business month of the year when it comes to visiting a fitness studio, which means you need to focus on your marketing and promotion efforts — and be prepared for a buzzing schedule and an influx of new clients. Here is a guide on how to best prepare for the busy season as a fitness professional.

Build and solidify your staff and class schedules ahead of time

Now that attendance will be at an all-time high, class and employee schedules are critical to map out. Stay up-to-date on your instructor and staff schedules to ensure there are no big gaps to fill in your class calendar. Build out a robust class schedule so there are enough classes at peak hours of the morning and evening to accommodate the increase in attendance throughout the week. You should also have a substitute teacher plan in place so that if an instructor can’t come in at the last minute, you have several backup teacher options so the booked classes will still go on. 

Prioritize keeping your facility clean, safe and organized

When you have prospective clients walk in your door you definitely want to impress them with a clean, warm and welcoming studio space that makes them want to become a member. From the moment they are greeted in the lobby to their experience in the locker rooms, bathrooms and workout studio, they will be looking for a clean environment that makes them feel zen and comfortable. The studio ambiance is important for new client acquisition and retention. 

If you have fitness equipment such as spin bikes or pilates machines you should regularly monitor the equipment to ensure everything is working properly and safe to use, especially fitness equipment used at higher volumes throughout the week.

Train your staff on new student etiquette 

As you sign up brand new studio members, you will need to have a new student etiquette process in place so that your staff can help new clients feel relaxed and excited. You should create class prerequisites for your more advanced classes, and recommend a class ramp-up plan to those who are just learning as beginners. Your staff should be well-prepared to address new student questions and help new students learn the correct workout forms and flow of the class. You can even build out fitness infographics to help new clients visualize the proper movements and positions.

Design and order more studio retail to increase retail sales

The busy season is the perfect time to amp up your studio retail offerings and ideate promotional incentives that will increase your retail sales. As you welcome new studio visitors, you will naturally have a lot more opportunities to sell them studio-branded retail such as fitness gear, eco-friendly water bottles, socks and workout bags. You might want to think about offering new members a retail discount such as 20% off your retail order during your first month as a member. 

Your studio gift cards should be available for purchase online and in-studio

During the busy season, many of your clients will want to incentivize their friends and family to come join a few classes by gifting them with a class bundle or credit. You should have your branded gift cards ready and available for purchases in-studio and on your website. Gift cards are an effective way to sell more at retail, get more people in the door as a trial and ultimately sell more memberships. 

Offer new client promotions and referral programs

Since prospects are most likely shopping around for a fitness studio during this peak season, it’s important to have new client promotions and packages in place to incentivize them. You might also want to have a few “bring your friend for free” classes available to get more referrals in the door. You can also put a referral program in place to reward members for recommending your studio to their friends and family. 

Promote your fitness studio online and at community events

During the busy season, you should use every opportunity available to promote and market your studio online and at community events. You should be active on your social media, blog and online advertising channels. Staying active in your community increases your brand awareness and will help you acquire even more new clients when they are in fitness shopping mode. 

You can never be too prepared for the fitness busy season, so start planning ahead to align with your customer’s newfound energy, expectations and fitness goals. The busy season is an important time to jump-start your annual revenue goals, acquire new customers and focus on customer retention.