Every fitness pro has probably lived paycheck to paycheck at one point in his career. It can feel like feast or famine when it came to juggling clients. Certain times of the year, you might have to turn clients away because you just can't accommodate them all. Other times of the year you are begging current clients to refer a friend, to refer ANYONE.
This is a common problem for personal trainers, group exercise instructors, and even nutritionist. Our bread and butter is the New Year’s resolution months. Some of the worst months are during the summer when clients take vacations or when the kids are out of school and clients want to spend their trainer money on other things. I have highlighted some ideas for keeping the cash flowing and your business stable during the slower parts of the year.
Client schedules are the number one factor affecting your financial stability and it is essential to develop a monetary strategy well in advance. One of the first things I do is to map out my clients time off as far in advance as possible. This can be difficult when you are building your client database and don’t have long standing appointments. But even with short-term or new clients, asking about vacations or work travel is smart business planning.
Most trainers experience their slowest times during the summer and around the holidays. This can be a perfect time to plan your own vacations so you aren’t having to cancel too many training appointments. Run promotions during this down time to drum up business that you might not be able to handle during the busy seasons. Many clients like to purchase training sessions during the holiday season for their loved ones. This could be the perfect time run package deals where larger packages are more affordable. More sessions increase revenue and give you more time to get that client hooked on your service.
Another idea is to run training promotions during off seasons such as golf performance classes during the winter. I can’t tell you how many golfers will jump on your mobility classes if you guarantee to increase their drive to 250+ yards.
Kiddie Cash In
Many clients cancel summer training sessions because the kids are out of school and they felt guilty about spending time in the gym. So why not create a parent and child training session or group class? I’ve heard of “mommy and me” training sessions where clients work up a sweat with their little ones. Last time I checked running with a stroller and squatting with a 30 pound toddler was a workout in its self!
A great class idea is to have parents and older kids run through sport specific conditioning drills. This is a fun way to have mom or dad bond with their child and who doesn’t love seeing their client running suicides. Another training idea is to market a “mommy meltdown” class, which is designed to keep mom a little more Zen during those summer months. Some moms may need yoga, breathing exercises, and tai chi. Other moms may need a full on aggressive onslaught of tire flips, medicine ball slams, and bleacher sprints.
Other ways to cash in on the kids, is to look for part time work relating to youth sports. Many summer schools, youth camps, sports groups and even physical therapist may be looking for help to manage the summer influx.