January. It’s the month that yoga and fitness studios look forward to all year long. Millions of Americans are feeling glutinous after the holidays and excited to conquer their new resolutions. Here are the facts. In January 2016, MINDBODY clients saw a 22% growth in new customers compared to the end of 2015. Fitness businesses saw a 25% growth in new customers over the same time period. So what do you do about it? You’ve probably been working hard to ensure your brand is front and center when the newbies come looking for a coach, teacher or studio to help them reach their goals. They’ll flood in, fill your classes and get your hopes up that this year will be the best year ever. But then February comes, and March, and numbers decline….again. Why not make this year different? Create a plan to retain a large percentage of the new clients that start each new year. Here are a few ways you can make busy season revenue continue all year:
- Staff up for the season. Be sure to hire additional staff to handle the influx. Many of the new clients need hand holding, and you want to be prepared to make that possible. The more you connect with the clients, the more likely they are to come back. Once the client feels connected to your community, they are more likely to make your classes a part of their routine.
- Train your staff to ask the right questions and to understand the clients’ goals. Your staff can create a personalized plan for each student. Ensure that they are prepared to sell appropriate memberships and packages rather than letting the client default to the lowest commitment option on your menu.
- Incentivize new clients with an upsell offer after their first month. Create a strategic sales plan! Make phone calls, email offers and connect in person to let clients know that your studio will be offering a deal for clients that commit beyond January. And let them know you CARE about them reaching their goals along the way! (There are some great companies to help automate the email part of this process! Check out the MINDBODY Partners page)
- Host a challenge in February. Keep the momentum going by creating a fun, commitment focused challenge in February. Make it a big deal! Order a large sign up sheet to have by the front desk or in your locker rooms. Partner with other local businesses to offer prizes to challenge finishers. Talk about the benefits of taking regular classes on social media and in your newsletters. Have fun with it!
- Create a community event following the challenge in March. Make it a party! Work with local food and drink vendors and bring in live music. Get creative and engage with your members to see what they’d want. The new clients will be on a high and feeling great after all of the work they put in. Celebrate that and bring the community together.
By this point, visiting your studio will have become a habit for the new year newbies. You’ve made it attractive to join the community and your staff has made the new clients feel welcome and supported in reaching their goals. This is a great way to keep the revenue coming and to grow your studio! For more details on designing a commitment based program, or training staff to manage and engage with new members book your free 30 minute consultation with me.
Happy Healthy Holidays from Studio Solutions!