By: Jesse Campanaro, National Sales Manager for Total Gym®
From 2007 to 2010, the largest increases in personal training offerings were for small group and partner sessions, according to IDEA Health and Fitness Association. IHRSA’s list of 2011 Fitness Trends predicts that personal training will move away from one-on-one sessions toward small group or semi-private training. This year, clubs will continue to pave the way with dedicated multi-client training programs that engage members and help build camaraderie at the right price.
Here are “5 Core Strategies” for running a sustainable and profitable small group training program:
#1 Develop programs with a start and end date. This strategy creates a progressive program with continuity and allows for member camaraderie and socialization. Facilities benefit from a program that is easier to manage on a small group schedule and a simpler way to track and compensate trainers.
#2 Maximize program capacity and profitability. The key here is FULL sessions, not MORE sessions. This way you can consistently evaluate your supply/demand ratio and focus on selling out a program before launching it. Identify a pricing structure that is affordable during the initial launch. For example, if you have 4-6 participants, charge 1/2 the cost of one individual personal training session. Entice first-time buyers with specials and promos.
#3 Implement sales and marketing initiatives. “Waterfall” your program start days, which allows you to sell each week and quickly integrate new members. Use a “SOLD OUT” marketing strategy to drive member interest and create urgency to buy now. Use in-club marketing and free passes to drive awareness and participation.
#4 Optimize your small group schedule and space. Create a small group training space on the fitness floor where people can see, and not in the Group X studio, where the mental mindset is “free” exercise. Choose equipment that is versatile, functional and that members will be successful using – e.g., Total Gym products, suspension training and other functional training tools.
#5 Position your team for success. A small group training program sets your trainers up for profitability, your facility will net more per program and the cost to the member is less than individual personal training. Appoint a dedicated small group champion to lead the charge! Choose trainers who are comfortable working in this environment and group instructors who are also certified personal trainers.
Total Gym’s premiere fitness program GRAVITY® offers unparalleled program variety, helping drive revenue to the bottom line of your business by optimizing trainers’ time and expertise. GRAVITY puts Total Gym incline bodyweight trainer equipment to maximum use. Come see our NEW Total Gym product line debuting at IHRSA 2011 in San Francisco! Watch this video
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As the National Sales Manager for Total Gym®, Jesse Campanaro has first-hand experience coaching success in small group training. He has helped hundreds of clubs around the world launch successful small group training programs with GRAVITY®, Total Gym’s premier fitness program.