The 5 Most Common Gym Owner Mistakes


Today I bring you…

The 5 Most Common Gym Owner Mistakes

1) Your prices are too low. 

If you don’t charge a sufficient amount for your services, you won’t be able to pay your staff well and have appropriate margins. Perversely, it will also mean more challenging clients that are less compliant.

So what’s “too low?”

This will vary from market to market and the number of spots per session you offer. But here are some (crude) guidelines*: 

  • For small group training, we like to see at least $300 average monthly revenue per client
  • For classes, we like to see at least $175 average monthly revenue per client

*NOTE: These numbers reflect direct monthly recurring revenue from members. In practice, the mature gym will have other ancillary revenue streams like merchandise, supplements, and add-ons like nutrition coaching. This will raise these averages as $20–$100 per client per month.

Need to fix your pricing but afraid of making your clients mad? 

Check out our Raise Your Rates Playbook HERE.

2) You expanded too soon.

This overly-optimistic expansion can take a number of forms:

  • Adding sessions before you really need to when utilization is low
  • Adding services (and the distraction and complexity) without sufficient demand
  • Moving to a larger space with no clear plan to monetize the new square footage
  • Adding a second location when your first space still has plenty of room to grow in revenue and profitability

A single prospect saying they’d “sign up for a year-long membership if you had X time on the schedule” doesn’t mean you should add it.

One full class time per day doesn’t mean you need a second location.

3) Your staff compensation is wrong.

Some gym owners pay their staff too much. When this mistake is made, no matter how hard you try, you can’t get the numbers to work. You won’t have a reasonable margin or appropriate income for the owner. 

This is a toughie. Cuz when this happens, it’s hard to unwind without collateral damage and pissed off trainers. 

For some helpful frameworks, check out this video HERE.

On the other hand, some gym owners pay their staff too little, then wonder why they can’t get or keep solid talent.

When in doubt, you’re best off having less employees being paid more. For more, check out this video HERE.

4) You spend money on the wrong things.

It’s amazing how many gym owners will stock their facility with fancy –– and expensive –– equipment that doesn’t meaningfully improve client results and/or their experience.

On the other hand, these same owners may be unwilling to spend money, or even time, on developing their business skills like marketing, sales, customer service, and leadership.

If you want better results with your business, it’s not going to happen because you bought sexy new toys. You’ll have to realistically assess how your business can be improved and take action. 

Not sure what to work on to improve your fitness business? Check out our Gym Owner Report Card HERE.

5) You ignore your most important asset.

It’s all well and good to get more leads and make sure people know you exist. But too many gym owners forget about their existing network of prospects, former clients, and family and friends. If you’re not communicating with them on the regular to build the relationship and stay top of mind? You’re missing a HYOOGE opportunity.

For more on how to build and organize a database of your contacts, check out this video HERE.

You can do it!


PS: Friday is the last day to get early bird pricing for BFU’s first-ever collab with Perform Better.

Join Pete Dupuis and me for the Gym Owner Masterclass.

It’s happening Fri Apr 26th and Sat Apr 27th in Warwick, RI at Perform Better headquarters.
For more details and to claim your spot, go HERE.