As a fitness studio owner, you must’ve thought a couple of times about what all it takes to convert a complete stranger into a prospect, and a prospect into a paying customer.
Over time as you run your business, you often see some repetitions in this whole process of getting a stranger to try your services. This is what we call a sales cycle, here’s an instance:
If they join, they end up being your members and if they continue to opt for your services over a long period of time then they end up being a loyal customer.
Now, you must be somewhat aware of what all it takes to convert prospects into customers for you run a studio which cannot function without paying customers. And overtime this process would come off as something natural to you, because you know its means and you know its end.
Means = whatever it takes to persuade strangers into buying your service
End = making them long-term customers
Sales Funnel is a visual way of seeing your sales process, here’s a quick flashback of what a funnel is and how it works.
Sales Funnel is an age-old tool that businesses have used to see how well they are doing as far as bringing in new customers are concerned. If you don’t know it already, it’s pretty simple.
For starters, there are different stages in a funnel that reflect a customer’s level of association with your fitness studio. Let’s see this step-by-step.
That’s how you get yourself a new customer. If they stay for long and continue to use your service (or product), they become a loyal customer.
That’s how the sales funnel has worked over the years and worked pretty well too. However there’s something even better that we have today for you, which supersedes the funnel in many possible ways.
What is it? How does it work? How is it superior? To understand all this we first need to know the limitations of a typical sales funnel.
The typical sales conversion process has become atypical over the years. What earlier was thought as the ideal mechanism of converting a prospect has become out-dated over time.
That’s primarily because in today’s world the consumer is increasingly becoming reliant on referrals via friends, family, colleagues, social media, third-party reviews and word of mouth for making purchase decisions.
The primary limitation of the sales funnel is simple: it views customers as the end and not a means to an end which is -> bringing in more customers.
Sure your funnel can produce customers but it doesn’t take into account how those customers can help your business grow.
Statistically speaking, today 81% of buyers trust their families and friends for recommending a service and word of mouth is gathering immense importance.
In a world with decreasing differentiation between fitness services, people make buying decisions by asking their colleagues and friend, reading third-party review sites and searching for your fitness studio’s mention on social media.
The traditional funnel doesn’t account for the above stated factors, and fails to account for the number of conversions that can be done from an already satisfied customer.
The Fitness Growth Cycle has three essential components:
A Fitness Growth Cycle is circular because it uses the power of a happy customer to drive referrals and repeat sales so your business keeps spinning on just like the wheels of a cycle.
It’s pretty basic yet incredibly useful stuff. So for starters you use your existing marketing and sales strategies to Get customers. Once acquired you Manage them and once that’s done - you make efforts to Retain them by offering a great experience.
Result: A happy customer will ensure that he or she stays for long. He or she can further help in driving referrals for your studio and spreading a good worth of mouth in his or her local niches.
A network of such customers and several small niches when combined together can exponentially expand your studio’s outreach and potential customer base.
The amount of energy the cycle produces resonates with the kind of growth your business will see over a year in terms of profitability when you adapt to the Growth Cycle 101.
This energy depends upon two factors:
So to enhance your studio’s growth you need to pedal faster by pushing harder on areas that will create the greatest impact for your business. At the same time you must remove all obstacles that become a cause of friction for your success.
For instance let’s say a freemium model where you offer trials to customers before they join leads to more people trying out your studio. That means you are pedaling harder. At the same time if you are investing in a system that pushes out notifications to your customers from time to time, then you are reducing the possibilities of churn* and in turn the resistance in your wheels.
*churn = rate at which customers stop subscribing to a service
The more you increase the speed and reduce friction, the more you end up creating promoters of your business i.e satisfied customers who become an elemental force for your business and spin your growth cycle for you.
As mentioned before a growth cycle constitutes three elements:
For a fitness studio all three principles hold an elemental role in ensuring that the studio grows with the right pace. Let’s delve into each one of them.
Ask yourself this: how have you been getting customers to buy your fitness service till now. There must be a strategy that you have pursued before, right?
If you don't know the answer, then you must ask yourself this question again -> How do I get more customers?
You are able to acquire new customers via your marketing and sales strategy. Pushing out paid ads, spreading the word in the local circles, inviting close friends and family, offering discounts and using referrals.
In the Get Phase, what you need to do is create awareness of your service as much as you can, and attract prospects into trying out your studio. There are many ways to do that via offline and online mediums.
Here are some salient tips on a strong strategy to Get more customers:
Having your own branded fitness studio website that acts as a conversion machine for your studio is a great starting point for online marketing. A strong social-media presence is also necessary to ensure you reap the benefits of the virtual world.
Branded Fitness Website + Strong Social Media Game = More Bookings!
Bookee can help you build a solid website where visitors discover your services and get converted into customers with just three simple clicks.
An intuitive fitness website design that’s completely in line with your studio brand can help you stand out even in the most competitive market.
Check out our blog: "8 Ways to Win Big for Online Fitness Studios" for a comprehensive take on new-age marketing strategies for your online fitness business.
As far as sales are concerned, well you gotta keep selling to stay in business. Bookee assists you with simple tools necessary that break down any possible obstacles between you and your sale.
For starters, fitness studio owners via Bookee’s mobile apps and fitness website gain access to a Point of Sale (POS) counter where they can conduct quick purchases of classes, courses, gift-cards and much more for their customers.
The customers can also be incentivized to purchase long-term memberships or more credit packs using discount options which can be fully customized by the studio owners.
Ensure you have the right tools that help you boost up your conversion rate. Bookee offers you a Visual Lead Pipeline where you can see where a lead stands in your sales funnel, and track how your sales have been progressing.
You can even assign leads to staff members. This way your entire team collaborates together to convert new customers and make new sales without any confusion.
Managing a studio might seem difficult but it’s easier than you think only if you have the right means. A fitness studio’s key managerial elements are Memberships, Payments and Scheduling.
Each one needs to be given undivided attention in order to help your members feel valued and at ease with your fitness service.
Scheduling is the starting point for every studio. Without scheduling there won’t be any track of classes or attendance. It’s the ultimate management tool.
It’s important that studio owners have complete control over class schedules to manage their resources i.e. infrastructure, instructors and student turnout accordingly.
Bookee, a premier fitness scheduling software, assists studio owners with a personalized business dashboard where they can view the daily classes and student attendance in a single glance.
They can also create, modify or cancel a class as per their requirements.
The booking system is entirely online, which means that the customers via their mobile apps can book classes as per their convenience and the studio owners are instantly notified of the same. This eliminates any communication lag whatsoever.
Memberships are the means to convert an ordinary visitor into a customer. It is the bond that connects a studio to its user. Memberships are primarily of three kinds:
Bookee's business dashboard is a 24 x 7 online portal where studio managers can view every customer's profile, their class schedule, membership type, and all necessary details.
Managers can even pause memberships, edit them as they like or cancel them upon a member's request. It’s that simple, if you have a good management software.
A fast payment mechanism helps users make fast decisions, because even a second worth of delay can let second thoughts creep in. That means the faster the payment option is, the faster a studio generates revenue.
Bookee makes use of Stripe payments which is used globally and is popular for its safe, fast and diverse payment options.
Once you have a studio up and running, your sole focus should be to grow the bottom line while you explore all possible opportunities to increase profitability.
Profitability stems from more number of customers and that can happen in two ways:
We already have covered acquiring customers in the Get section. But when it comes to retaining them, it’s a different ball game altogether.
Look over your past customer records and take a moment to think why some customers chose to stay for so long, while others left immediately. You might arrive at one pinpointed conclusion: Customer Experience.
You need to offer your customers a once-in-a-lifetime fitness experience so they never wish to leave, and that can happen if you design and follow a specific retention strategy.
Here are some tools that can help your customers love your studio more.
Bookee offers you a specialised customer timeline where you can track every customer's user journey with your studio, from a lead up till a loyal customer.
Customer tagging is another useful feature to segment customers with your own created tags such as "Student", "Injury" etc. to help you understand their needs and offer a personalised experience.
A mobile app for your customer which is simple to use, helps them stay connected to your studio at all times. They can do literally everything with the studio app. They can discover and book your classes, workshops, instructors, and make easy, fast payments.
The mobile apps have an intuitive design. They are fun to use and empower customers to keep track of their own fitness needs while you get to save your admin hours.
You need a notification mechanism that is automated and helps you reduce your workload. Bookee does exactly that for you. With 40+ triggers, you can send out notifications for every possible customer activity.
You can literally customize each notification text and set the time frame when it should ideally be sent out, either via Push, Email or SMS.
Now here’s how the whole thing comes full circle. If you Get more customers, Manage them right and ensure that they have a great member experience, they will gradually help you in building a good reputation which will Grow your business.
They will talk to their friends and families about how awesome their studio is. They will spread the word around. They will recommend others. You will get more referrals. Good third-party reviews. Greater social media presence. More likeability. The feel good factor.
A fantastic fitness website. Easy to use studio apps. Once-in-a-lifetime user experience. People will appreciate that. People will want that. Things will start to connect. That’s how the cycle will start pushing itself. That’s how the gears will set it. That’s how you will grow.
And this, ladies and gentlemen is the Fitness Growth Cycle 101 for you.
Take advantage of Bookee's advanced software features that can hep you Get, Manage & Grow your business. Schedule a 15-minute call with us below.