As a business, you must first and foremost cater to your customers. Without customers you have no business; this is a universal truth. So when deciding what fitness classes your gym offer, the key focus should be on what your customers and potential customers would want.
Of course, there are other factors that are important, but customers are always the priority. If you’re needing a bit of a hand determining what fitness classes you should offer as an instructor, here are some factors you’ll want to explore to help you decide.
Know your demographic
You should have a pretty good idea of who your members are. Does your facility cater to a specific demographic? If so, is it in line with who you currently attract? If not, it’s still a crucial exercise to conduct.
Who comes to your facility? Are they mostly students, business professionals, seniors, women? To effectively decide what classes to offer, you first need to know who you’re targeting. For instance, you may not want to offer gentle Tai Chi if you’re attracting or looking to attract students. While some may enjoy the class, as a whole it’s not the ideal target group for Tai Chi, which might be better suited for a senior crowd.
Time of day
The time of day will also impact what classes you choose to offer. Using our previous example, if you were to offer Tai Chi to seniors, you’d probably offer it during the day. Lots of seniors are retired and would probably appreciate taking a class while the gym is a little quieter, as opposed to peak times.
If, on the other hand, you’re offering a class targeting business professionals, you’d want to aim for either morning, lunchtime, or after work. If you decided to offer a lunch time class, you’d likely offer an express (shorter) class, so as to allow for those who work to come during their lunch hour. By offering classes at times that are convenient for your target group, you can count on a higher turnout.
Time of year
If it’s summer time you might consider offering an outdoor class; members appreciate the variety. If you were to offer a class at the beginning of the New Year, something like a boot camp may work well. People often make resolutions to get in shape, and a boot camp is something that sounds like it would help them achieve those goals. Always try to stay ahead of the curve by thinking of ideas that would work with specific times of the year. If you can tie it to a theme then you might generate more interest.
What are your competitors offering?
It’s essential to keep track of what your competitors are doing. This doesn’t mean that you don’t need to be doing the same thing, it just means that you can draw inspiration from what other people are doing successfully. Say Gym A offers a popular spin class but you’ve heard there’s a waiting list to get in – perhaps by offering a spin class yourself you could be filling a gap in the market. This way you already know that there’s a demand for it.
Do a trial
If you’re not sure of what classes to offer, you could always do a trial day or week where members can come and try out different types of exercise. This way you’ll get to see which classes are well attended and which ones have high energy.
Do a survey
Another great way to decide what classes to offer is by asking your members for their feedback. Create a survey that lists several class options and ask them which they would be most interested in. Compile the results and see what the top three class choices are. Make sure to include some extra lines where they can mention other suggestions. Maybe you missed some options, or perhaps you’ll discover a new form of exercise that’s worth looking into.
Cost should always be a factor in your business decisions. Your members may tell you that they would love it if you offered a Pilates reformer class, but if you don’t have the proper equipment you’d have to consider if it’s worth buying. How much is the equipment? How long would it take to pay off? Would you have to charge more for this class to make it worth it? These are the kinds of questions you’ll have to ask yourself before deciding if it’s worth it.
You may decide that you’d love to offer your members Zumba because you think it’d be popular. But if you don’t have qualified instructors to teach the class, you’d either have to hire a new instructor or be willing to get training for your current staff.
Who knew there were so many things to think about when deciding what fitness classes to offer? In reality it’s important to ask yourself these questions and assess what the data is telling you. In doing so, you make informed decisions about what’s best for your business while adding value to your existing members, and hopefully attracting new ones!