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Tackling Gym Seasonality – 5 Hedging Strategies

woman doing a plank in an almost empty gym that is suffering from gym seasonality

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Strategies for Tackling Gym Seasonality

Gym seasonality is the bane of many gym owners’ existence. The first of the year is a busy time, with people resolving to lose weight or get fit for the new year. Spring months are always great for business as well, as people work hard to look their best for the summer. Come autumn and early winter, though, things tend to slow as people’s focus shifts from their physical appearance to the holidays. 

Some gyms manage to weather the storm and keep their doors open year-round, but others are not so lucky. Smaller gyms, in particular, can often struggle to keep things going during the off-season. Without a stable customer base, their revenues start to dip, gym memberships begin to lapse, and they may even be forced to close their doors for good. What can you do to hedge against gym seasonality and keep your business afloat during the slower months? 

This guide provides 5 proven strategies to help weather the storm and improve gym retention and profitability.

What Is Gym Seasonality?

Gym seasonality is the cyclical nature of customer behavior in the gym industry. Just like retailers see a spike in sales during the holiday season, gyms see a similar spike in the spring and summer months. 

The warm weather and people’s desire to get beach-ready encourage them to sign up for gym memberships and purchase personal training packages. Gym attendance starts to drop as the weather gets colder and people’s focus shifts to the holidays. 

This cyclical nature of customer behavior poses a challenge for gym owners, who must find ways to keep their business going during the slower months. Understanding gym seasonality and how it impacts your business is the first step in developing a strategy to survive the off-season. 

How Does Gym Seasonality Impact Your Business?

Maintaining a steady stream of customers is essential for your gym’s growth, health, and overall success. Unfortunately, gym seasonality can make this difficult, as customer behavior ebbs and flows with the seasons. Here is the low-down on how gym seasonality can impact your gym business:

Revenue Dips

Your gym members are the lifeblood of your business, so it’s no surprise that a dip in membership can lead to a decrease in revenue. Your gym’s income will decline as people cancel their memberships or let their packages lapse. 

You’ll need to find ways to bring in new customers or improve customer retention to offset this loss in revenue. Research shows that a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to a 25%–95% increase in profits, so your business should focus on this.

Operational Costs Increase

Your revenue may take a hit during the off-season, but your operational costs will likely stay the same or even increase. You will still need to keep your gym open and running, which means paying for utilities, staff salaries, and other fixed costs. This increase in expenses can quickly eat into your profits and put your gym in the red if you’re not careful.

Customer Acquisition Costs Rise

Acquiring new customers is always challenging, but it can be even more difficult during the off-season. Fewer people looking to join a gym means you’ll need to spend more money on marketing and advertising to reach your target audience. This increase in customer acquisition costs can ultimately offset any savings you may have from reduced operational expenses.

These are just a few ways gym seasonality can impact your business. You may struggle to keep your gym afloat during the off-season without careful planning. Taking proactive strategies will help mitigate potential losses and keep your gym profitable throughout the year.

5 Proven Hedging Strategies to Tackle Gym Seasonality

Gym seasonality may seem challenging, but it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. You can use several strategies to hedge against the ebbs and flows of customer behavior and keep your gym business thriving all year round.

1. Get Creative with Your Marketing Strategy

Relying on traditional marketing methods like print ads and TV commercials is no longer enough to reach your target audience. There is a lot of noise and competition out there, so you need to get creative with your marketing strategy to capture attention and stand out from the crowd. 

Leveraging digital marketing channels like social media, email marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO) can help you reach more people at a lower cost. Do your due diligence to understand which channels your target audience is using and create content that resonates with them.

2. Offer Incentives and Discounts

Incentives and discounts are a surefire way to attract new customers and engage your existing members. Consider offering special deals on membership packages, personal training sessions, and merchandise during the off-season. 

Offering a discount on annual memberships or package deals can be a great way to entice people to sign up for a long-term membership. Be strategic in structuring these deals, as offering too much discount can quickly erode your profits.

3. Create a Unique Experience

People looking for a gym are not just looking for a place to work out. They’re looking for an experience that meets their individual needs and interests. Creating a unique experience starts with understanding your target audience and what they’re looking for in a gym. 

You can design custom programs, offer exceptional amenities, and create a customer-centric culture that keeps people coming back. A communication strategy is also critical for creating a unique experience. This means staying in touch with your members, understanding their feedback, and making the necessary changes to improve the customer experience.

4. Focus on Customer Retention

Current customers are spending 67% more than new customers, and acquiring a new customer costs 5–25 times more than retaining an existing one, so it’s clear that customer retention should be a top priority for gym owners. 

This means creating a system for tracking member engagement, identifying at-risk customers, and taking action to prevent them from leaving. It also means staying in touch with your members and understanding their needs and interests. Customers are more likely to stick around when they feel valued and appreciated.

5. Diversify Your Fitness Business Revenue Streams

You’re putting yourself at greater risk during the off-season if your gym’s revenue solely depends on membership dues. Diversifying your gym revenue streams can help buffer against the impact of seasonality, provide additional revenue to reinvest into your business, and create a more stable business model. Effective ways to diversify your gym’s revenue streams include:

  • Offering personal training services and family fitness classes
  • Selling gym equipment and merchandise
  • Renting out space for events
  • Launching an online fitness program

Incorporating the right marketing strategy, offering incentives and discounts, and diversifying your gym’s revenue streams can help you better manage seasonality and keep your gym business thriving all year round. What strategies are you leveraging to prepare your gym for the off-season?

Beat Gym Seasonality with Unbeatable Marketing and Business Consulting

Seasonality is a fact of life for gyms, but it doesn’t have to be a death sentence. Gym professionals at Loud Rumor can help you weather the storm with our unbeatable marketing and business consulting services.  

Our profitable marketing solutions are tailored to meet the specific needs of your gym and help you attract new members, engage existing ones, and improve your bottom line. 

We’ll work with you to create a customized plan that considers your unique goals, budget, and target audience. Ensure a steady stream of new leads and beat gym seasonality with our proven marketing solutions by contacting Loud Rumor today.

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Loud Rumor

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