The good news is you don't have to feel like you're in for the dog days of empty gym floors and bank accounts as much as you might think. With some diligent homework and preparation, you can have a hot summer too. The first thing is to know your numbers. Knowing what you did last year before going into this year can help you see what worked, and what needs some help.

Once you get a good idea of where you are in relation to your goals, you can develop a strategic plan to reduce the potential hit of the warmer months.

PLAN FOR SUCCESS

Many owners, personal training managers as well as the trainers themselves “give up” in the summer months. They perceive that their clients will not want to train indoors as much, will take long weekends and miss sessions, will take vacations and either miss sessions or purposely train less to make up for what they will spend on their vacation. But with some innovative scheduling, your trainers and their clients can have a busy “slow” season.

Programs can be started now, and/or during the season. Offered to the community as well as existing members will help stimulate membership sales, increase your retention as well as new training revenue.

PRE-SEASON

Before the really warm weather hits, plan several “pre-season” options for your members and clients (such as Get in Shape for the Beach, or Triathlon Training). These can be six-week programs, focusing on specific components of fitness needed for these events.

Networking with businesses in the community which cater to similar sports (clothing, gear, etc.) can get you free advertising and potential participants through cross-promotions.

COORDINATING THE PRE-SEASON WITH THE SEASON

One option you may want to consider is to arrange these “pre-season/get-in-shape-for” programs to run right into another program during the summer months. For example, you can start the pre-season cycling program, and then as the summer gets closer, plan a cycling trip followed by a breakfast at your facility.

Any of these programs can have an educational component. You could advertise and market that you will be offering a cycling program, and start with a free two-hour lecture on the benefits of cycling, explain a little about proper preparation, nutrition, injury prevention, etc. This can be offered to the community and thereby get free advertising.

Contact Annette Lang, M.S., at (212) 330-7570 or anet711@aol.com.

SLOW TIME?

Summer Programming Ideas

  • The beach
  • The Mountains
  • Cycling Trips
  • Triathalons
  • Family Reunions
  • Numbers to Know

  • Gross income from last summer
  • Net income from last summer
  • Basic summer membership traffic numbers
  • Basic full-year membership traffic number