Let’s say it’s your off season. How do you handle a dip in revenues?
Some professionals have enough recurring monthly revenue already in place so they can take a hit to the top line and they use the slow season productively. They take a much-needed vacation to recharge themselves or they do in-service training for their staff or they get a thorough cleaning of the studio.
Others are living hand-to-mouth with their business. They feel they’re doing all they can, so, a dip in business simply means making less money during the off season. They gut it out and accept the pain and feel that’s just the nature of the beast.
Are those your only choices?
What To Ask Yourself First
We think you’ve got another choice. Before you answer that question up top -- “How do you handle a dip in revenues?” -- first ask yourself another question.
It’s a pointed and difficult question, but you have to be brutally honest with yourself: Have you really maxed out your potential market yet?
If you live in a town with 5,000 prospective clients in it, were you really marketing to all of them, and in a way likely to generate interest in your facility? We’ve found with many of our clients, once they get marketing consistency, will often have best months ever during so-called "slow seasons".
That’s because these fitness professionals are improving their marketing chops every day, applying new tools and resources, and just flat-out getting better at driving in leads. Their business is growing in times of feast and continues to grow in times that used to be famine, because they haven’t maxed out their market potential yet.
Steps You Can Take
How can you improve your marketing consistency during off or slow or dry seasons and drive in additional revenue? Here are a few answers that other fitness business owners have found effective:
- Look for untapped potential for your primary target market. Are you doing any public speaking? Do you have any presence at local events? Do your marketing materials offer real value to potential clients to build their interest--or are they just a pitch? Are you following up? Look at your current channels and see what you could be doing, but aren’t.
- Bridge the gap with marketing campaigns. This is a great time to run quick-hitting marketing campaigns to generate interest. Our clients usually run a 21-day marketing campaign or a marketing campaign to keep bringing in leads. We promise: People still want to lose weight, look better, and have more energy during slow months, especially summer months. In fact, some of our clients are coming up with vacation fitness plans for their clients.
- Go after an alternative target market. The whole world is not on the same schedule. Our coaches will frequently look at alternative target markets and offerings to bridge a deficit. Say the primary offering is sports performance training for 50-65 year-olds and you have consistent business September through May, but summer is the “slow season.” A secondary target market could be group bootcamps focusing on women 35-45 and run them in May through July to create additional revenue. Additionally, schedule early morning and after working hours slots for working professionals, while retired people can fill your facility during the day, when it’s normally empty.
Bottom line: You don’t have to just gut it out. The opportunities are out there, even in off seasons. Figure them out, grab them and go.