As the fitness industry grows, so do does the kind of facilities on offer and many gyms have to consider, as a local business, who they are targeting.
Some people are looking for a basic, no frills environment (sometimes known as spit 'n' sawdust gyms) where they don't require much in the way of facilities or 'all singing all dancing' equipment, just some heavy weights will do!
Then at the other end of the spectrum, you have those that are looking for a boutique gym.
Not heard of these?
Well, they are pretty new to the industry but have been growing in popularity. They tend to focus on fitness classes being held within a more luxurious environment with very knowledgeable trainers.
Their aim is to build a community and they are currently viewed as the more trendy offering which caters to those wanting an experience from their fitness regime.
Many independent gyms are having to innovate their offering to entice new members and retain those that they have. By understanding your current and potential customers in the local vicinity puts you in a far stronger position to grow your business.
For example, you could find you get an upsurge of members by offering creche facilities or a cafe. The low cost, chain gyms don't tend to offer these kind of benefits but they could be the exact thing that proves most popular with those in your community.
Facilities to one side, one thing that has shown to be most important to your members is the friendliness of your gym.
A recent study by Mintel showed that 40% of members won't cancel their membership if they have made a friend and that their biggest bugbear was staff not speaking to them.
The community feel of the boutique gyms is one of the reasons why they are on the rise.
People are, for the most part, sociable so by creating a friendly environment will keep them coming back. Coupling that with the facilities most important to them ensures you'll stay ahead of the game when it comes to competing with the chain gyms.