The summer season can be a blessing and a curse for fitness professionals. Longer days and nicer weather means opportunities for new offers, one-off events, and increased participation. But it can also bring some risks. Here’s how to make summer work for you.
Pros and cons of summer season for fitness professionals
Juggling your PT diary
Depending on your client demographic, kids’ school holidays are likely to impact your diary. Some clients might ask to change their regular slot for the summer months, so think about how you’ll accommodate this and handle the conversation about reinstating the original arrangement come September.
Class schedules over summer holidays
The summer season brings pros and cons for your class schedules. You might be able to put on extra sessions thanks to lighter mornings and evenings. But during school holidays, “peak times” typically won’t apply (day time classes might see an uptick in attendance).
Think about the changes you should make to your schedule (remove the 6am class and add an 11am instead?) and how you can capitalise on the opportunities of longer days and looser schedules.
Fluctuating income from PT clients
If you offer 1-2-1 PT or small group, it’s very likely that your client schedule will be impacted by summer holidays, or by parents needing to cancel classes due to childcare. This will have a knock-on effect on your income (as PT session packs take longer to use up). Consider buffering the impact by charging for “at home” workouts or programming that clients can do at home or whilst away on holiday.
Changes to participation numbers
You could see your class numbers go up or down over Summer months as clients take annual leave, stay home with the kids, or get inspired to try a new fitness class whilst it’s sunny. Make sure you’re prepared with the necessary onboarding, systems, and follow-up to retain as many of those clients as possible.
Financial impact on class income
Summer holidays can have an impact on class participants, too. They might ask to pro-rata their membership because they’re going away for two weeks of the month. Or they might cancel their membership altogether, promising to pick it back up when the kids are back at school.
Think ahead so you’re prepared for these conversations. How will you say “no” to the request for a pro-rata month, without damaging the relationship? If a client cancels for the summer, how will you retain them? Think about maintaining contact and developing a strong outreach strategy as summer comes to an end.
Offering memberships is a way to mitigate some of the unpredictability of your income throughout the year. Take a look at our tips on how to make that happen in our blog, How To Take Time Off When You Offer Memberships.
Temporary reduction in overheads
Whether you train outdoors or in a facility, you’re likely to see a temporary reduction in overheads from heating, lighting and property for the summer months. Plan and budget for this additional profit.
Launch new offers for Summer
Better weather and longer days are a great opportunity for you to launch new offers. These could be temporary, tied to the summer season, or a long-term venture that you get off the ground in these more favourable months. Obvious ideas include bootcamp sessions, retreats, and outdoor training.
But you could also consider adding value to your memberships during summer months – a running club or other outdoor activity would be a low-cost option that adds value for existing members and acts as a good retention tool for people who might drop off in the summer.
If you are appropriately qualified, why not run short term class packs for kids (separately or as an add on to their parents’ memberships). This works well for parents who are trying to force their kids outside over summer break, but aren’t sure where to send them.
Looking for more ideas to boost or keep your income up over the summer months? Check out our blog 7 Income Streams That Will Boost Your Profits (Without Burning You Out).
Boost cash-flow with one-off events
Summer offers you the opportunity to run larger one-off events like fitness retreats or workshops. One-offs are a great way to temporarily boost your cashflow and keep members interested. Think about what type of event your members would enjoy and benefit from most. Consider opening it up to non-members as a sales tool, too.
Introduce team challenges
Capitalise on local fitness-themed events to offer your member’s a little healthy competition over summer. Obstacle course races, the local 5K run, a visit to an aqua park can all be motivating, bonding, and highly social.
Keep members connected with social events
Finally, why not organise a summer BBQ, picnic, quiz or other social event to keep members connected with each other and with your facility over the summer months. Social events are a relaxed way for members to stay in touch, and can work well as a retention tool for those who are taking their foot off the gas because of holidays.