How to prepare your fitness business for the new year

Find out how fitness instructor Jake Allen prepares his business for the new year and the January rush.

Find out how fitness instructor Jake Allen prepares his business for the new year and the January rush.

I'm Jake and I am the founder of JPT fitness. I come from a rugby background and from that really developed a passion for fitness. I realised there was a lot of things wrong in the fitness industry, and I wanted to help change that. I got certified straight out of university and began learning from other people how to build a business and community.

For me starting my business was about creating a program where people could come together and bring all the positive aspects of fitness together. To create a really safe space for people to come to train and enjoy themselves. The business today is for larger groups and that definitely comes with positives and stuff you have to work around but ultimately it's always about bringing together the community.

Jake leading an outdoor training session.

What are some of the ways you are preparing for the end of the year new year rush?

It's a massive period in the fitness industry. Straight away, we're concentrating on client retention and looking after our current members now, because this can be a period where people are enjoying themselves and rightly so, so we want to make sure we support them through that and make sure they're still getting results and getting that balance in.

Number 2: We look at our marketing. We're giving people value. We'll help them through different streams of "how to enjoy your Christmas socials" and all that kind of stuff. We'll have a big push in terms of marketing and advertising from the end of December.

Definitely, in terms of attendance, attendance drops in December which is a massive one. We're constantly looking at how we can combat that. We've just rolled out a pre-Christmas 28-day challenge. We realised that we're going to enjoy ourselves at that period, but let's have some really good focus. So we can go into the holidays not feeling guilty, not that we should anyway, but we can enjoy ourselves.

Some of the holiday trends can be bad trends, so we want to make sure that our clients are getting a good balance.

What resources do you use to help you prepare for new rushes and periods of change in your business?

The massive one is the FBDA and their masterminds. I can't speak highly enough of them. They are really good and give really good guidance. For me, my skills are in the marketing and sales side of things, so I take from what I have learned in the past and put that in place.

What marketing strategies do you rely on before the January rush?

We always have marketing strategies and plans, and already for January and before, have ads planned. We might also do some leaflet strategies where we actually go and go out and meet people in the local community, but it's more about providing value through social media.

Find out how Jake makes the most of the January rush

What advice do you have for coaches evaluating this past year and what to do in the new year?

My main advice for coaches is definitely have someone that you can speak to and refer to, a mentor or something like that is absolutely huge. I definitely don't know where the answers are and I'm sure that person probably doesn't as well, but having someone you can run ideas off is huge. There are going to be tough days and that's part of running your own business. Being able to manage that, looking after yourself, staying positive and the good days come, we'll get through this.

What is your typical new client journey? How do you prepare them for your program?

First of all, it's a big step for someone to put themselves out there and opt-in to come and speak to you. Our number one role at the start of the client journey is to make them feel comfortable and to appreciate where they're at and to meet them there and then we'll get them in for a free session.

One thing that we're really massive on is that that session is going to be very welcoming. We focus on technique a lot in that first session, we don't beast them in that first one or anything. We want them to come and enjoy themselves. Then they'll get to know the team. We pair them with one of our ambassadors who we know is going to be a really great set.

The next step in the customer onboarding journey is to have a chat and usually, they want to jump in and get involved. We go through that onboarding process and get them onto TeamUp where we collect their details, medical details and get it all secured on that. We then take the payment and then enrol them in our 30-day program. Retention is important so once they finish the 30-day program they'll roll into the post-program monthly membership.

It's all about making sure that they set those initial 30-day goals with us, and then coach them through and focus, set some more, and set achievable goals for the short, middle, and bigger goal long term.

Keep reading for Jake's tips and advice for coaches in the new year

What are some of the positives and challenges you have experienced managing clients and keep in mind at the start of the year?

The positive side is that in every session we bring together 10 to 20 people who come motivated, smiling, and are welcomed into a really nice atmosphere at the sessions. And that has developed into friendships with each other outside of the sessions, and we also run socials every month for our different classes. It builds really nice energy and is a good focal point for people to get into. That's really positive.

I'd say the challenges of managing client relationships and being in a bigger group, it's really important that people still get that technique aspect and they're still training in a safe way. We've worked really hard at making sure that they don't get lost in that bigger group, which is super important that they're still getting that touch time with a coach.

Another side of things, which is where TeamUp comes in is the fact that we've got loads of people that we need to make sure are getting what they want from the program. Checking whether they show up, making sure they're happy. We've got all their details. We've got all their medical information so that they're safe. And that we're providing the service that they want.

What is your advice for business owners who are still struggling from the pandemic?

We have already gone through three lockdowns here in the UK. There might be another one, but we'll keep going. We'll get through it. I think it's one of those things where if we like, look at what's going on in terms of COVID, we're going to drive ourselves and saying, I think we're the best thing we can do is have stuff in place, ready to go for when, and if we get shot down again, but I think people are looking at.

It should be unity, like a place to stay fit. Like people have never been more aware of that health and staying fit and healthy. So I think we're in a strong position as an industry. It's just how we deliver that service when, and if it goes along again.

 

I think people are craving service and support massively. People are putting their health as a priority and are prepared to pay a bit more money to get that guidance and support, so I think Bootcamps and small group PT is the way to go. The whole idea of hundreds of people in the same space within a confined stuffy gym, people didn't think about that previously. Now they'd rather go into smaller settings or outside and have safety protocols in place. You're never going to go into a commercial gym and be welcomed by someone who on your first, by your first name, who knows exactly where you're at, what you're struggling with. Who knows you as a person, so it can tailor a session to that. You're not going to get that in a commercial gym. And I think that's well worth paying a little bit.

Thanks for sharing, Jake! Learn more about Jake and JPT Fitness on Facebook and Instagram.

Video: Why Jake chose TeamUp for his bootcamp business

 

We found that we were missing stuff. We weren't sure where people were, whether they were showing up, whether their payments were going through. We started looking for a system where that was all-encompassing and so far and into the future TeamUp has been brilliant for that.

Get ready for the new year and find out what fitness trends to expect in 2022 here.