Setting up a winning pricing strategy for gyms & studios

In the world of fitness, you help people achieve their physical goals. But behind the scenes, there's another crucial aspect to consider: your business's financial health. And a key player in that game? You guessed it – your pricing strategy. 

Creating a successful pricing strategy is a cornerstone for any thriving fitness business, whether you manage a gym, specialised studio, or your own independent coaching venture. It is crucial to strike the perfect balance between affordability for clients and profitability for your business. Like that perfect workout plan, it needs to be tailored to your target audience, deliver value, and keep you on track for success. In this article, we'll guide you through the steps to develop an effective pricing strategy that can help your fitness business flourish.

Defining your business value proposition

Your value proposition is what sets your fitness business apart from the competition. It's essential to communicate this clearly to justify your pricing. What makes you unique? Boutique yoga studio with Himalayan salt lamps? High-tech CrossFit box? The concept of value-based pricing considers the value your services provide to clients. Whether it's state-of-the-art equipment, specialised training programs, or if your offerings significantly improve clients' health, well-being, and quality of life, your unique selling points should be reflected in your pricing.

Go beyond, build value

Remember, pricing is just one piece of the puzzle. It's about the entire client experience. Here's how you can amplify your value proposition:

  • Exceptional customer service: From friendly greetings to knowledgeable staff, create an environment that keeps people coming back.
  • High-quality equipment and facilities: Invest in well-maintained equipment and a clean, inviting space. People pay for a premium experience.
  • Results-oriented approach: Showcase success stories and client testimonials to demonstrate the effectiveness of your services.
  • Trainers expertise: If your trainers have advanced certifications or specialise in niche areas, this can justify a higher price point.
  • Community and support: Creating a supportive and engaging community can be a strong selling point, particularly for niche markets like CrossFit or yoga studios.

Understanding your market and audience

The first step in setting up a pricing strategy is to understand your market and audience. This involves identifying who your potential clients are and what they are willing to pay for your services. Who are you trying to attract? Busy professionals seeking a quick fix? Budding bodybuilders? Market research can provide valuable insights into the demographics, preferences, and spending habits of your target audience. Understanding your ideal client unveils their budget constraints and workout preferences.

Do your homework and conduct research

Make sure to extend your research beyond your audience, study your industry, your competitors and even what similar businesses in your area charge. Remember, the goal isn't to blindly copy but to position yourself competitively. Here are some resources to get you started:

  • Industry reports and surveys from organisations like the PFCA provide valuable insights into industry trends and education. 
  • Direct websites and review sites can give you a starting point to understand the packages and pricing structures of the top industry leaders.
  • Analyse competitors: Look at what similar fitness businesses in your area are charging. This can help you position your pricing competitively. You don't necessarily have to be the cheapest, but your prices should reflect the value you offer compared to others.

Revealing the price behind the service

Pricing isn't magic. It's a reflection of the value you deliver. So, it's vital to understand your business's operational costs. Understand your costs thoroughly to ensure your pricing covers expenses and provides a profit margin. By crunching these numbers, you'll determine your break-even point – the minimum you need to charge to stay afloat. Consider costs such as:

  • Rent, utilities, and equipment: Location, square footage, and the latest treadmills all have a price tag.
  • Staff salaries and training: Your team is your backbone. Factor in trainer qualifications and payroll costs.
  • Marketing and advertising: Getting your name out there requires investment.
  • Administration and maintenance: Wear and tear is not only for cartilage, equipment and facilities also need attention.

Picking the perfect pricing model

Now comes the fun part: choosing a pricing structure. Different models suit different types of fitness businesses, that's why your strategy must align with your business model and target audience. Here are some popular pricing options:

Membership-based pricing

This is the most common pricing model for gyms and fitness studios. Memberships can be tiered to offer different levels of access and benefits. This gives the flexibility to cater to a wider clientele with different needs and budgets, for example:

  • Basic Membership: Provides access to the gym during off-peak hours or limited classes.
  • Standard Membership: Includes full access to all facilities and classes.
  • Premium Membership: Offers additional perks like personal training sessions, access to exclusive classes, or spa facilities.

Class packages

For specialised studios and personal trainers, offering class packages can be an effective way to attract clients. Discounted bundles for a set number of personal training sessions or group classes can incentivise prepayment, building long-term relationships. Here's how this option could look like:

  • Single Class Pass: Ideal for new clients who want to try out your services without a long-term commitment.
  • Multi-Class Packages: Offer discounts for purchasing multiple classes upfront, encouraging client loyalty and ensuring a steady revenue stream.
  • Unlimited Monthly Pass: Provides unlimited access to classes for a fixed monthly fee, appealing to regular clients who prefer flexibility and value.

Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG)

This model is ideal for casual gym users and for clients who prefer flexibility or have unpredictable schedules. It allows clients to pay for each session individually, typically at a higher rate than packaged deals. This fosters commitment without locking people into long contracts.

Online subscription model

The subscription model has gained popularity, especially for online fitness services. Clients pay a recurring fee for access to a library of on-demand content, live classes, or personalised workout plans. At times you can find hybrid pricing models, that allow access to services both online and offline.

Freemium model

Usually used as a limited free trial or basic membership tier to attract new clients. Freemium options are a great opportunity for your team to upsell paid options and premium packages and services for a more customised experience.

Pro Tip: Don't be afraid to get creative! Combine these models or introduce unique pricing structures like punch cards for specific classes or family discounts. 

Implementing and communicating your new pricing strategy

Once you've set your prices, effective communication is key. Your clients should understand what they're paying for and why it's worth it.

  • Transparency: Be clear and upfront about your pricing and any applicable fees. Hidden costs or complicated pricing structures can deter potential clients.
  • Highlight value: Use your marketing materials to highlight the value and benefits of your services. Testimonials, case studies, and success stories can help demonstrate this.
  • Offer flexible payment options: Providing flexible payment options, such as monthly instalments or discounts for upfront annual payments, can make your services more accessible.

Reviewing and refining your pricing strategy

Building a successful pricing strategy is an ongoing process. As your business grows, your target audience might evolve, or your costs may shift. The fitness industry is dynamic, and your pricing strategy should be too. 

Regularly review and adjust your pricing based on market conditions, client feedback, and your business performance. Track your results. Monitor key metrics like membership sign-ups, class attendance, and upsell rates. This data can reveal which pricing structures resonate most with your clients.

Regularly gather feedback. Ask your members for their honest opinions on pricing and the overall value they receive. Are they satisfied with the value they receive? Would they be willing to pay more for additional services or improvements? This can be done through surveys, questionnaires, or informal conversations.

Keep a close eye on your financial metrics and analyse financial performance. If you're not meeting your revenue goals, it might be time to adjust your pricing or cost structure.

Continuously monitor the competitive landscape. If new competitors enter the market or existing ones adjust their pricing, you may need to respond to stay competitive.

Don't be afraid to adjust your pricing based on market trends, competitor analysis, and client feedback. Be adaptable. Remember, a winning strategy is a flexible one.

To sum up...

Setting up a successful pricing strategy for your fitness business requires a deep understanding of your market, a clear value proposition, and a flexible approach to pricing models. By conducting thorough research, carefully setting your prices, and regularly reviewing and adjusting your strategy, you can create a profitable and sustainable pricing model that reflects the true value of your services and meets the needs of your clients. 

Now, you're ready to get started on crafting a plan that keeps your clients coming back for more, and your business thriving. Got questions? Remember, at LegitFit, we’re here to support you every step of the way, book a call with us and together we can find the best tacts to drive financial growth to your fitness and wellness business.