5 Ways to Make Money Fast Without Hurting Your Gym

A closeup image of a control panel with fingers turning a dial to increase the reading on a cash-flow guage.

You need money now. I get it.

You’re no doubt tempted to give a short-term discount to your clients to boost your cash flow—”Pay for a whole year now and get two months free!” or something similar.

Just gotta bridge this gap for one month, right?

So your best clients—the ones who were committed to staying long term at your current rate—take your best deal. You make a few thousand dollars quickly, pay the rent on time and live to fight another day.

But if you think long term, you’ll realize you’ve just sacrificed the money these folks would have paid. They’ll be training for free in 10 months, and you’ll be out of money again.

“That’s OK,” you think. “I’ll just make it up in volume! I’ll get more clients … .”

But you don’t. And soon you’re desperate for cash again.

Now, instead of being on an upward trajectory, you’re entering the death spiral. You’ve sacrificed long-term stability for short-term gain.

I’ve see this plan sink many gyms, and I want a better future for you. So I asked the team of over 50 mentors on the Two-Brain team a question:

“How can a gym owner make money quickly without sacrificing their gym long term?”

Their five-step plan is below.

1. Know Your Exact Number.

“More” isn’t better. You must know exactly how much money you need to make fast. So calculate exactly what you need. That’s your target.

Focus is important here. If you don’t set an exact number, you’ll be tempted to do “all the things,” which can lead to overwhelm and inaction. But if you know the goal, you can take clear, swift action on things that will move the needle fast.

2. Add a Challenge.

A short-term challenge can help your current clients and generate income for you. This will usually be a nutrition challenge. Unfortunately, it’s tough to get out of the short-term mindset when it comes to nutrition coaching, and many gyms struggle to convert challengers to ongoing coaching. But you can still use a challenge when needed to generate cash, and anyone who continues with nutrition coaching is a huge bonus.

(Two-Brain clients, click here for full templates, scripts, recipes—everything you need to run a great nutrition kickstart and get people to continue with nutrition coaching.)

3. Run a Retail Preorder.

Your clients want to wear your stuff, and they want to buy their supplements from you instead of the 18-year-old at that place in the mall. But you don’t have cash to invest in inventory. The solution is a preorder. Here’s our top advice from Matt Albrizio at Forever Fierce: “You Lost Money on Gym Apparel Sales Until You Listened to This.”

(Two-Brain clients, click here for step-by-step instructions, ordering templates and more instructions for maximizing retail sales.)

4. Do Goal Reviews.

A goal review is just an opportunity to refocus clients on their goals. It’s not a deliberate upsell. However, most gyms that sell group coaching find that some 1:1 coaching will help their clients even more. That means in the average gym 30 percent of clients who do goal reviews upgrade their memberships by about 30 percent. These clients will move toward their goals faster, and the gym will generate more revenue.

(Two-Brain clients click here for step-by-step instructions and scripts for Goal Review Sessions.)

5. Host a Bring-a-Buddy Day.

Free trials aren’t effective. But if you set up a special event for your clients to invite their friends, you can have them “try” a fun workout and then set up No Sweat Intros with everyone who attends. At most, you can do this once per quarter. Do not do this every weekend.

(Two-Brain clients, click here for step-by-step instructions to run bring-a-friend events that actually work.)

Systemize and Plan for Improved Cash Flow

There are many other options when it comes to generating cash—like approaching sports teams and corporate groups, but those tactics really require a solid base before you try them. The tactics I’ve listed above are high-speed, low-drag winners. Use them!

Remember: These cash-flow boosters will work best if you do them at a 10-out-of-10 level. Excellent delivery means having smooth processes and delivering on your promises. Selling a new service and then making it up as you go along is really breaking your promise to the buyer. But if you have solid systems in place (or a template to build from, as Two-Brain gyms do), these tactics will produce easy, near-effortless quick wins!

And here’s the key: Nothing I’ve listed above is a one-and-done measure for use in cash-flow emergencies only. These tactics will work as stop-gap measures if you take swift action.

But you should be using them anyway at regular intervals. Create strong systems around these tactics, put them on your annual calendar and build a stable, profitable business.

Other Media in This Series

“How to Get Cash Fast (Without Destroying Your Business)”
“How to Use Debt to Buy a Gym—Finance Secrets for Gym Owners”


One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.