By the Numbers: Many Members, Great Retention

A spin class in session - many members, great retention

You can only maintain a certain number of solid personal relationships.

For example, when you have five clients at your gym, you remember their kids’ names, their dogs’ names and even where they went to college. But at 50, you forget some of those details. At 150, you forget even more. With 300 clients or more, you might not even know every member’s name.

We know you can make $100,000 per year as a gym owner by building strong relationships with just 150 high-value clients.

But we also know some gyms have more than 150 clients—way more.

Check out our Top 10 leaderboard for March 2023:

A Top 10 leaderboard for client count in gyms in March 2023, from 332 to 748 members.

So how do these gyms reach these numbers even though their owners can’t possibly forge strong personal relationships with every single member?

Here are six characteristics of gyms with lots of members:

1. Strong Systems

Every client receives the same great experience every time. This experience does not depend on the owner personally. The business is set up so every staff member knows exactly how to treat every client.

2. Great Onboarding

A client’s first 90 days are carefully planned out, and all responsibilities are clearly assigned to staff members who know what 10-out-of-10 delivery is.

3. Amazing Retention

Clear operating procedures help all staff members improve retention, but someone in the business is 100 percent responsible for actively working to retain members.

4. Convenience and Value

Clients get what they need when they need it, and they have no problem paying for it because value is obvious.

5. Great Staff

Long-serving staff members know the owner’s vision for the business and are committed to it. They build relationships with clients and also bond the members to the brand.

6. The Right Model

The owner understands that the plan needed to reach 150 members is not the same as the plan required to get from 150 to 300 or more. The owner and all staff members must level up fast to reach higher numbers, and a mentor provides the exact plan to make it happen.

This realization is incredibly important.

You need a different plan at each stage of business. Getting to 150? That’s our RampUp program. We want you to earn $100,000 per year with 150 clients.

Over 150? You need a different plan. That’s our Tinker program, where you’ll level up as a leader, learn to build a management layer, optimize for profit and duplicate your gym without burning out.

Tips From Top Gym Owners

Our mentors helped the gym owners on our leaderboard do the right things at the right time to grow their businesses. They analyzed metrics, prescribed action and provided accountability.

Here are some of the things the owners in the Top 10 focused on to earn their spots:

“I focused mostly on my specialties—hypnotherapy, nutrition and personal training, especially small-group training. Also, doing away with discounts really helped! I’ve also been advertising more personal things and events that have gotten a ton of my members engaging with each other and spreading the word in our small town about new things happening in the gym.”

“Hiring Two-Brain Business has allowed us to take action on our ideas. What our mentors have helped us do is put actions behind our dreams and stay committed to the decisions that we were making. (Our mentor) asks probing questions and challenges us when we stray. RampUp gave us a framework to build on—Two-Brain quantified our moves and put vocabulary to our structure.”

“90% continue on after they use the services. We charge double the market average for PT. Our mentor helped walk us through it all without being too daunted. And we have a waiting list! We started measured and slow, being intentional instead of worrying.”

“We don’t lose a lot of members. We keep people because we care and use their first name. It’s a community here for sure. We have now focused on increasing rates and getting new PT and group-class clients. We’ve started working with Kilo and haven’t yet started paid ads.”

“I see how the fundamentals of Two-Brain Business can still apply to this type of gym (access). We have focused on retention and reaching out to former clients. When we started the Two-Brain program, we had a GM who ran operations but wasn’t doing much to retain or grow, and now he’s picking five customers to call or text and check in, five who fell off, and five that did attend in the previous week. 15 former clients came back from the first week of check-ins.”

“The area is underserved, with no service for people under 18. So we opened up for kids that can drive to the gym (16)—they can come without a parent. And we opened up membership to younger kids so long as they attend with a parent or guardian. PT service is coming—the program is ready.”

“Our referrals plan will be systematized. We are beta-testing something. Word of mouth is the ticket for us. Our clients want to work out with their friends.”

“We’ve created a place where people want to be: Our atmosphere is encouraging but challenging. They feel connected to the gym, like church.”

“We rely on word of mouth—affinity marketing. We never really run ad campaigns; a lot of clients have come from a friend. We celebrate new group members. We call them up by their name, a coach asks for a bunch of fun facts, and each member will ask them a funny question. We get people to feel comfortable and laugh. We call this our ‘icebreaker event’—this is protocol for the coaches.”

“If someone is bringing a friend, we let them take a free class and then we get them into the No Sweat Intro (NSI), and this has made our NSI easier. And it makes our on-ramp process easier.”

“The reason people stay is the results. When they feel like they belong, they feel encouraged. We do goal reviews—regular check-ins were done prior to joining Two-Brain, and now we’ve refined that process.”

“We did Seed Client interviews. We were very pleased and validated: They appreciate the clean, well-run facility.”

“We have over 50% sales conversion since using the NSI and Prescriptive Model.”

“The biggest focus is client experience.”

“In each quarter there will be a competition or test (e.g., Open, in-house comp) the members will perform, then reflect. Then the goal reviews will come, and members may be motivated because they’ve just been ‘formally tested.'”

To find out how a mentor can help you add and keep clients, book a call here.


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.