Don’t Sleep on Spring: The Origins of the Summer Slump in Microgyms

On a beach, a dog in sunglasses relaxes with a martini.

If your gym has a slow summer in 2022, it will be because of what you’re doing right now.

Or, perhaps, because of what you aren’t doing right now.

A head shot of writer Mike Warkentin and the column name "Pressing It Out."

You don’t have to be a business expert to know that people want to get outside and enjoy summer when it finally rolls around. They take vacations, they head to cottages and cabins, and they sit on patios lifting beers instead of weights. Many work out much less or cancel gym memberships entirely. Some will ask the dreaded question: “Can I put my membership on hold?”

Summer is generally a slower time in the gym business. A quick Google search confirms this: You’ll see lots of entrepreneurial articles on how to “beat the summer slump.” And a quick survey of gym owners will also reveal that many struggle badly in summer.

When my business had a physical location, I dreaded the summer months. Our fiscal year end was June, and we’d usually start the new year in the hole after a disastrous July and August. Then we’d spend the rest of the year trying to claw back to profitability.

I was astounded when I heard some gyms actually generate more revenue in summer than they do in other months. Gyms that surge in summer make it happen in many different ways. One obvious tactic: creating programs for kids who aren’t in school. With that in mind, here’s something that might help you today: “Kids Programs: Pricing and Scheduling.”

Many other tactics exist, including competitions, seminars, in-house leagues, specialty programs, challenges, day camps, ad campaigns, etc.

The point today isn’t to lay out all the various strategies but to remind you that it’s time to take action now if you want to have a strong summer. If you do nothing, it’s likely you’ll be looking at red in the ledger come September.


Do Something Now to Prevent a Slow Summer!


If you’re reading this and don’t have an annual calendar for your gym. You need to make one immediately.

It’s easy: Draw a circle and then cut it into 12 pie slices (Two-Brain provides a recommended calendar to clients, along with plug-and-play assets to help gym owners take action fast).

I’d strongly advise you add stuff to each of the 12 segments, including quarterly Goal Review Sessions, regular staff evaluations and other essential elements of a microgym. Your free space on the bingo card: the Intramural Open in February or March. Slot that in now to get momentum (we’ll have an updated Intramural Open playbook for you in 2023).

You don’t have to make a complete annual plan today. In fact, avoid it if you find it overwhelming. Today is really about summer. If you do nothing else, just add a revenue generator to June or July right now.  

Fact: It’s not too late to put something in place to drive up revenue this summer. You can absolutely plan, promote and sell out a program or event in the next two to four weeks. But only if you take action very soon.

So get moving!

In business, successful summers are made in spring. And spring has sprung.

If you’re a Two-Brain client, you’ll soon receive an event guide that contains all sorts of assets you can use to get a revenue generator in place fast. Stay tuned for Chris Cooper’s announcement.

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