Your beach body programs have run their course, the students have cleared out of their dorms, and for all of us warm blooded mammals in the northern hemisphere, the combination of heat and humidity is bringing back fond memories of time spent in the womb.
Here are some ideas for how to pick up the slack in your business while your regulars are away on vacation, your city has cleared out for cooler climes, and you student population has gone home to undo all of their hard work.
Maintaining Your Clients’ Progress
Your clients have spent weeks, possibly months, working for this exact moment — The Big Reveal. They’ve squatted themselves to the point of exhaustion, nailed their Instagram Scorpion Pose, and abandoned you and your staff to slap on some sunscreen and document their progress elsewhere. But there is hope, for summer parties are dark and full of ice cream.
- Create and Market programs with a keen focus on maintaining all the progress your clients have just made, and challenge them to make a little more.
- For clients who have already made it through some sort of body transformation challenge, it might behoove you to keep that going. “So you’ve made it through 8/12/16 Weeks – How about 2/4/6 More?”, or “The Final Countdown”, or “Lobster Roll Recovery”
- Harness the rush as they’re just stepping onto the beach with their new bodies, and help them recommit.
- Focus on keeping momentum going, on demolishing past goals with new ones.
Don’t just aim for improvement, aim for evolution.
Create Easy to Manage Workshops & Challenges
Special events throughout the summer are a great way to fill up barren weekend classes. Give your teachers a chance to change things up and increase the energy with events, workshops, and by letting them test out new classes outside of peak season.
Bringing in guest teachers will bring new students into your studio. If you play your cards right, who knows, perhaps they will be enchanted with your space and intrigued by your amazing summer promos, and, look! New members!
Summer workshops and events are a great way to increase the energy in the studio.
Adding a little bit of a party air to the space can’t hurt. Particularly if your model relies heavily on training or weight loss, changing the vibe a little during the time when people would otherwise be out enjoying the firm fruits of their labour will make it easier for them to keep up with their progress between barbecues.
Easy–to–Run Events that Bring in Traffic
And speaking of parties and barbecues — summer is a great time to hold one of your own. Team up with local charities, host a Fun Run, or just a members appreciation dance party. Embrace the spirit of the season!
Give people a chance to talk to your teachers, to chat with one another, and maybe even to do these things in something other than stretch pants and a layer of sweat.
This doesn't have to be about drawing in new clients or building up your memberships, this can just be a great way to strengthen your community and say thanks to your regulars, and your staff.
An outdoor summer series is a great way to attract (and hook) people who might not come into the studio. Offer these classes for free (maybe you’re trialing a new teacher, or teachers) at a discount, or donation based for a local charity. Charity events are also a great way to bring your classes to the people — talk to local organizers and see if there’s room for a bootcamp or a yoga class!
Who Isn’t on Vacation? Find & Focus on Your Locals
Are you in the city? Does your neighbourhood turn into a ghost town, tumbleweeds gathering at bus stop benches from Memorial Day to Labour Day? Despite appearances, you are not alone. Target your marketing efforts at people who are still in town. What industries are keeping people from the beach?
Offer your services as a vacation in itself — break it down. “You may not have time to get to the beach, but you can still take time for yourself, on the mat, at the barre, or just by picking things up and putting them down”.
Conversely — if you’re in a vacation hot spot, do not forget about the locals.
Yes, absolutely market to tourists and seasonal transplants, but staying loyal to your year-rounders is key. These are the ones who will fill out your classes once the air cools down and the ice cream trucks stop running.
Offer a discounted Monday morning ‘Restaurant Industry’ class, or a mid-week ‘Retail Therapy’ bootcamp. Local IDs get a discount, and mark you as a native favourite. As a girl from a seasonal town — I can say that nothing makes my salty sea witch heart warmer than a local business looking out for those who spend their summers working extra shifts to prep for the slow winter. That, or possibly seeing a tourist stuck on a rotary. Also satisfying.
Fall, Winter, and Yes — Spring Planning
We mentioned this before in our post about embracing the summer slump — but it’s worth mentioning twice. You’re going to need to do it at some point, so why would you put off planning your Holiday Survival Program? If you can work this in now while it’s slower, it won’t get pushed back once things get too busy.
By starting your Holiday and January marketing efforts now, you’re saving yourself a headache down the road. And with Spring numbers and trends still within arm’s reach, there is really no better time to evaluate what worked and what didn’t. Now is the time to edit your program for next year, so when it’s time to ramp things up, you can hit the ground running.
- Start booking your guest presenters through the fall and winter
- Review the numbers from last fall, winter, and this spring, identifying any areas for improvement
- Evaluate your schedule for fall — which classes don’t pull their weight? Time to supplement your staff? Get it out of the way before things get crazy.
Stepping up your game during the summer slump is key, but don’t get so caught up trying to pull up the numbers that you overlook an opportunity to catch up on backlogged work — keep an eye out for our next blog, a few ideas on how to maximize the downtime.
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