Stop throwing crap against the wall, wishing for something to stick. Have you ever heard that saying? We notice this type of marketing each day in every type of fitness center. Marketing is not rocket science, but it is easy to fail if you don’t have a system in place. Don’t waste your marketing dollars and follow these simple steps to health club marketing success!

Step 1: Allocate X % of revenues towards your marketing efforts

Don’t wait until you need a bump in your health club revenues to start marketing. Don’t ever stop your marketing efforts. Books on marketing will tell you that the average amount you should spend towards marketing is thirteen percent of revenues. Revenues, not profits. You might be thinking, “I am not even making enough money to give myself a paycheck!” Hmm, the age old question is which comes first, the chicken or the egg? You cannot spend money if you don’t have any money and you cannot make money without spending money! But if you look closer, you will see some places to reduce costs or increase profit centers by several dollars. Start with two percent of your revenues, then five, then eight, and so on. You need to allocate a portion of your revenues to marketing and you MUST decide how you will spend that money. You need a reasonable ROI to increase your marketing budget the next month and the month after that! But get a plan.

Step 2: Create a marketing plan

Successful marketing is simply not a one-time mailing or spending money on ad space because a salesman came to your door with an awesome ValPak offer. With doing a la carte marketing, you will never have a steady flow of prospective traffic. It will not take long to make a plan for success. Sit down one Sunday and prepare a separate page for each month in the year. After looking over your budget, you should know precisely how much you can afford in marketing. Decide on what types of marketing would work best during certain times throughout the year. For example, January is full of New Years resolutions, March is when it is time to prepare for bikini season, June is summer for free and August is time to go back to school. Those are the most obvious ones to do. If you are a health club in the northern United States, your climate will become much colder faster than in the southern states. If you are in the south, people want to get out of the heat during summer by going indoors to exercise. Or perhaps your demographic area will help determine what your marketing plan will be. If your health club is in a blue collar area, what better time to advertise than during tax season? Or if you offer childcare, the summer is a perfect time to give a break to parents from their children while they work out? Just schedule your health club marketing calendar, month by month.

Based on the theme of each month, what type of marketing will be the best for your prospects? Maybe a direct mailer in January? Get involved with youth organizations during the spring and summer? Does your town have a parade or festival? Think of ways in which you can get involved or volunteer. Your plan may need tweaking as the months progress or if you are presented with unique marketing opportunities. As a health club owner, you are quite accustomed to bobbing and weaving.