Being involved in the gymnastics industry brings values and lessons you can take into every part of your life. Whether you compete or coach, the determination, perseverance, and resilience you apply on the mat can also be used in other areas of your life, including marketing your business.
Gymnastic business owners know how difficult it can be to run a 5-star gym while managing all the moving parts. More often than not, marketing tends to fall to the backburner of gymnastics businesses. Instead of letting that happen, you can apply the lessons you’ve learned from the sport to your own business and marketing strategy.
Rather than telling you what we think you should do, we’ll leave it to the pros when it comes to excellent advice. We’ve put together a list of our favorite tips from gymnastics influencers, professionals, and gold-medal winners. And, jumping off of their advice, we’ll tell you how you can apply the same tips to growing your gymnastics business.
“Don’t set your goals to be a star. Set your goals to be the best that you can be and go from there.” – Dominique Dawes
You don’t have to be the best gym ever; you just have to be the best gym for your customers. For gymnastics business owners, memberships are a primary source of revenue. So if you want to increase revenue, you must ensure that your customers are happy with their experience.
But you’ll need more than just that to offer great value. You also need to meet their needs and expectations. Focus on designing the right experience for your customers. This also includes your gym space–make sure everything is clean and well-maintained and your staff is friendly and helpful.
If you want to attract new customers, then you need to advertise. But just relying on marketing materials and billboards isn’t going to magically bring in a long line of prospective members. You also need to visit local businesses, speak with people in the community, and get involved with community events.
“As much time as you put into it, that’s what your achievements are going to be when you come out of it.” – Mary Lou Retton
Let’s be honest for a second. There are a lot of things you can do to grow your gymnastics business. But the key is to put in the work every day. Just like gymnasts dedicate their time and focus on improving, you should apply the same effort to growing your gym. You should speak with other coaches, practice with your team, and attend training events; find the areas you can improve and start there.
There are also things you can do on your own. You can work with a marketing agency to get your brand out there. Or you could prompt yourself by writing an eBook or guest post for a blog or even starting a YouTube channel. These things will help you build your brand and attract new customers. Whatever you choose, it’s important to put in the work every day.
“Don’t be afraid if things seem difficult in the beginning. That’s only the initial impression. The important thing is not to retreat; you have to master yourself.” – Olga Korbut
Like most businesses, it is common for gymnastics businesses to experience slower periods. It’s important to take those times to put in more work strategically and plan for the next wave of opportunity. The landscape and best practices change almost daily when it comes to digital marketing and running the right advertisements for your gym. Take the slow periods and turn them into opportunities to grow your business skills; use the extra time to take a training course on growing your business with digital marketing.
“I’ve learned that you don’t have to win first place to win.” – Kim Zmeskal
A successful gym is about more than trophy cases and waitlists. While getting caught up with those numbers can seem easy, real success comes with the gym experience and word-of-mouth reputation. Focus on the customer experience first, and the rest will start to fall into place.
One thing is sure: a successful gym will have a positive impact on its community. With this in mind, gyms must be transparent about their goals and values. Most importantly, you should stay true to your mission as a gym – being there for members when they need you most while also building an inviting community that people want to be part of.
“Sometimes you just have to put on your big girl panties and do it whether you want to or not.” — Shawn Johnson
Marketing is not sexy. It can be challenging, tedious, and not so fun for many. It can also be time-consuming or cumbersome, especially if you need help figuring out where to start or target the right people. But it’s a very necessary part of a gym’s success.
There are many ways to market your gymnastic business: print ads, digital ads online, TV ads, billboards, radio ads, and more. Some of these methods work better than others, but regardless of which way you choose, you have to be careful not to oversell. If the ad needs to be more concise and clear, people will probably tune out before they even read or see the ad. That’s why it’s important to be clear and concise in your marketing message.
Suppose you decide that marketing is not your thing, or you simply don’t have the bandwidth to do it right. In that case, it may be time to discuss hiring a marketing team or professional to help you reach your goals.
“Hard days are best because that’s when champions are made.” — Gabby Douglas
The best part about the gymnastics industry is the community. The wonderful thing about community is that it provides you with people and places you can turn to when things get tricky. Knowing that champions are made during the hard days can help you keep a positive perspective when things get difficult.
You can also learn to lean into your community for help. This isn’t limited to just other gym owners. You can look into other businesses that support the industry, like Creatively Disruptive does with gymnastic businesses.
“In Gymnastics, there is no such thing as an overnight success.” – Laurie Hernandez
While overnight success is unlikely, things can still change quickly. Always find time to review and revamp your marketing strategy. Set aside time (each month, quarter, etc.) to check what is and isn’t working and make changes accordingly. Remember that customer needs can change by the season or a significant event, so it is essential to always be prepared to pivot and change your marketing strategy as needed.
Lesson Learned: Great Gymnasts Have a Great Team
Most gym owners want to grow their businesses and make more money. So why do some gyms fail to make any headway?
The answer is simple. Entrepreneurship is hard, and it takes time and effort to get it right. You often have to make difficult decisions, take calculated risks, and sometimes fail (which is perfectly fine!)
That being said, the only way you can be successful is if you work hard and believe in yourself. If you’re willing to do those two things, you’ll find the same success in your gym business that you would find on the mat.
And remember, behind every great gymnast are great coaches and an excellent support team. If you’re looking for a team that can support your team, reach out to Creatively Disruptive (https://creativelydisruptive.com) and speak to one of our marketing wizards about how we can help you grow your gymnastics business.