The Key to Running a Successful Fitness Business

The Key to Running a Successful Fitness Business

The Key to Running a Successful Fitness Business

Struggling to keep your fitness business afloat? In a recent appearance on the Black Belt Business Podcast, Wodify CEO Brendan Rice cracked the code for running a thriving business. From nailing operations to client loyalty secrets, Brendan's insights offer a clear path to boosting your gym's success. Here, we'll break down his essential tips to make your gym a standout in the competitive fitness industry.

Focus on What Works - Profitability and Retention

The long and short of what drives success for a gym is profitability, and how long you keep your members coming back. Rice emphasizes that the best businesses are typically thought of as the “biggest or have the most members”, but in reality, what makes a gym the best is their profitability and member retention. (10:58) As you look into these two aspects further, you discover how interconnected they are. These factors are intertwined: better retention translates to more members, driving up profits in the long run. 

When it comes to retention it's vital to use customer and business data to understand your members’ behaviors and tailor your services to meet their needs. Wodify’s data analytic features are pivotal in helping business owners identify and amplify what keeps their members engaged. Through tools like reports, insights, and custom reporting, Wodify-powered businesses have an edge in building an exceptional community.

Engage and Retain

The average fitness client sticks around for just roughly 8 months. Wodify gyms, however, boast an impressive 16-23 month retention rate, exceeding the industry standard by a significant margin (17:17). Brendan goes into this further by explaining that just even a small improvement in retention by 3-5% generally increases profit by 25-100% (16:13). Tools like Wodify’s In-App Chat allow employees to message their clients all within the Wodify Mobile App, which not only help keep members connected but also build a community that’s essential for retention. The key takeaway? Regular engagement shows clients they're valued, keeping them coming back.


Following up on retention, what drives success for a business is its profitability - which as mentioned previously ties in closely with client retention. Extending the length of attendance for your clients can make the difference between fiscal concerns and tens of thousands of dollars. The more value you deliver, the more members are willing to pay and the longer they'll stay.

Here again, data is king. Wodify's Custom Reporting tools help identify the most profitable classes and peak times. This allows for strategic revenue generation. You can optimize popular classes, potentially scale back underperformers, and reduce expenses. In our Behind the Numbers series, we talk about what Custom Reporting is, the importance of it to your business, and how you can start implementing it to greatly improve your bottom line. Read more about it here!

The Takeaway: Building a Thriving Gym

Building a successful gym requires understanding your business, delivering value, and focusing on profitability and retention. By embracing these principles and leveraging technology like Wodify, fitness business owners can create thriving businesses that stand out in a competitive market. Dive in, engage your members, and watch your business flourish!

Ready to put what you’ve learned into practice?
Download a free PDF handbook with many of NCFIT’s gym management procedures and philosophies that you can implement in your gym today.
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