Right now, you have a huge opportunity to differentiate your business. The fitness industry in Australia is saturated by thousands of boutique gyms, large chains, and other fitness spaces.
But there is a way to stand out from the crowd, by prioritising something members are demanding: hygiene.
Several reports into the fitness sector have found a strong correlation between cleanliness and hygiene, and the overall profitability of a fitness club. In fact, while an increased average spending on cleaning works, equating to around 2.9%-4.1% of budget, resulted in an overall increase in both profit and customer retention.
Customers were found to have a satisfaction rating of 83% when they perceived their fitness facility to be clean and hygienic, however this dropped significantly to just 43% for those who believed their gym to be unclean, with retention also falling from 90% to only 52%.
Gyms spending just 4% of their budget experienced greater profitability and retention rates than those spending 3% - so every bit counts!
These findings reiterate the need for constant vigilance by gym owners when it comes to hygiene.
So how can you differentiate your business?
Invest in functional elements in your gym which can contribute to overall cleanliness and hygiene of your facilities. Think things like good ventilation, regular cleaning staff, a bathroom with good drainage.
There are also strategies which are easy to implement, to enhance the perceived hygiene of your gym for your members:
- Create a strict cleaning schedule, with a wipe down performed hourly, and a hospital grade clean performed daily, or as regularly as possible.
- Educate staff on ways they can continue to maintain cleanliness of equipment and protect members.
- Use only hospital-grade antibacterial cleaning products.
- Educate your customers. Tell them what you’re doing to look after them, and keep them informed on best practice ways they can further protect themselves.
While Health NSW doesn’t currently have enforceable industry rules or standards on how regularly facilities should be cleaned, you have a duty of care to your members, and should look on this as an opportunity to really make them feel valued and looked after.
It’s what will encourage customers to choose your gym over your competitors.
In a time where hygiene is such a growing focus for so many people, this is your chance to get ahead of the game, enforce best practices, and become an industry leader in an area where it matters most. After all, it could be the difference between success and failure for your business, between customer retention or loss, and between satisfaction and disillusionment.
Hygiene is an investment.