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Strong Fee-based Programming Drives Revenue, Trainer Retention

This post is an IHRSA Institute preview.

There’s more to fee-based programming than meets the eye.

Personal training, small group training, and other fee-based programs are strong drivers of additional club business revenue. But the benefits of fee-based programming don’t stop at your bottom line.

“We should all have three-to-five forms of revenue streams beyond monthly membership dues or the revenue source that primarily feeds our businesses,” says Jarod Cogswell, founder of FIT Academy and Enterprise Athlete, Inc. “What's not realized by most operators is that fee-based programming, such as personal training, doesn't just increase revenue and profitability, but also member, client, and employee (trainer) retention.”

Evaluate Your Fee-based Programming

One way to find out if you’re getting the most out of the fee-based programs you offer is by performing regular evaluations. When doing so, Cogswell suggests taking a close look at the numbers:

  • Net profits from personal training programs should aim for 40-60% profitability.
  • Other fee-based programs (non-fitness related) should strive for 20% profitiability or higher. 

“The financial numbers don't lie,” he says. “If programs don't meet these targets, that may be okay as long as they aren't losing money and catering to a mass group of participation, which, again, drives retention.” 

Strengthen Your Fee-based Programming Business Plan 

Once you’ve completed the evaluation, it’s time to conduct a thorough business plan. Whether you’re launching a new fee-based program or re-vamping an existing offering, you should consider: 

  • What's the goal of the program?
  • Who does it cater to?
  • Who will lead and oversee the program?
  • Does this person or team have influence to drive participation and sales?
  • How will the program be marketed and sold?
  • How will the program be operated to ensure accountability, results, and connection?

“The bottom line is that you have to develop a bulletproof business strategy,” Cogswell says.

Take Personal Trainers to World-class Coaches   

A bulletproof business strategy, combined with passionate leadership, will ultimately filter down to the personal and group training team.

“The team members must be passionate about changing lives and instead of viewing themselves as typical personal trainers, begin viewing their role as coaches—and I'm talking world class coaching,” Cogswell says. “Once they put that coaching hat on only then they will educate, motivate and inspire their clients, their teammates, and potentially more participants as they build their individual businesses, as well as, the business that employs them.”

On Wednesday, August 2, Cogswell will delve much deeper into fee-based programming strategies during his IHRSA Institute session, “Personal & Group Training Management.”

After his two-hour course, Cogswell says attendees will have “a clear vision to build this valuable business and ensure that it aligns with the overall mission of your club or gym.”

Learn more about the IHRSA Institute, August 1-4 in Chapel Hill, NC.