July 3 2018

Unexpected revenue in your fitness business


The number one job of any fitness entrepreneur or business owner is to drive sales. In a passion- and purpose-driven field this may not sound like what you signed up for, but without increasing profits and bottom line growth there is no expanding your reach to help more people.

The end goal is to then find the sweet spot where purpose can drive profits and fuel passion. The good news is that the solution isn’t complicated. Regardless of whether you are a personal training or group-based facility, there are really only two ways to make more money: get more clients or increase the value of the clients you already have. Most businesses should be looking for a blend of both, but focusing on one or the other for a period of time can be key to sustainable growth.

Overdelivering on your business’ core offering is imperative before getting too distracted by other opportunities. This means ensuring that you are delivering results better than anyone else and getting significant referrals within the business before diverting your attention to other outlets of business.

Once a business has achieved this success, the focus can shift to increasing unique client value and exploring other revenue streams. To do this, look at ways to increase the amount each current client spends with your business every month. The objective of additional revenue streams is to better serve your clients’ needs and drive further results while in alignment of your company’s core value; this might mean thinking outside of the box. The following are examples of two under-utilized revenue streams that cannot only greatly improve your bottom line, but when done correctly also add massive value to your clients and community.

Pro shop sales

Pro shop sales can offer significant returns with little effort. Unfortunately, many businesses still fall short. If you’re able to get a hundred clients to spend just $3 more, twice a week throughout the year, that could equal an additional $31,200 in sales.

Your pro shop could be as simple as a protein bar or post-workout drink, neither of which take much space or inventory. Leverage companies that offer valuable services or products your clients want and need while making it easy for you to sell and manage inventory. While selling supplements brings up ethical questions for some fitness entrepreneurs, the reality is that most clients are already buying and consuming them. If you offer quality products, out of trust, your clients would likely prefer to buy from you rather than many retail supplement companies.

Branded t-shirts, gear, and swag are also a no-brainer for your pro shop. If you’re truly delivering on your brand promise and your customers are raving fans, then you should be unveiling a new piece of gear every month or two. Clients love representing your brand because it has become part of their identity, so don’t deny them this opportunity for self-expression. Most items you can markup 100% and that can bring in decent profits while getting more mobile marketing outside of your doors.

There is great opportunity for selling items like gloves, foam rollers, heart rate monitors, and other fitness accessories. These are items your clients want and will pay a premium for if you can supply the convenience.

Don’t have the time to manage a pro shop? Find a team member who can maintain this piece of the business and offer them 10-15% of profits for driving more sales. Done right and your pro shop could easily account for an additional 5-10% of monthly sales, not to mention more loyal customers.


If you have a successful fitness business, then chances are you have a community of high quality clients. Believe it or not, this is a valuable asset that other businesses would pay to access. Success here takes reframing your preconceived notions of advertising and thinking of it as more than just sending sales emails to your email list. It’s not about selling them out but creating a formalized opportunity to connect them with businesses you believe in and services they need.

You’re the gatekeeper here, so feel free to be selective with the partners you work with. Start by picking just one business in each category of resources that you’d like to connect with your clients (chiro, physio, dietician, massage, food delivery company, etc.) and offer them the opportunity to become an official marketing partner with you for $100 per month or $1,000 for the year.

Let them know that it will mean exclusivity in their trade and that it will include marketing on your TV in your facility as well as regular social media and email marketing content all geared toward creating value for your clients through education. No hard sells, just opportunities to add value. They only need to gain a few clients to make it worth it, so it’s an easy sell.

Delivering on this means being organized with your marketing but pays off double in the end because you become the connector and community resource not only with clients, but other businesses in the area. To sweeten it further, many of those business owners are likely already your clients so you don’t have to look too far for great candidates.

Ten advertising partners not only provides an additional $10,000+ revenue potential but ensures that those ten businesses will also be sharing your content throughout the year and prioritizing sending more business your way. If they trust you enough for you to help handle their marketing, then they undoubtedly will prioritize referring more business your way.

Limitless opportunities for added revenue

Pro shop sales and advertising are just two examples of the many possibilities of undervalued revenue streams that could make an impact on any fitness business. The effectiveness stems from understanding clients’ problems, needs, and creatively identifying solutions where everyone wins.

Generating significant revenue from supplement sales will only work if you are truly filling a need. Paid partnership marketing can succeed because many small businesses aren’t organized in their marketing, so it solves a problem for other businesses. Each business has to find their own path and decide what’s right for them when it comes to integrating additional revenue streams, but a great place to start is taking a close look at the additional needs and problems within your clientele and community. Then figure out whether you can provide a solution that people won’t think twice about paying for.