You did it! Your gymnastics training center is up and running with a roster full of students and excellent teachers. Now, it’s time to grow. Here are our tips to level up from the hard work of opening a gymnastics studio to becoming a solid, sustainable part of your gymnastics community.
1. Stick The Landing
Now that you’ve gotten your gymnastics training center up and running, it’s time to “stick the landing.” How will you stand out from other gyms, gymnastic centers, and training programs in your community?
One way to do this is by focusing on at least one thing that only your gymnastics center offers. Maybe your focus is more personalized training for elite athletes. Perhaps you’ve decided to make your gymnastics training center open to athletes of all ages, stages, and abilities. Whichever path you choose, once your gymnastics center is open, begin to refine your unique offerings.
2. Meet Students Where They Are
One of the first tips for running your own gymnastics center focuses on the lifeblood of your gym: students. You need to develop strategies that let students know who you are, what you offer, and why you’re the best choice for them.
To expand these efforts, consider expanding your efforts in:
- Social media digital marketing: Capture student attention on the most popular platforms, like Instagram and Facebook
- Email marketing: Send targeted emails to mailing lists subscribers with useful information, promotions, and gym updates
- SEO-optimized website: Make sure students can find you online, and learn more about your gym, with a great website that's optimized for search engines
- Google Business: Ensure your Google Business listing is complete and up-to-date so you can take advantage of posts, ads, and more
3. Become Flexible Off The Mat
Running a gymnastics center is not just about what happens in the gym itself. Stay flexible in your thinking about how and where a class can be.
For example, consider:
- Offering live classes outside during local fairs and fundraisers
- Visiting schools and afterschool programs to deliver your services
- Hosting small competitions or fun challenges for new adult students
- Adding online classes to reach new types of students
Most importantly, offering both in-person and online classes reaches students who might not otherwise be able to make it to your gymnastics center on a regular basis.
A webcam and regular roster of online classes can serve as an introduction to the type of classes you offer and can be used across social media platforms, too. Small video snippets or teachable moments can expand your reach.
Full online classes can make it easier for your students to incorporate movement into their day. It also allows students to participate from home when transportation to the gymnastics center is not available or possible. And, once you have an online system in place, it always keeps your studio flexible. Facing inclement weather? Easily transition to an online class for the day to keep your students engaged.
At Studio Director, we make it convenient to set up virtual gymnastics classes. Learn more about our Zoom discount and set-up process here.
4. Crunch the Numbers
Students will come and go from your gymnastics center (also known as your churn rate). The trick for long-term success is to figure out why. Why do students enroll in your classes, and what makes them leave?
Conduct simple, in-person exit interviews or send out email surveys for students who have decided to train elsewhere. Understanding why students leave can help you improve and retain more students in the future.
Similarly, when students first sign up, ask what made them select your gymnastics training center. This gives you a good idea of what is important to your community. It can also help you find and focus on your unique differentiators.
Do note though that your gymnastics training center is not going to be a good fit for every gymnast in your community. This is to be expected. The goal here is to find your groove, attract students who can dance to it, and work hard to deliver outstanding training.
5. Develop Your Brand
Developing your brand goes beyond just a logo on a business card (although it’s that, too!). Your brand is the emotional connection that your gymnastics center is aiming for. If you want to empower young athletes, everything you do from signage to class planning to the staff you hire, will focus on your unique brand message.
The practice of developing your brand also sets you apart from other gymnastics centers and helps to streamline your marketing and advertising. This saves time and money and brings the focus back to your program.
Start by defining your target audience and generating a guiding principle for your brand (e.g., the idea of empowering young athletes). From there, either look for a design professional to develop marketing materials or investigate free graphic design tools like Canva.
6. Prepare For The Unexpected
If change is the only constant, then get ready for the other constant in running a gymnastics studio: unexpected things will happen.
Your enrollment numbers will fluctuate, teachers will leave suddenly, opportunities will arise. Many business owners are working so hard on the daily grind of running their gymnastics center that they miss signs pointing to exciting (and sometimes frustrating) openings for growth.
Coming up with a strategy to handle each of these “unexpected” obstacles means that you can spend more time focused on growing your business (and not putting out fires!).
7. Automate What You Can
Automating what you can allows you to free you coaches and administrative staff from hours of repetitive paperwork. Every business needs to have a process in place for:
- Handling tax and insurance issues
- Managing instructors, students, and inventory
- Billing and payment processing
- Issuing credits and refunds
When you’re building your gymnastics training center, many of these tasks can pile up and make it difficult to focus on your students. Fully automating your key administrative tasks is essential to create time and space for the work of running your studio.
Gymnastics studio management software can help in these cases. Look into software and services that help you automate:
- Online student registration
- One-time and recurring billing
- Credit card processing
- Business administration
By automating these tasks through a single software solution, your day-to-day management will be easier and more focused on your students. You'll also benefit from cost-savings and reliability by relying on software instead of headcount.
8. Plan For Growth
Of all of the tips we have for running your own gymnastics center, this one is perhaps the most important: plan for growth. Proceed as if you will be the top-rated gymnastics training center in your town. This means thinking ahead not only in terms of your facility and staff but also in how you will manage the increase in administrative tasks that comes with an influx of students.
Studio Director can help. With tools to manage and automate the administrative parts of your gymnastics training center, Studio Director gives you the time and freedom to focus on building a successful business.
To explore how our tools can be the springboard to growing your gymnastics training center, get in touch today!