When was the last time you considered your revenue per client?

For some gyms, this ratio would simply be equal to the average current membership fee that members are paying; but for other, more advanced business models, this number can be much greater than just a client’s monthly payment.

Increasing your revenue per client has the potential to not only improve your bottom line, but to also improve your member experience.

At first glance, this may appear to be a paradox- how can members be happier if they are also spending more?

The key is to offer services and products that ADD to your members’ experience.


photo credit: Zolk via photopin cc

Things that they are willing and happy to pay for. Personal training, nutrition coaching, speciality cycles, skill sessions and yes, even retail are all ways that your business could be bolstering both its bottom line and your customer’s experience.

When clients ask us about introducing retail into their gym, we agree that there are definitely opportunities available. The key is to introduce it in a way that puts your customers needs and wants first. With their best interests in mind, increasing your revenue will happen much more easily.

Set the Ground Rules

The first thing a box owner should be sure of before making a big retail purchase, is that they are doing this for the right reasons. One rationalization that doesn’t work is, “well, if they are going to buy it somewhere else, they may as well buy it from me.”

Members see you as a health and fitness expert, at least they should if you hope to be around much longer. Your reputation is your company’s x-factor, it determines not only your credibility, but your price point. Lose your expertise and you lose everything. For this reason, before you even consider putting something on your shelves, you should ask yourself several important questions:

  • What are the benefits associated with this product?
  • Can someone get the benefits of this product in a healthier way?
  • Would I take this product myself?
  • Could I recommend this product based on efficacy and results?

Your clients will inevitably buy chocolate cupcakes, but that doesn’t mean they should buy them from you. Offering energy drinks, sugar-loaded protein bars, or other unhealthy products shouldn’t be part of your business plan either.

Make it a point to only offer products you truly understand the science behind and believe in the efficacy of. Products that add to your reputation as an expert- and don’t put it into question. If you’re not willing to put the time into studying the ingredient lists or the how and why creatine works, then limit your retail element to shirts and water. If you’re ready to put in the work, both in understanding your products and this new type of business model, forge ahead.

Understand your Customers and Current Trends

Before diving into a big retail order, you’ll need to get to know your customers in a new way. Sure, you know how Jessica squats with her feet too far apart and how James lacks flexibility in his shoulders- but now you’ll need the answer to find out even more about their habits. Start asking questions about what supplements they already take, what their post-workout routine is, whether they have their own their own jump rope, mobility ball or wrist wraps- especially take note if you find yourself answering the same question about a certain supplement product or brand.

You’ll likely find that your customers are currently taking the big three: protein, fish oil, and a multivitamin. This is a good place to start. Make a list of products you have decided would be beneficial for them to have. This may or may not include supplements, paleo snack bars, workout accessories, t-shirts, protein shakers and more. Check your list against the ground rules and start researching for products that you believe in.


This week start surveying your members and developing a list of retail opportunities within your business. Research what you should be looking for in an effective protein powder or bcaa supplement and take note for later reference. Next week, we’ll discuss sourcing retail opportunities and how and where to acquire products at wholesale rates. We’ll also recommend a few vendors where your company can get more information.

Guest Post by:
Amy Duchene and her husband Marc own CrossFit 915 in El Paso, Texas. They also have their own kid’s fitness company, CuzImABeast, that offers informational articles, WODs, coaching videos, and cartoon learning aids for CrossFit Kids programs. Amy also is one of 321GoProject’s specialty business coaches. Amy helps Affiliates build their kid’s fitness programs.