When should you invest in new equipment?

To keep members engaged with your fitness offer, you need to ensure you regularly update and refresh the equipment and services at your facility. But exactly how often should you look to rejuvenate and add something new? And when would the ideal time be?

At React Fitness, we’ve put together five points to consider for those considering renewing their gym floor offerings.

 

  1. Talk to and listen to those around you – and React early

Bringing in new gym equipment is exciting for everyone. Members love it, staff are thrilled by it and it also gives you, the operator, a new selling point to use during your membership drive. Therefore, it’s important that you listen to those who spend time at your club.

Regularly ask your members whether they’re happy with the equipment. Is there something they would like to see added? Would they like a slightly different version of something? Ask your staff to do the same, to get maximum feedback from members.

Also, ask both members and staff for their opinions on their gym experience. Is there anything they and other members never use, which you could replace with something better? Perhaps there is a certain equipment which is so popular with members that they often end up waiting to use it?

Feedback from those who know your gym best is invaluable – so seek it and use it.

Note – if you find that there is already pressure from both members and staff for you to reinvest and refresh your gym, then you are in danger of acting too late. Be proactive – ask and listen.

 

  1. Resist chasing fads

We all know how dynamic and fast-moving the fitness industry can be. Each year a new fad seems to emerge which, to use the marketing cliché, “has taken the exercise world by storm”, only to disappear from sight a few months later.

While you should listen to members and staff, investing in something that is likely to be popular for a few months and then become unused and forgotten, is not sound planning. In truth, it’s not planning at all and could prevent you from being able to invest elsewhere within your facility when you really need to.

In short – don’t look to invest in something new every year, simply for the sake of it.

 

  1. What will the ROI be?

When it comes to deciding the timing of your investment, you should carefully consider the following – will the new equipment generate more revenue and/or provide you with a return on investment (ROI) of some sort? Is it something that you can monetise?

Or is your expected return more indirect and/or ancillary? In other words, will the investment simply improve member satisfaction? Or perhaps help with retention? Or allow you to tap into a new customer base or demographic?

If the investment is mainly about customer happiness, then it should form your long-term investment plan and fit in with all the other improvements you are planning. It makes sense to come up with a plan which identifies smaller improvements as well as larger investments – and then create a timeline for each.

If, however, it is something you can directly monetise, it might be something you can – or even need – to invest in immediately.

Adding a service such as 3D body scanning can provide multiple ways to monetise throughout the sales pipeline and create a buzz in your facility. For example, the Styku 3D Body Scanner not only helps to attract new members through offering e.g. a ‘3D Health MOT’, but the software also allows you to upsell or cross-sell other club services whilst the motivational 3D visuals and progress reports keep members engaged and retention rates strong.

 

  1. Save on maintenance, buy new

It should be obvious: any club spending a fortune each month on the repair and essential maintenance of older exercise equipment – particularly CV machines – is probably in need of some new kit. Having CV units that are out of action on a consistent basis should be a warning sign, even if you have the ability (and cash) to repair them immediately.

 

  1. “Go large” every 10 years

Let’s be honest, most facilities will require a total facelift, upgrade and overhaul every 10 years. Replacing pieces of equipment one at a time is fine and will definitely have a short-term uplift in member happiness, but if you want to remain competitive, a significant renewal is essential every decade.

Some suggest that the 10-year refresh should equal around 20% to 30% of annual sales. As this is a huge investment, it is essential that you get it right. The easiest way to ensure success is to speak to the likes of React Fitness, who will be able to use their knowledge and expertise to create captivating spaces and experiences full of engaging equipment.

Want to know more about identifying the ideal time to renew your equipment? Looking for advice on how to best utilise and work with global, dominating brands which will drive member engagement and secure the future of your facility? Get in touch: hello@react-fitness.com

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