Amidst budget cuts and staffing shortages, many fitness service providers are seeking simple yet unique ways to establish additional streams of revenue and engagement. Developing a small group training program provides an opportunity for your location to do just that.
Over the years, I’ve successfully launched, implemented and managed a diverse array of small group training offerings at multiple locations. Some of the most successful course offerings include:
- May thai.
- Aerial hammock yoga.
- Olympic weightlifting.
- TRX training.
- Trampoline fitness.
- Boxing Boot Camp.
- Acro yoga.
Here are a few strategies you can use to develop and launch an effective small group training program.
What is it and why?
Small group training encompasses an array of professional-led specialized training formats conducted with a group of three to 10 participants.
This style of training is particularly enticing to members as it offers the best of both worlds through a hybridized model. Namely, small group training is appealing for those who love personal training but can’t afford it, and those who enjoy group fitness but desire more personalized attention.
Due to the highly-specialized nature of many small group training offerings, pricing for this service can be set slightly below that of personal training. However, the efficiency of this model presents an opportunity for immense financial gains as you make substantially more from one small group training course than you do from one personal training session because several members pay to participate at once.
How to get started?
The first step to launching a small group training program is to identify what types of specialized formats the population you serve is interested in trying. This can be accomplished through both formal and informal surveys of your members.
It’s also important to connect with your on-staff personal trainers and group fitness instructors to learn more about what unique types of specialized formats they have familiarity and interest in teaching.
In my experience, some of our most popular training offerings arose from passing conversations with members who said, “It would be really cool if you could offer x here,” or with instructors who said, “I know how to teach x and I think the members would really enjoy it if we offered it here.”
After you’ve identified the types of formats your members want to see and the types of formats your current staff can lead, it’s time to get creative.
I recommend working closely with the instructor or trainer you’ve selected to fully develop the small group training concept and bring your plans to life.
In your planning discussions, solidify the following details:
- Course name: Make sure the name is memorable, yet easy to understand.
- Duration: How long is each individual class? How many individual sessions does a full cycle of this training include?
- Scheduling: What days and times will this take place?
- Course details: Develop a course description and maximum class size.
- Equipment needs.
During this step in the planning process, I challenge you to think outside of the box to help you develop a unique and impactful small group training course.
Develop a Marketing Strategy
Once you’ve determined the necessary elements needed to launch your small group training course, it’s time to develop a marketing strategy to raise awareness and sales.
I recommend working closely with your marketing team to develop a promotional plan that is both informative and appealing to your audience so they can truly see the value in your training offerings, and purchase accordingly.
Evaluation for Success
Upon launch of your small group training course, consistent evaluation is needed to maintain success.
During your evaluations, ensure your staff are maintaining professionalism and coaching as effectively as possible. Also continue to survey participants to gather feedback about how you can improve for future offerings.
When properly planned and managed, your program will continue to be the gift that keeps on giving.
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