Fitness Biz Mistakes Killing Your Revenue

Did you know that virtually all Australian fitness businesses are small or mid-sized?

That’s right; 97% of Aussie organizations are classified as “small.” This is a wonderful symbol of the entrepreneurial spirit that made our country possible. It’s a matter of national pride and it’s just how things work with Australia’s towns and cities being scattered all around the country.

Unfortunately, our small-business economy comes with its share of problems. For example, 44% of our businesses suffer from poor strategic management and 40% from cash problems.

This isn’t a problem in large industries that are rich in cash but it’s massive in the fitness business.


Because 200,000 Australians are trained to teach fitness and provide fitness-related services each year. This makes the fitness industry hyper-competitive, to the point where poor strategy and cash problems can be crippling and completely destroy your business.

You don’t want this to happen, and to make sure it doesn’t it’s imperative that you read this article through, taking note of Australia’s 4 fitness biz mistakes, and making sure you aren’t repeating them in your business.

Mistake 1 – Not Asking For Referrals and Reviews

Word of mouth advertising is arguably the most powerful way to acquire customers and make sales.

For starters, it drives up to 50% of all buying decisions across all industries. Referrals and reviews drive as much business as all other marketing strategies combined. Learning to use them effectively can double your sales.

So why does word of mouth work so well?

Well, the first reason is that 92% of all consumers trust referrals from their friends, family, and colleagues. This doesn’t always translate to digital marketing and that’s fine.

88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they do referrals. This means there’s no real difference between personal recommendations and internet testimonials. Both have the power to grow your business.

The problem is that most small and mid-sized fitness businesses don’t use word of mouth marketing, period. The reasons we’ve found in our work with hundreds of entrepreneurs and managers are:

  • No word of mouth marketing strategy for getting referrals/reviews
  • The absence of time and/or energy
  • Real or perceived resistance from consumers

The latter point— the idea that asking for referrals somehow annoys or displeases consumers— is the single biggest reason. Fortunately, it’s 100% wrong. The reality is that 91% of all consumers are happy to leave you a review or refer you to their friends when prompted.

This means that failing to ask consumers for reviews and referrals isn’t just a mistake. It’s possibly the biggest marketing mistake you can make because it means you lose up to half of your potential sales.

How do you reverse this problem if you’re making it?

  1. Get into the habit of asking folks to leave you online feedback – e.g. via social media groups or your e-mail newsletter.
  2. Give users channels where they can easily leave reviews, e.g. by making a Google Places account for your business.

Simply following these 2 tips will help you maximize your word of mouth marketing, and help you tap into the 50% of sales driven by referrals and reviews.

Mistake 2 – Refusing to Diversify

For a lot of fitness business owners and managers, their job isn’t a job. It’s a passion; a calling to do good for the world and their clients.

And that is all well and good, but thinking like this can also be a huge blow to your business. In fact, it can be the death stroke that buries your fitness operation from the very start and here’s why.

The Australian fitness industry measures at well over $1.2 bn. That’s a massive number but if you think all of that money is made in gyms and via group classes, you’re dead wrong.

There are only around 3,500 gyms and other training venues in the country and it’s fair to say they don’t generate that billion dollars in and of themselves. Otherwise, they’d have an average annual revenue of well over $300,000!

So where does all that money come from? Well, here’s a few important sources:

  • Supplements
  • Nutrition Coaching
  • Fitness Clothes
  • Accessories

In accessories alone, worldwide FitBit sales were worth over $2 billion last year. Australia was one of the major markets for the product (until recently).

Figures like these mean that simply selling your fitness services means leaving loads of money on the table. The smart business choice is to promote and re-sell all kinds of supplementary goods and services.

Of course, you may not want to do this for ideological reasons— and that’s okay— but if you’re not driven by personal beliefs and you’re not selling third-party products, you’re losing money for no reason. Here’s how you can reverse that:

  • Don’t be afraid to offer a secondary area of expertise in your services. For example, you may primarily be a hatha yoga coach, but you can probably teach gentle yoga too. Or you may be a bodybuilder who knows enough about nutrition to teach beginners and intermediates. Don’t let these skills go to waste!
  • Find out what’s selling (and working) in the fitness niche by going on Amazon and seeing their “top sellers.” Then promote these products to your clients, selling them in your store and making an honest profit in the process.

These strategies don’t just make you money; they benefit you by helping provide a better service to your clients. The next tip will do the same, with a small, simple tweak that will completely change the way consumers view your business.

Mistake 3 – You’re Too Enthusiastic

Movements centered around sports tend to get pretty hardcore and militant. Here are a few examples to illustrate what we mean.

Crossfit – a multibillion dollar brand – features “Pukey the Clown” as one of its mascots. Pukey illustrates what newcomers can expect to happen the first time they have an intense training session.

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Then there’s T-Nation (also known as Biotest): one of the biggest standalone supplement brands in the U.S. and Australia. Their slogan is, “dangerously hardcore.”

Lest you think this kind of rhetoric and imagery is only limited to predominantly male sports, think again. Modern fitness products for women are often marketed using words like “tribe,” “power,” and “lifestyle.” There’s even a yoga school for women called “Tribe Yoga!

Now imagine being a newcomer to a sport and experiencing all of this. If you’re like most people, you might feel intimidated. You might even feel so intimidated you never go back to that particular venue and service provider.

Makes sense, right? As a beginner, things are hard enough as it is. The last thing you want is to meet a cult-like group with stringent standards.

Large gyms and fitness businesses know this which is why they focus more on providing quality experiences instead of top-notch training. While you might scoff at this, remember: you run a business, not a passion project. Being hardcore might attract like-minded individuals but it’s also going to scare away potentially profitable clients in droves.

Here’s how you can prevent this from happening by creating a welcoming, friendly atmosphere at your business:

  1. Make sure anyone walking through the door is personally received by a member of staff.
  2. Explain everything clearly to anyone who’s new to your business – even if they seem to know what they’re doing.
  3. Aim to reach everyone, not just the people who have a natural affinity for your sport and the culture around it

Mistake 4 -Not Using MokFit

Last but not least, let’s talk about a fitness biz mistake that’s specific to Australia.

Imagine being a taxi driver and not using Uber to get additional clients. That’d be pretty odd, to say the least, right? Right.

Now, what if we told you that there were Uber-like services for the fitness niche? Services that connect businesses like yours with eager, ready-to-buy consumers? Wouldn’t that be pretty exciting?

We thought so – which is why we made one of Australia’s first service that matches fitness businesses with customers. A similar service called ClassPass helped U.S. businesses make $60 million in revenue in 2015 but then hiked its prices up, scaring away customers.

Fortunately for you, this is something that could never happen with MokFit. With our app, you get to set your own prices and terms! All we do is put your offers in front of users and help to promote them.

We also…

  • Help you sell pre-packaged programs, fitness plans, etc through our app (see pt. 2: selling third-party services)
  • Invest Thousands of dollars into promoting our app
  • Give you the ability to show users your workouts so they know how good you are.

To learn more about how we can grow your business, go to the blog 5 Ways MokFit Helps You Win More Customers and Sales. It’s provides a comprehensive review of our one-of-a-kind service, so find now!


MokFit Team

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