How to Increase Gym Membership Prices in 2024

Veronica Oquendo
19 January 2024

Most gym owners fear what might happen if they announce gym membership price increases. But as inflation continues to go up, so do our membership rates. This decision can feel like walking on a tightrope, debating between maintaining member loyalty and ensuring business growth. 

We’ve had to tackle these changes ourselves, so we’re here to help you approach price increases smoothly. In this article, we’ll explore why and how to effectively increase your gym membership prices with minimal risk. 

Why You Need To Raise Membership Prices

For many gym owners, the desire to start running a gym or studio often comes from a deep desire to help people achieve their fitness and wellness goals. Recognizing the value of this service is important, as our team invests countless hours and extensive expertise in helping members achieve their goals. 

Charging appropriately for these services isn’t just about making a profit; it’s about respecting the value of what you offer and ensuring that your gym can continue to operate and serve your community effectively.

Inflation And Rising Operational Costs

Inflation is a reality that touches every aspect of business,  including your gym or fitness center. Rising operational costs – from utility bills to equipment maintenance, gym management software costs, and salaries – are an unavoidable truth. 

Transparently communicating how these economic factors impact your gym can help members understand and appreciate the necessity of a price increase. 

Investing In Member Experience

Enhancing your gym’s facilities and services can be a powerful justification for raising prices. Whether upgrading equipment, introducing new fitness classes, adding new gym management software, or improving amenities, these enhancements contribute to a more enriching gym environment.

Members are more likely to accept a price increase if they see tangible improvements in their gym experience. It’s about adding value that resonates with their fitness goals and overall satisfaction while fostering a stronger, more loyal community. 

Market Positioning: Aligning Price With Perception

Your pricing strategy is critical to how your gym is perceived in the market; it’s a message that communicates the value and quality of your services. Targeting the right demographics involves aligning your prices with the expectations and capabilities of your desired member base.

A well-considered price increase can elevate your gym’s brand, positioning it as a premium service provider in the fitness industry. This doesn’t mean alienating your current members; instead, it’s about attracting those who see the value in what you offer and are willing to pay for a superior gym experience. 

Effective market positioning through pricing can help you attract and retain members who are the best fit for your gym’s unique offerings and community.

How To Increase Gym Membership Prices

Show Your Gym’s Worth and Value Proposition

Showing members your commitment to their fitness journey by enhancing your value before a price increase can significantly influence how your members perceive and accept the change. You can do this by:

  1. Upgrading your physical space and equipment to improve functionality and appeal.
  2. Expanding your range of classes and programs. Introduce new fitness trends, specialized classes, or wellness programs. This will help existing members stay engaged and satisfied while attracting new members. 
  3. Training your staff to provide personalized attention, respond promptly and effectively to member queries, and create a welcoming atmosphere.
  4. Implementing member feedback systems to improve service quality continuously. Members who feel valued and supported are more likely to perceive the price increase as reasonable. 
  5. Leveraging technology to enhance the gym experience, such as introducing user-friendly gym software, offering virtual classes, or incorporating fitness tracking systems. If you need help integrating gym management software to streamline your operation,  book a free call with one of our experts
  6. Building a strong community to help members feel supported and part of something. Host events, challenges, or social gatherings to encourage interaction and camaraderie among members. 

Calculate The Prices You Need To Charge

When calculating your prices, you should carefully balance your current expenses and the market reality (such as inflation). There’s a big difference between the price you need to charge for profitability and the price you want to charge for growth aspirations. 

This calculation should be grounded in concrete data, including operational costs, future investments, and desired profit margins, rather than being a mere guess or a reflection of competitors’ pricing. Accurate pricing ensures that your gym remains financially healthy and competitive without undercharging or overcharging. 

We built a profit margin calculator to help you make projections for 2024 and the following years. You will see that if you don’t increase your pricing accordingly, your profit margins will plummet. 

Ease Members Into the Transition

Demonstrate empathy and understanding toward your members by easing them into the price changes. A grace period allows members to adjust mentally and financially to the new pricing structure, increasing retention and loyalty during this critical phase. Here are a few tips on how to ease them in:

  1. Be transparent and clear in your communication. If you’ve done a good job at showing your value, a price increase shouldn’t be the end of the world. Explain when the prices will take effect and any other relevant details. 
  2. Consider providing options. For instance, you could allow members to lock in the current rate for an extended period if they commit to a longer-term membership before the price increases. 
  3. Ensure that all staff members are well-informed and can answer questions or address concerns that members might have about the new pricing. 

This approach can help mitigate any initial resistance to the change, fostering a sense of loyalty and understanding that benefits both your members and your gym in the long run.

Prepare For the Worst

Being prepared never hurts. While it’s unlikely that you will see a significant drop in memberships due (exclusively) to a price increase, get ready to say goodbye to a few members. 

Some members may not see the value in paying more for a gym membership, and that’s okay. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your services are lacking, but maybe they are not in it for the long run, and we also need to respect that. Members who fall into this category are not our target audience, and they would likely drop out at any moment anyway. 

You might get some resistance from engaged and genuinely interested members, though. Be prepared to address their concerns assertively, reaffirm your gym’s value proposition, and listen to their feedback.

Assess how many members you can afford to lose without affecting your gym’s financial stability so that you can manage the price increase confidently, ensuring your gym remains on a solid footing even if a few members choose to leave.

Ready to Tackle 2024 Head-on? 

Increasing your gym membership prices doesn’t have to be overwhelming for you or your members!

The ultimate goal is not just to be profitable but to elevate the entire gym experience for your members,  ensuring that your gym continues to thrive as a valuable part of their fitness journey while leading to sustainable business growth.