The 10th Year – What’s Stopping You From Upgrading?

For Gym Operators

The 10th Year – What’s Stopping You From Upgrading?

A lot can happen in ten years. The US goes through two, if not three, presidents within that time. Trends have come and gone. The hottest TV and movie stars have seen the highs and lows of their careers. Every industry on the planet, no matter how big or small, has changed dramatically in ten years. The fitness industry hasn’t escaped change in ten years either. Equipment manufacturers have released up to three new models of their equipment in that span of time. Fitness trends are shaping the industry in new and compelling ways. If you’re sitting with ten-year-old equipment, what have you missed in the last ten years? And how much longer will you let your facility be behind the times?

Let’s consider the facility down the street. They opened around the same time as you. For three years, you were strong competitors together. You may have even had a little healthy rivalry going. After three years, your competitor decided to upgrade his equipment after his lease was up and replaced it with the latest on the market. You decided to keep your current equipment, but extended your warranties and service agreements for a few more years. This upkeep of your equipment kept you neck-and-neck with your competitor for two more years.

Then around year six, after your service agreements expired, you took a look at your equipment and thought it was still functioning well, and you didn’t hear any complaints (although your numbers were a little low), so you decided to maintain the equipment on your own. Your competitor decided to upgrade his equipment again after his second three-year lease.

The same happens in year nine. You stay with your equipment, which is probably costing you more to maintain than it is worth in residual value. Your competitor upgrades his equipment after his third lease is up. Considering on average, equipment manufacturers release new models of their equipment every three years, you’re at least two models behind your competitor, potentially even three.

You’re not only uncompetitive with your once top competitor; you’re most likely not even among the top facilities in your market. Not all is lost though. This is a perfect time to reinvent yourself and consider how you can get back on top. You can rejuvenate your facility, encourage your staff and exercisers, and put in the effort to move your business forward by leaps and bounds.

Here are a few things to consider as you look to upgrade:

  • Trade-In Value: While your equipment is outdated, there is a chance you’ll be able to get a little money on the trade-in value. As mentioned above, your cost of upkeep at this stage may be higher than what the equipment is worth. It’s best to cut and run – see what you can get for it and then get the latest on the market.
  • Find Out What You Need: When investing in brand new equipment, it’s important to know what you need to get back on top. What does your market need? More cardio or a bigger strength space? A Queenax system? More weights?
  • Get Input: To make sure you get it right, this is a perfect time to poll your staff and exercisers. They’re using your space and will have opinions on what’s missing or what’s not being used. You should also poll your market – what is lacking in your area? What do your competitors do well? Where do they miss the mark?
  • Start with a Clean Slate: Since you haven’t switched up your look for a while, it’s time to take that input to rework your layout. Maybe your cardio section is too big or too small. Does your weight area suit your needs? Make a drawing of your space and figure out what product mix and configuration will work best. This is your chance to change things up in a big way.
  • Stay Educated: There are a lot of resources available at that will re-educate you on how to run a facility, invigorate your staff, and attract and retain exercisers. While you’ve been in the industry for 10+ years, a lot has changed, and it’s important to make sure you have the latest information available to kick-start your facility.

It’s not too late to bring new life to your facility. The new equipment will do wonders to help you get back on your feet and stay competitive in the marketplace. Consider this investment the best for yourself, your staff, and most importantly, your exercisers.

Our experienced field team is able to provide additional information and insights if you have specific questions.
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