Local business partnerships can come in all different shapes and sizes. The effect they have on the community and the businesses involved is tremendous! According to a survey by Intuit Mint, 38% of consumers say they want to support local businesses and creators. Working with other local businesses in your industry can drive more customers to your business who might already have some level of interest in getting involved with your gym or studio.
Forming a partnership with local businesses in your industry can overall help to generate brand awareness and leads. Your fitness studios’ marketing and promotional efforts through the partnership will bridge the gap for converting those leads.
Partnership Marketing as a Broad Concept
Partnership marketing allows your fitness business’ marketing efforts to hone in on a target audience in your industry that another business has already identified. A partnership with your gym should allow the other business involved to tap into the market that your gym attracts. Without a doubt, your partnership should be mutually beneficial for all parties involved.
When developing ideas for forming a partnership, consider how each party involved will benefit, including the consumer. Understand what each party wants and how that can be implemented in the partnership marketing plan. Establish what either business can provide for one another and the target audience more specifically than the market.
Here are a few of many options to consider for forming local business partnerships with your fitness center.
Partnerships can form based on the sales of new products. This includes changes to studio or gym membership packages that you want to promote through forming a partnership with a local business like a supplement shop. For example, frequenters of the supplement shop can have access to discounted rates on the new membership packages.
This narrows down the target audience for your marketing to people who are already health conscious and could be in search of a new gym to attend.
Discount promotions for visits or loyalty
For long-term local business partnerships, your gym or studio has the option of offering loyalty rewards and discounts for frequent visits between the businesses. This highly encourages client retention for both parties!
Shared space / setting up booths
Does your gym share a space with another business? Well, if possible, take advantage of the opportunity to have a business close in proximity that draws in an entirely separate crowd of people. Marketing efforts can tap into drawing in customers who frequent the business nearby and establish the convenience of frequenting your gym.
Another option for space sharing is partnering with local schools that specialize in martial arts or dance, for example. They could guest teach classes once a week. This enriches the value of a membership with your fitness studio. They benefit from having an extra source of revenue and raising awareness for their discipline.
Also, partner with businesses to set up booths in your gym to share what they offer to supplement health and wellness. This provides a more valuable experience for gym-goers and allows for the partner business to raise more awareness for their contribution to the community.
Get sponsored and be a sponsor! If your community is large enough to host one or more fitness businesses, then there is 100% an opportunity to create effective local business partnerships through sponsorships.
Sponsorships make for a powerful type of partnership for increasing brand awareness. Sponsorships with local businesses show that your gym or studio supports not only the health and wellness of the people in your community but also supports the health and wellness of your community’s economy.
Popular community-based sponsorships occur with community-wide events, community-based sports teams, events held by local businesses, and so forth. Identifying these opportunities requires your team to stay in tune with the community pulse and even contribute to that pulse.
Consider becoming a licensed dealer or retailer for a local shop that provides fitness or wellness supplies. Dealership opportunities give your fitness business more options for generating revenue and making the experience at your gym more valuable.
Often, people show up to the gym and forget an essential part of their gym gear or other supplies at home. Provide a way to sell locally sourced products to gym members for those forgetful days or to give them options for products to buy that catch their interest.
What are the other benefits of partnering with local businesses?
We have covered many of the benefits of forming local business partnerships. However, an important quality to build on through partnerships is trust. When you establish your fitness center as a pillar of the community by making successful connections with other businesses, then your center will become a credible source in the community for helping people improve their health and wellness.
Aside from that, the local economy reaps the benefits and local shops are also more likely to provide sustainable goods.
How does your fitness business contribute to your community?
The bottom line is that your gym, studio, or health club improves the overall wellness of your community. Your fitness center provides a place where people can go to learn about ways to improve their health and have access to the resources to do so.
Who do you want to partner with and why?
A gym, studio, or health club would most benefit from partnerships within the industry of health and wellness. We’ve identified some key business types to consider for forming a partnership:
- Supplements Shop
- Sporting Goods Store
- Athletic Wear Shop
- Massage Therapists
- Physical Therapists
- Juice Bars
- Rec Centers
- Various schools for training i.e. Martial Arts and Dance
How to Pitch a Partnership Proposal
Partnership proposals can be a nerve-wracking endeavor, but if you use a simple formula for sharing your business’ value, opportunity provision, and goals, then you will find success from your pitches. Reach out with a “feeler” by email or phone to propose your partnership. Inform them that you have a proposal hashed out that you and your team would think to be mutually beneficial if they would like to discuss further.
Share your calendar with the prospect to let them set a time. This shows flexibility and professionalism right off the bat! Also, use language relevant to the potential partner’s business. Showing that you have done your research saves the other entity time in getting up to speed and shows that your team is committed to this proposal.
Keep the initial proposal easy to understand with quickly consumable information. Leave the right amount of room for the potential partner to inquire for more information and suggest they take the next step with a call to action. Hashing out the value of your business’ services and resources is the first step. Share about what your establishment contributes to the community.
Then, share about the unique similarities in markets and how you can narrow down your audiences and generate more consumer engagement through a partnership. Provide a brief of the idea(s) in mind for how the partnership would work out and what goals you would share for the campaign.
Hash out a preliminary plan with projected numbers, if possible, and all of the aforementioned information.
Additionally, this plan should have all the logistics hashed out from your business’s end and the medium on which the campaign will run on. In other words, how will you employ this campaign, and how do all the employments connect between print, web, and social promotion.
What marketing materials do you expect to need? What is the timeline for starting the campaign and the term of the campaign?
First and foremost, make it easy for the business your fitness studio is proposing to crunch the numbers for the budget and the projected costs and roughly calculate their ROI.
Tracking Local Business Partnerships Campaigns
A strict method and an organized system for tracking campaigns will make for a smooth partnership. Establish your methods for tracking campaigns right from the start and include the proposed methods in the plan after an agreement is formed.
Set SMART goals for tackling a successful partnership. SMART goals stand for:
- Specific – Goals must be specific so that they are actionable
- Measurable – Measurable goals give you the ability to track milestones to stay motivated throughout the process of achieving your larger goals. Measurable goals also give you the ability to track and improve your performance.
- Achievable – Your goals for the partnership must be achievable. You want to mark success from the endeavor instead of failure. This is where a SWOT analysis of your business’s marketing efforts and the potential of the partnership comes into play. This helps your team better understand what can be achieved.
- Relevant – Goals for the partnership must coordinate with specific needs that your fitness studio and the partner can meet for each other. It wouldn’t make sense to expect an increase in client retention with a partnership campaign focused on increasing conversions through sign-on deals, right?
- Time-Bound – The length of any marketing and business growth campaign will have time constraints. Setting goals with time-bound achievements will keep the efforts of the campaign on course for completion. Time is essential for lighting the fire under your team to reach goals. On top of that, time is money when it comes to marketing campaigns. Meeting goals in a timely matter will prevent you from busting your budget.
A SWOT analysis, as mentioned in the achievable section, is analyzing your fitness center’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. In actuality, your team should conduct regular SWOT analyses to make sure that all aspects of your business’s well-doings and pitfalls are addressed.
Communication for Success
Throughout the process, make sure to keep the door for communication open. One-sided control over the campaign can cause turmoil and an overall ineffective endeavor. Worse, turmoil could hurt the reputation and credibility of your business. Thus making forming other local business partnerships in the future much more difficult. Success in partnerships comes from constructive negotiation and communication throughout every step of the process. Therefore, be open to the potential partner’s ideas of how to track and manage the campaign. Your team might be on the end of the proposer, but that does not mean you should commandeer the entire process of the campaign.
Forming local business partnerships with your fitness business can have a whole plethora of benefits. The idea behind partnerships is to benefit every party involved through mutual support and customer satisfaction. Therefore, establish your gym, studio, or health club as a credible and valuable resource for your community.
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