Maximising Additional Profit Streams: Retail and F&B

Are you making the most of every opportunity for profit and personalised customer service in your facility?


The Modern Training Gym model is based on maximum yield per client: going deep (not broad) and providing a full-stack, one-stop, premium service that caters to their every need. This in turn increases retention (as we’re serving our members exceptionally well) and maximises customer lifetime value. 

Although a relatively small part of the revenue pie, additional income streams like retail, F&B, nutritional coaching, and online coaching can combine to bump up this yield per client and improve your overall profitability. 

“Everything you sell should resonate with your core values”

Additional profit stream #1: retail

When it comes to retail, the core tenet is to keep it on brand at all times. If you’re considering selling something within your four walls (or on your website), ask yourself, “Does this communicate who we are to both prospects and current members?” If the answer is “no” – no matter how profitable the item seems at first glance – move onto another idea.

As well as a revenue source, retail is also a source of internal marketing, strengthening the sense of community and rounding out the full-service experience: and external marketing, as your members carry goods branded with your logo and (hopefully) speak positively about you to their friends.

Some helpful guidelines:

  • Keep it on brand

Not everything you sell has to be branded with your logo, but everything should fit in with your core values and support the way you say you do things. Selling 1kg pink dumbbells, for example, if you’re pushing the big functional movements, is a disconnect. Selling fad diet pills that don’t work if you’re advising sensible long-term eating plans is a no-no.

This also holds true for the profit margin you make. The idea with retail isn’t to squeeze your client dry by charging £20 for a pair of headphones you got for £2 from Tesco. That isn’t in line with the relationship based on transparency, integrity, and fairness that’s the basis of good retention rates and high lifetime value. Ask a fair price, create a fair profit.

  • Make it quality

A truck-load of t-shirts of questionable origin going cheap aren’t really a reliable and reputable way of giving your clients the service they deserve. Every part of your offering needs to be consistently excellent, and this includes anything you sell on the side.

  • Make it useful

Having a dusty rack of ten-year-old yoga clothing on display in a prime footfall area if you don’t offer yoga isn’t good. A core of quality products that tap into the specific needs of your market are the way to go. Some of the essentials – like decent water from the fountain and hairbands – you could consider offering for free as part of an excellent service. Others – like headphones, water bottles etc. – should be based on what people actually need. Listen to your clients: if ten people in a month say they wish you sold a branded hoodie, get some branded hoodies in.

  • Make the sale before you sell

For example: If you’ve done a good job of establishing your gym as a trusted brand, and have instilled lifetime loyalty in your customers, selling branded clothing should be easy. Choose a decent mark like New Balance or Under Armour – one that fits your brand – and get it embroidered with your logo so it still looks good after fifty sessions.

  • Make it timely

Your retail offerings should be part of the way you do things, not a bolted on afterthought. Frame this as just offering the client something to make their experience better, at a fair price, and your staff will feel less uncomfortable about active selling. Bump up sales in line with your “extra-curricular activities”. If you’ve got an internal competition on, for example, people will feel a real part of the community and want to buy a sweatshirt with your logo.

Additional profit stream #2: F&B

Like your retail items, food and drink sales are a tidy sideline that can bring in a bit of profit. But your main objective here is to provide the client with what they need to have a standout experience while they’re using your facility.

If you don’t have space to have a full-on café area or juice bar, don’t worry. You can still have a bit of counter space or a fridge with a transparent front packed with on-point goodies to make your clients’ gym experience the best part of their day.

“Track your success and course correct to maximise profit”

Keep these things in mind:

  • Practise what you preach

Offer food and drinks that are in line with the nutritional guidance that you dish out. Selling Lucozade if one of your key points is no sweet fizzy drinks is hypocritical and unhelpful.

  • Know your stuff

If you’re selling a snack, know what’s in it. You’re accountable for everything you sell, so make sure you can talk intelligently to the client about the pros and cons of a certain food or drink.

  • Keep it fresh

Going down the old road of a dusty vending machine full of year-old crap isn’t going to win you any likes. Think fresh fruit and veg, a decent coffee machine with quality coffee, some premium “green drinks” – make an effort and you’ll get good returns and happy customers.

  • Listen and learn

Like anything in this business, you should be constantly tracking success so you can improve. If no one is buying your kale brownies and you’re chucking them away, stop ordering them. If you’re constantly running out of bananas – buy more! Don’t make stock ordering guesswork, rather another part of your carefully designed system.

Want to learn more about optimising sales and maximising your profitability?

Download our free Systemising Sales Ebook to debunk the negative preconceptions around sales – and learn proven principles and practical methods you can use easily incorporate into your business.

Want to jump straight in the deep end and revolutionise your marketing and sales success with the help of JC Vacassin, founder of the IFBA?

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