Make more money with a 24/7 gym

Oct 10, 2023 - 9 min read
Woman entering the gym by walking through the turnstile, man is smiling and standing at the reception

In a society that never sleeps, a 24/7 gym not only offers unparalleled flexibility for fitness enthusiasts but also opens new, lucrative doors for entrepreneurs like you.

Do your members want a 24-hour gym?

First, let’s check together if 24/7 body fitness is for your clients.

How do you properly research your members’ needs?

It’s time to take a closer look at your members’ behavior.

Did you know that although sometimes our clients can enthusiastically say they would like us to be open 24/7, people are often not very good at predicting their own behavior?

This is exactly why it is so valuable to use their current life, and past behavior as a starting point!

1. Analyze real behavior

Dive into visitor data! 📊 Who are the early birds and who are the night owls? Are there members who would come more often if they could go outside regular hours?

These patterns can give you initial clues about the need for a 24/7 gym.

2. Ask open-ended questions

Start the conversation! Instead of directly asking each member if they want the gym to be open 24/7, ask them about their experiences and any stumbling blocks in their fitness journey.

You’ll often get some form of surprising and sincere feedback that you may not have immediately expected!

3. Rank the problems

Play a little game! 🧩 Make a list of possible areas for improvement (yes, add those 24/7 opening hours, even if they don’t spontaneously mention it) and ask your members to rank them.

What challenges are at the top of their list? This can give you valuable insights into their priorities fitness goals and needs.

4. Conduct a small experiment:

Be playful and creative! Send out an invitation to a “Midnight Fitness Fiesta” and see who enthusiastically pushes the sign-up button.

This kind of light, no-strings-attached experiment can give you a more realistic idea of who would actually use the midnight hours.

Woman and man personal trainers are having a discussion in the gym

Moving to a 24-hour gym brings unique challenges and legal and safety considerations. Let’s explore these together!

Can you open a 24/7 gym just like that?

Before turning the clock around, it is crucial to verify that it is allowed.

Not every location allows 24-hour gyms, so talking to your local municipality to explore specific regulations is a must.

And remember, all permits and licenses, ranging from noise restrictions to building codes, must be in order! It is absolutely essential to check all the legal boxes before you open your door day and night.

And then there’s the neighborhood involvement! It is important to consider the impact of your 24/7 opening on the local community.

Safety and emergencies

When looking at security protocols and contingency plans, safety comes first!

A robust security system is essential to ensure the safety of your members and staff and protect your gym’s facilities from possible break-ins or vandalism.

Also, be prepared for the unexpected! Developing contingency plans, thinking about fire safety and making sure all safety protocols are made clear to your instructors, staff and personnel as well as your members is essential.

And in the event of an emergency? Make sure there is always a clear point of contact for both members and security personnel in case of panic, burglary, fire or other emergencies.

Personal trainer with laptop in the social place

The benefits of running a 24/7 gym

More and more gyms are making the leap to a 24/7 business model.

The modern fitness customer wants more flexibility

The modern fitness fan seeks flexibility and convenience. With a gym open 24 hours, you serve early risers and night owls alike, providing a convenient solution for those with irregular work hours or hectic lifestyles to always be able to exercise.

Unique marketing advantage

Is your gym always open? That’s not only super convenient for members but also your unique asset in a crowded fitness marketplace. Highlight that flexibility and attract a wide audience!

Complete control with an access control system

An access control system not only gives you power over who gets in but also when they do. This gives you the chance to set your own rules.

Whether you want to offer special off-peak season tickets or early bird season tickets, the control is ultimately completely in your hands, while ensuring the security and exclusivity of your club.

Lower personnel costs

Fewer hours at the front desk means more time on the floor, where your team really makes a difference.

With a smart access control system and efficient software for gyms, you can reduce the administrative burden and invest in valuable interactions between staff and members.

As Marc Neijland, owner of ClubJoy and others, believes: the success of your business is determined by the contact with your customers.

Woman came to the gym and discussing the flyer with man at the reception

Smart and sustainable business

With lights and music on 24/7, your gym requires a strategic approach to sustainability and cost management.

Implement smart solutions such as energy-efficient lighting and music timers, and deploy technology for automated energy systems.

This will make your gym an example of nonstop activity, without the nonstop costs.

Hands holding a piece of earth with green leaves growing from it

Access control for 24/7 gyms

Navigate the technology options and ensure smooth and secure access to your gym with the right access system.

What access systems do 24/7 gyms use?

Choosing the right access system for your gym can be a challenge, but with the right information and examples, it becomes a lot easier.

  • RFID and magnetic stripe readers

RFID and magnetic stripe readers offer a smooth check-in experience similar to using a pass in a hotel room. Your members swipe their card, and voila, access is granted!

However, convenience comes with challenges: what if the pass is lost or, even worse, shared with non-members? The risk of fraud is present and requires additional measures, such as regular checking of check-in dates and visual identification by staff during staffed hours.

  • Barcode scanners and mobile app 📱

Barcode scanners, best known from the coronavirus era, can also be a digital key for your members through a mobile app.

A unique QR code linked to each member can not only grant access but also provide valuable check-in data. 

  • Tourniquet Systems

Turnstile systems, especially full-body gates, are the fortress guards of the gym world. They allow one person through at a time and make it nearly impossible to sneak in unseen.

But beware: while they provide a high degree of security, their imposing presence can intimidate potential new members.

It’s essential to strike a balance where you create both a safe and inviting environment.

Woman entering the gym by walking through the turnstile

Make running your 24-hour gym easy with fitness software

With check-in software, such as that from Virtuagym, you can seamlessly integrate your access control system with your membership management software.

This not only means you can combat fraud by only granting access to paying members, but also that you can gain valuable insights and data into your customers’ behavior.

For example, you can identify peak and off-peak times, track the popularity of group classes and even discover specific patterns in room usage.

This data is golden, allowing you to optimize your services and tailor your offerings and sports to your customers’ actual needs and preferences.

How does Virtuagym’s mobile check-in and access control work?

Man is checking the Virtuagym app on this laptop

With Virtuagym, you’ve come to the right place to efficiently manage your 24-hour business.

Seamless access control 🚪

With Virtuagym, managing who, when and how often enters your gym becomes a worry-free process, thanks to the smart integration of access control and member management.

Mobile check-in: convenience in the palm of your hand 📱

Customers easily check-in with a quick scan of a barcode or QR code via their mobile, making gym access smooth and efficient.

Advanced check-in rules for smart management 🛠️

Virtuagym offers the ability to personalize check-in rules, such as blocking access when invoices are outstanding or sending notifications when credits are low, matching your gym policies.

Automatic attendance tracking 📊

Automatic tracking of incoming and outgoing members not only provides an important additional layer of security but also provides crucial data on attendance and usage patterns.

Client overview in Virtuagym App

Membership models and pricing strategies

Running a 24-hour gym opens the doors (literally!) to a sea of opportunities to increase your revenue. Let’s look at some concrete examples and strategies!

Diverse membership plans: more hours, more options

Membership plans are the heart of your club or gym - they should be as diverse and flexible as your customers!

Consider different plans that fit different fitness needs.: from night owls to early risers, from the casual athlete to the dedicated athlete.

For example, create an off-peak membership for those who want to exercise during quieter hours, or a “premium full access” plan for those who want to work out outside of regular business hours.

The key is to provide various lifestyle options that resonate with your members’ diverse lifestyles and needs.

Smart ways for more revenue outside regular business hours

24/7 personal training: offer personal training and coaching at any hour of the day, at a premium rate for the unusual hours.

Exclusive workout events: organize special events, such as a “midnight yoga session” or an “early bird workout,” where members pay an additional fee to participate.

Rental during off-peak hours: consider renting out your space to outside personal trainers, or for events during the hours when your gym is traditionally quiet.

4 people in the gym giving high fives

Let the world know you never sleep

A 24/7 gym has a unique appeal and offers opportunities for trainers to reach a wide range of customers. But how do you make sure your gym stands out in the crowded fitness market?

Unique selling propositions (USPs) for 24/7 locations

Always open, always welcome: highlight the ultimate flexibility your gym offers, ideal for night owls, early risers and everyone in between classes. Exercise at your time, anytime, anywhere.

Safety first: explain how your gym is a safe place to work out even in the middle of the night, thanks to security cameras, emergency buttons, etc.

Access to exclusive events: think unique workshops, group classes or social events available only to members during the week at late hours.

Marketing tactics to promote 24/7 service

Use social media: share stories of customers who benefit from 24/7 opening hours on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Think about the hard worker who trains at 5 a.m. because he works shifts.

Launch offers: introduce your 24/7 opening hours with special offers, such as a free trial week, a discount on the first month, or a limited “night owl” membership.

Partners and sponsorships: work with local businesses (such as coffee shops for the early risers or late-night eateries for the night owls) to create cross-promotions and special offers.

SEO and local search advertising: optimize your website and Google My Business listing for search terms such as “24/7 gyms” and “always open fitness center” to be found better locally.

Woman in sportswear is checking the laptop

Summary roadmap 24-hour gym

  1. Start by mapping your customers’ sports habits
  2. Race through the bureaucratic jungle to score all the necessary permits and licenses
  3. Build an impenetrable security system that keeps your members and facilities safe, day and night
  4. Choose an access system that acts as a magical gatekeeper for your gym
  5. Develop diverse subscription and pricing strategies
  6. Implement energy-efficient solutions and technologies
  7. Define and promote the USPs of your 24/7 gym
  8. Choose software such as Virtuagym for seamless check-ins and member management

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Abril Llado Mendoza

Digital Marketing Intern US/UK

Abril Llado works in US/UK digital marketing at Virtuagym. She loves learning new things and has a passion for fitness and health, which she shares through her blog posts. Abril is currently pursuing her bachelor's degree in Public Administration at Erasmus University, with a minor in Business Management