Ordering clothes for your gym should be fun. Cool gear should be a way to bring the community together and pocket some extra cash. But time and again I see gym owners giving up or avoiding the process because of the stress and confusion that comes with it.
I see this because I run a bespoke clothing store myself. I’ve seen the mistakes most people make. So here are my recommended strategies to avoid the headache and just focus on what really matters – bringing your community together.
Too many options and styles
Did you know that when they have more options, people actually buy less? If you want to know why choosing is demotivating for customers and consumers, read the Columbia Jam Study. Essentially, the study focused on a jam tasting booth set up in a popular grocery chain. On different weekends they tested the following:
- On a Saturday the booth had 24 different jams to choose from.
- The following Saturday the booth would only have six different jams.
It found that with less choice, the stall sold more jam jars. This has been repeatedly tested with different products in different studies.
So where exactly are the pitfalls when ordering sportswear? For one, customers don’t have time to think about which shirt color they want. They just want someone to show them the best option, not all of the options. So, yes, you’ve probably designed a shirt that works ten different colors, but that doesn’t mean you should take advantage of it and have all of these shirts made.
Often people come to us who want every color shirt we offer. We try to talk them out of this, but sometimes people just ignore our advice. Then when they reorder they will tell us: “I sold out color X, but I still have a whole box of color Y left!” In these situations, groupthink or the herd mentality takes over. When five to six people start buying the blue shirt, they all want a blue shirt and you get stuck with the box of red shirts. When in doubt, keep it simple.
Many owners believe that ordering different styles is the golden ticket to selling. But just because one person wants a V-neck doesn’t mean you should fit that one person in. Gym owners tend to get out of hand and want six different styles for women. Just offer a women’s t-shirt, a women’s t-shirt, a men’s t-shirt, and a men’s t-shirt. Keep everything simple.
Too many cooks in the kitchen
You are a busy gym owner. You don’t have time to coordinate the clothes ordering, but you know you need one. You instruct the office manager responsible for the order. In return, he or she asks his friends for help, who in turn ask the rest of the gym for help.
You’ve essentially turned your chance of winning into a three-ring circus by inviting outsiders to a pseudo-committee decision-making process. Keep the dress code between you and some trusted counselors. Obviously, ask for outsider feedback, but if this is for your bottom line and branding then you should have the final say.
No clear branding
Are you the type of owner who just isn’t happy with the way your gym is branded? Tried different logos and fonts and nothing seems to stick with you? Well the secret is that that’s the problem. You need to stick with a logo and branding message.
Think all the big brands you see on a daily basis, from Apple to Rogue Fitness. All of their branding is the same from day one. Apple doesn’t bring a new logo to market every year for every new product launch. Successful companies stick to their branding in good times and difficult. Find some type of branding that shows what you and your business is about and stick with it.
You decided to order tanks on behalf of women’s group training because you think you know their size. Or you “don’t have time to pre-order” and just ordered twenty of each size.
Wrong move! This is also due to a chance of winning. Take the time to organize your pre-order carefully and eliminate excess inventory issues.
Delay in sales of shirts
We know you are crammed with time commitments. We also deal with it every day. However, if you delay your clothing order, you could be leaving hundreds of dollars a month on the table. Selling clothing is one of the most passive sources of income you can have in your business.
To conclude, before you get stressed about your next clothing order, take a minute to organize yourself, cut out the noise, and remember the key reasons why you wanted shirts in the beginning.
Photo 1 courtesy of Jorge Huerta Photography.
Photos 2 & 3 courtesy ofShutterstock.