Research shows that our industry experienced approximately two hundred closures last year. That’s over sixteen fitness facilities closing every month. We need to take a closer look at what we’re doing as an industry to cause this.
So what does a fitness business do to ensure it has the very best possible chance for success? The answer is to be the best you can be, open to new ideas, and stay ready to make changes in your operation.
For the last 40 years, the fitness industry has operated on three basic premises: sales, service, and cleanliness. What are they and how do they work?
Sales – The club industry will routinely experience cycles when members literally flow into the clubs like high tide and other, sparse times when we’d give anything to get a prospect. Every potential member is of great value to your club. Your actions (Attitude) have a big impact on your success, so be approachable (People Skills), provide excellent service (Technical Knowledge), be a team player, take pride in your work, and most of all, know your product (Selling Skills). In addition, a well-thought-out formula on getting the guest to register; giving a proper tour and a clear, understandable price presentation; and knowing how to overcome objections are just as important.
Service – Effective service begins immediately after the sales presentation, when you call or write to say, “thank you” or schedule the new member’s first workout. Remember that long-term members or customers are more important than merely closing a sale. Research shows it costs six times more to attract a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. Focus on retention, not just making sales. There are effective ways for you and your staff to follow up, ensuring your fitness facility is always on a customer’s mind.
Cleanliness – Your members are picky—and they should be. Coordinate general cleaning, maintenance, and repairs of your facility like clockwork. There’s no excuse to have a dirty, broken-down facility, one that your members will talk about to family and friends.
As you head through spring and into summer, it’s more important than ever to analyze where you’ve been and where you’re heading. In order to master the three basic premises, you need to build your facility on a solid foundation. For many of us, that means a good commercial lease, a place you can call home long-term for your business. We’ll take a look at negotiating a lease and/or renegotiating are current lease in an upcoming issue, so stay tuned.
As President and CEO of Global Fitness Association, I invite all of you to find out more about GFA and the valuable resources it provides for this growing and challenging industry.
A special thank you to all the people that visited our website last month. We set an all time record with more visitors and new members than ever before. Thanks for making us your number one resource.
For more information on this subject, give us a call at 925-672-4800 and we will gladly do our best to answer your questions. You can also visit our website at www.globalfitnessassociation.com/info for more information.