Monday

THERE IS NO SUGER COATING, ONLY THE FACTS

As you head into summer, it is more important than ever to analyze where you have been and where you are heading. You may have noticed in my past articles, I like sharing my experience with you, and I tell it the way it is. There is no sugar coating, only the facts to keep you informed and moving ahead.

I’ve explained to many of our members that being in the fitness business is like playing hardball, not city league softball, where everything you do counts towards your success. And as an old time friend said to me “the fitness industry is one of the hardest and most difficult businesses to succeed in.” So why not be the best you can and make it happen?

The truth is, from my sources, our industry experienced over six hundred and fifty closures last year . . . that’s over fifty-four fitness facilities closing per month. The SBA estimates that independent gyms fail 80% of the time in the first 5 years. We need to ask ourselves why . . . and take a closer look in the mirror at what we are doing as an industry.   

In business, even in the fitness industry, there are always ups and downs, and, no matter what people say, that’s healthy. So, what does a fitness business do to ensure they have the very best possible chance for success? Here is the answer. Be the best you can, open to new ideas, and ready to make a few changes in your operation. And, first and foremost, start with a solid  foundation.

The fitness industry has always operated on three basic premises, sales, service, and cleanliness. But in order to master these three, you need to first build your facility on a solid foundation, and for many of us that means a good commercial lease, a place you can call home to your business, and a place you can hang your hat long-term.
  
It has always been my opinion, club owners don’t get what they deserve; they get what they negotiate! You wouldn't golf for money against the clubhouse pro, why would you negotiate your own lease against a seasoned realtor or landlord who negotiates leases every day for a living? Get professional help. Give us a call at 925-672-4800 for a free consultation.
Now let’s move on to the three basic premises that our industry has functioned around for the last forty years or so, sales, service, and cleanliness. What are they and how do they work?

SALES - The club industry will routinely experience cycles where members literally flow  into the clubs as if it were 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), and it’s highly likely you will succeed. In addition, a well thought-out formula on getting the guest to register, how to give a proper tour, present a non-confusing price presentation, and knowing how to overcome objections is as important. Checkout one of our associate partners, Fitforms.com, for documents, forms, and training manuals for the best information in the industry, and the best prices.
  
SERVICE - Effective service begins immediately after the sales presentation, when you call or write to say, "thank you" or schedule their first workout. Remember, a long-term member or customer is 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. Beyond this, there are several effective ways for you and your staff to follow up that ensures your fitness facility is always on the customer's mind. Focus on retention, not just making sales. Once again, checkout one of our associate partners, Fitforms.com, for the best training manuals in the industry, and the best prices.

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 their family and friends. Once again, checkout one of our associate partners, Fitforms.com, for the best documents and forms related to general cleaning, maintenance and repairs.
   
A special thank you to all the people that visited our website last month, we set an all time record with more visitors and phone calls than ever before. Thanks for making us your #1 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.