Sunday, 15 February 2009

Battersea Park 10k - Action Duchenne

Took part in the Action Duchenne Valentine’s fun run in Battersea Park on Saturday. There was a great turnout early on a cold February morning, an electronic timing chip for your shoe, and a nice yellow t-shirt to run in.
I was pleased to get round 4 laps of the park in just under 50 minutes, (49:52) according to the text I received from the (very clever!) chip, which also told me that I came in position 299!
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a severe and progressive muscle wasting disease. Young boys will face much of their life confined to a wheelchair and without treatment will die in their late teens early twenties. Find out more here. It’s time to stop wasting.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Gyms - 10 ways to beat the crunch

  1. Incentivise your staff on member retention
  2. Offer existing members a new benefit for free in order to make them feel at least as important as the new members
  3. Invite recent cancellations back for free session or two, & a coffee & chat
  4. Contact the customers about to cancel. You know who they are
  5. If someone asks to cancel, offer to reduce their payments for 3 months
  6. Show fitness improvements or offer refunds
  7. Entice recent redundancies into the gym during the day (for less?)
  8. Set an attrition target. You don’t have to reduce drop-out, your target could be to keep it the same for now
  9. Demonstrate value to all members, all the time
  10. Incentivise your management on staff retention
…or you could spend more money trying to get new members through the door with “no joining fee” offers, give them a free rucksack, and keep repeating the mantra – “the fitness industry is not affected by the recession”

Some of these ideas may seem controversial, in which case, terms & conditions would of course apply, but please feel free to comment on any of the points.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Jog Blog - Feb 09

I hate treadmills. Not only are they boring but I also find it harder to run 5k on a treadmill than outside in the real world.

Last week there wasn’t a lot of choice though, unless I was going to dig out the old football boots and slide round the park in the snow, and I really didn’t fancy that. So I added in a treadmill run to my regular gym workout and did a couple more 5k treadmill runs at a couple of the clubs where I was working. Not fun, although on Friday, I had a good view of the gym’s fish-tank, and the fish looked even more bored than me!

The snow’s almost gone in North London today, so I went for a beasting around Ali Pali again, and while it was far from easy, the treadmill runs have certainly helped my fitness levels, which is good ahead of the Valentine’s Love Run in Battersea Park this Saturday. It’s in aid of Action Duchenne, a muscular dystrophy charity. Come and join us!

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Gyms using technology – for new members

Some of my local gyms are starting to embrace technology in the quest for new members. Phone calls, e-mails and even a few text messages have been coming over the networks trying to persuade me to join up for 2009.

Most impressive is David Lloyd, who on top of a couple of nice personal phone calls and e-mails, have texted me about once a week since I filled in an online form back in December for a 12 day free pass. Unfortunately, the free pass was not forthcoming (the offer had already expired, and seems to change daily), so I’ll probably be texting STOP DLL soon.

LA Fitness (was Dragons) has called and e-mailed a couple of times, again in response to an online form, but when I did visit, I was shocked by how incredibly rude the staff were, confirming what I’d heard from friends and neighbours.

Also texting and calling is Movers & Shapers, a brand new powerplate/fitbug concept gym, who have been trying to persuade my wife to join since she had a trial session in December.

Although I’ve not visited since at least September, the Laboratory have finally done something with my e-mail address, and sent me an e-mail detailing their New Year offers.

At the end of the day, although they've not contacted me once lately, I’m happy going to Park Road Pools, and will be even happier when they start to e-mail or text the results of my workout post visit or at the end of each month. They have the technology, but don’t know how to use it… yet.