Friday, 4 January 2013

Support focus needed for Health Clubs in 2013

Bjorn Johansson of gymbusiness recently blogged about the support that clubs want for 2013. Here’s the wish-list from over 600 club owners:

1. Regular input on changing industry trends
2. New marketing ideas for more stakeholders
3. Customer Loyalty – how to get members to stick around
4. Upselling
5. New products
6. Sales strategies
7. Organisation
8. Sales of Personal Training
9. Social Media
10. Equipment

It’s great to see a focus on loyalty above sales, but symptomatic of the fitness industry that new trends could be distracting from clubs’ core business of joining and keeping members.

We’ve advised several clubs who have bought retention system #1, then system #2, and have been about to buy system #3. Nine times out of ten, the implementation and processes for using the systems have been the problem, and we have improved retention using the clubs’ existing systems. That’s not to say that a new system can bring new focus and belief from the staff using it, but it usually more about the processes.

Equipment is at the bottom of the list – even below social media! It will be interesting to see how much club owners focus on kit in 2013, particularly when an equipment manufacturer comes up with the latest functional/vibrating gizmo… perhaps this will be seen as a changing industry trend or new marketing idea rather than kit.

We think successful clubs will focus on delivering true member value; however your club defines member value. Of course it’s important to keep up on changing trends, and trying new marketing ideas, but 2013 will be about doing more of what you’re good at, better.

What will your club or business be focusing on in 2013, and how do you define member value? Let us know in the comments…

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