In preparation for January (aka the fitness industry’s “BLACK FRIDAY” season), as you are completing equipment inventory, ordering updated supplies, hiring additional staff, planning New Year’s fitness challenges, and much more – have you stopped to ask yourself:
- What your club will do differently in 2016?
- How will your facility stand out?
- What will you do to make the overall experience for your members more valuable than ever this year?
We are fortunate to work alongside passionate fitness professionals in an industry that is thriving! Each year more and more people are becoming aware that daily physical activity is not only a weight loss solution but the foundation of health and longevity. Fitness tracking technology is finding its way onto our smartphones and wrists with more upgrades, apps, and devices available now than ever before. New workout facilities of all types and sizes are opening on every corner. Businesses and organizations are opening up their space to offer exercise programs to their employees and members of the community.
During this exciting time of dynamic growth, how will your facility separate itself from the rest? What are the 2016 New Year’s Resolutions for your club? How will you and your team make 2016 better than last year for the members and the community?
Here are a few things to consider as you plan your club’s most successful year to date:
- Review 2015 with your leadership team. Promotions, special events, group exercise schedules/attendance/programming options – which of these were successful? What are the areas of opportunity for better execution in 2016? What ebb and flow did you experience with member growth and retention last year? What can you do to be proactive about those peaks and valleys this year?
- Consider scheduling all special events and activities for the year before it begins. Fundraisers, blood drives, health screenings, educational seminars, and other events are far more successful with plenty of planning time. Even if you can’t pick exact dates, choose a month or a specific week that you will target to host each event.
- How can you improve your member experience? Create social and accountability groups by offering small group training options. If you already have a successful small group training program complete with self-proclaimed “fitness fanatics”, consider offering new small group training options for beginners. People like to feel like they are a part of something. Even tasking your staff with learning more people’s names this year can make a big impact on your member experience.
- Here’s an idea… ASK YOUR MEMBERS! Start an in-house campaign to “Help Us Make Our New Year’s Resolution to You!” It might be a good idea to create a survey or a questionnaire to direct the response from your member base. This will prevent you from getting a high volume of the common and sometimes far-reaching requests such as “add more treadmills” or “add a swimming pool”.
There might be some areas in which you are limited or restricted to make changes. For example, not all clubs have the capital to upgrade or add more equipment at this time. On the other hand, some of the large, nationwide club chains have yearly special events and promotions already in place.
Regardless of the size or budget of a facility, all club operators have the same ability to make this year better than ever for members and staff. Use this time during the “calm before the storm” to brainstorm with your team on how to make the best of 2016.