As a fitness entrepreneur, you work hard to provide your customers with great workout experiences. But do your staff members effectively deliver on your goals? Or is there a gap between your expectations and the service your clients receive?
To find out, you might want to arrange a “secret shopping” evaluation of your fitness business. Discover the pros and cons of secretly shopping your company by hiring a professional evaluator—or by doing it yourself. It’s a unique way to determine what your customers really think.
How does a small business evolve into a franchise? Here are two examples of real-world success: From license to franchise: Healthy Inspirations. Healthy Inspirations is a successful weight-loss program that Casey Conrad founded as a small business. “I opened a stand-alone location and, because of my exposure in the industry, people started asking if they could license the concept,” she says. newsletter_teaser: Check out this great article from the IDEA Online Library and discover the ingredients you need to turn your fitness business into a recipe for success.
Fitness facilities are in the business of making members healthier, and for some that commitment extends to the environment. The shades of green vary widely. For example, some facilities have done a complete retrofit to include solar water systems and ellipticals that return power to the grid, while others have made more modest changes, such as using nontoxic cleaners and switching to paperless communication with members. Large and small, each step makes a difference in the overall footprint.
We all want to belong to something. We all want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. A group. A club. An association.
To reach our highest potential, we need to go beyond thinking of our “customer base” and our “employees” and start thinking of our tribe. You may have a group of clients or a number of employees, but that is not a tribe. In a tribe, people feel a deep affiliation with— and take pride in—your fitness business.
Experts agree that employers need to invest more in staff training and development to create stability, boost retention and improve the consumer experience. This is a particular challenge for many large-chain, membership-based fitness facilities. Rather than nurturing and training a newly hired personal trainer for exercise life- style programming and customer service skills, some fitness facilities orient trainers to be salespeople whose wages depend on commissions.
I use flash sales, which consistently help me attract new clients. Offering a deep discount through a flash sale for customers who sign up within 48 hours always encourages even the most intimidated client. I normally hold a sale whenever I have space for a new person. The dis- counted price lasts for varying lengths of time (1 month, 3 months, 6 months, etc.). I advertise on my website, Craigslist and Facebook and even in “old-fashioned” fliers. This promotion hasn’t failed me yet; if anything, I have too many new clients. You definitely have to know when your caseload is full.