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.
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.
People often talk about how it takes 21 days to start a habit. But did you know that it takes just 10 days to drive new revenue and raving fans into your business? Creating simple, replicable 10-day group programs can be a moneymaker in any fitness business. Learn how to execute this format from takeoff to touchdown, and get ready to increase your bottom line and deepen your impact in your community.
With savvy customers often looking for that little bit extra when they invest in fitness, customer service skills can make or break a business.
“It is the personal, little things that make a difference,” says Nicki Anderson, owner of Healthy Innovations Inc., in Naperville, Illinois. “You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on advertising [to draw clientele]. You simply have to care, bring value to your clients and always go a step beyond their expectations.”
Here are Anderson’s top tips for providing tip-top customer service for your clients and facility members:
Studio and club owners, you may want to adopt and publicize your environmentally friendly practices as part of your efforts to promote a culture of health. As an example of how an alignment of positive energies creates a win-win dynamic, ”greener” firms are associated with higher employee productivity, according to a study published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior (2012; doi: 10.1002/job.1827). “Adopting green practices isn’t just good for the environment. It’s good for your employees, and it’s good for your bottom line.
Fitness professionals around the world have jumped on the flash-deal bandwagon to try to generate more business and attract new clients. It looks like an attractive arrangement: Flash deals, such as Groupon or LivingSocial offers, put your business in front of a whole new audience, bring some new faces through the door and help you grow and expand your client base and revenue.