An interesting observation from the 2001 IDEA Programs and Equipment Survey is not the points of differences among types of fitness facilities and their different clientele (for example a YMCA or a corporate fitness center), but rather the points of similarity.
- Everyone offers a lot of different types of equipment, classes and options, as many as size permits.
- Almost nobody charges for special events or classes independent of a membership fee to access the facility.
- Even most specialty classes, like yoga or indoor cycling, are free to facility members.
- Multipurpose facilities with the most square feet do the "most" of everything because of the space availability, but that means they offer programs less frequently than smaller facilities.
As much as each facility owner tries to differentiate that “we are special” or “I’m better than they are,” when you look at the programs, it’s all the same offerings.
Do your current and potential customers see any difference in you, versus the facility down the street? Of course, we’re all selling the same fitness product and that means similar types of equipment and facilities. So what can you compete with? Cleanliness? Staff? Quality? Ease of access? Think about it.
A survey collects numbers. It doesn’t tell us if the boxing class is high-quality and fun or a minefield; if the staff is knowledgeable or indifferent. But will your potential customers know that? We have all heard over and over that you sell results, not the facility’s equipment. Maybe now is the time to really think about what you are selling, and what you can do to make the difference.
© 2002 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.