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IDEA Means Business

by Peter Davis, CEO on Jan 01, 2002

The new IDEA P.R.O.F.I.T. System is dedicated to helping managers develop business skills and streamlined systems.

For 20 years IDEA Health & Fitness Association has focused on providing better fitness programming, instruction and personal training information. Of course, we also have provided management information through our events and publications, but until now, we have not focused on management issues as our primary goal. The next 10 years will be dedicated to you, the fitness manager/owner. IDEA has joined the campaign (with IHRSA, SGMA, ACE and others) to grow the international fitness industry from its current level of 67 million club members to 100 million club members by the year 2010.

How will this be accomplished?

For the past two years, IDEA has researched the needs of the fitness facility market and has identified the lack of management systems as the number one limiting factor for future growth. Our research makes it quite apparent that although the fitness industry may have the most qualified instructors, cutting-edge programming and an advanced knowledge of exercise science, the industry will stagnate and/or die unless management aggressively develops its business skills and systems.

As mentioned in the January issue of IDEA Health & Fitness Source, IDEA will introduce a new initiative this year—the IDEA P.R.O.F.I.T. System— designed to help fitness facilities develop and implement organizational systems in promotions/marketing; retaining and selling memberships; operational support; financial and expert services; Internet communications; and identifying programming trends. The IDEA P.R.O.F.I.T. System will be offered to independent fitness facilities in the United States and Canada.

Developing Systems

All successful companies must develop reliable systems to ensure the quality of service and product to each customer. For example, McDonald’s has a system for every element of their operation, which enables them to be fast, consistent and provide a high level of customer service. While the food may not be up to your healthy eating standards, it is hard to dispute that every McDonald’s franchise delivers the same “experience” each time you frequent a store. The key to McDonald’s success is the streamlined systems they’ve perfected over the years. Every facet of the operation is documented and systematized; employees are trained in standard programs that ensure quality delivery, even as each act is repeated millions of times around the world.

The value of implementing effective systems also holds true for the fitness industry. You don’t have to manage multiple facilities to understand the importance of providing a consistent experience every time a member visits your club. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Is every member greeted by the front desk staff in the same friendly way, no matter who is on duty?
  • Does every member receive a personal training session or fitness assessment as part of your initiation process?
  • Do your sales personnel deliver the same messages to each prospective customer who enters your facility?
  • Is there a brand image that you communicate through advertising, in-facility promotions and training programs to staff?
  • Does every person you hire receive a similar orientation about the history of the club? Are they cross trained in other functions of the facility, customer service messages and company policy? The job of running a facility is harder today than ever before. Without systems and procedures for everyone in the club, the tendency is for the manager/ owner to put out fires every day instead of preventing the fires with systems that address the issues the right way.

You may have wondered how a company like Crunch recently created enough value to sell its 19 facilities to Bally’s for $90 million. They did it by systematizing their operation, providing cutting-edge programming and building a brand identity. The industry is growing and in some cases consolidating. Will you choose to create greater value and success with your business?

IDEA looks forward to helping you take the next step for your facility and more importantly, the next step for you. For more information on the IDEA P.R.O.F.I.T. System, call (800) 999-4332, ext. 7, or (858) 535-8979, ext. 7.



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© 2002 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Peter Davis, CEO

Peter Davis, CEO IDEA Author/Presenter

Peter Davis is co-founder of IDEA Health & Fitness Association.