Managers: 7 Ways to Excel in Your Market Niche

by Helen Vanderburg on May 20, 2009

Optimizing quality is all about paying close attention to the DETAILS in every sense of the word. The details are what ultimately give your customers the impression of quality service and delivery.

D = Dedicated to Your Vision
Any quality business has a very clear vision of what the company stands for and how it differentiates itself from competitors. Begin by clearly defining who you are and what you can do to deliver higher quality in your service, facility, programs and environment than anyone else in your market. Also look at businesses outside of the fitness industry, to determine what reflects quality to you.

E = Excellent at What You Do
In order to excel, you must strive to stand out and be unique in your market niche. How will you project your vision to clients (both current and prospective)? What must you do in order for members to understand and experience your vision? Once you have determined your vision, the hard work begins. Now you must be dedicated to it in everything you do.

T = Time-Sensitive
People are becoming more and more sensitive to time. They have less of it, and they want to get what they need quickly. Do you offer your services in a time-sensitive manner? Look at all aspects of your business. How flexible is your corporate and membership structure? People appreciate being able to structure their membership based on their needs.

A = Adaptable
Keep up with industry trends in classes, equipment and programs. People’s expectations constantly change. It used to be acceptable to wait for a response to a comment card—this is no longer true. People want answers immediately. Be open to change, and embrace it in each department. Look for new and better ways to do what you are doing today.

I = Integrity-Based
Consumers are much more sophisticated than they were 10 years ago. We can no longer sell on hype and fail to deliver on service. Reduce the hype in your messages, and increase the honesty. Bottom line: what matters most is that your members feel they’ve made a good buy, where the value is greater than the price. Make sure they believe they made the right decision in joining your facility.

L = Language-Conscious
Evaluate all of your communication channels. How do you connect with members and potential members? Consider verbal, nonverbal and written forms of communication when evaluating your business for quality. Communicate to all the senses. What does your message look like, feel like, sound like and smell like?

S = Service-Driven
Service begins on the inside, with how you manage and treat staff. Treat and manage your staff the way you want them to treat customers. What employees most commonly want in a work environment is to be listened to, respected and valued. You cannot portray or be something that you do not consistently practice.

Managing a quality-driven business happens from the inside out. It begins with a corporate philosophy. Then you must dedicate yourself to delivering quality service and products at all levels of the company. You have to walk the talk and manage the DETAILS.

To read the complete article, “Managing a Quality-Driven Business,” please see the March issue of IDEA Fitness Manager or read the article online in the IDEA Library.

The DVD Managing a Quality-Driven Business or Program with Helen Vanderburg is available in the online IDEA Store.

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About the Author

Helen Vanderburg

Helen Vanderburg IDEA Author/Presenter

Helen Vanderburg is the owner of Heavens Fitness and Fusion-Fitness-Training. She is the 2005 IDEA Instructor of the Year, the 1996 IDEA Program Director of the Year, and a two-time Can-Fit-Pro Presenter of the Year. Helen holds a bachelor?s degree in kinesiology, is a past world champion in synchronized swimming and is a certified yoga and Pilates instructor.