- Thursday, October, 26, 2017
How a Customer Service Reboot Rescued Our Club
After approximately 18 months of declining membership and revenue, I realized that our club was in serious trouble. As identified in this space last month, we had two big issues: poor customer service (we weren't as good as we used to be) and a seeming invisibility in our marketplace.
- Monday, October, 23, 2017
Advantages of Pushing Club Operations Online
When we first purchased Elevations Health Club, 22 years ago, members would sign in when they arrived at the club on a piece of lined notebook paper. Membership dues were collected at the front desk each month. Not exactly technology-dependent.
- Tuesday, October, 03, 2017
Identifying Operational Challenges as an Independent Club
Because I write a column that often focuses on helping club owners and managers become more successful in their own clubs, everyone usually assumes that we have a great club (true) and are wildly successful (not necessarily true).
- Tuesday, August, 22, 2017
Building a Brand Around Your Business Image
If you read business books and articles, you're bound to be familiar with "branding" — the idea that consumers can and should immediately recognize your business, its logo and what your business stands for. What's special about your company?
- Wednesday, July, 05, 2017
Unique Health Club Design Elements
I started working out when I was 12 years old. So in the past 20 years (okay, 35 years), I've performed more than my fair share of workouts. One thing I really look forward to is working out in different health clubs.
- Wednesday, June, 07, 2017
Five Tips for Retaining New Club Members
If your club is anything like mine, right about now you're wondering what happened to Stan who was always on the treadmill on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 6 a.m. Or perhaps you can't remember the last time you saw Nancy, who was always in the 10 a.m. cycle class. And wasn't the weight room more crowded last month?
- Wednesday, April, 19, 2017
Forty Years of Commercial Fitness
As this issue of Athletic Business looks back over the magazine's first 40 years, I thought I'd take a look back at the fitness industry to see what has come and gone and what has stuck around.
- Thursday, February, 23, 2017
Cultivating Corporate Membership Programs
I'm not sure there is a health club out there that doesn't target local businesses with offers of a corporate membership for their employees. Some employers simply want to add such memberships to their checklist of employee perks while others are truly interested in improving the health and wellbeing of their workers.
- Tuesday, December, 20, 2016
Knowing When to Seek Marketing Help — and from Whom
If you read this column on a regular basis, you know that we've been in business for a long time. And over the years, I'd like to think we've tried just about everything when it comes to advertising and marketing: billboards, direct mail, email, social media, TV, radio and member-referral programs. Some things were successful, and some weren't. Some things worked great the first time and not so great the second or third time.
- Tuesday, October, 04, 2016
Five Steps to a Cleaner Health Club
This article appeared in the September issue of Athletic Business. Athletic Business is a free magazine for professionals in the athletic, fitness and recreation industry. Click here to subscribe.
- Wednesday, April, 30, 2014
Blog: Does Wearable Fitness Have Legs?
Wearable fitness tracking technology is the future!
Such excitement was so early-2014. We saw articles in The Wall Street Journal that described how corporate CEOs were big users of wearables and how they were competing against each other to see who could sleep better or walk more. BusinessWeek ran a story earlier this year that discussed the possibility — the likelihood? — of wearables putting gyms out of business. The New York Times ran a piece two weeks ago today about how wearables were being used in gyms.
- Thursday, June, 27, 2013
Blog: Why Calling 'Obesity' a 'Disease' Is So Troubling
Jerry Seinfeld does a bit during which he discusses topics that make people whisper. Cancer is one of them. "Did you hear about Bill? He has (whispering) cancer."
- Monday, May, 20, 2013
Blog: SoulCycle Lawsuit Could Hurt Fitness Industry
The recently filed class-action lawsuit against the indoor cycling chain SoulCycle for allegedly violating California and New York wage laws could have a huge impact on the health and fitness industry. We're fascinated by it and are watching to see how it progresses. The complaint, filed by a former SoulCycle instructor, claims that SoulCycle instructors - who are paid only for the classes they teach - are "required to work above and beyond the time instructing a class." Their duties include training, preparation, communication with customers, meetings, special-event classes and assisting with marketing.
- Friday, April, 19, 2013
Blog: After a Sad Week, Count Your Blessings
"This is just like New Orleans."
In the wake of the tragedy in Boston this week, we were reminded of that quote from 2005. It came from one of our health club members and is seared into our brains. And it reminds us never to become the kind of people who would say that. Such a statement colors our opinion of customer service and how we respond to difficult situations.
- Wednesday, February, 27, 2013
Blog: 'Low-Price' Doesn't Necessarily Equal 'High-Value'
So, who started putting the words "high value" after "low cost" when describing health clubs that we all know and love (and we hate) as the "low-cost providers"?
- Monday, February, 18, 2013
Blog: Calling All Catch-Phrase Professionals!
If there is one area of our business that we know is deficient, it is this - our catch phrases.
They're getting better. Can you guess what we used to call our new member introductory program that provided three workouts with a trainer, a fitness evaluation and a free consultation with a nutritionist? We called it "our new member introductory program that provides three workouts with a trainer, a fitness evaluation and a free consultation with a nutritionist." We were nothing if not descriptive.
- Wednesday, April, 13, 2011
Blog: Zumba's Great - Just Not for Us
We're going to come right out and say it, and then go hide behind something sturdy in anticipation of the response.