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How Fit is Your Fitness Business PT2
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How Fit is Your Fitness Business? Part 2 Read on

There are numerous fitness components that can be assessed to identify how fit an individual is. 

Customized programs to address specific goals and individual needs can be designed and support given to achieve optimal results. Similar to an individual there are many elements to a high performing fitness business. This two-part series explores the key factors that may be holding your business back from achieving its full potential. In our last post, we explored the importance of evaluating components of strength, agility, flexibility and power. In this post we examine speed, endurance, balance and coordination.

How fast is your customer response?

A friend once told me that in order to cancel her gym membership she required an appointment (which isn’t uncommon), however there was no one available for the appointment for over a week. When she called back and asked about buying a membership there was someone available right away. The reason (sale, cancellation, complaint) or the medium (email, phone, face-to-face, suggestion box) of an inquiry should not play a role in the urgency of a response. Members expect that staff should be able to address basic concerns (whether it is ‘their’ department or not). Every staff person working in any facility needs to have knowledge about the facility and its services, feel confident to make decisions, and quickly answer customers’ questions. If you need to research an answer, letting the customer know that you will follow-up with them within 24 hours is important, and following through is critical!

How enduring are customer relationships?

We all know the importance of retention. We work hard to acquire new members and keeping them (rather than replacing them) is smart business. Do you know how loyal your members are to your business? Understanding how likely your members are to maintain their membership, refer other members, and how engaged they are, is critical information. Measuring this factor can be a true “wake-up call” to your operation. Implementing regular formal and informal surveys of your members is important to finding out if you are on the right track.

How balanced are your strategic objectives and business plan?

Having strategic objectives are key to directing your business planning.  Having one without the other can lead to several mis-steps, without achieving the desired outcome. Over time, this can become costly, confusing and frustrating for your staff and customers. Be sure that your planning efforts are in alignment with your strategic objectives. Provide your team with clarity and purpose in order to achieve what you envision for your business.

How coordinated are your marketing, sales and services?

Far too often, we see a gap between sales and service functions. In some cases, working independently from one another with no communication. Marketing and sales people make the promises that the service and program team (instructors, front desk) are expected to deliver. If there is a combination of “over promising” and “under delivering” then the customer is going to feel they have not received good value for their money. Service and Sales need to work symbiotically to develop a sales and service plan that is attractive to sell and reasonable to deliver. A fresh perspective, respect for other departmental responsibilities, and happy customers are the likely outcome of a coordinated effort.

Regardless of how ‘fit’ certain components of your business might be, if weak areas are not addressed and improved it will affect your business potential. Like a member who relies on a personal trainer to help them excel and achieve their goals, there are industry consultants that can assist you to evaluate the effectiveness of your fitness business. An experienced and objective review of your business, followed by customized recommendations and prioritized actions steps, will allow you to improve your overall business performance and ultimately enable you to operate a more ‘fit’ business.

About the author

Greg Simmons is Health Systems Group’s General Manager for Fitness and Recreation Services in the Atlantic Region (Canada). Learn how we can help you to better address the needs of your members and deliver exceptional fitness, recreation, and wellness experiences. Let HSG help you start, grow or renew your fitness facility.