Differentiate your Club – Part 3

For the past three months, I’ve written about differentiating your club from the competition by using sports enhancement programs such as vibration and un-weighting systems. Why would any club owner or manager consider one, or all, of these options? The answer is simple: Higher revenue and more net profit.

We have heard everyone discuss the monies that are available with children’s programs, and with a few changes to the training protocols, these programs can be used with the “baby boomers” as well. The many programming possibilities equate to higher revenue and, if managed correctly, more net profit. So, if this is the case, why haven’t you mirrored the other clubs that have successfully implemented these programs?

You have just returned from the IHRSA Convention and you gleaned all the expert advice from the numerous speakers; walked, and tested all of the new products at the trade show. And, realizing that no additional space (other than an empty group exercise room) is required, you say, “This would be great, but how do I pay for it?”

Most likely, it’s that initial investment and the expected return on investment (ROI) that is the hold-up. Let’s break it down. You’ll have new product costs; additional payroll, and marketing costs. The worry shouldn’t be about higher revenue, but how quickly do you want to realize your ROI? The real “difference” with these programs is the additional revenue from new memberships. (Most club operators don’t add this aspect into their initial strategic planning and budgeting.)

It’s so easy to budget new program revenue with your existing members in mind, but without considering the creation of new memberships, too. You’ve heard the old saying, “Gone once too often to the well.” This is very true with clubs that only market to their existing members over and over. With today’s increasingly competitive market, when your club is adding new specialized equipment or programs, remember to create a plan to build memberships, and not just to service existing members.

Roger Sargent is a recommended consultant of the National Fitness Business Alliance. He can be contacted at 509.366.2953, or by email at rdsarg@aol.com.

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