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Inside the Club: How to Keep Up with the Jones’

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Don't appeal to every single demographic. Do you ever feel like you are continually being bombarded by the newest fitness trend?

No longer are you only battling consumer brands, but now there is a new fitness option at every corner. And, if you don’t offer the newest Group X or hardcore class, you will be looked upon as old school and without change.

I see this so often in clubs. They will do everything possible to reach each demographic. One club I’ve seen has brought in generic CrossFit just to appeal to a certain group of members. However, while they rope off one-third of the gym, their equipment begins to suffer and you see the regular clientele less and less.

Think about this: If you owned a CrossFit Box, you wouldn’t implement a Zumba class to try and get more Zumba fans into your gym. Likewise, if you owned a Group X studio, you wouldn’t implement CrossFit just to get more members into your facility.

Then WHY do club owners feel they have to be all things to all people? Do you truly have to reach every single demographic before you’ll be a successful club? No, if you want to be a successful club, find something you’re good at and own it!

I think many times we see the “owning it” concept from athletic facilities that were slightly transformed from racquet sport facilities. For example, Midtown Athletic Club, once known as a superior racquet facility, now is known as a high-end athletic club. However, are they attempting to be all things to all people? Not really. Sure they have a fitness area and other amenities, but the club’s pride and joy is its dominance in tennis.

If a typical mass-market gym opened across the street from Midtown, do you believe they’d lose members? Maybe some, but not many, because the vast majority of members are at Midtown for the tennis and the experience it has created.

If you want to remain old school and be strictly a bodybuilding gym, then own that. Be the best bodybuilding gym in your town. Don’t go out and eliminate weight space so that you can hold Zumba classes. Additionally, if you want to be the best TRX® studio in your city, don’t bring in tons of weights to attract general fitness people.

When you look at your business model, do you know your purpose, or are you simply trying to get every last possible person into your gym for some mediocre experience?

 

Tyler Montgomery is the editor of Club Solutions Magazine. Contact him at tyler@clubsolutionsmagazine.com.

Rachel Zabonick is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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Rachel Zabonick

Rachel Zabonick is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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1 Comment

  1. Nick Diakantonis April 3, 2014

    What if you have a large multi-story facility? Can’t you have different activities in different parts of the center, if laid out properly? Why can’t I have a hardcore bodybuilding or powerlifting area in a separate part of my basement & latest circuit of shiny selectorized machines on my top floor overlooking the scenery? Why can’t I hold a Zumba class in my main group training room while at the same time on my ground floor I hold a UFC-type workout? Or a Crossfit class? Why can’t all these members relax at the juice bar/lounge area afterwards? I think you can hold very different type of workouts within the same facility if the facility allows you to do so with very minimum interaction between the members during those workouts. Plus, you offer the added benefit to members to try out different things without having to change gyms. Am I wrong?..

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