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4 Ways to Build a Stronger Business


Fitness has never been bigger. In fact, it’s the world’s biggest sport with 61 percent of people who exercise regularly doing gym-type activities, according to the Global Consumer Fitness Survey 2013. But retention remains the industry’s biggest problem, with the typical fitness facility losing 50 percent of its members each year, according to the TRP 10,000 Survey 2014. And where previous acquisition of new members could fill the gap, new levels of competition and industry segmentation have made gaining and retaining members harder than ever.

With these increasing pressures on club operators, it is more important than ever to focus on retention as well as acquisition to protect your club and membership base. The answer for how to do this is already there — it’s your members. If you help your members fall in love with fitness and your club, you’ll be able to tackle these challenges and make your business more resilient.

If you can motivate your members and help them love fitness, they will fall in love with your club, recommend it to friends and never stop coming back for more. This means new member acquisition will become much easier as well. To achieve this, every aspect of the member experience needs to be considered and enhanced. Follow this approach to get started:

  1. Engage members from day one.
  2. Focus on giving people the motivation, results and experiences they want.
  3. Use attendance as your No. 1 key performance indicator.
  4. Adopt a zero tolerance approach to lapsed members.

This is easier said than done. It takes time, resources and the right support from the right partners. However, by selling exercise instead of a facility, encouraging members to engage in assisted group exercise and creating relationships beyond memberships, you can combat the intense competition facing your business — from both inside and outside the industry — and build a healthier and stronger business.

Learn more about the tools and resources you need to improve your members’ experiences in their workouts, in the group studio and across the entire facility — all of which contribute to increased member engagement and retention.

It’s time to build a stronger business and motivate your members, or somebody else will.


Trever Ackerman serves as vice president, marketing for Les Mills, where he oversees all marketing and communications for the United States. For more information, email info.usa@lesmills.com or call 844-LES-MILLS.


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