Start with ‘Why’
While there are no “one size fits all” solutions to choosing which fitness programs to offer, it helps to begin with asking “why?” That is, what are the underpinning reasons to developing and implementing a program in your club?
In developing fitness programs, are you trying to achieve purely just another profit center for your club? Or are you using programming as a tool for greater retention, engagement and differentiation?
Adopting a business goal approach to programming considers the following questions: Who are my customers? What do they want or need? What needs are being met?
Offering programs at price points for both members and non-members is a great way to encourage a positive experience with your club. Specific fixed, short-term programs over a four to six-week time frame provides an opportunity for non-members to use your club and engage with your brand, without a long-term commitment.
If your programs are targeted to your existing members, consider that programming presents an opportunity to engage members through innovative offerings. Programs provide an opportunity for positive differentiation through experiences, and are a great way to increase member loyalty and build a program “tribe.” Innovative small group and personal training, for example, provide cost-effective ways to increase member participation and retention. Members gain a sense of belonging and community through association with other like-minded people.
Member surveys and focus groups are also useful tools to help decide what programs your members might choose to participate in. Harness your employee’s passions and allow them to experiment in programming around different class types and structures. It’s a great idea to experiment on a small scale to first test the programs and through an attitude of “invest a little — learn a lot.”
By gathering data and asking the right questions, including “why,” you’ll be better able to determine if a program is the right fit for your club.
Kristen Green is the executive manager at AquaFit. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.