Of all the precautions, planning and preparations involved in establishing your club’s various operational objectives none will be more scrutinized by your members than your cleanliness. Social media sites are a hotbed of filth-related horror stories aimed at obliterating a club’s reputation with no less effort than it takes to post a few pictures and add a few captions. While hours, budgets, supplies and priorities can oftentimes leave the cleaning duties far down on the daily “to-do” list, there is one major reason why your clubs’ appearance needs to be your sole number one priority — sales!
Recently, multiple studies have been published examining the prevalence of popular microorganisms common to the gym environment such as bacteria, fungi, algae and viruses. Such readily available information gives customers a legitimate cause to worry and gym owners enough headaches to want to purchase stock in Tylenol. Comparing the bacteria levels from 27 pieces of popular gym equipment in three separate clubs to common everyday items, FitRated revealed the following:
- Exercise bikes had 39 times more bacteria than a cafeteria tray
- Free weights had 362 times more bacteria than a toilet seat
- Treadmills had 72 times more bacteria than a water faucet
Additionally, the report cites that over 70 percent of the bacteria found can be harmful to humans. (Read the full report here). It’s also important to note that no federal health code exists for gyms and that government agencies will typically only “inspect” a gym once a complaint has been filed or an illness breakout leads back to a club.
Worried that your gym has the same level of cleanliness as a Justin Beiber tour bus? As a socially responsible, economically prudent and sales-minded owner, there are steps you can take to ensure that your club surpasses customer expectations:
- First, source a trusted vendor that can solve your supply chain problems — not create more of them. That means finding an industry leader that knows facility traffic patterns, carries both products and accessories for successful cleaning solutions and provides pricing that aligns with your organization’s budget.
- Second, train the entire team, not just the housekeeping staff. Cleaning needs to be on every employee’s job description. Trainers need to identify and wipe-up sweat stains on the fitness floor, hospitality professionals need to Windex the front desk and sales professionals…well, they really just need to sell. But, their offices should be pristine.
- And, third, use your vendors. Lean on your suppliers, merchants and contractors for the industry-specific knowledge they possess. These people can be an invaluable resource for trends, solutions and real-world case studies from their other facilities. Let them help you do some of the heavy lifting. You’re not just purchasing product — you’re also purchasing expertise, so use it.
Matthew Cicci is a freelance fitness writer, fitness studio owner and Zogics contributor with more than 18 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. He can be reached at email@example.com.