Technology has fundamentally changed the way in which people interact with each other, and the outside world.
Smartphones have set the baseline for how we engage in modern society. Want to make plans for the night? No problem — connect with friends and family through various social media applications. Your smartphone also stores music, controls the temperature in your house and can provide directions to wherever you need to go.
Today, we take these items for granted as normal staples of our everyday lives. However, these online innovations all caused major shockwaves to the industries they impacted. Consider how Uber and AirBnB have forever altered the marketplace. These were not just new technologies — they transformed the taxi and lodging industries. Companies that refused or were unable to adapt were left behind.
A similar transformation is now looming for the fitness industry and it has to do with wearable devices, virtual fitness and other forms of digital fitness. It’s not enough that clubs are defending their turf against the increased competition from the massive expansion of existing fitness clubs, but add in the low-cost budget gyms, and boutique specialty clubs, and there’s a similar feeling creeping through the industry that it’s a race to the bottom (monthly membership fees).
Wait, don’t forget about virtual fitness. This is a whole new challenge that allows anyone who knows how to write a website or mobile app to sell fitness direct to consumers and bypass the fitness clubs. Take note of several very high-profile companies who traditionally were suppliers of fitness content to the fitness clubs, that now offer direct-to-consumer offerings.
There’s a saying “death by a thousand cuts.” It’s slow, but it’s inevitable for those that don’t get ready to compete head to head with digital fitness.
Trust me I get it: You are focused on running a fitness club and don’t have the expertise to understand cutting edge technologies, implement them and manage them on a daily basis. You are not alone.
What you have is a business that has built a brand based on your people, your culture and your approach to showing your customers true value. What I love most about my club is my instructors, personal trainers and the people.
So what if you could extend your brand, your people and your culture to your members on their mobile devices so they can have access to the club and your people 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year? Your members are connected to their grocery stores, banks, friends and household appliances from their phones, why not your club?
We are not talking about access to schedules, setting challenges and other administrative features because you already have that with your existing club management software or mobile app. We are talking about giving access to the very same instructors, trainers, classes, and ultimately, “culture” of your club. You are truly connected to your members.
When the in-club experience can be extended to users 24/7, 365-days a year, now we are engaging our members all day, every day, not just when they walk into the club. Now that’s real value that I’m willing to pay for.
A mobile gym platform or virtual fitness solution can give you the competitive advantage you need, provided it allows you to feature your instructors, your staff and literally extend the exact same experience from the club they walk into every day.
For those who don’t have a strong technical capability, look for a vendor that can offer cloud-based software-as-a-service so that it’s turnkey with little or no effort on your behalf.
Brad Weber is the CEO of FitCloudConnect. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit fitcloudconnect.com.