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Almost every health club professional and facility manager I speak with these days, voice their challenges with growing their health club. Also injected in most conversations is the very real fear these professionals have of losing their jobs and the lifestyles they have come to love.

As a health club marketing sales professional I can proudly say I have never worried about losing my job and I contribute this to one simple realization…when you produce results, you are an asset to the company and therefor, indispensable. Businesses operate on revenue and you are either one of two things…a liability (revenue impeding), or an asset (revenue producing).

Let me start by defining what it means to “grow your health club” because it is often confused with “capturing market share”. Growing your health club does not mean recycling health and fitness conscientious members and locking them up as loyal members of your health club. This is called “capturing market share”. Capturing market share will grow your business on a small scale and is far easier than capturing “newbies” because these are core members who already love health and fitness, have studied health and fitness’ importance, know the value of health and fitness, are known to have the financial resources, etc. These members are like fishing in a barrel; with the proper marketing campaign and a great health club, 90% of the work is done.

“Growing your health club” with newbies, on the other hand, is going out into the community engaging the public and getting people who have never trained and doesn’t have much education regarding health and fitness but are excited and are interested in health and fitness enough to listen. Growing your health club is not easy; in fact, it is expensive, labor intensive and time consuming. But, just as in anything else, nothing worth doing is ever easy. The difference between “ordinary” and extraordinary” is “extra”. This is why you always hear people in the health club industry talking about “growing the health club” but the numbers seldom reflect any significant “growth”. There is a redistribution of core members but very little “growth”.

One of the major obstacles that must be addressed before you can properly “grow your health club” is the elitist attitude of core members (approximately 100-200 members at any given health club) and the pressure they put on the staff manipulating them into being less than welcoming and almost alienating to the new member which is completely self-serving for the core member and detrimental to the health club’s earning and growth potential. If those members are searching for that ultra-exclusive relationship with the health club then they must pony-up and pay-the-piper relevant membership dues that will afford the health club the luxury of turning away members without the fear of lost revenue and financial suicide. If they are unwilling to do this, then have an adult conversation with them and ask them to be more accommodating in helping you grow the club so everyone wins; and the core member is always the biggest winner because there will be ample revenue to keep the health club in pristine condition.

It is inevitable there will be growing pains associated to growing your health club (we all were newbies at one time) and most will take place in the club. Yes, they might not know the proper etiquette or wear the proper attire their first time, but if we take the time to educate them and show them that we really value their business, we will earn their loyalty. Embrace the new member and his/her beginner status and welcome their ignorance as an opportunity to grow your health club and ultimately your health and fitness career.

MMC®, is a performance-based, data-driven health club marketing company that hits ‘em straight.

Thank you for partnering with MMC® today in growing your health club and your health and fitness career.

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