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How to run a fitness club

Griff Shortt at The énergie Group outlines the attributes required to succeed in the fitness club industry.

Running a successful fitness club requires passion and a drive to get results.

First, you need to pick the right location and understand the demographics of the area. Study the competition and understand their offering. Ensure you have a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) of your preferred site, and ensure it takes account of the competition in the surrounding area.

Build a strong team around you

You must have a business plan, and ultimately a financial forecast, so that you understand the funding requirements, sales that need to be made, the break-even point of the business, the profit levels, cash flow and the return on investment. Back-up your financial plan with a narrative summary which explains the 'how, why, where, who and when'.

Build a strong team around you and ensure that each team member is accountable for a particular element of the business. Set your team clear objectives and continually measure, manage and appraise through a robust set of 'Key Performance Indicators'. Offer your team incentives, rewarding generously for good or great performance, but also reprimand if need be. Don't be afraid to tackle difficult staffing and personnel issues. Recruit people with drive, passion, enthusiasm and the correct skill set. Build your team around the requirements of the business and not the other way around.

The product must be right and your team must believe in your service offering. Your members can become your greatest salespeople. You want every member continually talking about your club positively, thus referring and recruiting for you. 

Once in business ensure you break down your full plan into bite-sized chunks. Work with three-month implementation plans: Where you are now? Where do you need to be? What does it takes to get there? What are the primary objectives and who is accountable for each task? Furthermore, always ensure you have a monthly sales strategy which highlights your message to the marketplace and the activity required to achieve your monthly targets.

Membership sales drive your business plan and therefore your profitability. Always ensure you know what sales revenue is required on a daily basis and never let yourself fall behind your target. You will need to be, or have, a strong sales manager. We work in a customer service industry which is very much a sales environment. And successful sales come about when you see enough of the right people, at the right time, under the right conditions.
On a daily basis always ask yourself "What have I done today to generate new business?" And lastly: have fun! Do what you love and love what you do.

By Griff Shortt at The énergie Group. For more information about the énergie Group please call 01908 607 605 or visit . énergie is about empowering people to change their lives and on a daily basis you CAN positively impact the quality of many people's lives through your health and fitness offering. You can be professional and have FUN at the same time.

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Griff Short

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