7 highly effective ways to secure your fitness club during this downturn

While global financial assets tumble, and everyone else panics, you have as asset which can produce growth rates that will leave most stock traders green with envy, IF you handle it right.

That asset is your customers. Your customers (and future customers) are part of the key that will secure you during this economic turmoil. Unlike shares and traditional investing, there’s no downside risk – and the upside normally ranges from a 50% to 250% return on your investment, regardless of the economy.

image

The first priority is what we call ‘ring fencing’ your customers. Money in the bank is no good to you if someone breaks into the bank and steals it. Equally, your customers are no good to you if you lose them. Strength in a tough economy depends on having a long lasting relationship with your customers. You literally have to ring fence them in. I urge you to make this a priority in these uncertain times. Here are 7 highly effective ways to do it:

  1. More communication. You should at least double the communication with your existing customers and communicate to them no less than once each week. You don’t always have to sell something. Provide useful information to them on an ongoing basis. This email is an example. Stay at the forefront of your customers’ minds.
  2. Every fitness business should have a monthly newsletter. Ideally printed and sent in the post. It costs about £1 per customer per month to do this and builds tremendous loyalty. If you’re not willing to invest £12 per year on your best customers, you have other problems that need fixing.
  3. Send your customers gifts. If the customers are worth a lot to you, send them gifts with real value in the post after they buy and at key times such as birthdays, new year etc.Leisure vouchers redeemable against  services and products make great gifts. At the very least, send online ‘gifts’ such as special videos, reports etc.
  4. Segment your customer list and treat the top 20% differently to the rest.For most businesses, 80% of profits come from around 20% of the customers. Whoever wrote the book about treating all customers equally was a twit. It’s nonsense. If you fly economy on Virgin, you’ll be treated very well. If you fly Upper Class, you’ll discover that Richard Branson is well aware that you don’t treat all customers equally. This top 20% are your greatest protection in a turbulent economy. Treasure them.
  5. Get on the phone to your best customers. You don’t have to sell them anything. Just check in with them to see how they’re doing and if you’re doing a good job of looking after them. Expect at least 20% of them to buy something from you straight away.http://www.momentumbd.co.uk/fitness%20club%20marketing/index.html 
  6. Send a personal handwritten note to your best 50 members TODAY. It will cost you next to nothing and they will be stunned. This is ring fencing at its finest.
  7. Sell more to your customers. This seems counter intuitive, but the best way to keep customers is have them buy from you again. When someone buys from you, you are meeting their needs. If you’re not forcefully communicating to your customers what you have for them, you’re letting them down and you’re letting yourself down. Your customers should be in an ongoing Marketing and sales cycle of emails, letters and  phone calls. On average, it takes seven of these communications to get a sale. Most Clubs give up at one or two. In a good economy you can get away with ignoring this type of Marketing. In this economy, you can’t.

Most of the above cost nothing or very little. One of the big myths about Marketing is that it has to be expensive. Actually, some of the best Marketing is Free

There is a specific element of fitness business success

There is a specific element of fitness business success that most owners and managers never truly grasp and as a result, never come close to creating the financial results that they desire.

It relates to their ability to take Action. Every successful operator I’ve met, has an ability to take consistent, large scale action at a level that leaves most of the people around them exhausted.

The extent to which you are able to cultivate this focus on action, is going to be directly related to your income and profits as your business grows.

take action

I’m Brave Kent County Girls on the Run April 06, 20104 by Steven Depolo licensed under CC BY 2.0

There are three key principles here:

 

  1. Getting access to the knowledge and information that you need to become a highly successful operator is no longer an issue. Whether you choose to get that knowledge from me or someone else, the strategies for creating rapid success are clear. The issue is whether people take action on that knowledge. One of the biggest barriers I see to success is people hesitating and procrastinating. Defeating that hesitation and taking massive (but always low risk action) is both liberating and financially rewarding.
  2. This is the key one: We’ve been conditioned to take action ‘sequentially’ meaning one step after another. For example, this month I’ll write a new sales letter, next month I’ll hire an assistant, the month after that I’ll sort out my website” etc. ‘Sequential’ action is considerably better than nothing but the ultra successful are obsessed with ‘simultaneous’ action. Simultaneous action means that you start taking action in all the key areas as soon as you decide it’s an action worth taking. So you start doing things in several areas at the same time. You ignore all the excuses for not taking such action, get the ball rolling and then deal with the results. Be warned – those results may include an element of chaos. But it’s out of that type of chaos that most greatness emerges. You won’t find that strategy in the business books but when you talk to successful Entrepreneurs it’s how they do it, almost without exception.

    http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/2-day-membership-sales-training-course-tickets-1672537605 

  3. Once you develop the Action habit, the next step is being very focused on which Actions are worth focusing on. Most of the drudge that fills up peoples’ week is a highly ineffective use of their time. People use the ‘too busy’ excuse to avoid taking important actions (such as implementing new Marketing and Internet Marketing strategies.) But the problem often is not that they’re busy. It’s that they are busy doing ineffective things. Realise that there are a handful of actions you take or could be taking every week, that are probably ten times more effective and profitable than everything else you do.

Focus on doing more of these and doing whatever it takes to ‘delete’ the ineffective uses of your time and you’ll see a direct impact on your profits.