nutritional facts

Working Together to Fight Obesity

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Really? We’re getting fatter? Sigh. It’s so disheartening, especially when the news seems full of reports about this health trend or that one, about the rise of wearable fitness technology and how data-tracking has revolutionized individual exercise plans, about the extraordinary progress a person can make by exercising intensely for small periods of time, about ever-increasing awareness of nutritional realities. Nevertheless, this is what the most recent report from the United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association, and the Partnership from Prevention tells us: We’re getting fatter.

Issued annually for the past 25 years, the report, called America’s Health Rankings, tracks state-by-state health and fitness data. The most recently released report shows that in 2014 the nation’s obesity rate rose nearly 2 percent, from 27.6 percent last year to 29.4 percent this year. That 2 percent figure may sound small, but it represents an extremely large number of individuals. Moreover, at the time surveys for the report were completed, nearly a quarter of respondents said that they had had no physical activity or exercise for 30 days. That number increased from 22.9 percent in 2013 to 23.5 percent this year. And the even more grim news? In the 25 years that America’s Health Rankings have been published, obesity in the United States has more than doubled.

The question for us becomes: How can we, all of us who are leaders in the fitness industry, do more? How can we attract the people who are not inclined to exercise, and how can we help reverse the trend?

The key, I believe, is partnerships. One gym or health club or sports facility or fitness center can do only so much, and whatever we each can do, we have to do while keeping the bottom line always in mind (or else we won’t be around to do anything at all!). But a whole network of gyms and health clubs and sports facilities and fitness centers can do a lot. Make it part of your facility’s mission to work with other facilities to help improve America’s overall health. Join programs that allow members to work out at partner facilities at a discount. Combine resources to offer free or heavily discounted training and exercise programs to individuals who can’t afford normal gym rates. Get other facilities in your area to help host a day of city- or town-wide exercise fun.

But don’t stop at other facilities. The fact is, exercise is only one part of the overall health picture. Obesity numbers won’t drop until the food industry finds a better way of providing affordable, healthy food to the population at large; until health insurance companies start seeing health club memberships as reimbursable sickness-prevention tools; until schools bring back physical education and more effectively educate children about health and exercise science. If you’re going to be a part of the force chipping away at our rising obesity rates, you’ve got to consider ways of working with a whole network of organizations and industries that have an impact on individuals’ health and fitness. We can reverse the crisis. But we can only do it together.

Time to Get a Passport

Time to Get a Passport

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Think any of your members have ever tried traveling without a passport? If they do, they risk getting out of shape, inducing an injury when they start working out again, and losing their momentum for regular exercise. I’m not talking about their actual passports, of course; I’m talking about IHRSA’s Passport Program. If your facility doesn’t take part in it, you might be doing your members a disservice.
IHRSA’s Passport Program is a worldwide network of 1,700 health clubs that offer guest access to their facilities for members of participating clubs. Participation in the Passport Program is free for clubs; you merely have to register. Once you do, your members need to follow only a few steps in order to be able to use health clubs around the world. First, they have to obtain a valid Passport I.D. from your facility. Then, they have to check IHRSA’s list of participating clubs to locate one in the area where they will be traveling. Finally, they have to call ahead to confirm the availability of the facilities and find out about any guest fees that might apply. It’s that easy.
When you register, you agree to two stipulations. One, that you will reciprocate and offer traveling members of other clubs access to yours. Two, that you will discount your regular guest fee by at least 50 percent for Passport guests.
Those aren’t small stipulations, but the potential benefit to your club should be clear. Imagine the added value you’ll be offering prospective members when they’re considering signing up for a membership. You tell them that by signing up they’ll be giving themselves access to 1,700 clubs around the country — who can say no to that? What’s more, you’ll demonstrate your commitment to their good health. Traveling can be hard on the body, especially if it means breaking off from a regular workout routine. And traveling around the holidays can be particularly damaging, given all the indulgent treats available. If your members know they can head to Great Aunt Glenda’s place and eat her fruit cake and butter cookies with a clear conscience, because there’s an accessible gym in town—you’ll be providing them with a valuable service.
Keep in mind, IHRSA’s network isn’t the only one out there (though it’s probably the biggest). Look into the available options and consider which ones would be a good fit for you and your members. They’ll thank you if you do.

Time To Partner Up

Time To Partner Up

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Recently in this space, I talked about rewards programs—how much I love them, how popular they’re with consumers in general, and how well they can work for the sports and fitness industries. Now I want to take on something related and equally powerful: partnership programs. Do you partner up with local businesses? If not, it’s time to consider how doing so might benefit you, your clientele, and your whole community.

As with rewards programs, cultivating partnerships with local businesses is a great way to boost member loyalty by increasing the value of what you have to offer. It works like this: Your gym, sports venue, training center, fitness facility, or health club. Partners up with local businesses that agree to offer discounts when your members present their membership cards. In return, you offer those businesses something: maybe the chance to advertise to your clientele, maybe free memberships for their employees, maybe discounts at your facility for their customers.

Club Business International offers a couple of examples to show how such a program benefits all parties involved. Gainesville Health and Fitness Centers (GHFC), with three clubs in Gainesville, Florida, has been operating its Members Savings Program for about forty years. All 27,000 GHFC members have the option of presenting their membership cards to more than 100 local firms that provide discounts to the members. Debra Lee, the company’s director of marketing, explains that when Joe Cirulli,owner and president, was brainstorming ways to help customers cut the cost of their gym memberships back in the 1970s, he landed on creating business partnerships. “His idea,” Lee told Club Business International, “was to identify local businesses that [club members] used on a regular basis, and to offer discounts that would help offset the cost of membership.” In return, GHFC subtly advertises partner businesses to club members.

Miramont Lifestyle Fitness, in Fort Collins, Colorado, is another club with a list of partner vendors. Partners provide discounts to Miramont’s members, along with special discounts that occur quarterly, to coincide with the club’s member appreciation days. In return, Miramont provides club passes for partners’ employees and advertises their businesses via newsletters, TV , andQR codes.

When do you let members know about the partnership opportunities? The answer, when they’re trying to decide whether or not to sign up. That’s when the added value that these programs bring to your facility will kick in—prospective members will realize they’re getting so much more than just a gym membership. As for existing members, they’ll never want to leave.

Create such a program by first seeking out local businesses likely to serve a clientele similar to yours: health food shops, hair salons, spas, sporting goods stores. Make sure your top sales person is the one approaching potential partners. You want someone who conveys a real sense of being invested in the program and in your facility, someone who can really make the value of the program clear. Finally, hammer out the details. This includes, what exactly will the partnership consist of, how will you benefit each other, give the program a name and start advertising it widely on social media, via email blasts, and in-house. Just make sure you’re ready to launch it right away, because your members will jump at the chance to sign up.

Supporting Your Female Clients

Supporting Your Female Clients

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You’ve probably heard the saying before: “Women hold up half the sky.” But, in fact, they may hold up most of your fitness facility. Research suggests that women drive 70 to 80 percent of consumer spending worldwide. Moreover, women, much more than men, engage in word-of-mouth publicity—they talk about their experiences with businesses, products, and service-providers, and, in their social circles. They hold a great deal of influence over the way others choose to spend money. Given that women also purchase fitness-related products and services more often than men do, what does all this mean for your health club?

It means it’s time to design ad campaigns better geared toward them. Here are a few tips for doing so.
First, put away the pink paint, lacy towels, and flower arrangements. The way to show women that other women are comfortable using your gym is not to advertise their presence through pretty embellishments but to highlight the fact of their presence. Using posters, brochures, and social media postings that show women looking serious about their workouts and happy to be in your facility will suggest that you cater to their needs. Supporting breast cancer awareness and making sure members and potential members know you do shows that women’s issues are important to you. Offering—and heavily advertising—childcare programs demonstrates that your club understands the logistics many women must juggle.

Loading your marketing materials with images of women is not enough, however. You must also create real programming for women. Do you offer women-only high-intensity interval training classes, extra women-only swim times, or self-defense classes for women? Do you offer co-ed basketball leagues or squash tournaments? Make your programming for women solid, and then talk it up as much as possible. Highlight your offerings on social media. Send emails. Offer prospective clients chances to take part for free, and invite current members to bring a friend at no charge.

On that note, make sure you’re advertising in establishments and publications that cater to women. Is there a clothing boutique or nail salon near the gym? Ask if you can hang flyers announcing a new women-only cycling class. Partner with local businesswomen’s associations and request that they include mention of your facility in their next newsletter. If you have branches nationally, consider buying ad space in magazines like Self, Women’s World, and Women’s Health.

Finally, engage the advice of the experts. Ask the women in your club what kinds of services do they want, then do your best to provide those services, and let everyone know that you’re doing so. Don’t forget to go to the official experts, too. Some marketing consultants focus exclusively on strategies for marketing to women; they can point out weaknesses in your existing campaign and show you how to polish it up for the demographic. Plenty of books and articles on the subject exist too. I’m not suggesting, by the way, that you forget all about the men—but chances are that if the women are happy, the men will be too.

Become an Active Participant in Preventative Health Care

Become an Active Participant in Preventative Health Care

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Pomerene Hospital in Millersburg, Ohio, recently kicked off a deal to take over a local fitness center. The owner of the center approached the hospital, expressing an interest in a community collaborator. Seeing this idea as an opportunity to extend health care beyond its own walls, the hospital embraced it. Doing so, said Pomerene’s chief financial officer in a statement, is a first step towards aligning the hospital’s services with reform in the health industry—with the expanded focus to include a greater emphasis on wellness and preventative care.
I love this. It seems to me that all hospitals should run fitness centers, or at least partner with fitness centers to provide a more holistic set of health-related services. I feel this way about doctors’ offices too. I hate going to them partly because I resent the fact that I’m there in the first place. If I hadn’t gotten sick, or overstretched a muscle, or ignored the numbers creeping higher on the scale, then I wouldn’t have to be there. Sometimes, I am all too well aware of how prevention would have served me better than care.
Not all hospitals have the means or the resources to manage a fitness facility, and certainly not most doctors working independently. But they could at least actively take different approaches to encourage patients to focus on their own preventative care. They could give discounts on co-pays for patients who bring in a letter from a personal trainer, exercise instructor, or gym manager showing that they’ve worked out x number of times in the past month. Or, along with prescriptions, they could hand out certificates good for one free class at a local spin studio or for one free session at a gym. Hospitals, when they discharge patients who have the capacity to exercise, could give out vouchers for a free month’s membership at a health club. There are so many possibilities.
None of these can be realized, of course, if gyms, health clubs, fitness centers, exercise studios, and sports centers are not willing partners. The good news is that forming such partnerships could only be beneficial for businesses in our industry. Each certificate a doctor hands out or voucher a hospital gives away represents a potential new client. And new clients who find your facility through a health care professional or institution are ones that are likely to stay—a voice of authority is telling them loudly and clearly that there’s a link between how much they exercise and how healthy they stay. If nothing else, they’ll come to you to avoid having to go to their doctor or the hospital again.
If you haven’t already done so, maybe it’s time to start cultivating relationships with doctors and hospitals. Approach local ones with suggestions and offers; make it clear that you’re as interested in the health of the community as they are. That’s what the fitness center giving its management over to Pomerene Hospital has done. Honestly, I wouldn’t even need any incentives to join that fitness center; just knowing it’s managed by the same experts who understand my medical needs would be incentive enough.

Where Fitness and League Sports Meet

Where Fitness and League Sports Meet

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There’s a new professional sports league in town. For this league becoming fit isn’t just the preparation for the game—it is the game. The National Pro Fitness League (NPFL) is a new organization that pits co-ed teams of athletes against each other in a range of functional fitness events. Headquartered in Santa Cruz, California, the NPFL has franchises in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Miami, Washington, D.C., Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. Its season will kick off at the end of August and last for six weeks, with the franchises competing in a total of 12 matches and a culminating championship match taking place in early October.

Wow. This is exciting news for fitness facilities and sports facilities alike. What a great development to get behind and support. Even if your facility doesn’t focus on functional fitness or offer related classes, the creation of the NPFL can be a boon to you. Since it will bring both fitness and league sports events to the forefront of the nation’s attention— at least for a little while (especially because, as NPFL Director of Team Development Cassie Haynes pointed out in a recent article, this league, unlike the NFL, MLB, and other older leagues, can be built around technology. The opportunity for fan engagement will be huge).

How can you benefit from the upcoming NPFL events? First, let your members know about them—chances are, they haven’t yet heard about the NPFL. Be the first to fill them in. Get enthusiastic about the league and convey your enthusiasm with posters, announcements, and by having your trainers talk it up. If there are competitors from your region, build up a show of support for them; make the events a bonding experience and a way to motivate your facility’s patrons in their own fitness and league practice sessions.

If you have the space and technology, you might consider setting up a few in-facility viewing events for members (and potential members!). Chances are, you’ve been looking for ways to build community anyway—and if you’re not, you should be! This is another excellent way to do so.

One great thing about the league is that it has the potentially to appeal to a wide variety of audience. It’s co-ed, so both men and women can get behind it. And it’s not filled with just hot young things; for each match, at least two competitors (one male, one female) from each team must be a “Master Athlete”—meaning age 40 or older. What other sport can boast of such inclusion? In spreading the word about the league—in your facility or on social media—you’ll want to stress this aspect of it. There’s something here for everyone.

Finally, can you think of any tie-in events you can stage at your own facility? If you have the capacity for functional fitness training, maybe you can plan for training activities that match a particular competition occurring on a certain day. Or after an event is over, you may have a trainer analyze an athlete’s performance together with clients, and help incorporate lessons to be learned into clients’ own practices. As always, the benefits you reap from such an exciting development (the creation of the NPFL) are up to you: You’re limited only by your imagination. It’s worth spending the time thinking about where you can go with this.

Targeting the Golden Ager

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My son recently learned how to ride a bicycle, and the last time I took him to visit my parents, he insisted on bringing his new, bright green set of wheels along. My nearly seventy-year-old father, mostly sedentary and not in the best of health, surprised me by pulling his old bike out of the shed, dusting it off, and declaring that he was going to join in on a ride. He was slow and creaky at first, and he fell off once — with nothing more than hurt pride, thankfully — but he went a full four miles with my son (who streaked along with abandon, delighting in his ability to outpace Grandpa).

We don’t see my parents as often as I’d like, and I don’t want my father waiting around for our quarterly visits to get his exercise. When I told him he should join a gym, he laughed, saying he’d be embarrassed to show his old self among all those young, fit bodies. When I told him there are gyms especially for the elderly, and ones with programs geared just toward that group, he was surprised. He’d had no idea.

What can such gyms do to be sure they’re reaching golden agers like my dad? While advertising in obvious places — AARP magazine, for example — is probably a good idea if you’re a national establishment with branches around the country, many older folks, my dad included, have a more local focus. They want to go someplace right in town, and they like venues that seek their business in personal ways. One effective move might be to visit a senior center near your gym or health club and put up simple flyers — or, better yet, send one of your trainers who is knowledgeable about the older demographic. Have him or her give a presentation, demonstrate easy exercises for seniors, and maybe do one-on-one consultations. And make sure business cards get handed out, perhaps along with membership or class coupons.

Another option might be to sponsor a Walk for Senior Health in your area, something a local paper might write about. You’d not only drum up some business, you’d also raise awareness about the need for seniors to pay attention to their health. I know my dad could use all the reminders he can get.

In general, keep in mind the kinds of places people more advanced in years might go: in addition to senior centers, libraries, clubs like the Elks or Rotary, town halls, and doctors’ offices are all good options. Then head to those places and start talking about your programs that might interest them. If you remind them that working out regularly will help them keep up with their grandchildren, they’re likely to sign on with gusto.

Time to Visit the Doctor

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I sat in a doctor’s waiting room for a long time today. I had accidentally left my book at home, and none of the magazines lying around appealed to me. As I’m currently attempting to renegotiate my relationship with my smartphone (I feel like I need some space but it’s having trouble letting go), I kept the thing tucked firmly in my jacket pocket, and there was nothing to occupy my attention except for a large monitor in the corner that kept cycling through a handful of health-related messages: avoid stress, substitute walnuts for croutons, exercise regularly.

“Ha,” thought the crankier part of me. “How am I supposed to find time to exercise regularly when I’m stuck here in the doctor’s office for three hundred hours?” (Well, it felt like three hundred hours.) But that got the less cranky part of me thinking. What if my doctor’s office helped me exercise regularly — not just by reminding me to do so, but by providing me with concrete incentives for doing so? What if they gave me five dollars off my co-pay if I brought in a form from my personal trainer, or yoga instructor, or gym manager that showed I’d worked out three times a week for the past month? What if, along with my prescription, the doctor’s assistant also handed me a certificate good for one free class at a local Zumba studio or a free session at the gym? What if I was offered a discount on a gym membership if I lower my cholesterol between this visit to the doctor and the next?

In short, I realized, health providers are natural partners for fitness centers and health clubs. They have the authority to convince people to get to the gym, combined with the opportunity to pass along incentives for doing so. Maybe it’s time to start cultivating relationships with doctors’ offices, to approach local ones with an offer they can’t refuse: a way to really encourage their patients to improve their health (because, to be honest, that monitor wasn’t very effective. I tuned out its messages well before my wait was over. Good thing I had my smartphone with me).

Fitness for a Cause

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Gyms, fitness centers, health clubs, and other similar facilities do a lot for their members and clients. They help transform bodies into leaner, healthier shapes. They push individuals to meet personal goals and overcome limitations (the self-imposed sort and other kinds). They boost confidence, provide fun social settings, and introduce new modes of movement. But one of the best things about such organizations, to my mind, is that they can produce large-scale change that benefits whole groups of people.

Take, for example, the recent Cycle for Survival initiative at Equinox. Designed to raise money for cancer research, Cycle for Survival events in February and early March at Equinox clubs in 10 cities around the country drew 13,000 people who raised $13.8 million. That money will fund clinical trials and research studies led by the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Since Cycle for Survival started in 2006, the event has raised more than $31 million. There’s no counting how many people have been helped, and how many will continue to benefit as findings emerge from the funded trials and studies

But you don’t have to be a mammoth operation like Equinox to make a difference. Last fall, Pearl’s Fitness Studio in North Bergen, New Jersey, held a Zumba party to raise money for a local shelter that serves victims of domestic violence. In January, Carozza Fitness in Stamford, Connecticut, raised funds to benefit the families of Newtown who suffered from the horrific killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Last month, the Student Fitness Center at Illinois State University hosted a volleyball tournament to support the American Heart Association. Whatever a health club’s size and scale, there’s a way to serve local or larger communities.

As for the participants who work up a sweat to raise the money, they benefit too. First, of course, they reap physical perks. Also, they gain from the emotional and mental rewards that come with working hard on behalf of others.

EZFacility Partners With Playergrid to Enhance League Management Features!

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Dear EZFacility Customers,

We’re thrilled to introduce PlayerGrid, a powerful new team communication and sharing service that we’ve fully integrated with EZLeagues.

PlayerGrid enhances communication and photo sharing between all sports team members through its web and mobile apps. If a practice or game is postponed or canceled, team members are automatically notified in the manner they choose: e-mail, text or push notifications.

What makes this even more exciting for EZLeagues customers is that all your scheduling data and roster information is automatically synchronized with each PlayerGrid team account. If your facility makes a schedule change, it’s automatically updated in each relevant team’s mobile app. So coaches, parents and athletes will always have the most updated schedules in their mobile devices or web accounts. And coaches will be pleased to find all their roster information from EZLeagues already populated into PlayerGrid.

Coaches also have the option to add recurring practices, or team meetings, in just minutes and invite parents to their private PlayerGrid team accounts with a few mouse clicks on the web or finger taps on their smart phones.
PlayerGrid’s mobile app delivers powerful functions to iPhone and Android devices: activity calendar, group messaging, photo sharing and schedule updates are all free. If team members don’t have a smart phone, text-messaging and e-mail notifications will keep them informed.

Certified by TrustE, PlayerGrid ensures team information and schedules are only accessible to invited team members.  PlayerGrid also works with any existing team or league website, whether it uses EZLeagues or not, and can be used to manage multiple teams simultaneously. This makes it ideal for parents of children with multiple activities or multiple children with numerous activities.

As an introductory offer, PlayerGrid will produce professional digital photo books, absolutely free, for any team that uploads at least 100 photos. These photo books are also available as soft or hard-cover printed commemorative keepsakes. And PlayerGrid will also produce a free hard cover promotional photo book for any facility that signs up by December 31, 2012.

With PlayerGrid’s web and mobile apps you can:

  • Manage multiple teams
  • Update multiple calendars
  • Message entire team
  • Share photos & videos
  • Invite other team members
  • Create custom merchandise
  • Purchase prints and photo books
  • Fundraise for any team
  • Manage notification settings
  • Designate team admins

We hope you enjoy PlayerGrid, our latest feature enhancement to ensure you continue getting the most from your EZLeagues software. Please contact your account representative for more details on how to get PlayerGrid activated on your team registration pages.

The EZFacility Team

Forming Ties

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Last week a small contingent of people from EZFacility visited with a variety of counterparts at our sister company, Member Solutions, in Pennsylvania. The purpose of the meeting was to exchange ideas in order to find out in which areas each company excelled, and in which areas we could use some improvement.  We’re happy to say that this meeting was quite the success in that both companies were able to glean a vast amount of knowledge from each other and exchange additional ideas for the future.

At EZFacility, we encourage our own clients to keep up to date in the industry and swap tips with colleagues in order to remain relevant. One of the best environments to accomplish this is at a trade show, which is what these events are all about in the first place.  At a trade show you’ll not only find vendors that can be incredibly helpful in solving various problems, but other business owners like you that can offer up advice on how they run different aspects of their facility.

Staying informed on what’s going on in your industry is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Continuously being aware will ensure that you always know what your current and future customers are looking for in a gym, health club or sports facility.  This all goes back to the basics of opening a business: finding a need in your market, then meeting those needs for a variety of customers within your demographic. How do you go about identifying those needs? Forming relationships with others in your industry and finding out what is particularly successful for them, in addition to of course, listening to the needs of your customers.
Come back soon for more tips and ideas for building your business.


The Importance of a Mobile App

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On the heels of our recent announcement regarding the launch of MemberMe, we thought it would benefit our clients to know the importance of reaching their members through their smartphones.
Here are just some of the vital stats that you might be interested in:

  • Mobile use in general is increasing 39% year to year, while app use is doubling year over year
  • 6.8 million iPhones and Android smartphones were activated last holiday season alone
  • Market share for smartphone operating systems is split almost 50/50 between iOS (iPhone) and Android.  All other smartphone operating systems (including Blackberry’s RIM system) make up less than 10% and have been shrinking in their market share significantly every quarter
  • Pew polling and research estimates that 35% of all US adults have phones with apps on them
  • The number of app downloads in the last week of December 2011 was 1.2 billion worldwide (half were from the US)

Our goal is to arm our clients with these facts and help you in taking the right steps to reach these smartphone and app users. You might ask yourselves, “What does this accomplish for my business?” By offering an app for your business, you’ll have a valuable tool at your disposal to help you retain members. It also sets you apart from your competition in the eyes of potential members, giving you the leverage you need in a very competitive industry.

MemberMe provides your business with a different avenue to engage members in events that you are holding, and also creates an easy way for them to book classes and share this with their friends on Facebook, turning this into not just a retention tool, but a promotional tool as well.

Feel free to download MemberMe and take a look at what an app for your business can look like. Just type in “MemberMe” in the App Store search bar and download. Here’s a QR code that will take you right to it or you can download it from iTunes here.

Gym Barbell Blog

Piecing Together the Ideal Marketing Plan

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We’d like to give some helpful tips in rounding out your marketing plan for 2019 and making all the components come together in a way that is beneficial to your business. It’s not one particular method or tactic that will make your marketing plan successful, but using every channel available to you. Below is a list of marketing ideas that go above and beyond:

1. Business Appreciation

Work with other local businesses; you promote their businesses and they promote yours.

2. VIP Passes 

Create a no nonsense business card inviting people to a free trial class or week. Feel free to send staff out to nearby supermarkets and hand out the VIP passes to drive more traffic to your gym or facility.

3. Week Free Passes 

Hand out this pass to all new members to give to friends. This then leads us to a referral program…

4. Referral Program

Create a referral program where your current members get rewarded for referring others to your club or facility.

5. Two, Four, Six, Eight, and 10-week Calls 

Follow-up with people who have tried out your facility. A reminder of their time spent there will lead to a lot more conversion and give potential customers a sense that you already care about them.

6. Buddy Weeks 

Begin a “bring a buddy” program where your members are encouraged to bring a friend to try out your club or facility. This will also offer great support for your referral program.

7. Any Kind of Community Marketing 

Exhibit and attend local fairs, events, and tournaments. You’ll find a diverse market of people you can expose your business to while supporting other local businesses.

8. Anyone Who Asks You to Advertise or Donate 

If a local organization is doing a fundraiser, instead of taking an ad out in the local journal, give them passes to distribute at their event. Your cost will be minimal and the activity is guaranteed to get someone through the doors to experience your gym or facility.

9. Meet with Larger Businesses 

Offer to give businesses with many employees a free membership of your choice (whether it’s one month or three months). Let management know the value of the free memberships and let the owner sell it. The owner will be giving the memberships as a gift from him or herself. The owner benefits from the employees’ good will and you benefit from new leads.

10. Quality Control 

The goal must always be to create unbelievable motivation about your business. A happy client is someone who will continually stay with you, spend money, and be a raving fan. Given the opportunity, a happy client will talk about you continuously. That client will refer you every chance he or she gets. See “The Building Blocks of Customer Loyalty” post on how to keep your customers happy.

Seamlessly combining these elements into your marketing plan is the most important thing you can do in order to maximize marketing efforts. One of these components alone will not work without the others. It’s a good idea to spend some time thinking about how to use the marketing channels and resources you have at your disposal and how they will help grow your business.