At Les Mills, we’ve been successful at developing the world’s best group fitness programs. Along the way, we’ve learnt a lot about what makes a business reach peak performance.
1. DRIVE APPEAL WITH EFFECTIVE PROGRAMS AND INSTRUCTORS
The fitness programs people find appealing are the ones that provide motivation and results, and are safe and consistent. Global trend analysis shows that six core genres drive 84% of weekly fitness club attendance: strength and weights, core strength, cycling, dance, mind body and martial arts. Variety and novelty are good, but dedicating the majority of your timetable to these six will generate solid appeal.
Your instructors also have a big impact. Whether it is freestyle or pre-choreographed programming, helping instructors reach optimal performance with a great training plan is essential. Have a proactive recruitment and selection process to help ensure there is always new talent in the pipeline.
2. KNOW THE TRENDS AND PUT THEM TO WORK
Staying up with the latest fitness trends opens up new opportunities. For example, like HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). HIIT resonates with anyone looking to get excellent results within just 30 minutes a day. This means you can deliver on the value proposition of results and motivation. Capitalizing on the HIIT trend is as easy as adding the likes of Crossfit or LES MILLS GRIT™ to your timetable.
Video-based ‘virtual’ group fitness is also a growing trend that is going strong and satisfying consumer expectations. They get what they want, when and where they want it. There are already more than 3,000 facilities that are currently capitalizing on this trend by offering some form of virtual group fitness programming.
3. FIND YOUR AUDIENCE
Play to your strengths. Local area demographics can identify market demographics suited to the style of facility you want to run. But the truth is when you do something really well, people find you. It’s about designing a value proposition to be proud of and delivering it with passion. Add to this a good location and any facility will be set for success.
4. FOCUS ON ATTRACTING AND RETAINING MEMBERS
The best membership strategy is to focus on providing people with what they want. People come to you for two things they can’t get easily by themselves – results and motivation. Shape your operations around that value proposition and you will attract people who come more often, remain loyal longer, bring more friends and talk to people about their fitness experiences in a positive way. As competition increases, populations change and technology redefines what is possible; innovation is going to be pivotal to securing ongoing member engagement.
5. MAKE YOURSELF STAND OUT
Positive differentiation comes from nailing the basics. Do you have an inspiring and motivating environment? Do you coach people on how to get started in the best way? Do you have great programs to engage them in? Do you have friendly staff at reception? All of these are much more critical to success than trying to ‘be different’.
Remember - being unique might simply mean being the only facility in town that offers great activities and staff who actually manage to get people to use their membership three times per week.
If you really want to step it up, create a motivating environment to set yourself apart from the rest.
Carefully chosen lighting, music, video, décor and graphics can all create a warm, social and stimulating space. Do it well, and you can create an environment so engaging that it takes people away from their daily lives to that ‘third place’, a place that they look forward to visiting every day.
Like human fitness, business fitness can’t be left to luck. You need to work at it. Look at your current offerings and take a more scientific approach through researching trends, listening to your customers, and studying demographics. Because meeting customer needs is the core discipline of a fitness business at its peak.