In my new position as associate editor at Club Industry, I strive to offer insight and information to a demographic I have yet to meet and learn more about. However, I understand that the staff here does not need to be made up of fitness business professionals in order to provide the news and direction our readers need. In the process of receiving my bachelor's of science degree in journalism, I learned a journalist must adapt to situations, research and report, providing unbiased insights.
Though I don't include my viewpoints in my stories, I like to have my own discernment about the content I cover, since having an understanding beyond an interview or research can only add to your writing. So as an eager, young journalist yearning to provide insights for my readers, I ventured to the gym at my apartment complex for a little "research."
Simply exercising does not make me a fitness business professional or grant me an all-knowing status, but it is the only start I had time for (since I am working all day to cover the news you need most). With state-of-the-art equipment and flat-screen TVs to distract me, I started to think this fitness thing wasn't too bad. However, after the new workout excitement wore off and after a few long days at work took their toll, I wasn't as eager to go back for another workout. I foresaw this roadblock possibility as soon as I hit the couch after one long day at work, but I know this happens to most people who start new exercise routines.
So I am back at the starting block with every other person in America who set a new year's resolution or just wants to be a little healthier. It made me wonder what fitness business professionals would do to motivate me and the January joiners at their clubs? We seem to need a force bigger than ourselves to motivate us to return every day.
As I researched the matter, I came across articles about retention methods. Some facilities create a new member integration experience that surpasses new members' expectations by creating a lasting good impression. Other facilities create engaging fitness and workout spaces to provide an environment that invigorates and seduces members to return. Both seemed like they could entice me to try harder if I was exercising at a larger facility that required dues. However, what I was seeking to get me off my starting blocks (or, more literally, my couch) was some motivation.
Though this revelation isn't about the latest financials for fitness equipment manufacturers, the most recent development in fitness club equipment or even the breaking news of a partnership that will produce a collection of health clubs in the Mid-Atlantic region, I believe it is just as important. Some may call it marketing or sales, but in layman's terms, what your facility needs to succeed is a way to motivate.
Whether it's encouraging your staff to provide individualized attention to members, revamping your facility to offer a more engaging and motivating atmosphere or emphasizing a one-on-one personal training opportunity that can dish out the required amount of motivation, a little extra motivation will take your facility a long way.
My leap into the fitness world didn't give me instant knowledge or an immediate set of rock-hard abs, but it did give me an insight into something that I believe every fitness business professional thinks about. So take a step back and think about what makes your facility stand apart from the competition. Whether it's a nonprofit facility, university recreation center or a nationwide chain, what kind of motivation are you offering this year?