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Mastrov's on the Mark

Mark Mastrov's keynote address, titled "How to Deliver Record-Breaking Performance in Today's Economy," probably should have been "How to Deliver a Keynote Address at Record-Breaking Speed." Mastrov delivered a lot of key advice to a packed audience at a fast-break pace.

The key note of Mastrov's keynote on Friday is that the time is now for club operators to open clubs and expand.

"The next five years is the best run we're ever going to have," Mastrov said. "The markets are coming back. You can feel it."

Mastrov pointed to the recent IHRSA index that showed that club numbers are down. That's not exactly what Mastrov hears from positive-thinking club operators.

"When I talk to people, everybody says their numbers are up," Mastrov said, igniting laughter from the audience.

Mastrov outlined the basic principles of how to compete, or as he put it, the "blocking and tackling of success." The core categories, to no one's surprise, are price, service, facility, people, brand, network and differentiation.

Mastrov made it sound so easy to run a club, but he also stressed the importance of hard work. He's not afraid to go to other club operators and pick their brains and see what works for them.

To really dig deep about a club, Mastrov told a story about how he would go to a club at 7 a.m. wearing a ballcap and two-day stubble. He'd talk to all the members, and in two hours' time, he would know everything about them and about the club.

"I know who's having an affair within my club," Mastrov joked.

Personal training can easily be doubled in clubs, added Mastrov, who's also big on nutrition components in clubs. Mastrov dubunked the myth that there's a magic formula to club success.

"Everybody thinks they have that secret sauce, when in fact that secret sauce is not all that good tasting," he said. "The difference between success and failure is one more (membership) unit a day. This is a time when you need to roll up your sleeves and kick some tail."

If you don't, he added, somebody else will.

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