Corporate Fitness Programs

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Remember a little something called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010? This federal statute has completely changed the landscape of corporate fitness programs. In an effort to reduce health insurance costs, the ACA established new incentives and policies to increase the accountability to corporate fitness and wellness programs.

These incentives can be broken down to two types of programs:

Activity –Based: With “activity-only” programs, employees simply have to engage in a certain activity in order to be rewarded. For example, employees might be required to run for 45 minutes three days a week, follow a particular exercise plan, or stick to a strict diet. The point is, they don’t have to reach a specific weight, measurement or numerical goal to be rewarded.

Outcome-Based: This type of program requires employees to attain a specific wellness goal. This can include hitting a specific numerical goal, such as weight, BMI or blood pressure measurement. This can also mean quitting smoking or drinking. When employees achieve their measurable goal, the benefits kick in. Some corporate programs will issue up to 30% in refunds when a goal is met.

What does this mean for fitness clubs?

Well, first of all, if your club currently doesn’t offer corporate wellness memberships, you are missing out on some serious revenue. To keep up with ever-changing corporate programs, clubs have had to rethink their programming and product strategies. Clubs must offer outcome-based membership programs that include efficient documentation of results. Club operators must track everything from participation to outcomes including biometrics, health improvements, smoking cessation, etc. so that corporations can present these results in comprehensive formats for insurers.

Health facilities can capitalize on this new trend in corporate fitness incentives. Instead of just offering corporate memberships with lower pricing, clubs can work with corporate HR departments to add certain programs and services to these memberships in order to add value and increase the company’s wellness benefits. For example, one company worked with a client corporation to create a 12-week program that aimed to lower cholesterol. Employees that participated in the program reduced their cholesterol by 5%, resulting in about $18,618 in healthcare savings for their company. Clubs can also work with corporations to create competitions. For example, create a weight-loss competition where the team wins a monetary prize and a full refund of their registration fees if they maintain their weight for a specified amount of time. The possibilities are endless!

The goal is to establish your club as a valuable centerpiece to the companies’ wellness program. Don’t simply watch from the sidelines. Set up your club to be part of the ongoing effort to promote health and wellness in the work environment. It’s not going away any time soon!


Supercharge Your Blog: Blogging for Fitness Website SEO Benefits.

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It’s no longer a secret that blogging is one of the most important features on your website if your goal is to improve SEO, increase conversion rates, and generate leads.

97 Display manages hundreds of fitness websites globally, and our most successful clients have a few things in common, one of which is that they all blog.

Blogging doesn’t have to be scary. Many of our clients aren’t professional writers and fear that the content they produce won’t be helpful or that people simply won’t read it. Ultimately they fear wasting their time over something that may not generate any immediate results. But the fact is that blogging can be used for technical and SEO benefits… not just for audience education. This means that even if no one ever reads your blog it can still be beneficial to your website! Let’s discover 3 ways to supercharge your blog for SEO:

1. Backlinks & Sitelinks

Your blog is one of the most natural ways to include large numbers of backlinks & sitelinks on your website.

Backlinks: hyperlinks on your website to other URLS (such as your social media business profiles)

Sitelinks: Hyperlinks on your page to other pages on your website (such as “click here to view our new schedule)

Backlinks and Sitelinks are beneficial to your SEO because it communicates to Google specific keywords that your URL is talking about. The more backlinks & sitelinks, the more confident search engines are about the content on your site and the more likely you will rank higher in search engines.

One of my favorite way to naturally include backlinks on your blog is to end EVERY blog post with this:

“Learn more at our social media channels!

Timothy’s Fitness Facebook Page

Timothy’s Fitness Twitter Page

Timothy’s Fitness Google+ Page”

Where each of the lines hyperlink directly to the respective social media page.


Next: Go to each other the social media channels and link back to that specific blog post.

● Facebook: New blog post! Learn more about our group training spring schedule:

● Twitter: New blog post! Learn more about our group training spring schedule:

● Google+: New blog post! Learn more about our group training spring schedule:

This will create a web of links back and forth between your blog and your social media channels.


Get into the habit of doing this! Over time you’ll build a strong web of backlinks between your website URL and your social media channels which will clearly communicate to search engines the content and services of your website…. which is essential for top rankings!

2. Be Smart With Your Blog Titles

Your blog title is the most important aspect of your blog post. It is what tells search engines what your blog is about and it has the most SEO influence.

Avoid titles like:

“Ten Fat Burning Tips for January”

For a fitness business website, this title has no strategic keywords in place. It has no location keywords, and no service keywords. While it may read nicely it’s missing out on the natural opportunity to plug more strategic keywords on your website as titles!

Here is an example of an SEO friendly alternative:

“Beat the Cold: Denver’s Best Fitness Program Tips for Burning Fat this January”

This title communicates the same content but includes valuable keywords such as “Denver” and “Fitness Program.” This is especially helpful for small towns and surrounding suburbs that you want to rank in. Remember, you can always go back in time to old blog posts and update titles with these keywords!

3. Include Video & Image Tags. Videos and images will increase user engagement and improve the likelihood that your readers will actually read your blogs.

Just placing images & videos on your sites without tagging them, however, does nothing for your SEO.

An image is a perfect place to place otherwise awkward keywords in a perfectly “Google-friendly” way. Anytime you upload and image to your blog, simply name it something keyword rich- like “Denver Personal Training and Fitness Classes” EVEN if the picture is something completely unrelated.

Search engines will crawl your blog, however they can’t see your images – they can only see your description of the image. By naming your image something keyword rich you’re telling search engines that this image has to do with your specific keywords. This is HUGE! Any image or video gives you an opportunity to plug as many keywords as you can into the description or title of that image.

Since your website visitors most likely won’t see the title of your image, you won’t have to worry about how readable your keywords are- just make sure they are there!

Learn more tips for improving your website performance at!

Authored By:

Timothy Sarazen – Director of Operations at 97 Display.

97 Display Creates Websites & Lead Generating Campaigns for Fitness Business. Learn if 97 Display can help your fitness website! Visit



Safety First! Exploring Risk Management Best Practices

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Aside from making sure clients are having the best experience possible at your club, you’re second largest priority should be ensuring visitor safety. However, as most club and facility owners know, this is no easy task. From establishing safety protocols and procedures; scheduling inspections; forms and contracts to sign, and making sure all other aspects of your business are running seamlessly, it’s a lot to handle. How can one person accomplish all of this? The answer is: you can’t, and you shouldn’t.

The key thing to take away from this is it takes a whole team. Do not assume all the responsibility yourself. Instead, create a risk management team and network made up of both internal and external sources of support. Having a team to delegate specific tasks to increases productivity and makes for a well-oiled safety machine.

Before looking for help outside your facility, consider your current resources. For example, do you have employees with a medical background? Do you have any individuals on staff with a law enforcement or engineering background? Look for individuals who can bring valuable knowledge and experience to the table. For this internal team, maintain a consistent meeting schedule to address risk management on safety concerns and protocols. These meetings should happen quarterly at the very least and should have a delegated leader to hold all members accountable for all current and new initiatives.

To further grow your risk management network, look to outside sources such as local fire departments, police forces and EMS teams. These resources can help you and your team practice drills for potential situations you may face as well as keep you up-to-date on local incidents.

You can also consult your insurance agent and carrier for resource and educational materials regarding risk management best practices and procedures. Some carriers also have loss prevention professionals who can be brought in to advise your team on proper safety measures and protocols.

Another great option to pull resources from is your local American Red Cross or other local agencies. American Red Cross assists businesses both small and large with educational materials, seminars, and guides for keeping your members safe in the case of an emergency.

The key thing to take away here is that you have a multitude of resources you can pull together to make the best risk management strategies possible. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and make sure new staff members are trained on all safety measures put in place at your facility.


Hot Retention Strategies: Member Loyalty Programs

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Have you ever heard of Endowed Progress Effect?

It’s the idea that when we feel we have made progress towards a specific goal, we are more committed to reaching that goal. If we do not recognize any progress we are making towards a goal, the more likely we will abandon all efforts to reach it. So, the key to this phenomenon is perception.

So where is this going?

Loyalty Programs. Yes, it turns out that this psychological concept has resulted in the ever-increasing popularity of loyalty programs across all types of businesses. Coffee shops, large-restaurants chains, merchandise stores, and spas have all adopted this trend, and more recently, so too has the health and fitness industry.

So what loyalty and retention strategies can you use to accomplish this?

There is a myriad of strategies to choose from. Awarding clients “free” points up front is a great tactic. Punch cards have proven to be extremely successful across all businesses. The idea is that once a person has had all the slots on their card punched, they will be rewarded. For example, you can give members a “punch” every time a member comes in per week or uses a certain machine. A great tactic that coincides with this is to start them off with three or so punches (for signing up, being a new member, etc.) so that they feel they are that much closer to their reward. This plays right into the Endowed Progress Effect because we know that people work harder to achieve a goal when they feel like they are close to reaching it. Rewards for full punch cards can range from a discount, free item, or a free class or program.

The best part is, you are rewarding members for actions they are most likely already doing including attending classes and referring friends and family, but you have just added a huge incentive to increase this behavior. That client may not be more inclined to refer more friends, purchase more classes and buy more merchandise just to reach that full punch card reward. The revenue and recognition possibilities from these programs are endless! Excited yet? Well, before you begin your new endeavor into loyalty programs at your facility, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Ability to Document Progress:

We mentioned before the Endowed Progress effect is based on perception. This means that clients need to see physical proof that they are making progress for these programs to be effective. Make sure you are able to document when clients reach each milestone.

2. Instant gratification:

First, clearly define each milestone of your motivational program and then ensure that clients who meet them are rewarded immediately. If clients have to wait forever to receive their prize, they will lose steam in their efforts to reach the next milestone or their ultimate goal.

3. Achievable goals!

It is physically impossible to lose 30 pounds (at a healthy pace) in a week! Therefore, make sure to speak with clients about their goals and manage expectations. Remember the flip side of the Endowed Progress Effect: When there is no perceived progress, this results in demotivation.

4. Invest in management software that tracks client progress:

If your programs rely on client information that you cannot integrate with your current software solution, this is counterproductive. If your software solution cannot provide accurate results, clients will become frustrated and less motivated to keep working towards their goals.

5. Valuable and Relevant Rewards:

If you are a fitness facility, rewarding members with ice cream coupons would not be beneficial to your clients and would consider moving business elsewhere. Instead, reward members with merchandise with your company logo, such as shirts, hats, water bottles, towels or any other items that reflect back on your brand and the industry.

A rewards program–if implemented correctly–can be a major source of revenue and growth for your business. Build relationships with your clients by offering efficient, trackable, result-driven programs to promote brand loyalty and establish a community that members and prospects want to return to.



Booming Trends: Anti-Gravity Yoga

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Once upon a time, I had no interest in yoga at all. I thought yoga was all about meditating by candlelight and singing “oms” in unison with twenty or so strangers. As a health and fitness enthusiast, I was under the impression that a “good” workout had to include intense cardio and heavy weights — neither of which, to my knowledge, were present in most yoga classes. It wasn’t until a friend of mine invited me to an Aerial yoga class that I realized how little I actually knew about this ancient fitness practice.
First of all, I had no idea that there were different types of yoga with varying degrees of intensity. Aerial Yoga (also known as Anti-Gravity Yoga) just so happens to be the most rapidly growing variation, popping up in clubs all over the country. Aerial Yoga includes the use of silk hammocks to support participants as they move through various yoga poses, midair. When I walked into the class and saw lines of these silk hammocks suspended from the ceiling, I immediately thought of the acrobats in Cirque Du Soleil. I thought, if I didn’t get a real workout, at least I’d have fun swinging from the ceiling.
About fifteen minutes into the class I realized I had severely underestimated it. I was sweating, breathing hard and channeling all of my energy into holding what felt like a hundred different positions only a contortionist could pull off. However, I felt great! I felt muscles aching in places I couldn’t normally reach with a typical cardio or weight-centered workout. It was a completely different kind of experience. After class, I thanked my friend for introducing me to this new-found addiction and immediately went home to do some more research about this practice.
What I found was a recent study conducted by the American Council of Exercise that examines how effective Aerial Yoga is as a form of exercise. As I was still feeling the endorphin rush from class, I wasn’t surprised by the results. The study aimed to track how this form of yoga affected participants on a cardiovascular level after three 50-minuteclasses a week, for a total of six weeks. The study included sixteen participants (all women) of various ages who were asked to wear a calorimetric measurement system as well as a heart rate monitor during each class. The results were extremely positive. At the end of the six weeks, participants not only experienced weight loss and a reduction in body fat, but also an increase in “good” cholesterol and improved respiratory function. Furthermore, it was found that each participant had reduced their risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
The study went on to say that each 50-minute class burned about 300 calories! That was impressive enough for me to go back for another round. In fact, I now go about three times a week and each time I go I see a significant increase in attendance. It’s become so popular that my gym had to start offering three more Aerial Yoga classes to accommodate all the members jumping on this new trend.
From the health benefits to the positive, fun, intense environment Aerial Yoga provides, it might be time to consider adding it to your facility’s programming. The flexibility of the hammocks allow for all different fitness levels to participate. I highly recommend it!


Better The Class Experience In 14 Steps

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1. Get to class early. Spend a few minutes before class to get to know some of your students, not just to set up your equipment. This is prime time to show your clients that you are a) a relatable human being, and b) this gives you some time to learn client needs and what they are looking to get out of your class. Wander around too; don’t just wait for them to come to you. Remember as much significant information about clients as you can! Showing that you remember someone shows that you care and inspires client loyalty.

2. Own It. I should know who the instructor is the MINUTE I walk into the room. There’s no room for nervousness here. Even if you are nervous, fake that confidence until it’s real! If I am paying to take a class, I want to be confident in my instructor’s abilities.

3. Pump up the jams! BEFORE class starts. If you are about to teach a high-intensity class- like spinning- set the tone before clients enter the room. Chances are that most of your students have crawled out of bed to take this class before work or forced themselves to come after a long day. They need a psychological PUSH to rev them up. Don’t let them fall asleep on the bike.

4. Make sure to keep energy HIGH! Particularly in small classes.

There are a bunch of strategies you can keep in your arsenal. Here are just a few:

• Call people out by name. Make eye contact and encourage them to power through the workout.

• Make introductions between students to create a “pack mentality”. You’re in this together!

• Compliment them on actually making it to class when they could just have easily been sleeping—if it was a morning class—or headed straight to the bar after work. Instead, they’re here! YAY!

5. Encourage partner or group work.

Require students to make a connection by:

• Pairing up for a two-person exercise.

• Have half the class work super intense while the other half cheers them on.

• Tell students to cheer on the person exactly to their left/right. Give high fives (who doesn’t love a high five?).

6. Make a soundtrack full of FRESH jams, and while you’re at it, match the music to the beat! I personally need a good, blood pumping beat to get me in the right mental state for an intense workout. But, I need that feeling of something NEW each time to get that same effect. Don’t use the same soundtrack every class and, while you’re at it, check out the top 40 chart once in a while to keep relevant. And, try to match the workout to the beat! It helps the class synchronize and nothing is more motivating than being in sync as a unit.

7. Recover gracefully from mistakes. It’s inevitable: at some point in time, something will break or won’t go as planned. To prepare for this, make a list of things that could go wrong beforehand, and come up with solutions. Whether your music system breaks or you forget to repeat an exercise on the other side, find ways to roll with the punches gracefully and seamlessly. No one is going to walk out of the room in a huff if they see you are calm, poised and actively working on the issue.

8. Encourage encouraging noise! If you’ve been to any sporting event, you know that players thrive on the roar of the crowd. It’s no different in a group class studio. If there is someone screaming, whooping or doing a Native American battle cry – encourage this behavior and build on it! Usually when people are making these sounds, it means they are having a fantastic time. This is a major complement so don’t ignore it. Let students feed energy off each other and it will change the entire atmosphere of the class.

9. Correct students, but don’t make a scene. No matter what fitness level students are at, they can always improve. You earn trust from your students if you correct them once in a while. Push them deeper into a pose, make sure both feet are facing the right way—it goes a long way in showing your expertise. I want to know I am in fully capable hands. With that being said, don’t correct me from across the room and, for God’s sake, pull the mic away when you do! Most instructors don’t realize they’re embarrassing students this way. Just remember to pull the mic away for corrections.

10. Promote your colleagues! Contrary to popular belief, speaking well about another colleague does NOT take business away from you. Talk about how awesome the next instructor’s class is or mention how good an instructor is at a certain area of expertise. Talking badly about other instructors puts a bad taste in your students’ mouths.

11. Let students know when they are doing well. Praise students who are visibly trying their hardest. This goes a long way in boosting egos and encouraging them to keep coming back, especially if you call them out when they don’t realize you are watching.

12. Prepare for things to go wrong. Our bodies can do some pretty weird things when we exercise—things not everyone, especially first-timers—may not be familiar with. We sweat uncontrollably, make pained noises, hear popping sounds, and our muscles start to shake all over the place when they start to burn out. Reassure your students that all of this is normal to keep going!

13. Come up with an end-of-class ritual. Don’t just push students back into the real world straight after a workout. Ease them out of the endorphin high and congratulate them on a job well done. This could be a series of stretches or some light breathing techniques. Either way, ease them out of that mental state so they can be excited, feel accomplished, and then get on with their day.

14. Stay after class too. Don’t sprint out of the class once the workout is done. Stay after to get social with students. This is a great opportunity to get feedback on your class, whether positive or negative. Both forms will help you improve and gather ideas on how to make their next experience even better.

Most importantly, just stay after to chat and show that you are a normal person when you don’t have your supertrainer suit on. It will go a long way in forming loyal students and create viable referrals.


The Key To Success? Relationships.

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As a club owner, how often do you engage with your clients and staff? While making sure all systems are running smoothly at your club is important, sitting in your office all day just doesn’t cut it. The fact is, it’s the people that make a business thrive and the more you work to nurture these relationships, the more successful your club will be.

When we say “engage” we don’t mean asking for credit card information while selling a membership or package—that’s a business transaction. On the flip-side, walking around the club and simply saying “hi” isn’t enough either. You need to get to know these people who frequent your space. The more you ask about your members, staff, vendors and personal, the more you build a “community” and a place people actually look forward to returning to.

Here are three ways to build strong, long-lasting relationships at your club:

1. Get Personal.

Okay, we don’t mean interrogate, but do ask more personal questions than, “What rep are you on?” Make it your mission to learn about your members. Learn at least one significant thing about each member, and then remember it for the next time they visit. This will show them you don’t think of them as just a number. Ask them about their families; what they like to do on the weekends, what their fitness goals are, or just ask them how they are doing that day. Engaging in a real conversation will go a long way.

2. Be Authentic:

Speaking of real conversations; if you are being fake they will see right through you. Make eye contact, give real responses, and let them know you “see” them and that you care. If they see you walking around to each person asking the same question and responding the exact same way each time, they’re going to know you’re not being genuine.

3. Practice Patience:

If you find yourself dealing with a problematic client, try to see the situation from their perspective before you retaliate. Remember the Golden Rule, “Treat others the way you want to be treated”. We’ve all heard this since grade school, but it really should be practiced in daily life. People lash out for all kinds of reasons. The woman complaining about a cancelled class? This might be the only day she has off from her stressful job. The man complaining that the prices are too high? He may have just lost his job. You never know what people are going through, so treat them the way you would want to be treated if you were having a hard time.

The fact is, you need to get out on that floor and get to know your clients. You can’t sit in the back room and expect the people at your club to feel welcome. Make your rounds, learn about the people that make up your “community” and give them the opportunity to get to know you. The stronger your relationships with your gym community, the smoother your business will run and the more successful you will be.


8 Best Practices For Promoting Your Business On Social Media

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Who, in this day and age, is not on some kind of social media? This channel of communication has developed into a major source of revenue for businesses both big and small. Unfortunately, if you’re a small, new business, chances are you can’t afford to hire a Social Media Specialist. This makes marketing and attracting new clients and followers very tricky. Posting a picture or tweet here and there is not going to attract or engage a large number of followers. In order to truly use social media to its full potential, businesses must prepare to invest some time and effort into better understanding how to market on different platforms. Fortunately, we’re here to offer some advice:

1. Quality Over Quantity: You’ve heard this phrase before. As a small business, you want to reach for loyalty as opposed to millions of followers. You don’t need to “go viral” straight off the bat. Instead, focus on building strong relationships with a smaller number of followers. Social media relationships, like real-life relationships, take time. When you start to attract and build these loyal relationships with a select few, you tap into their social circles. Building a solid reputation for great customer service and support will translate into referrals and will build your following over time. Don’t put all your effort into one huge campaign for immediate value—let your following build up with LOYAL clients who plan to stay for the long haul.

2. Focus On Your Local Community: Start local. Look at the types of businesses that are around you and post targeted content. You can also offer incentives for local workers who check into your facility on social media.

3. Plan In Advance. We cannot stress enough how important this is. Create a content calendar so you know what kind of content to post on each day. This will save you so much time in the long run and consumers will appreciate your consistency. Also, start by experimenting with the best times and days to post content. Perhaps you get more engagement from posts on Wednesdays at 9am. Experiment and then make it a ritual. Also, take advantage of Holidays! Offer a Christmas special or free guest passes on Mother’s day—the possibilities are endless!

4. Use What You Already Have. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Utilize content you’ve already created or include quotes from satisfied customers. In the age of Yelp and other review sites, clients are looking for first-hand experiences to form their own decisions. Adding a client testimonial will go a long way in attracting new followers. 5. Be Engaging! People love quizzes, polls or any other medium where they can post their opinion. Let the public know that there are real people working at your gym, and don’t be afraid to show a sense of humor! Take some risks.

6. Translate Relationships Into Sales. So, you’ve established some loyal relationships, not how do you turn this into revenue? Begin by offering special offers to clients via social media. Offer online and offline coupon codes. Create contests with prizes such as free classes or memberships. This will generate sales both online and at your facility.

7. Quick Response Time: Never ignore a complaint! Think of complaints as little gifts. If one person voices an issue, there are usually ten more with the same issue that are just too lazy to post it. The people who DON’T speak up, are usually just leave rather than deal with the issue. Use these complaints to better your business and let the client know that they’ve been heard and that you are actively working to address their concerns. Most importantly, by responding quickly, you show that your company cares about your clients and want to create the best customer experience possible. With that being said, respond quickly to positive comments too! Everyone likes to be acknowledged and if you ignore a compliment it might rub followers the wrong way.

8. Use Data and Analytics. Finally, make sure you are measuring your reach and engagement on social media. This is critical to understanding what is and isn’t working. Most social media platforms provide their own set of analytics. However, it doesn’t hurt to use an additional tool for accuracy. Some of the data you should be sure to measure include:

• Who is promoting your business the most and has a vast amount of followers you can tap into?

• Who is visiting your page and when?

• Who made purchases from you in the past? This will help so you develop tactics to encourage future purchases.

The fact is, there are a myriad of ways to promote your business. Don’t dive straight in and try everything at once. Gradually build up your following with loyal members and nurture those relationships. Listen, respond, and get to know your audience so that you can develop your overall marketing plan into a major success.


Finding Success Through Failure

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If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again. It’s an age old proverb and one that many successful entrepreneurs live by. The fact of the matter is, failure happens–things fall through. What defines your brand and business is how you bounce back. True success comes from those who face failure head-on, get back on that horse, go back to the drawing board and never, ever quit.

So how DO you bounce back from a failed business-specifically in the fitness and sports industry? Here are three ways to consider:

1. Explain the failure and don’t make excuses: Transparency is key

Transparency is key and clients will appreciate your honesty. Own your failure–everyone makes mistakes. By admitting your mistakes and making it clear how much time and effort you will allocate to improving your products and services, you will give them the impression that you take your business extremely seriously.

2. Analyze the fail

The trick is to view failure as a great learning experience. Before you embark on a brand new business plan, take dedicated time to evaluate the factors and elements that lead to the failure. You need to really understand what worked and what didn’t. This way, you don’t have to completely scrap your old plan. Instead, you can build upon what worked and reevaluate what didn’t. Did clients love your product but hate your customer service? Were your prices too high? Dig deep and really analyze your client data.

3. Ask for Help

Don’t do it alone. You need to find other professionals and services that can help streamline your business. Are you tracking everything –from memberships, class packages, rentals– on paper? This can be both time consuming and stressful and can also lead to numerous inaccuracies and financial loss. An all-in-one secure management software is key. Not only can you track all your client data and class schedules, you will also be able to set up automatic billing, create a customised app for online purchases, send targeted email campaigns, access accurate reporting and more! The more you streamline your business processes, the more time and effort you can put into creating those exceptional, personalized customer experiences at your facility.

4. Refocus your brand

While you are analyzing your client data, identify your target audience. Was a vast majority of your clientele composed of young adults? Senior citizens? Elite athletes?

Once you recognize your main client base, focus your efforts on delivering products and services to this specific demographic. You need to create exceptional client experiences to attract and retain members. For example, if the majority of your clients are between 15 and 25 years old, you may want to focus on group classes or specific sports skills training to get these youngins’ in the door.

5. Actually Do it.

Now that you have evaluated what works and what doesn’t, refocused your brand, sought help and created a new business plan: set it in motion. Don’t let the failure freeze your ambitions. Most successful businesses fail more than once but it is only after failure that you will find success. Bounce back!


A Simple Guide For Calculating Retention- It's Easier Than You Think!

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The last thing we want to do while on the job is crunch numbers. However, the fact of the matter is, for a business to succeed—especially in the fitness industry—calculating your retention rate is vital, and this means we need to do a little math.

Calculating retention rates can be VERY confusing, but we’re here to break it down to some more manageable formulas. The key thing to take away from all this is, regardless of the equations you use, keeping members satisfied is a sure way to keep your retention rate high.

What Is Retention and Why Should I Care?

In laymen’s terms, retention is the percentage of the members that stayed in the past year or 12 months. It costs a LOT more to attain a new client than it does to keep loyal members, so it’s pretty safe to say that membership-based facilities should focus energy and resources on retaining members to be successful. Although reaching sales quotas and getting new faces in the door are important parts of the business, if you are not keeping those members, you’re working harder for the smallest profits.

How Do I Calculate My Retention Rate?

One of the biggest mistakes club owners make is they just total cancellations in a year and divide this by the membership total at the end of the year. Don’t make this mistake. Instead use any of the methods listed below.

By far the easiest way to track retention is by using the following steps:

1. Start with a 12-month chart and record the beginning monthly membership for each month.

Use the equation:

Previous month’s beginning membership + number of sales in previous month + number of reinstated (unfrozen) memberships.


2. Subtract the number of canceled memberships and the number of frozen memberships.

3. Total the canceled membership for the last 12 consecutive months.

4. Total the beginning monthly membership for the last 12 months and divide by 12 which indicate the average beginning monthly membership.

5. Total the number of canceled membership for the last 12 consecutive months. Divide this number by the number of average beginning monthly memberships in the previous step. This answer is your annual attrition.

For annual retention, take the number from step one and subtract attrition. The process is pretty easy, but make sure you are meticulous in your calculations.

Another popular formula for calculating retention rates:

Member retention rate = ((ME-MN)/MS)) X 100

ME = number of members at end of period

MN = number of new members acquired during period

MS = number of members at start of period

I know you’re probably starting to get painful flashbacks of high school math class, but don’t be intimidated. These formulas are actually pretty simple to use. Think about it:

If you start with 100 members in your club’s first month, and factor in the 15 members who canceled their contracts and 20 new members, then you are left with 105 members at the end of the month. Using the numbers above, your equation should look like this:

((105-20)/100)) X 100 = 85 percent of your members are still active.

Both formulas work for large clubs and small boutique facilities. Tracking retention rate is the foundation of growing a business. Whichever method you choose, make sure to take a serious approach to keeping members loyal and reducing your attrition.