Club Insider

The Club Insider Archives: September 2018

Planet Fitness
Home of the Judgement Free Zone©

By: Norm Cates

Norm CatesNorm CatesChris Rondeau, 45, CEO of Planet Fitness, is a man who, amazingly, has had only three jobs in his entire life! And, his current role, that of CEO of Planet Fitness, looks like both the company and Chris have hit homeruns. Chris is doing a great job for his staff and the company's stockholders, and the company is performing very well. Planet Fitness is a powerhouse in the health and fitness club industry with over 1,600 clubs now open, and over 1,000 new club deals inked and in various stages of development and construction. The Hampton, New Hampshire-based company employs over 200 in their Headquarters and has over 12 million members. Read More...

Club Owner and Association Pioneer, John S. Wineman, Jr. Passes Away
By: Norm Cates

Norm CatesNorm CatesWe're very sad to report that long-time friend, club developer and owner, and association pioneer, John S. Wineman, Jr. passed away on August 19, 2018 in Highland Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. I heard from Bob Fitzgerald, John McCarthy, Rick Caro and Chuck Leve about John Wineman, and their comments are shared here... Read More...

Exercise IS Medicine!
By: Mike Alpert

Mike AlpertMike AlpertThose of you who have read these articles over the past year know that I am passionate about exercise and the profound effect that it has on overall health. You know I believe that it is the most powerful medicine we have today and that we should be moving together, as an industry, to bridge the gap that exists between fitness and health care. We not only have a societal obligation but have the precise venues and abilities to help build and nurture entire healthy communities. And, not just with the already fit members who join our clubs but also with the people who are disabled and those who struggle with chronic injuries and chronic illnesses. What if by redefining the vital role of the health and fitness professional through Exercise IS Medicine, I could show you a pathway to more members, new healthcare connections and greater success and both lower member and staff attrition? If you answered, "Yes," or even, "Maybe," please read on. Read More...

Balancing Customer Service, Customer Loyalty & Business Profit Optimization
"Unused Resources to Create Wow & Build Loyalty"

By: Bill McBride

Bill McBrideBill McBrideI recently presented at the FitLife 2018 Conference in Bend, Oregon. It is an amazing conference with participants from throughout the Pacific Northwest. These are undoubtedly some of the best operators in the country. They have true values and a genuine authenticity. They care about doing it the right way and give their members the benefit of the doubt as their members are truly their friends and neighbors. We should all follow FitLife's example on authenticity. These club operators are the real deal, and I've seen a lot of clubs and operators over the years. In this article, I want to share my experience from the airline trip back from Bend, Oregon to Phoenix, Arizona. Read More...

Designing the New "Sales Experience"
By: Bruce Carter

Bruce CarterBruce CarterSales has been one of the dominate foundations of the health and fitness club industry. It has evolved from "sales or selling" to terms such as membership, fitness consultant, and even, fitness trainer. With the advent of low-price clubs, selling memberships in many facilities became minimized; the art and science of convincing people to join a club evolved into filling out the paperwork for $10 memberships with the individual joining filling out most of the agreement themselves (in person or online). Yet, as more and more low-priced clubs came into the marketplace, it became clear that getting "more revenue per member" was the evolving goal. This need has once again put productive selling at the forefront of club operations. However, many clubs, often larger and with higher dues, continued to sell as always. But, even with those clubs, there seems to be a new format, that of selling memberships and non-dues programs. Read More...

Trend Wisdom
Why It's Important To Be Part of The Dialogue in 2018

By: Stephen Tharrett

Stephen TharrettStephen TharrettTrends are one of the quintessential truths of mankind and one of the core truths of capitalism. Trends influence how we think, what we want to believe or not believe, how we act and how we react. From a business perspective, trends can inform us of where the market is headed, what competitors are doing, what consumers are embracing, what business leaders are thinking and what opportunities there are for the taking. Jason Canton summed this up nicely when he said, "Those who are ill informed will be at risk for a rough future." Read More...

Rookie Brands Take a PR Cue From Established Fitness Brands
By: Nancy Trent

Nancy TrentNancy TrentAll PR is good PR. Maybe. Any PR is a start. Even the cookie cutter approach of submitting a press release to a wire service and waiting for it to generate pickup can have some benefit. Smart startups need to be more proactive than that. You shouldn't rely on a press release to generate buzz in the fitness industry's competitive landscape where "me-too" products are being introduced daily. Here are a few PR strategies often neglected by early stage fitness companies... Read More...

Norm's Notes for September 2018
By: Norm Cates

Norm CatesNorm CatesHello Everybody! This is your Club Insider Publisher and Tribal Leader Since 1993 checking in! Folks, it's great to be with you today as we bring you our 297th monthly edition of Club Insider! Read More...

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