Club Insider

Eight Steps to Designing Your Niche Program

Part I

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Casey ConradCasey Conrad

In the August 2017 Edition of Club Insider, I wrote an article regarding the power of Niche Marketing. It discussed how focusing on specific health conditions as a programming tool provides club operators with one of the most lucrative (and available) marketing opportunities to drive new prospects through their doors. In this article, Part II one of a 2-part series, I'll address the first four of the eight steps to creating your program, which I've extracted from my seminar: Program Marketing Drives Sales.

1. Decide on the niche market. Although a blinding flash of the obvious, choosing the first niche market can be a challenging decision because there are many factors to consider. The easiest are: Is there a big enough market, and is that market within my geographic area? You may decide you want to run a program to combat dementia but live in an up-and-coming urban area with a young population. You could create an awesome program but simply don't have the numbers to justify moving forward.

Once you know the market exists, there are the more difficult questions regarding your facility's ability to work with that specific population. Do you have someone on your training staff who has the appropriate degree or qualifications? If he has the necessary education or training what is his level of experience? Low or no experience isn't a deal killer, but it would warrant you getting some outside consultation or direction before finalizing your plans.

Finally, if you have the market and the staff, do you have the right facility and equipment necessary? For some markets, you may have to invest in additional materials or items, which now gets you into budgetary considerations. Again, that may not be a total roadblock, but it may mean you choose another niche in the short term until you generate enough revenue to offset any expenses.

2. Determine the appropriate length of the program. Once you have decided on a specific niche market, the next step is to choose an optimal length for the program. Experience shows that the sweet spot for programs is around eight weeks, long enough to ensure results and short enough to make it attractively doable for most. Of course, I have seen successful 2-week programs as well as 12-week programs; the key is matching the time with the health concern. You wouldn't run a 2-week weight loss program; likewise, it doesn't make sales sense to run a program for a timeframe where improvements might level off and result in a reduction of enthusiasm on the part of the prospect. From a pure sales conversion standpoint, run the program for the shortest time needed to obtain a significant outcome, both in terms of results and full membership purchases by the participants.

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