Rapid, double-digit growth is readily apparent for the health and fitness industry. Double-digit growth in the number of fitness facilities is expected to continue into 2006 and beyond. I spent a month in Phoenix this past summer on a project. There were fitness facilities and private studios in almost every shopping center. It seemed like every corner had a Yoga studio or one of the dozens of fitness franchises. Expect the same here on the east coast within the next two years.
Will we have more than 31,000 health clubs by the end of next year? Will membership actually top 44 million by 2007? It appears so and that’s the good news. The bad news is competition for “health & fitness dollars” will be fierce. Prices will be driven down, profit-margins squeezed, and specialty personal-training studios will continue to take members away from clubs.
This article, published in Primedia’s “Fitness Business Pro” magazine, discusses the top 10 fitness opportunities. They also publish a “Best of the Best” article that will provide you with marketing strategies to consider during the year. If you haven’t already prepared your 2006 Marketing Plan, now’s a good time. Building strong relationships with your customers is more important now than every. Setting up a formal referral program is also recommended.
Management Tip for the Fitness Professional
If you’re an independent fitness professional still sending paper invoices or waiting to collect your fee at the beginning of a training session, you’ll benefit from setting up a PayPal account. Click the PayPal image below and read their section on sending “email invoices.” The program also integrates with Quickbooks. This is a nice feature if you do your own accounting. The time saved can be significant (and we all know time is money in the fitness industry). Sending invoices in advance also allows you to separate the “buyers” from the “shoppers” – more sessions and less cancellations.
I selected this service for my consulting business because there are no start-up or monthly fees, no cancellation fees, and no minimum payments. Also, I did a lot of research and found the transaction fees to be as competitive or lower than most other merchant account providers. Signing up took me less than 10 minutes.