This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Should clubs keep it simple, rather than offering a potentially confusing assortment of membership packages?


kevin scott harlands • director


“I


’ve noticed a trend towards creating fewer membership options


to make it simple for the prospect. I’m not of the opinion that this is always the way forward: we live in a sophisticated society and people’s needs vary, so membership packages must reflect this. I’m not suggesting we over-complicate our fees, but I recently bought Sky and


was able to select an option that suited my lifestyle. To be profitable, clubs need to offer solutions that suit the customer and that members feel offer them a good return on investment. Membership prices also need to be based on reality, not


wishful thinking, and should be suited to the demographic and location. Clubs need to know how many members the business can sustain based on square footage, number of stations and secondary usage opportunities. I think, in many cases, facilities make uneducated estimates of how many members they expect at a given price, then use gut feeling, or personal choice, to decide on a joining fee or a contract. Membership retention must ultimately be all about return on investment, so you have to make sure the price is right and, apart from the budget clubs, that there are options to suit everyone’s needs.


” august 2010 © cybertrek 2010


john treharne the gym group • ceo


100 per cent online, and the key to the membership structure is its simplicity. People can join quickly, whether at the gym or elsewhere. As all our memberships are the same, members don’t face any complications and aren’t bombarded with choice. Operators


“O


might understand complicated membership systems, but I believe the general public – 80 per cent of whom don’t join health clubs – are confused by most health club systems. The price is the reason our members stay: the affordability


of our offering means they don’t feel any weighty financial obligation each month, and they’re therefore less likely to leave when their finances are stretched. With up to 40 per cent of our members being first-time gym users, this is absolutely vital. We offer a pre-sale offer of £9.99 a month for each club in


the run-up to opening; for those joining after this, a monthly fee of £14.99 applies. But that’s the only variation within our membership structure. Dissatisfaction isn’t an issue, as this is essentially a case of rewarding our founder members: if you commit early, you can save the most money.


” Read Health Club Management online healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital 27


ur membership at The Gym [the budget health club chain] is


PICTURE: WWW.CLAIRETOPLIS.COM


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