This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
crm
series
Checking in Booking technology can
be used for classes, making them
a viable option for budget clubs
: DREAMSTIME.COM
GENCY

A
ODRIGUEZ

ANDRES R
T
OGRAPHER:
PHO
©
MAKING THE SWITCH
Sean James looks at how and why full service operators might switch to a budget model
W
e should first define what there are quite a few of these types we as an industry have been used to. For
we believe constitutes of club now open for business. None example, they have no sales team, no
a budget club in the that I have spoken with have failed. tours, no direct sales cost. Marketing
UK at the moment. A On the contrary, most have proven does it all, with consumers joining
budget club is a health club where fees very successful, with more than 2,000 online or at a kiosk in-club. And there’s
do not exceed £19 a month at most. members having joined each club – no service beyond front desk – new
It has minimal staffing levels, is low some a lot more. members receive an induction and are
maintenance (which means no pools) Of all of the budget clubs now in then left to themselves. That’s not to say
and has technology-driven membership business, from groups such as FitSpace service is unavailable though – they can
management, joining and billing systems. and The Gym Group to independent pay extra for personal training with an
Though proven to be very successful budget clubs, they all have one thing in in-club trainer.
abroad – mainly in the US and Germany common: they don’t obey the rules that Has it made a difference to members
– the budget club model is still in terms of service
viewed with some scepticism experience? No, it hasn’t.
in the UK. Many operators I Members come in, they
spoke to initially wanted to
The budget model is
exercise, they go home. If
see a full year trading in the they want assistance they ask
UK before they were prepared
closer to retail than to
for it. If they want tuition
to draw any conclusion as to
the viability of this new type of
hospitality. It’s about
and guidance they pay for
it. Attrition rates are not
‘fast fi tness’, despite the results
volume, turnover, fast
signifi cantly different than
from the model abroad. But those of a full service club,
it’s been well over 12 months sales and efficiency members aren’t complaining,
now since the fi rst UK budget and they’re joining self-
club began pre-sales, and service style en masse.
june 2009 © cybertrek 2009 Read Health Club Management online 53
healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital
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