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inclusive, you’re saying you see the older consumer – and they will now see you.


Now that you have decided on who you will serve and how to become an advocate for them, the next question relates to your workforce: with fewer people entering the labour force, and the field of ageing in particular, where will the people come from to meet the market’s demands and needs? This is a challenge for all industries, not just health and fitness. Start by looking at the requirements in WHO’s International Guidelines for Preparing Physical Activity Instructors for Older Adults. How do your staff stack up? Are they qualified to train older members? If not, seek out universities, colleges or certification providers that offer specialist training and work with these groups – alongside


3 March 2013 © Cybertrek 2013 PEOPLE


the WHO Guidelines – to create an in-house training programme for future instructors. Seek out student interns to help build a solid base of potential instructors. You need to have the right people working in your club.


4 POTENTIAL


With population ageing, consumers aged 50-plus will dominate purchasing decisions for decades to come. So how can businesses tap into this opportunity? Think of one word: wellness. By implementing the seven dimensions of wellness at your fitness centre (physical, emotional, spiritual, environmental, intellectual, social and vocational) you will not only have a diverse set of programmes and services to offer, but will also have the services that match with the diversity of your potential audience. Think club, not fitness club.


Many clubs today continue to focus their products and services towards youth. Research from the United Nations suggests this lack of interest in the older consumer stems from ageism and a limited understanding of the market. Ask yourself this: can your current and potential older members navigate through your club with ease, or are there dumbbells, bars, benches and other items that are hazards? Are your products and services inclusive for the older consumer – from your fitness equipment to your lighting, from your pool to the programmes you offer?


5


Think function, think inclusive, and think about how what you offer impacts all five senses: vision, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. It’s an obvious point to make, but having the right products for the right audience is key to success.


Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital 63


PRODUCTS


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