This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
MANAGEMENT SERIES


STRATEGIC THINKING


SERIES SERIES


IN CONJUNCTION WITH


In the first part of our new management series, produced in collaboration with CIMSPA, Dr Michael Cassop-Thompson looks at the strategic management of health clubs


brand, stating that the “wrong sort of customers”, displaying poor behaviour, had taken advantage of the reduced rate. It was therefore with interest that I read the subsequent feature in Health Club Management, which canvassed experts for their views on Bannatyne’s comments (see HCM Jan 14, p36). One point in particular caught my


D


eye: Dr Paul Bedford explained how one of his clients dropped his price


“to compete with budget gyms… it destroyed the business”. This example is illuminating: seemingly minor decisions have far-reaching effects. In the same


uncan Bannatyne recently claimed that cutting prices in three of his health clubs had damaged the


feature, ukactive CEO David Stalker made the point that “altering price is a strategic decision” and that moving to a low-cost operation is a “more complex science than pricing”. I would agree. Indeed, in his low-cost sector report


of 2012, Ray Algar reminds us that a budget gym is about more than just a low price, with tech-driven, self-service, 24-hour opening, a narrow proposition in terms of range of services, minimal staffi ng – and a low price. On refl ection, what strikes me is


that – rather than this being a problem of discounting (which in itself can devalue a brand if not carefully applied) some health and fi tness clubs have fundamentally changed their strategy without fully realising the implications.


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


The purpose of this article is,


therefore, to provide a perspective as to how strategy may be addressed


– specifi cally, traditional, deliberate, competitive strategy.


What is strategy? Strategy is a concept that has multiple meanings and levels. What is strategy? Can strategy be planned? Does strategy emerge? Or do markets simply decide which organisations, irrespective of organisational strategy, are successful? All these are questions of merit, and the approach you adopt will be informed by the way you answer them. Generally though, strategy tends to be viewed as


“the long-term direction of an organisation” (Johnson et al, Fundamentals of Strategy, 2012). Deliberate strategy – as covered in


this article – is concerned with how an organisation achieves a competitive advantage over its rivals by using a


March 2014 © Cybertrek 2014


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