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Who's The Boss?

You are the centre manager.  You are in charge of running the ship.  You are what Graham Henry is to the All Blacks, the John Bracewell of NZ Cricket, or even the Sam Morgan of Trade Me.  You run the show... or do you?

How effectively do you really run the operation at your fitness centre?  Do you pull together all of the parts of your centre like a carefully constructed jigsaw puzzle or do you seem to have no control over the individual components of your club?

Here are a few tips to ensure that at least the sales team of your gym are operating effectively and to guarantee that you know exactly what is happening every day, or every week of every month in your business.

1.  Ensure the monthly sales plan is produced by your sales team leader of each site by the 15th day of each month.

2.  Ensure all sales staff are completing their daily stats sheets and have the sales team leader consolidate these figures.

3.  Receive a weekly sales update from your sales team leader with a summary of the weeks activity.

4.  Attend your team's weekly sales meeting with the sales team leader and staff every Monday.  Review last weeks activity and set action plan for the upcoming week.

5.  Make a daily check on the sales teams appointments and activity levels, take a daily interest.

6.  Check KPI (Key Performance Indicators) figures and reconcile with sales summary sheets.

7.  Mystery shop the site a minimum of once per month to review how membership enquiries are being dealt with.

8.  Ensure you present a promotions guide to all membership promotions 15 days prior to promotion start date, all front line staff should attend.

If your sales ship is running full steam ahead then you only have to worry about one other thing... keeping those members once they have joined!

Division of the sexes

Division of the sexes is an article written for New Zealand Fitness magazine by Gyms.co.nz.  Check it out in the latest issue of NZ Fitness.

Kate Sheppard.  A source of inspiration to suffragist and campaigners for equality between the sexes, both in New Zealand and throughout the world.
  We applauded when the suffragette movement resulted in achieving the vote for women.  We beamed with the reflected glory bestowed upon us as the first OECD country in the world to achieve such parity.  We supported the women’s liberation movement and their push for equal pay for equal work.  We have developed as a nation to the point where there has been a succession of women leading our country, women regularly holding high profile positions in some of our leading companies and it can probably be stated that we are verging on true equality within our country and in our lifetime.

But what cost do us males endure as a result of this?  It seems that every shopping mall, nay every corner now has a women’s only fitness club on it!  Sorry boys, no entry… find yourself another place to train.  No testosterone in here thanks! 

Even before the boom that is women’s only clubs, we had women’s only areas in established centres.  Every effort it seemed was being undertaken to avoid over zealous males scaring off our female counterparts.

Traditionally, women have enjoyed the privilege of single sex training, away from the prying eyes of ogling males, away from the muscle building weight lifters, avoiding the trendy lycra clad body beautiful.  These clubs are a place where every shape and size of female, as well as all experience levels (from beginner to skilful fitness enthusiasts) can train in a friendly atmosphere free from intimidation, without fear of damaging their self respect or image.

We already have a raft of women’s chains well established in NZ. 

Contours is probably the most well established of the women’s gyms.  Many Contours clubs feature not only women’s fitness centres but a range of other services such as beauty therapy, hair care, and more, and there is a Contours chain in almost every large city throughout NZ. 

However, in the past 5 years a couple of new chains have arrived from overseas with a view to challenging Contours’ market share and the apparent monopoly that they had achieved.  Configure Express comprises small women’s only clubs with a focus on “fitness and lifestyle programmes that maximise the amount of time you have to spend on your body in our busy lives”.  Their aim is to “work out your entire body, efficiently and effectively in just 30 minutes”. 

A noted fitness professional once told me that a new Curves gym was popping up worldwide every 4 minutes and that it was the fastest growing fitness franchise.  While I may agree with the latter, I find the former a little difficult to digest!  Despite this, Curves arrived in NZ in 2003 and has already established themselves throughout NZ with facilities from Whangarei to Christchurch.  While offering a similar service to Configure Express, time conscious training, Curves is a smaller club again and is subsequently ideal for less populated towns and perhaps has a greater reach than its competitors.

Since the advent of these gyms, there have been others scrambling to grab hold of the lucrative women’s only market.  Club Physical is one that springs to mind, although I am sure that there will be many others in the future.

Kate, you have done fabulous things for the female gender, although at the time I am sure you had no idea that you would be responsible, in a round about way, for depriving men of access to fitness facilities throughout the country!  Well fellas … it is time to take back some of what we have lost!

Men’s only fitness has arrived on our shores. 

Men of our decade have been following women in their quest to be more fashionable and more ‘beautiful’.  Enter the metro sexual male.  He who follows fashion tips, worries about his hair and isn’t afraid of the odd bit of moisturiser.  Is the metro sexual also afraid of what others, including women, think of him in the gym too?  Surely not?

If the truth be told, he probably always has been.  There certainly is no written rule that males cannot be self conscious about their weight, or worried about self image.  In fact beyond that confident outward appearance I am sure many males, not necessarily even the metro sexual ones, are worried about their condition and would prefer a men’s only environment to train in.

ActiveLifestyle is a new fitness facility on Carlton Gore Rd in Newmarket.  It offers a similar time conscious solution to many other clubs.  They believe “you don’t have to work out for an hour a day to get the results you want”.  The focus is on improving your fitness and health “in just 30 minutes, three times a week”.  What makes ActiveLifestyle different?  It offers a female only AND a male only environment.  It’s division of the sexes all over again … and what’s more it is popular!   ActiveLifestyle comprises Active Men and Active Women, two private and exclusive clubs under the one roof, including separate men’s and women’s facilities, a system that is effective and easy to follow, as well as a limited membership to ensure that “you won’t be confused, intimidated or bored”.

There have been attempts at a similar sort of environment in the past.  Hillside Fitness Centre on the North Shore had an arrangement where men and women could both train in the same gym… however they were confined to different training times for the differing sexes.    

The trend has been started, now will the big fitness industry players follow the lead.  Do we really want them to anyway?  Why can’t we both get along?  It seems that this new development of dividing the sexes may be here to stay.  Women’s single sex centres continue to spring up rapidly and are well frequented.  The question on everyone’s lips however is … will the stubborn old male follow suit?