So, here we are in 2011 – Happy New Year! Or, as some elements of the media and public would like to have it, Litigious New Year!
As of 1 January the new Australian Consumer Law kicked in, opening the doors to potential legal action against fitness facilities which are perceived to be implementing unfair fees or conditions.
In news that will have group exercise instructors nationwide beaming from ear to ear, the Federal Court has overturned the recent Copyright Tribunal decision to allow the increase copyright fees for the use of music in group exercise classes, citing ‘procedural fairness’ as the reason for the decision.
The following post was written by author and educator Kym Wimbis. It was originally posted on his blog, Access Fit, on 25 October 2010.
When it comes to marketing, advertising, lead generation, sales, and retention we almost always want more… more leads… more sales…and more retention.
When it comes to more members we don’t want a trickle we want a flood.
Makes sense… right? More members means more money… right?
Who in their right mind would want a trickle of members when they could have a flood?
Well it depends on the members.
When I first arrived in Australia ten years ago, I remember being impressed by several incidents of good customer service that I received, and it was not uncommon to hear Aussies singing the praises of the quality customer service that was part and parcel of everyday life in this wide brown land. Either my impressions were some way off the mark and the locals were harking back to a bygone era, or something bad has happened in the past decade, because according to new findings, customer service ain’t what it was – or what it should be.
A recent survey by American Express World Service Australia has found that Australia’s reputation for customer service is languishing in the doldrums – in joint twelfth place with the UK out of twelve countries surveyed (behind the likes of the US, France, Canada, India and Holland).
In the recent decision of Belna Pty Ltd v Irwin , the NSW Court of Appeal considered the duty of care owed by a gym operator to a client who suffered a serious knee injury while performing lunges as part of a program designed by an employee.
Ms Irwin dislocated her knee while performing lunges at a Fernwood gym. The exercises were part of a prescribed gym program formulated by a consultant of the gym and the incident occurred while Irwin attempted a lunge for the first time. Her leg gave way, she fell to the floor and was then taken to the hospital where it was found that she had dislocated her knee.
This post was written by international presenter and educator Rebecca Small.
Once upon a time, in a land called Oz there was a group of Freestyle fitness instructors at the top of their game. The land was a melting pot, producing some of the best freestyle presenters the world has ever seen, and some of whom the world never got to see.
Lexie Williams, Marcus Irwin, David Hatch, Michael Betts, Anton Scott, Lisa Osborne, Cathy Spencer, Michelle Dean, Mitch Gibson, Helen Harper, Lesley Gray, Susie Miller and many, many more were all leaders in their chosen field.
It seems like every new day brings yet more stories of economic doom and gloom. Businesses closing left, right and centre, people losing their jobs, houses and cars. Certainly, if you talk to anyone who works in the financial, real estate or corporate travel business, their spirits are nowhere near as high as they have been in recent years..
But what about our industry, the fitness industry? How are we as fitness professionals specifically being affected on a global scale? On a purely anecdotal basis, from the Network perspective, times are good. Our membership base is as solid as it ever has been, our FILEX event in 2009 was one of the biggest we have ever run and there seems to be increasing demand for our training courses. With the introduction of some fantastic new services, like PTontheNET and online eCEC courses, we have been able to adapt and streamline the business and attract a whole new generation of people to our organisation.
Network's editor, Oliver Kitchingman, recently had the pleasure of sitting down with the CEO of Curves International, Gary Heavin. It what proved to be a very interesting interview, Oli explored some of the business practices that have led Curves to be one of the largest fitness centres in the world. Below are some excerpts from the interview.
Fitness facilities around Australia are facing an unprecedented hike in the fees they pay for music – a huge increase of more than 4,000 per cent in many cases – if the Copyright Tribunal upholds a record industry claim to change the rate of music licence fees. If the record industry gets away with it, a typical fitness club with 1,300 members will be forced to pay $140,000 in annual fees, a massive increase on the $2,654 they currently pay. Many of these fitness centres are small owner-operators and this increase will have a disastrous impact on their businesses and on jobs – all because record industry bosses are looking for easy targets to plug the gap left by declining CD sales.
Lesser variety of programs, smaller and fewer classes seems to be the name of the game in the current Group Exercise world. In the recent Group Exercise Instructor survey completed by Network it seems that the current scenario for practicing instructors is that less is better! This is perhaps not surprising, as the variety of possible classes you can teach has never been greater and the understanding one must have to teach effectively and professionally has also never been higher.