Club Network grabbed half an hour of club owner Andrew Keen’s time to find out how his small town facility has achieved such high levels of growth and member engagement.
Healthglo Fitness and Leisure
Facilities & Services
Weights: We have a large selection of machine and free weights. Our machine selections include a Nautilus Nitro Circuit and functional training machines.
Cardio: There are 18 Precor P80 machines featuring the Preva networked capabilities, step mills, rowing ergos and Trixter bikes.
Group fitness: We offer a balance of freestyle classes and Les Mills programs. Our freestyle classes include Total Body, Cross Training, HAT, Pilates, Living Longer (seniors program), Functional Training Classes: Warrior; Boxfit; BOSU: Rip60 and Core. We find our freestyle classes to be our most successful.
Cycle studio: Studio used for RPM classes.
Circuit: Circuit area consists of 12 Nautilus Nitro Machines
Pool: 17metre saltwater pool used to host group and private Learn to Swim programs, Swim Club and Surf Club winter training programs, aqua aerobics and general swimming.
Crèche: Provided for morning group fitness classes only.
Courts: 2 squash courts.
Masseuse: In-house massage facilities for members and external guests.
Physiotherapy: In-house physiotherapy services.
Functional Training studio: A studio dedicated to functional training activities.
Small group training session
Number of financial members: 1,100
Size of centre: 1,540sqm
Owned or rented: Owned by my wife and myself.
Growth of membership since opening: Took over in 1993 with 60 members, currently 1,100.
Access to parking: Own onsite 60-car capacity parking.
Population to draw on: Township of 18,000.
Proximity of closest competitor: 2km – there is a 24/7 facility and a surf club gym.
Membership prices: Adult rate is $18 per week, with discounts for students, concessions, seniors and families.
What is the target membership demographic of the club?
Our target demographic is the wider population – that is, we are trying to provide services that cater for everyone, from children through to the senior members of our community. We run school programs and have school-based trainees employed. We try not to restrict ourselves to a specific demographic, and as such program different activities at times of the day relevant to each specific target group.
What do you look for when hiring staff?
The staff we look for must be multi-skilled. We encourage our trainers to have a broad knowledge and skills base
What is your staff breakup?
We employ 2 full time, 3 permanent part time, 4 casual and 3 school-based trainees. There are 12 group exercise instructors and 4 personal trainers.
Do you promote the multi-skilling of your staff or do team members have separate roles?
Staff are multi-skilled, we do not employ anybody to specific roles as our club and town are too small. Multi-skilling also provides a greater motivation to staff.
How do you price yourself in the marketplace?
Our pricing is not based on what the competition is doing. Our price strategies are based purely on operational costs and future planning.
What is your most successful retention strategy?
Our most successful retention strategy is member satisfaction through successful programming, i.e. providing programs or group training sessions to suit current trends. We always encourage member feedback through questionnaires and face-to-face communication. Staff spend a lot of time talking to our members.
Living Longer class for seniors
We also attribute a growing degree of our retention to our ‘smart’ equipment. Our latest acquisition was the Precor P80 Cardio Range. We opted for the Preva-enabled services as we could see that this enabled our equipment to evolve. A cardio machine is no longer a fixed item – it has evolved and increased its functionality since we first bought it. The addition of the Preva services has corresponded with a dramatic increase in new membership enquiries and retention.
What is your most successful marketing campaign and how did you track its success?
We have tried marketing companies in the past, but found that although they brought in large numbers of members in a short period, the retention of these members was poor. Our most successful strategy is member referrals, which is monitored through staff questioning during the membership sales process.
Which frontline computer software do you run?
We were running the Aphelion/CheckFree software for the last 14 years but recently converted to ClientConnect from PulseTec Solutions.
Do you have any programs for special populations? How profitable/successful are they?
We run programs for seniors, and for the School of Special Education. We also run children’s activity programs. These programs are not designed to be a profitable component of our business model, our goal is to break even as the focus with these groups is participation. With our town’s small population, the numbers aren’t there to make these programs highly profitable.
What non-membership profit centres do you have?
Pro Shop, Learn to Swim program, trampolining, court hire, massage, physiotherapy and school activity programs.
Describe your personal training operation
We have four personal trainers, but personal training constitutes only a small component of our business. We focus on small group training sessions rather than one-to-one training.
What is your five-year plan?
Over the next five years we are planning to increase the number of studios to incorporate a Pilates studio, Zumba studio, and larger functional training zone. Every two years we reinvest in different training equipment that compliments the diversity of our programming. We are an evolving facility, we try to fit with where the future is heading rather than stay with the traditional weights/cardio/group exercise format.
What is your biggest challenge?
The increasing cost of doing business. Our demographic has a low income level and with the persistent increases in operational costs it is making it very challenging to be able to provide the level of services our members deserve. The increasing number of personal trainers training clients in parks is also proving a challenge.