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As the owner of a franchised centre, you must ensure you work within the permitted guidelines of your franchise agreement. If unsure, contact your franchisor. Forward them the email you have received.
OPPORTUNITY 1 - More New Members
If you'd like to grow your membership numbers and average membership yield consider this:
- The % of adult Australians who are overweight or obese is about 66%.
- In any year the % thinking about losing weight (about half) is about 33%.
- In most areas the % who belong to a fitness club is about 12%.
This suggests that throughout the year, in every area, there are people who are thinking about losing weight but NOT thinking about enquiring at any fitness centre, including yours. This DISCONNECT is a massive opportunity for your business!
So why don't more of the 33% who want to lose weight enquire at your centre to lose weight? Two big reasons might be:
- You are not marketing a well-branded weight loss coaching program to your local community. Easy to fix.
- They perceive that they'll have to exercise. Easy to fix.
Imagine if you had a great weight loss program that you could market in your local area, that allowed participants to get started losing weight and add exercise once they were ready. You could charge $30 to $35 pw by direct debit. For that they get: The program materials
- Scheduled one-on-one coaching - 15 minutes once a week. A weight loss coach should be able to see 4 scheduled clients per hour. 4 x $30 = $120 per hour 4 x $35 = $140 per hour
- Unlimited access to the club and classes (if any) on offer BUT no requirement to exercise until and if they are ready
Note: As dietflex is an expert system that can be delivered by non-experts the team members who coach members and clients in dietflex do NOT need any nutrition qualifications. They only need to do the online dietflex training program (maximum 20 hours). With even location license we include an extra coach to cover in case the main coach leaves or takes leave.
For many franchised centres the majority of members are males 18 to 29. If they wish to attract more females, weight loss programming can help. Depending on their "readiness to exercise" they can be offered time-efficient strength programming like pre-set single-set programming on pin-loaded stations and cardio programming. Women's only centres will find that weight loss programming will attract more women, including those who do not think they are ready for exercise.
Want to see some numbers before you read any more?
OPPORTUNITY 2 - Increase Point of Sale Yield
At your club, is "weight loss" the most common goal for new regular members and PT clients? Then why not offer them a choice between:
- Regular membership at your regular rates
- Weight loss (or "transformation") membership between $30 and $35 pw
OPPORTUNITY 3 - Increase PT Session Value
Between 5% and 15% of your members will be open to personal training. As with membership, "losing weight" may be the most common reason that new PT clients enter into a PT agreement. A progressive personal trainer could offer "PT PLUS" where they add a 15 minute weight loss coaching session to the PT session each week. This helps the PT be more successful.
OPPORTUNITY 4 - Outside your Four Walls
There are at least two ways your team can get extra "weight loss members":
- Run a weekly clinic in local medical centre, growing a one-day-a-week clinic where your coach can see 4 people per hour (at $35 pw). You can extend membership access for those ready to exercise.
- Run workplace coaching clinics in local companies.
Choosing the right weight loss program for your franchised centre does not need to be complex.
You have to consider things like:
- what delivers the best results for new and existing members
- how to market your weight loss solution to the local community (offline and online)
- how to market it to your members
- how to sell it to new members
- how to deliver it
- who is going to deliver it? Who will be your weight loss program driver?
- how much extra DIRECT revenue do you want it to add to the business?
The 10 questions below may help you get extra clarity on the problems and opportunities in weight loss programming. I'm not apologetic that this is a long email as it has to deal with some fundamental issues.
You may like to print out this email so you can scribble your answers and thoughts on it.
- Can you estimate what percentage of your new members have 'weight loss' as a goal?
- If they join in the hope of losing weight but don't achieve the results they want, do you believe this could increase the possibility of them dropping out? (Member churn)
- If members join and do lose weight, do you believe that they will be more likely to stick to exercise and keep their membership longer? (Member retention)
- Do you believe these members will only be successful losing weight if they combine exercise with dietary change?
- Do you believe that one diet does not suit everybody?
- Do you believe that having a coach to guide members through their individual weight loss journey and hold them accountable will yield better results than programs where there is no one-on-one coaching?
- "People who pay, pay more attention, and are more likely to get better results." Do you agree with this statement?
- The Australian statistics are that 2/3 adults are overweight or obese. Would you say that in your area it may be more, less or about the same?
- Do you think there are many people whose weight actually stops them exercising or joining gyms? (for physical, psychological and/or emotional reasons)
- Are you open to learning how you can attract and serve people who want to lose weight and, at the same time, increase secondary revenue and add an extra stream of new members to your business?
Many years ago we wanted to offer a weight loss program in our club. Not having any skills in diet formulation and coaching, we had a dietitian see members on a fee-per-visit basis. We added strength training to the program. Although the program was rudimentary using the old-fashioned "eat less and exercise more" approach, some members lost weight. But the business did not make any extra money and the program was "expert-dependent"; when the expert left, the program stopped.
As a club owner or manager you've probably experienced this painful and costly lesson. You have a class or program being delivered by an expert. Or you have a PT with "their clients". The expert leaves and the members leave with them to do that class or program elsewhere. Ouch!
The lessons learned taught me that we needed 5 things:
- an expert system that could be delivered by non-experts so the business and the program were not vulnerable
- a way of training staff, instructors and trainers to deliver the program
- a way of selling the program to new members and PT clients
- a marketing system to attract a growing segment - people who want to lose weight
- a management system for monitoring the results
"Your business and your trainers can have the best qualifications and the best add-on programs in the country, but if you can't market and sell them effectively, there's no point." Casey Conrad
Weight loss discovery
The energy-balance theory that weight loss is just about "calories in versus calories out" made perfect sense to me... and millions of others. It sounds so logical. But the problems with this belief included:
- It treated the human body like a bank account which grows if you put more money in than you spend and shrinks if you spend more than you put in. Unfortunately the human body behaves more like a chemistry set - controlled by hormones.
- If you simply tell people to "eat less and exercise more" they'll get hungry. Hunger is the enemy of effective weight loss programming, and of sustainable results. We actually told thousands of members to do this. No wonder our results were variable.
- It ignored the biology discovered in the 1950's that insulin drives fat accumulation. The researchers also identified that carbohydrate intake (in excess of each individual's tolerance) drives insulin - which drives fat accumulation.
- The challenge was how to uncover each person's individual carbohydrate tolerance and what that means in foods that they (and their family) like.
Every human body is different and responds differently to different diets.
Say hello to dietflex. Because one diet does NOT suit every body, people need a guided process to develop the healthy sustainable DIET that is FLEXIBLE to suit their food likes and their body's responses to foods. (This explains why it is called "diet flex".) It includes all the fully-developed planners, booklets, processes, handouts, recipes, cheat sheets, training, marketing, sales strategies etc so one or two of your team can train, launch and execute quickly.
How dietflex works in franchised centres
- The centre purchases a dietflex license. ($495 training fee and then $25 per week) or ($1,495 for year one and then $995 for each year thereafter)
- The centre identifies one or two team members, instructors or trainers who wish to do the dietflex online coach certification, and then coach those signing up to the program at the centre. They do NOT require any fitness or nutrition qualifications.
- The centre manager has a strategy session (with dietflex CEO) to determine: pricing, program bundling with membership and/or PT, program marketing for new weight loss members, and program sales.
- Although the centre sets its fees we suggest $29.95 to $34.95 per week. If you have just 40 weight loss participants, that's around $1,200 pw ($60,000 pa) extra revenue with staff time of just 10 hours. But this is nothing compared to the marketing and retention value of these members' when they achieve their weight loss goals.
There's 3 Markets for Weight Loss Programming
- Non-members. People in the local community who wish to lose weight and will respond to weight-loss-specific marketing. This can generate an extra and constant stream of new members.
- Members One-on-One. Existing members who wish to lose weight with a one-on-one solution starting when they wish to start.
- Members in Challenges. Existing members who are happy to pay to participate in a 6, 8 or 12-week challenge where all participants start and stop together. Education happens in groups, unless some wish to upgrade to one-on-one coaching.
That's the overview! This plan assumes the member pays the centre (pre-pay for an 6, 8, or 12-week program, or via direct debit add-on) and the centre pays the team member who delivers the dietflex coaching.
Plan B assumes the coach buys the dietflex license and pays a percentage of income or a rent to the centre. I'm happy to chat about the pros and cons to both business strategies.
Now, if you recognise the community problem and the business opportunity, and would like to have a free WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM BUSINESS STRATEGY CALL, just click the button below to book a call at a time that suits you. You are welcome to have business partners or key team members on the call.
Jamie Hayes, CEO dietflex
PS If you're like me you might be thinking "We're smart. We know fitness. We should be able to create our own dietary weight loss program." I get that. But having spent over a decade developing and testing the dietflex system, which included making many expensive mistakes, I suggest that your time is too limited and too valuable. Try dietflex for a year. Then decide. Of course you can promote it under your own brand as well.