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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 is a massive opportunity for your studio business.
So why don't more of the 33% who want to lose weight enquire at your studio 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.
Let me start with 10 questions that 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 or PT clients have 'weight/fat 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/client 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/client 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 fitness studio? (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 revenue with new members and clients?
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.
I learnt that we needed:
- an expert system that could be delivered by non-experts so the business and the program were not vulnerable to the expert leaving
- 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
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. 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.
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".)
How dietflex works in functional and PT studios
- The business 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 studio. They do NOT require any fitness or nutrition qualifications.
- The studio owner or manager has a strategy session (with me, the dietflex CEO) to determine: pricing, program bundling with membership and/or PT, program marketing for new weight loss members, and program sales.
This plan assumes the member pays the studio (pre-pay for an 8, 10 or 12-week program, or via direct debit add-on) and the studio pays the team member who delivers the dietflex coaching.
Plan B assumes the PT or coach buys the dietflex license and pays a percentage or a rent to the studio. I'm happy to chat about the pros and cons to both business strategies.
When you have a system that delivers predictable weight/fat loss results, this gives you an advantage against local and online competitors. You become known for the weight loss results you deliver.
Now, if you recognise the community problem and the business opportunity, and would like to have a free WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM BUSINESS STRATEGY CALL, please click the button below to book a time that suits you best. You are welcome to have business partners or key team members on the call.
Jamie Hayes, CEO dietflex Phone 04 1828 1126