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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 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.
Choosing the right weight loss program for your fitness centre (or centres) does not need to be complex as long as you know your key outcome and how you'll measure it.
Here's a possible list of measurable outcomes.
- Extra direct debit income the program adds per month
- Extra product sales it adds per month
- Number of members enrolled
- Number of non-members (potential future members) enrolled
- Total kilos lost (to date) by all those doing the program
- The effect on retention
- Whether it creates referrals
- The ability to attract new members from various community segments
Want to see some numbers before you read any more?
Club operators need to consider things like:
- The delivery systems for best weight loss results: one-one-one (best), small group, large group or online
- Marketing your weight loss solution to the local community (offline and online)
- Marketing it to your members
- Sales process to present it to new members who say they want to lose weight
- Who is going to deliver it? Who will be your weight loss program driver?
- Whether you can simply delegate it to a team member (With dietflex you can. The team member does NOT have to have nutrition qualifications.)
These 10 questions may help you get clarity on the problems and opportunities in weight loss programming.
- Can you estimate what percentage of your new members have 'weight loss' as a goal? Did you know that for every new member who joins wanting to lose weight, there may be many more locals who want to lose weight and haven't considered your centre?
- 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 and accountability?
- "People who pay, pay more attention, and are more likely to get better results." Do you agree with this statement? Yes/No
- 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 a gym? (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 by adding new members?
Many years ago we wanted to offer a weight loss program in one of our clubs. Not having any skills in diet formulation and coaching, we had a dietitian see members on a fee-per-visit basis. As the program was "expert-dependent", when the expert left, the program stopped. Plus... the program did not make any money for the business.
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!
I learnt that we needed 5 things:
- an expert system that could be delivered by non-experts so the business and the program were not vulnerable if an expert team member leaves
- a way of training staff, instructors and trainers to deliver the program
- a way of selling the program
- 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" (CICO) make perfect sense to most people. It sounds so logical. But the problems with this belief include:
- It treats 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 told thousands of members to do this. No wonder their results were variable.
- CICO ignores the biology discovered in the 1950's that insulin drives fat accumulation. The researchers also identified that excess carbohydrate intake (in excess of each individual's tolerance) drives insulin - which drives fat accumulation.
- The challenge is 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 Large Fitness Centres
- The centre purchases a dietflex license. ($495 training fee and then $25 per week) or ($1,495 for year one and then $995 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 a dietflex team member) 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 $30 to $35 per week by direct debit and so if you have just 32 weight loss participants that's around $1,100 pw ($50,000 pa) extra revenue and staff time of just 8 hours. But this is nothing compared to the marketing and retention value of these members' transformations. If you prefer to "bundle" the weight loss with membership, you can do that too. Pricing is up to you.
- The dietflex clients are scheduled for their 15 minute weekly coaching session at the same time each week. These are batched into dietflex shifts for efficient operations.
The 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 future 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. Some participants with a lot of weight to lose may continue their coaching sessions for up to 12 months or even longer.
Plan B assumes the coach (or personal trainer) buys the dietflex license and pays a percentage or a rent to the centre. I'm happy to chat about the pros and cons of 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 managers and/or potential coaches 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. It's ready to go and fully scalable. Then decide. Of course you can promote it under your own brand as well.