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Choosing the right weight loss program for your recreation centre can be complex.
You have to consider things like:
- What weight loss program will deliver the best weight loss results for members?
- How will we market it to members and the nearby community?
- How will we package it? One-on-one? Group? Online? Face-to-face?
- How will we price it? Will it add to the business net operating revenue?
- How will we sell it? What will be the sales process that we'll use?
- How to deliver it? This is the same as how we package it?
- Who is going to deliver it? Do they need to be experts or have special qualifications? (Hint: If you have an expert system, you do not need experts to deliver it.)
- How will we plan that it, not just pays for itself but adds extra revenue to the business etc?
The 10 questions below may help you.
Let me start with a few 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.
"I was going to write you a short letter, but didn't have time, so I wrote you a long letter!"
You may like to print out this email so your 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 be successful losing weight if they only rely on exercise, without making the necessary changes to their diet?
- Do you believe that "One diet suits 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 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 2/3rds 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?
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 lesson was that we needed 5 things:
- an expert system that could be delivered by non-experts so the business and the program was not vulnerable (See more below discussing weight loss coaching versus consulting.)
- 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. 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 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. (We accept that pregnancy drives weight gain. We also accept that genetic programming drives children to grow taller.) 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. (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 recreation centres
- The centre purchases a dietflex license. ($495 training fee and then $25 per week) or ($1,495 for year one and then $995 annually 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.
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 members who may never have thought of joining a gym.
- 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 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
04 1828 1126
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 including 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 banner as well.