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Entries in Jill Stevens Kinney (6)

Thursday
Oct012015

Tips To Implement A Strategic Plan To Develop A Small, Independent Club

The following post was written by Jill Stevens Kinney and Joe Cirulli for our weekly Best Practices series.

Question: Can you offer some tips on how to create and implement a strategic plan to develop a small, independent club?

Answer:A good strategic plan begins with a thorough understanding of the marketplace, and leads to realistic expectations about the most critical aspect of your new business—the membership projections.

Start with a model that identifies the number of people (both residents and workforce) located within a 10-minute-drive radius of your club. Take into account only those individuals who meet your age, income, and educational criteria. Multiply this number by 17%–20% (the average percentage of the population that’s likely to join a health club). This will give you a good estimate of the number of people in your community who are reasonable candidates for a club membership.

Now, develop a complete list of all the potential competitors in the marketplace—including fitness facilities that may not exactly resemble your business model—and estimate their membership capacity, not their current membership level. Subtract your competitors’ capacity from the number of potential members you calculated for the market as a whole, and you’ll have a good sense of how many real prospects are available. This number should be two to four times higher than the number of members you’ll need in order to be financially successful.

In the process of developing this market analysis, you’ll gain insight not only into the number of members you’re likely to attract, but also into your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. This will help define the challenges that you may face in launching your new club. Good luck!

Jill Stevens Kinney
Founder/Chairperson
Clubsource Development Partners, LLC
San Rafel, California

 

 Answer: Start by asking yourself, “Why would someone be willing to spend their money on the services my club provides versus those of a competitor?” Then, make certain that everyone in your organization understands the edge that your club possesses, and is aligned behind it. That means your vision, mission, core values, core purpose, and the culture of your organization have to be clearly defined and well understood.

Next, design a company that’s easy for your customers to do business with. Execution is what usually separates exceptional companies from mediocre ones.

The best mechanism for ensuring flawless execution that I’ve discovered is a regular, two-hour meeting every Monday morning for all of the members of the management team. During that meeting, we evaluate how we’re doing in a number of areas. Everyone knows what their responsibilities are, and everyone knows they’ll be held accountable for them. And, once a month, we evaluate our progress at these meetings.

Then, once a year, we develop our strategic plan and budget.

Remember that your staff creates your culture. The benefit of embracing the core values of your organization is that it helps identify and clarify the type of people you should hire. Your entire hiring process should be designed to find individuals who have the same values as your company. Trying to change a person’s core values is virtually impossible.

Finally, develop your team’s leadership skills, and always be on the lookout for fresh new talent.

Joe Cirulli
President, Owner & CEO
Gainesville Health & Fitness Center
Gainesville, Florida

 

Best Practices features answers from experts from both inside and outside the health club industry to thought-provoking questions on a wide range of topics. If you have a question you'd like answered, submit your question today

Wednesday
Mar052014

Active Sports Clubs acquires majority of Club One's assets

This press release was sent to IHRSA by Active Sports Clubs/Club One, Inc.

Active Sports Clubs, a new health club brand launched late last year by Jill Kinney, Bill McBride, and Carey White has assumed the majority of Club One, Inc.’s asset portfolio, including its Bay Area Clubs and management operations. Active Sports Clubs will retain essentially all of Club One’s site-level employees, approximately 2400 jobs will remain intact. Additionally, Active Sports Clubs will assume approximately 145,000 members.

Jill Kinney serves as Active Sports Clubs’ Chairman, Bill McBride is President and Chief Executive Officer and Carey White is Chief Financial Officer. “I’m thrilled to reengage with Club One and bring the next level of fitness and wellness to the communities we serve,” Kinney says, adding that her commitment is to building great community-based fitness centers and having a meaningful impact on health-related issues.

 “Our model enables Active Sports Clubs to provide an enhanced, sophisticated and in many cases a technology-supported offering with a personalized touch,” says Bill McBride, President and CEO of Active Sports Clubs. 

Active Sports Clubs will continue to operate the Bay Area health clubs under the Club One Fitness brand for the time being, and will evaluate each location over the next month to develop site-specific improvement plans to better reflect the local needs of each community.

For the complete press release, go to the IHRSA Media Center.

Thursday
Jan022014

Former Club One management open Active Sports Clubs

Industry veterans Bill McBride, Jill Kinney and Ken Brendel have come together once again to form a new club brand, Active Sports Club.

On Jan. 1 the group opened its first venture at the former Club One in Petaluma, Calif. The three all previously worked for Club One, a high-end club in various U.S. locations.

"For years, it seems that we've focused on building uniformity in a club brand, which has often resulted in missed opportunities and the loss of connection with customers in a local market," said Kinney in a press release. "Bill's philosophy is to build a brand consistency but focus primarily on enhancing the customer experience and profitability through highly localized marketing and management. The team has the skills and experience to execute this creative and personalized management approach."

One of the goals of Active Sports Clubs is to form new partnerships that will enhance the brand. The first is Itrim Weight Loss Centers in the club.

McBride was the chairman of the IHRSA board of directors in 2013.

For more, visit Active Sports Club website.

Thursday
Dec132012

Itrim, You Trim, We All Trim  

Jill Stevens Kinney (r), and Itrim teamWhen was the last time that you heard some “good news” about obesity? Or are those two concepts mutually exclusive? Well, if you’ve been paying attention recently, you may have heard about a few developments that, while they might not qualify as “good news,” are at least a bit reassuring, and make the possibility of optimism seem viable. More importantly, they also may be the first indication that some real change, some significant improvement, is in the offing.

For more, click here.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug312009

How To Implement A Strategic Plan

This week, experts Barry Klein, Joe Cirulli, and Jill Kinney discuss how to create and implement a strategic plan:

Q: "I am currently developing a small independent club. What are some tips on how to create/implement a strategic plan?"

A: This is a wise question!

The key issue to consider is why your facility will be unique. Every fitness facility has the same check-list of features – weights, cardio, etc. Why will your facility stand out? To whom will it appeal? Are there enough of these target prospects in your market (an 8 to 12 minute travel time from your facility).

With a unique value proposition and confidence that there is a market, you must create financial projections and you must write a business plan. “Thinking about it” is not adequate (and banks and investors will need a written plan). Use this as an opportunity to run various scenarios. The most likely scenario is that your initial revenue will be ½ of your projections and your expenses will be twice your projections (trust me…).

When you step back and consider the full scope of your plan, you should see consistency. If you want to be the low-cost player in your market, then your plan should be consistent with that vision (in terms of target members, expense structure, expected attrition, etc.) Similarly, the profile of muscle gyms, women’s-only gyms, Gen X gyms, senior citizen gyms, etc. are all different. Good luck!

Barry Klein, Owner
Elevations Health Club
barry@elevationshealthclub.com
www.elevationshealthclub.com

A: A good strategic plan begins with a thorough understanding of the marketplace and leads to realistic expectations on the most critical aspect of your new business, the membership projections.

Start with a model that identifies the number of people (residents & workforce) within a 10 minute radius of your club. Take into account only those people who meet your age, income and educational criteria. Multiply this number by 17-20% (the average percentage of the population likely to join a health club.) This will give you a good estimate on the number of people in your market who are likely to join any health club.

Now, develop a complete list of all of the competitors in the marketplace (including facilities that may not be exactly like your club model) and estimate their membership capacity (not their current membership level). Reduce the number of likely health club joiners by the competitors capacity and you will have a good sense of how many available likely health club joiners their are in your market. This number should be 2-4 times higher than the number of members you need to be financially successful.

In the process of creating this market analysis, you will gain not only insight into the number of members you are likely to attract, but the competitors strengths and weaknesses. Together, this should predefine the challenges you are likely to face in launching your new club.

Good luck!

Jill Stevens Kinney, Managing Director
Clubsource Development Partners LLC
jill@clubsource.com

A: The first step is Strategy. Determine what separates your club from the competition. Why would someone be willing to spend his or her money on your service versus a competitor? Then everyone in your organization has to understand it be aligned behind it. That means the Vision, Mission, Core Values, Core Purpose and Culture of the organization has to be defined and well understood. Everyone has to support it.

The Structure of the company has to be designed to accomplish it. So design a company that is easy for the customers to do business with.

Determine what separates your club from the competition. Execution is what usually separates out the exceptional companies. The best mechanism I have found is a regular 2-hour meeting every Monday morning for all management. During that meeting we evaluate how we're doing in a number of areas. Everyone knows what their responsibilities are and that they'll be held accountable for them. Once a year we set the Strategic Plan and Budget. We evaluate our progress on a monthly basis at these meetings.

It's the staff that makes up the culture. The value of knowing the core values of a company is that it makes you aware of the type of people that should be working there. Your entire hiring process should be designed around finding people who have the same values as the company. Trying to change a person's core values is virtually impossible.

Develop the team's Leadership Skills and always being on the lookout for new Talent.

Mr. Joe Cirulli, President & Owner
Gainesville Health & Fitness Center
jcirulli@ghfc.com
www.ghfc.com

Monday
Jun222009

Increase Prices Without Killing Retention

Q: We solely rely on cash payment from customers owing to an absence of EFT direct debit system and also because this country is largely a cash based society. We have prepaid monthly membership, which means that the customer has the option every month to bail out of the contract if he seems a discrepancy between the price-value relationship. This, in turn, makes us work very hard in the sense that we're unable to estimate our attrition rates.
How does one determine the right time to increase prices and still uphold the value proposition for the customer?



A: It was not that long ago that the US health club industry felt that the public would not accept EFT payments for membership. We began offering lower dues to members who were willing to try the EFT billing system. Within a short period of time, the majority of members were selecting this option. We continued to offer the cash payment option at a premium price.

  I recommend that you get into a practice of increasing your dues once a year. Let members know they can expect to see an increase in dues, relative to increased costs, each year. You can explain that your club prefers not to solve these increased costs with staff or service reductions.

The best time to do a dues increase is in conjunction with your busiest sales season. In the US, this is typically January when clubs experience a high volume of new memberships as people make New Year's resolutions to take better care of themselves.

My suggestion is that you consider combining these two issues into one solution. I recommend that you revise your membership pricing structure. Increase the cost of your current cash payment membership offer and offer a new EFT membership at the current dues rate. Notify all of the existing members that you are imposing a dues increase but they can choose to avoid this increase if they sign up for EFT billing.

Jill Stevens Kinney, Managing Director
Clubsource Development Partners LLC
jill@clubsource.com
www.clubone.com