The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association is the fitness industry's only global trade association representing over 10,000 for profit health and fitness facilities and over 600 supplier companies in 75 countries.



From educational tools and events to promotional programs and public policy initiatives, IHRSA brings you success... by association!

Join | Renew
Pledge Your Support

Search IHRSA Blog

Welcome to the IHRSA Blog

The Online Home of news.

Blog Home |  Subscribe to our RSS Feed

Entries in nondues revenue (8)


Jumpstart Your Health Club’s Non-dues Revenue Growth

This is an IHRSA featured post, brought to you by HydroMassage.

These days, a lot of club owners are singing the non-dues revenue blues. Extra income streams keep getting harder to find. With changing consumer habits, fluctuations in disposable income, and increased competition from non-traditional fitness start-ups, finding a supplementary service that clicks with your members is more challenging then ever.

Continue reading "Jumpstart Your Health Club’s Non-dues Revenue Growth."

Click to read more ...


To Grow Your Health Club’s Non-Dues Revenue, Focus on Your Strengths 

This post is an IHRSA Institute preview.

When Merritt Clubs management noticed the prevalence of before- and after-school care programs near their Eldersburg, MD, location, something clicked. They already had the infrastructure—the club’s summer camps were consistently successful—so why not start a before-and-after care program of their own?  

Continue reading "To Grow Your Health Club’s Non-Dues Revenue, Focus on Your Strengths."

Click to read more ...


10 Exciting New Revenue Streams for Health Clubs

“Ancillary revenue.” It’s not a particularly exciting term, but if you’re a health club owner, just the thought of it can raise your heart rate well beyond your training zone.

And for good reason:

“Generally speaking, ancillary services account for a quarter of a club’s total revenues,” said Melissa Rodriguez, IHRSA’s senior research manager. “So operators need to be creative in terms of coming up with new nondues revenue services, and getting members—and nonmembers—to make use of them.”

It’s not a new notion for IHRSA clubs, and, especially in recent years, a fair number have been using them quite successfully. “Many have managed to boost their profitability to pre-recession levels—or even higher—by tapping nondues revenue sources.”

What have they been up to? Club Business International checked in with a host of operators, consultants, and industry suppliers to find out.

NO. 1: A Boutique Within a Club

For an extra $40 a month, a member of GymIt, a high-volume/low-price (HV/LP) bran with two locations in the Boston area, can train like a professional boxer inside a state-of-the-art BOXFIIT modular classroom.

The studio and associated programming are the creation of EveryBodyFights (EBF), a high-end boxing business cofounded by George Foreman III, son of the two-time world heavy-weight boxing champion.

The turnkey EBF studio comes equipped with bags and special lighting and décor, and the classes incorporate patented BOXFIIT techniques developed by Foreman. Clubs pay a monthly licensing fee for EBF, and instructors are BOXFIIT-certified. Certification costs $400, and includes continuing education credits and access to a library of more than 50 hours of video demonstrating 100 custom workouts and 200 boxing moves.

“The BOXFIIT curriculum was designed for members of both genders and of all ages and fitness levels,” said Ben Eld, EBF’s marketing manager. The program, he says, tends to attract individuals 22 to 38 years old, who earn $75,000 to $250,000 a year, and 60% of them are women.

Matthew Harrington, the president of GymIt, explained, “We wanted a way to differentiate ourselves from other low-cost clubs, and to offer a boutique fitness experience at a much more affordable price.”

GymIt offers approximately 30 EBF sessions per week. Members and nonmembers can take classes for $20 each or $140 for 10; members also can pay $40 for an unlimited monthly pass. “We reached 200 members on the monthly add-on pretty quickly following the launch,” said Harrington, “so we’ve seen a pretty significant increase in our nondues revenue.”

Continue reading "10 Exciting New Revenue Streams for Health Clubs."

Click to read more ...


Best Practices: Incentivizing Health Club Member Participation in Non-dues Programs

The following post was written by Chez Misko for our Best Practices series.

Question: I’m thinking about giving members a 5% credit on their membership dues to spend on in-club services. It works in retail. Will it work in fitness? 

Chez Misko: Incentivizing health club members to participate in non-dues programs is a fine idea, and produces a number of benefits—among them, increased retention.

When designing an incentive program such as this, I’d recommend the following: Keep it simple. Make sure that the value it provides generates action. Be certain that you can track the campaign’s success. Include an expiration date in the offering.

I personally prefer programs that reward, recognize, or demonstrate the club’s sincere appreciation to a member—that, as opposed to issuing them a blanket, unearned credit. The latter could easily be perceived as undercutting the value of a membership.

And you could easily find yourself facing a prospect or member who wants to know, “If you’re going to credit me 5% of my dues every month, why don’t you just charge me 5% less up front?”

On the other hand, sending a new client a congratulatory card and a $25 club gift certificate once they’ve successfully completed their first 90 days as a member might create more good will and boost your non-dues revenue sales. Following up with a personal call to explain the various ways they can use the gift could well seal the deal. 

Chez Misko
Wisconsin Athletic Club
West Allis, WI


Webinar Will Help Maximize Non-Dues Revenues

For most health and fitness clubs it takes more than membership dues to cover expenses and make a profit.

These days the best way to ramp up the non-dues revenue streams is fitness programming. Small group training, personal trainers, classes and yoga are just some of the offerings that can not only provide extra cash but possibly bring in members in the first place.

Scott Lewandowski is hosting the next IHRSA webinar on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2 to 3 p.m. EST, which should certainly help those looking to increase non-dues revenues. “Increase Club Revenue and Member Retention through Effective Fitness Programming” will show attendees how to pinpoint the best options for your members and how to gain optimal results.

“What I always want from the webinars I host is one to two things that make someone think about their current business operations and have a different way to look at it,” said Lewandowski, vice president of Fitness at Fitness Formula in Chicago. “Clubs that continue to be successful are (successful) because they are able to adapt through the ever-changing face of fitness. As long as you have ways to enhance the experience for members, you are going to continue to grow and be successful.”

Read More

Click to read more ...


Learn How to Reap High Rewards with Low Risk, in Next Webinar

In these times of still uncertain markets and economies, very few businesses, the health industry included, want to take big risks.

IHRSA’s next webinar looks into what a club can do in oder to get maximum return, but with a low risk.

The webinar, Results-Driven Marketing: Low Risk Strategies with High Volume Return, will be presented in tandem, by Debra Lee and John Carmean, both from Gainesville Health & Fitness Center. The three-club company not only survived the recent downturn in the economy but actually came out looking pretty good.

Read on to learn more about the webinar and how to register.

Click to read more ...


IHRSA Index shows a strong 2013

The findings contained in the newest edition of the IHRSA Index indicate that 2013 was another good year for the health and fitness industry. Total revenue for 2013 increased by 4.0% over 2012, membership revenue increased by 2.7%, and non-dues revenue increased by 4.3%.

The results are based on figures provided by 14 major U.S. health and sport club companies, representing 353 facilities that have been in operation for at least two years.

“For four consecutive years, the IHRSA Index has documented improved year-over-year performance,” said Jay Ablondi, IHRSA’s executive vice president of Global Products. 

Index data for the third and fourth quarters of 2013 also showed positive results.

In the third quarter, total revenue increased 4.1% over the same quarter in 2012, membership revenue increased 2.4%, and nondues revenue increased 4%.

In the fourth quarter, total revenue and membership revenue increased 3.7% and 3.1%, respectively, quarter-to-quarter. There also was a surprise in the fourth quarter, when non-dues revenue grew by a robust 5.6%, reflecting strong growth in ancillary fitness programming, including personal and small group training, explains Melissa Rodriguez, IHRSA’s senior research manager. “Interest in such programming has been the primary driver.” 

Check out CBI for more and accompanying charts.


Non-Dues Programs And Retention

Scott Lewandowski, Chez Misko, and Jarod Cogswell discuss discounting non-dues revenue products to increase retention:

Q: “I have an idea to give members a 5% club-credit on their membership dues to spend on things like nutrition advisory, personal training sessions, or even as a credit into the fee when the amount is high enough. The goal is to increase retention by supplying a higher level of service to our members. I've seen this work in retail, do you think it will work in the fitness industry?”

A: Retention Success is based on achieving three goals: usage, variety, and relationships. Increased club usage of the member equates to increased value of your monthly dues rate. Participation in a variety of services by the member builds customer loyalty. The more activities a member experiences the more invested the member is reaching their fitness goals within your health club. Last, members join health clubs for the social component of meeting new friends and the support system offered by the staff.

Retention Success is based on achieving three goals: usage, variety, and relationships.The proposed 5% club-credit on their membership dues to spend on additional services within your facility is a member rewards program that shows your appreciation for their business. I support all member rewards programs. The money will allow the member to receive a discount on their next service or experience a new service satisfying the variety component of the retention success.

I recommend the 5% club-credit be a gift card. It is tangible. You also want this money to be used for a service not a credit to dues. Remember, variety. This program must be promoted to the member upon enrollment and announced proudly within the club when earned by members for continued success.

Scott Lewandowski, GM/Regional Fitness Director
Fitness Formula Clubs

A: Incentivizing members to participate in non-dues programs is a good idea and does improve retention. When designing an incentive program like this I would advise the following: keep it simple, make sure you can track its success, make sure the value of the program creates action, include an expiration date and most importantly - don’t do anything to devalue or affect the integrity of your membership.

I prefer programs that reward, recognize, or show sincere appreciation to the member verses a credit, because it could be perceived to devalue your membership. If you credit me 5% every month why don’t you just charge me 5% less? Sending a new member a congratulatory card and $25 gift certificate on successfully completing the first ninety days as a member and getting a personal call to explain the various ways the member could use the gift certificate might create more good-will and a greater percentage of non-dues revenue sales.

Whatever program you design I would suggest piloting it to a smaller group first; this allows you to make sure it is implementable and can minimizes costly mistakes!

Chez Misko, Vice President of Operations
Wisconsin Athletic Club Inc

A: I don't discount dues unless it's a corporate/group membership (10 or more memberships to qualify). Dues are sacred. They steer the business. They pay the bills, payroll, etc. PT and other programs are features that support retention.

Dues are sacred.Also, I'm not sure if 5% is going to motivate someone to purchase other services. My suggestion would be to leave the dues alone, create a short-term program discount that creates a call to action. In addition, develop an incentive for your staff to sell those services.

Here are some examples:

  • Member Offer: 10% off personal training services in the month of December... a $x savings! Offer expires December 15, 2009.
  • Staff Offer: Sell $4,000 or more in personal training this month, receive 10% of your total sales.

Jarod Cogswell, General Manager
ClubSport Oregon