BodyBusiness is committed
Tue, October 23, 2012 at 15:29
IHRSA in BodyBusiness, IHRSA Member Profile, Susan Cooper

Owner: Susan Cooper
Location: Austin, Texas
Employees: Anderson – 12 full time, 27 part time; Davenport – 17 full time, 3 part time
Number of members: 2,000
Year opened: 1984 (Anderson) & 2004 (Davenport)


By looking out for its employees as well as it members, BodyBusiness in Austin, Texas, has stumbled … or maybe not so much a stumble as much as a discovery … onto a great way to retain both, simultaneously. 

BodyBusiness, with two locations in the capital of Texas, probably has a higher percentage of full-time employees than most health clubs – currently almost 50% in the two facilities combined. In turn, owner Susan Cooper feels that it defines what BodyBusiness is – a company that is committed to health and wellness for its members and the Austin community with employees who work week is focused solely on its job inside the BodyBusiness walls. She said that commitment results in better membership retention because they are familiar with the employees; and it goes without saying that those will a full-time job are more likely to stay than those working part-time hours. 

Hiring staff to full-time positions isn’t the only reason why there are close to 2,000 members in the highly saturated and very competitive Austin area. The clubs are very active on its Facebook page, alerting members to class schedules, when there is a closure due to renovations or new equipment, posting inspirational photos, and providing healthy recipes and nutritional information, to name a few. And there are numerous fundraiser events that you will see BodyBusiness taking part, giving it a feel that it is an integral part of the community. 

For more on BodyBusiness, check out this Q&A.

BodyBusiness owners Susan and Scott CooperClub vision/mission statement: Our core purpose to bring positive energy to people’s lives every day!

Classes (Included in all memberships): 100+ per week including: Group Power, Group Kick, Zumba, EveryBODY Dance, The Barre, Recess, Yoga, Pilates, Core Fusion, Cycle, Aqua, Step Challenge, Retro Aerobics, Interval Express, etc. Small Group Training ($10-$25/session): 50+ per week including: TRX, Kinesis, Gravity/Total Gym, Krankcycle, Boxing, Boot Camps, etc.)

Offerings: Day Spa, Private Personal Training Studio, Small Group Training Studio, & Pilates Equipment Studio, Mind/Body Studio (for Yoga, Tai Chi, Barre, etc), free weights, cardio & selectorized equipment, pool, hot tub, sauna, steam, Nutrition Services, Childcare, complimentary towels/robes, etc.

Innovative ideas at club: Our priority is to employ full-time professionals. We are not accountants by day and Personal Trainers by night.  Instead, we strive to hire those who wear many hats within BodyBusiness so they can have a career, not a side job, with us. This helps us define a clear culture and, in many ways, keeps member retention high.

Where you hope the club will be in 5 years:  While we currently have excellent penetration in members purchasing ancillary services (36% Anderson & 57% Davenport), our vision is that each of our members has a relationship with a Personal or Pilates Trainer to ensure they are on the path to achieving their goals.

Area in which you would be of assistance for networking: Small Group Training, Higher-end Independent Market, Membership Sales, Websites/Online/Social Marketing. Email:

Describe area/community club is in: Our Anderson location is in an urban area that is slowly flipping to younger professionals and families where 50% make $30-75k and 20% make $75-150k. There is a lot of competition from smaller independent facilities as well as low to mid-range chains and specialized studios.

Our Davenport location is in an affluent suburban neighborhood where 65% make over $75k and 35% over $200k. There is less competition from facilities and more from specialized studios.

Do you have any community outreach programs: We host charity events and classes that have benefited Augie’s Quest, Shoes for Austin, Humane Society, Breast Cancer Awareness, among others. We partnered with Krankcycle to be one of many nationwide sites for the 1st Annual “Sweat For a Vet” event last year and raised the most money of any site in the country. Also, this summer we partnered with IHRSA for the Teen Fitness Connection - it was a great success with almost 200 kids joining the program.

Famous former or current members: An A-list actor & his wife, NBA center & World Champion, NFL quarterback and his wife, US Senators, Texas Supreme Court Justice.

How long have you been a member of IHRSA and what IHRSA programs have you instituted and events have you attended? We have been members of IHRSA for over 20 years and attend the IHRSA Conference yearly. We participate in the IHRSA Passport Program, Joining Forces, and the above-mentioned Teen Fitness Connection. Our owner, Susan Cooper is a former IHRSA Board Member and two staff members are IHRSA Speakers/Panelists as well as Ask an Industry Leader & Webinar contributors.


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