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5 Ways to Increase Average Revenue Per Health Club Member

With the current disruption, health clubs need to maximize profits on a per customer basis. Here’s a surefire way to do it.

What’s happening now in the health club industry is less a perfect storm than an endless one. The disruptions that began early in the year have endured, leaving clubs with multiple issues that impact almost all revenue streams.

Gradually, U.S. clubs will be able to reopen and stay that way, albeit with restrictions in place, which usually have to do with face coverings and social distancing. And with many consumers having their own cash flow problems, a troubling percentage of people have cancelled or not renewed their gym memberships.

This leaves clubs with lower membership numbers and an operation that can service fewer people at a time. Group X classes, important revenue and retention drivers, are on hold for many clubs. To compensate, club operators have to find ways to increase revenue for the committed membership that remains.

This is true for all industry business models. Luxury, HV/LP, midsize—everyone is in the same situation. But there’s a way to create more value for your memberships that don’t require a change in business model. It simply requires adding services that today’s consumer desires.

These include a number of options that can become part of premium packages or tiered membership levels. What’s appealing about this strategy is that it can be utilized in any type of club model. HV/LP clubs, even those who charge only $10 per month for a basic membership, can create a premium level of membership for $20 that includes extra services. More often than not, consumers will see this option as a great deal.

But, of course, you need to give them something they do value. Your best option are wellness services that meet this unique moment in the global marketplace.

5 Member Upgrades That Consumers Really Want

As the COVID-19 crisis gained steam, the lockdowns gave the market a clear understanding of the priorities that consumers make during difficult times. The industry learned that those clubs that offered diversified services had better odds of holding on to memberships. And those services more often than not included wellness.

Strategy and finance wellness solutions indoor yoga workout column

Let’s look at five upgrades that could be key in upselling membership levels in the current moment.

  1. General and personalized wellness services. The global wellness market is now worth more than $4.2 trillion and continues to grow. This includes mind/body instruction, personalized weight loss plans, nutritional counseling, anti-aging, and other related categories. Especially valuable to members are extras like digital meditation video content and individual wellness pods. Clubs, based on their membership demographics, should do some market research and create a menu of wellness-related extras that should appeal to their members.
  2. Recovery services. This is related to wellness and can take the form of everything from active recovery like stretching to passive recovery like massage. An easy way for clubs to satisfy the latter category is with massage chairs, breathing chairs, and wellness lounges that are specially designed to provide relaxation, stress reduction, respiratory health, and soft-tissue recovery. What’s great about these devices is that they sell themselves when it comes to offering membership upgrades. A few minutes in an automatic massage chair often seals the deal.
  3. Spa services. While tanning beds are not as popular as they once were, infrared saunas and other related spa extras are still in demand. While some clubs may have thought these devices were out of their budget in the past, new versions of more compact infrared saunas have made them more efficient and affordable. Even better are saunas with augmented therapies that include color and light therapy and meditation video content.
  4. Group exercise privileges. While many group X sessions have been reduced or postponed, they’re still important components of a full-service club. Fitness programmers have adapted by holding classes with fewer clients and taking sessions outdoors. Still, making all group X as part of an upgraded membership is still a valuable add-on to many consumers.
  5. Digital on-demand workouts, both for in-club and home. As we’ve learned during the pandemic, having a menu of digital workouts is essential in today’s market. Whether you make your own, utilize a third party, or have a combination, you need to be able to provide a wide range of on-demand and, if possible, streaming classes and workouts. Now, more than ever, consumers understand the value of these programs.

Many club owners will immediately see the value of these wellness services in these uncertain times. And this selection of wellness services is also great for membership upgrade programs that will help build an added revenue stream.

Unfortunately, many club operators don’t know where to start when building out a specialized wellness program. Luckily, one industry supplier has you covered. And their timing couldn’t be better for today’s beleaguered club owners.

Your Plug-and-Play Solution to Upgrading Wellness Services

The aptly named Wellness Solutions is your one-stop destination for creating an exciting menu of wellness services that can transform your club from a place to work out to a place to enhance quality of life. Founded by Tony de Leede, an internationally recognized fitness and wellness entrepreneur, the global wellness company offers an array of packages that deliver many of the services outlined above. Wellness is what today’s consumer is looking for, and Wellness Solutions provides options that will improve the lives of your members in and out of the club.

These services include the company’s innovative Wellness Pods. They’ve proven to be especially popular with people looking for a unique and secure environment to de-stress and rejuvenate, since they're single use at a time. And club operators love Wellness Pods, too, because they’re easy to use and don’t require staff to operate.

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Wellness Solutions’ full complement of services and devices will transform any club into a high-value destination space. Included are:

The O2 Breathing & Meditation Chair. Essentially the world’s first breathing and meditation chair, these programmable devices offer heat treatments, a zero-gravity experience, an air purifier oxygen concentrator, and breathing sessions for relaxation and optimal health. It can also just be programed to provide simple maximum comfort for the end user. It’s also great for those seeking optimum respiratory health, since these chairs help improve overall breathing quality—something on everybody’s mind these days.

Recovery Massage Chair. These have some of the features of the O2 Chair, but is designed mostly for massage therapy. It’s also equipped with automatic body scan technology. These are perfect for today’s high-stress world. For many members, they alone are worth the price of an upgraded membership. One session in a recovery chair can turn any customer into a lifelong fan who will want to use it over and over.

Infrared Sauna with Meditation. This two-person sauna is ideal for clubs that don’t have the space for full spa services but still want to take advantage of the wellness advantages of saunas. This unit from Wellness Solutions is geared toward today’s wellness advocate, as it includes oxygen ionization, color therapy, low EMR infrared carbon heaters, and is fitted with Himalayan-pink-salt-lined walls. The sauna also includes Move123 Meditation content, a feature that’s proven to be in high demand.

Wellness Solutions also offers a wide selection of digital wellness instruction and education as part of their Immersive Studios for Movement, Relaxation & Recovery packages. Meditation, yoga, and body movement sessions devoted to seniors and other special populations are just some of the programming included that can be viewed on LED display screens that bring these unique classes and workouts to life. And Wellness Solutions will help set up an immersive studio that fits your space, budget, and clientele.

Guests can also preschedule classes that cover a range of recovery and wellness options, including specialized movement and exercise instruction for the over-50 crowd, an age demographic that often feels shut out of mainstream group classes. Wellness Solutions has also created a robust entertainment system that plays on-demand wellness videos from the company’s vast library of content.

While there are preselect packages available, clubs have the option to assemble their own custom program to create a wellness lounge and community that bests fits their brand. Since de Leede, an industry veteran, understands the demands of today’s marketplace, he knows that club operators need flexibility in creating a wellness upgrade that will best serve their members. And, as stated earlier, the timing couldn’t be better.

“We feel the products and concepts we have are more relevant than ever,” says de Leede. “As clubs enhance their value-add proposition, we feel that we have the tools to help them be successful.”

Learn more about Wellness Solutions and their selection of wellness products, services, and packages on their website. To connect to the company, email them at info@wellnesssolutions.com.au, or call 612-9126-8811.

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Jim Schmaltz

Jim Schmaltz is a contributor to IHRSA.org