Posts Tagged ‘marketing health clubs’

Everything i did wrong in marketing my health club, gym, fitness center.

Monday, September 1st, 2008

Everything i did wrong in marketing my health club, gym, fitness center.

My name is Shannon Cook, I opened Temple Gym in November 3rd 2003. to what i hoped would be a gym full of people just itching to join up.

Little did i know, people couldn’t find my gym that is located a mile off the main highway. So i set off to find out how to get some attention and here’s what i did:

First i went and bought a book called running a gym for profit, which was actually a good book on equipment and layout of a gym. But, it was not at all good at marketing advice.

To learn every deatil of “how to open a 24 hour gym from scratch”, click here www.how2ownagym.com

What the book said was to do what everything else does. lower your prices to be the cheapest, pass out cards that have a nice picture of a bodybuilder on them and a slogan and your name.

Please,Please, never put a picture of a bodybuilder on anything to do with your gym unless your going for only builders, which i haven’t seen a gym yet except Venice beach gym in California.  You want unfit people to come in, because they are the one that sign up and show up the least, and don’t wear out your equipment like bodybuilders do. The bodybuilders in my gym are the hardest to please by far, they are always wanting some piece of equipment to work one small muscle that no one else wants to use, and costing $2,000.

Little did i know that was the last thing you do to get attention. All the other fitness centers do this, you see it all the time in ads in magazines and the newspapers, and radio ads. They offer no sign up fees and have a special of $19.95 month and do a month to month deal.

What i teach, you never have to do any of these and you can raise your price to be the highest cost in town to look exclusive even if your the smallest gym in town as i am.

I fell in love with marketing when i started studying it 3 years ago. But, i didn’t study anything you see from the big marketers. I studied the old marketers, like P.T. Barnum and Claude Hopkins and Dan Kennedy.

I used to put ads in magazines in town that had a picture and a slogan and my name and phone #. But, no reason to come in. After all, i didn’t have even 1/2 of what the other gyms had to offer. But, lucky for me, they all advertised the same way i did.

I also put ads on the radio that were 60 seconds long and did nothing but repeat the gym name and phone #. I was told by people that they turned the radio channel after hearing the ad once because it was so annoying, and i must say, I turn the same kind of ads off everyday when they come on because they are annoying, and no matter what anyone says, repeating the name doesn’t make your name a good thing in the minds of people that get annoyed by that crap. I know when i see the sprite commercials on t.v. I cant figure out what they are trying to say until i see the name, but a guy playing basketball doesn’t make me think they are drinking sprite on the side lines and dunking because of sprite. Instead i see the players drinking Gatorade and then doing a commercial on a soad pop that doesn’t even have anything to do with basketball. I know they are going for the youngest crowd, but i haven’t found a kid yet that buys this drink because of the commercials, and I’ve asked.

The other thing i did was to offer no contracts. This was a bad mistake, and the sad thing was, all the other gyms started offering the same thing after i did. Now i don’t offer no contracts, but the other gyms still do. I now offer only 3,6,and 12 month contracts, and all at increased prices for the fewer months they sign up for.

Also, don’t put cheesy brochures out that have a picture of a bodybuilder and a slogan that has no reason to get someone to come in the door. my slogan was, “At Temple Gym, we’ve been waiting for you”, now that’s bad!

These are the things NOT to do. my next post will be how i went from 60 members to 200 in less than 3 months after being open 4 years and never getting over 100 members.

Attention: here’s a product that specifically helps you how to market fitness centers, gyms, and health clubs cheaply

To learn every deatil of “how to open a 24 hour gym from scratch”, click here www.how2ownagym.com

For consulting on fitness center, gym, health club marketing, you can reach Shannon Cook at fitnessmarketing@comcast.net

shannon cook

shannon cook

Warning!!! Before you buy an existing healthclub, gym , or fitness center!

Monday, September 1st, 2008

Warning!!! Before you buy an existing healthclub, gym , or fitness center!

This story is nothing to do with fitness center, gym, or health club marketing, except to tell my mistakes for all to learn from.

**Warning** before you buy an existing club, hear my story.

I was approached about purchasing the equipment from a gym that i was a member of in 2003. i was told they had 400 members and were bringing in $12,000 per month.

I took a witness to one of the owners house to discuss the deal with one owner, I didn’t know the other owner wasn’t going to be there because he was in drug rehab at the time. That was the first lie of many.

To learn every deatil of “how to open a 24 hour gym from scratch”, click here www.how2ownagym.com

Here’s the rest of a terrible 5 years of court dates and harassment.

The guy told me he would get me a contract and papers such as, taxes for the last 3 years, membership contracts, and loan amounts for the equipment. But the problem was they had to be out of their building in 30 days, and my father had a new shopping center that he had just built and i could move in there.

So, i told the guy i would take over the payments when i got open in 30 days. so i sat out to do the build out and got it complete in time to open by November 2003. All the time he was putting me off about the paperwork he promised. I really wasn’t worried that much because i knew they couldn’t hold me to a verbal agreement when i had a witness and they were breaking the agreement first.

Well, after the gym was opened and we moved the equipment in, we finally got the contract. It said they owed over $170,000 on the equipment alone, and it was only worth about $20,000. They also came in and told me that i had to get another account started up because they were in trouble with the IRS, then they came in and did the draft while i was out one day and my secretary told me it was only $3,500 for a month instead of the $12,000 per month they said.

Then the IRS came by and said that they were coming to take the equipment because they hadn’t file in 5 years since they were opened.

So i called the owners, by this time both owners were there because the one had gotten out of rehab. they came to my office and i told them they lied about everything and that they could get all there equipment out by 15 days and i had already ordered my own stuff. needless to say, they were mad and threatened to sue me. I said go ahead because i didn’t sign anything and they broke the agreement first.

Then they said the one owners father was rich and he would be supplying the money to sue me.

Well, I sat their equipment out after 30 days because they wouldn’t come get it even after i sent them certified letters warning them it was outside in the elements.

They finally came and got it 2 months later.

Then the lawsuit finally came up a year later after i asked numerous times for the judge to order them to give me all the paper work such as taxes and contracts which they still didn’t have. So i didn’t worry about taking my attorney after the fourth time going to court because they hadn’t given me the paperwork yet and by law i wasn’t suppose to have to have court until they complied.

So they went and found a crooked judge to go around all that. He told me he was tired of waiting and told them to give me whatever they had, which was some madeup papers.

When court started, the judge wouldn’t allow any of my evidence at all because, and i quote, “it was irrerevant to the case”. But he allowed all their evidence that was actually nothing to do with the case. That’s when i knew he was paid off.

The same jusge is under investigation for other cases and the state is trying to force him to retire now.

So i appealed, but was told by my attorney, the court system was not wanting to open a can of worms because the judge had a really big case he was under investigaton for and the state couldn’t afford to have other cases come out about that judge.

He found in the other gyms favor for the sum of $190,000

 

All this to say, DON’T EVER MAKE A VERBAL AGREEMENT WITHOUT ATTORNEYS AND ALL IS LEGAL AND RECORDED!!!

Attention: here’s a product that specifically helps you how to market fitness centers, gyms, and health clubs cheaply

To learn every deatil of “how to open a 24 hour gym from scratch”, click here www.how2ownagym.com

for questions please comment on post or contact shannon at fitnessmarketing@comcast.net