In the past week I have had two conversations with fitness business owners that are facing a crisis.
Can you imagine suddenly learning that 20% of your members are considering leaving you, all at once? To make matters worse, they are being encouraged to leave you by someone you thought was a raving fan of yours.
I hope it does not happen to you, but I have seen it happen in almost every fitness business I have known. The good news is that 100% of these businesses survived, and most thrived, as a result of the experience.
That means there is hope, even in the midst of seemingly dismal times. In the midst of the crisis, good things happen that lead to a strengthening of the organization, or it goes out of business. .
There are several reasons why a situation like this can occur, but usually it comes down to misunderstandings and lack of communication. When a fitness professional fills their client base with less-than-ideal customers, or even worse, tolerates customers who weaken the culture, the probability of this kind of revolt is amplified.
Like all situations, there are things we can control and things we cannot. The wise business owner limits his/her energy to the things that can be controlled.
With good stewardship you can lessen the probability of a small mutiny of your clients and members. There are literally 100s of things that can be addressed on this issue, and there simply isn’t enough hours in a day for that task. However, it usually comes down to a few things that went wrong and slowly the train derailed.
What is always amazing to me is how all of this comes as a surprise to the business owner. They simply started taking things for granted. They had been in business a few years and lost the “edge” they maintained in the early days of the business. It happens all the time, that transition from trainer/coach to business sometimes comes with a high price.
I always recommend to my VIP clients that we get ahead of this potential problem, first, by admitting that it is a possibility and, second, by taking pre-preemptive action and strengthening the relationships with clients.
Here are three things you can do today to lessen the possibility of this happening to you.
Strategy #1 – Stay close to your people. Do a a quick survey. This is especially powerful when you don’t see a real need to survey your clients. A simple one-question survey works the best. Learn how here.
Strategy #2 – Do a quick facility audit. Start with what I wrote about last week. Decide what 2-3 things you can do to freshen things up a bit. These are usually not drastic or huge things, just something small and easily recognizable. Note: Doing these things will make you feel better, too.
Strategy #3 – Be aware that people can decide, even be promoted, to leave you. Simply being aware of this possibility makes you more attuned to your clients. Don’t over-react if you suddenly find yourself facing a crisis. It’s really easy to assume that everything is going great and you have nothing to worry about. It’s really easy to overreact when things seem to be suddenly off track.
If you find yourself in this situation, reach for a lifeline. Talk to another business owner who has grown through this challenge. And/or give me a call. It’s a complimentary (free) conversation and I guarantee you will feel better once you have a sense of direction.
Make it an awesome day!
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