Building a successful club is no small feat. It requires hard work, dedication, and careful planning. But what are the key characteristics that make a club successful? In this article, we’ll dive into the most important factors that determine whether a club will thrive or fail.
Conduct a Third Party Feasibility Study
Before opening your club, it’s crucial to conduct a third-party feasibility study. This study should project sales growth conservatively and provide an objective analysis of the potential market. This will give you a better understanding of the market demand, competition, and potential profits.
Bring Proven Sales, Service, and Management Skills to the Project
Management is a critical component of any club’s success. Bringing proven sales, service, and management skills to the project can help ensure your club is well-run and profitable. A successful club needs leadership that can effectively market the club, provide excellent customer service, and manage operations efficiently.
Have Sufficient Operating Capital
Starting a club requires significant financial investment. It’s essential to have sufficient operating capital to cover inevitable cash shortfalls in the first six to eighteen months of operation. This will allow you to weather any financial storms and avoid running out of funds too early.
Regularly Reinvest in the Facility
Successful clubs keep their facilities up to date. Owners who regularly reinvest in the facility show their commitment to the club and their members. This can help attract new members and retain existing ones.
Operate Within Normal Industry Expense Range
Operating a club within normal industry expense ranges is critical to maintaining profitability. Successful clubs keep expenses under control, ensuring that the cost of running the club doesn’t exceed revenue.
Enjoy a Reputation for Cleanliness, Friendliness, Hospitality, Efficiency, and Integrity
A club’s reputation is everything. A successful club enjoys a reputation for cleanliness, friendliness, hospitality, efficiency, and integrity. Members should feel comfortable and welcomed when they visit the club. A clean and well-maintained facility also helps ensure member satisfaction.
Be Involved in Community Activities
Successful clubs are also active members of the community. They participate in community activities and have proactive relationships with community leaders and institutions. This not only enhances the club’s reputation but also helps attract new members.
Size and Scale Should Be Consistent with the Market Potential
A club’s size and scale should be consistent with the potential of the market. Building a club that is too large or too small can be a recipe for disaster. Understanding the potential market size and demand is critical in determining the right size and scale for your club.
Negotiate Lease Agreements to Keep Lease Payments in Range
Lease payments are a significant expense for clubs. Negotiating lease agreements that keep payments, once the club reaches maturity, in the 15% to 18% range can help maintain profitability.
Exceed Revenue Projections in the First 12 Months
The first 12 months of operation are critical for any club’s long-term success. A fast start, where the club exceeds its revenue projections, is a sure sign of a successful club. Conversely, a slow start is almost always a sign of future trouble.
In conclusion, building a successful club requires careful planning, management, and investment. By keeping these key characteristics in mind, you can increase your chances of building a thriving club that attracts and retains members for years to come.
An Outsourced CEO and expert witness, Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting, turnaround, financing and brokerage firm specializing in the gym and sports industry. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars, webinars and workshops across the globe on the practical skills required to successfully overcome obscurity, improve sales, build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. Visit his Web site at: www.fmconsulting.net or www.youtube.com/gymconsultant.