What is Leadership?


Well I could give you the text book or theoretical definition but I won’t because you can carry out a Google search yourself I am sure!

My personal definition of Leadership is this:

“Leadership is the ability to think big, inspire others and work towards the big goal together”

I personally believe that no matter what your occupation you can be a leader; leadership comes from within. Many managers think they are leaders or think that they make great leaders. A good manager is not always a good leader. Look around you, look around your daily life as well as your workplace. Who has the qualities of a leader? Who has ideas, is passionate, determined and open to suggestions from everyone? Who is humble and gracious and caring? Who has the emotional intelligence to let the little things go and focus on the more important goal achieving factors? Who has the courage to build a mastermind group to share ideas and develop strategies?

In one of my previous jobs I was pretty rubbish at keeping a check on my teams uniforms, were they wearing their name badge? were they wearing work issued shorts? were they wearing the correct jacket? I couldn’t tell you as I can’t say it was that important to the end goal. We, the team, were trying to achieve a better workout environment for our members, we were working on improving procedures, customer service and programming so that our members had a great experience time after time. The question is, did our members notice that the jacket didn’t have the correct logo on it? did they care that Jane, who they had got to know personally, and not via her name badge, wasn’t wearing her name badge today? did they care? did they hell!

What the members cared about was the experience they received every time they came in, was the team acting professionally and with empathy? did the team make an effort to get to know the member and not just see them as a number or a dollar sign?  I think you get the gist. Of course it is important for the team to look professional and smart and be ambassadors of the brand, but there are more ways to do that than spend time chasing staff because they forgot their name badge today.

Perhaps I was in the wrong job, but one thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to make a difference, I wanted the team to feel empowered and connected, because I knew if  the team could achieve this then the rest would follow naturally and members would love coming back to the facility time after time.

Ask yourself today what could you do to be a better leader.

Short term memberships/promotions

When planning your annual promotions it is a good idea to have some reactive promotions available as part of the planning process.

  • What is a short term membership promotion?

Examples include 7 day passes, 1 month for $30 and such like. Any type of promotion that does not require the customer to purchase a full membership.

  • Are short term membership promotions effective?

It depends on how they are being used. 7 day passes can work effectively if they are well managed and used according to the business strategy. For example; private gyms will often use “Free 7 Day Trials” as a tool for customers to “try before they buy” and this is a good tool for private gyms because they do not have casual entry fees like local government. Private gyms also have sales staff that work on commission. Therefore, the sales reps will work those leads until they are told to remove the prospects details from their database! Try it for yourself, sign up for a 7 day pass at a private gym, see how many emails and calls you receive over the coming weeks!

However, local government gyms rarely have dedicated sales staff and if they do they are highly unlikely to be receiving any kind of commission. Plus customers of leisure centres can already “try before they buy” because casual fees exist. That’s not to say 7 day passes never have a place in leisure centres because they do. One of the most effective Refer a Friend campaigns I have implemented uses 7 day passes, because once again, local government can not use harsh sales tactics like contacting members friends directly as this violates privacy laws so leisure centres have to think beyond the obvious for lead generation.

So, that’s 7 day passes, but what about one month, two or three month “cheap” membership promotions?

There is much speculation that these campaigns “work” because they are well received by customers. No doubt that they are well received. Customers of course will want a cheap deal. However, it is important to look beyond the obvious statistics of  how many of these promotional memberships were sold. Other factors must be considered such as:

Timing – January/February are the most notorious months for good membership sales. Is a promotion of this type necessary?
Membership Revenue – what effect is this going to have on your membership income trends, targets, budget and stability?
Normal sales – What effect does this have on the memberships you would have received  without the promotion? For example if you ran a 1 month $30 membership during January and this is one of the busiest months for memberships how many new customers will purchase a full membership in January?
Selling twice – you’ve carried out the communications of this promotion  and people are buying the $30 offer. Great! However, you now need the resources to “sell again” as you need to convert them to full members.
Customer expectation  – If customers become familiar with this type of promotion they will wait for it. This has an impact on your sales. Some customers will go as far as cancelling their membership and re-joining so they can have one month at a substantially lower price.
Devaluing your product – so you provide great service, membership packages and environment; so why offer a cheap promotion that customers can walk away from? Don’t devalue your product. Leisure centres are notorious for having some of the best customer service in the industry. We might need a bit of work in terms of staffing structures so we have dedicated membership teams, but customer service, we know it!

– Overcrowding – current members can become very disgruntled if their gym and classes are full of short term/promo members. Be aware of the high level of traffic some short promotions can bring.

In summary, there is a place for short term promotions, but they need to be well planned and questions need to be asked as to whether they are effective, because remember, they will alter your membership budget and trends and more often than not, have a negative impact on income – I have removed short term memberships and short term promotions from various programs in the past and have always seen a more stable, predictable and most importantly, upward trend in sales figures and income.

  • So when is there a time for short term promotions?

Short term promotions are great for reactive campaigns or for the launch of a new service, improved program or a facility upgrade/opening.

  • What about fitness challenges and personal training?

These are totally different products. Short term options should 100% be available to these type of products. For ideas or to book a review of how these products can be financially viable and profitable get in touch!

Stay tuned to my blogs for more tips and information