When Life Gives You Lemons… Make Lemonade

By Chris Palmer, Gold’s Gym Suwanee/Sugar Hill, GA

Another summer… member and employee vacations, sluggish attendance, instructors being substituted for, cancellations, etc… and all of those pesky high school students wanting to workout… YUK!

Well hopefully your summer isn’t starting off like this, neither is ours but I wanted to see if you were paying attention. This spring I decided that I wanted to find a way to make MONEY out of one of our more common summer issues, and that is “What to do with all the community kids?”

Our club typically receives a lot of demand from the high school age kids in our community and this summer we had an answer. I spent about a month and a half having random meetings, and talks with our local high school’s Athletic Director and head coaches of multiple sports, as well as parents and students… anyone that would listen to my ideas about creating a Summer Student Membership.

My plan of action was to:

(1) Find a way to help the school promote healthier lifestyle habits and exercise to students, since there will be new physical fitness testing being conducted this coming school year.

(2) Fill my club with members during my slow times with no negative effects on primetime.

(3) Earn as much money as possible from this market segment.

(4) Get the students to promote our “Summer Student Membership” offers.

(5) Create a financial benefit for someone other than just our self. (Key element!)

“It’s not about the money, but it’s always about the money”. Once I explained the financial component of my plan to the AD and others at the school, we just started watching the money flow with no negative consequences whatsoever. Here’s what we did. We designed 4”x5” handouts that were given to the AD. He made sure that every sports program gave out six to every JV and Varsity athlete of each and every sports program. Each sports program’s handout was custom designed with their sports logo on front. Each coach and booster club director would make sure that they were all given out and,  each player would give his or her six out to fellow students and use one for themselves. Once these are presented for purchase, we record them on production, by which sport referred them and in return we forward 20% of the proceeds back to that particular sports program. Basically, we created a fundraiser!!!

So a quick recap:

  • Summer Student Membership (3 or 5 Month options)
  • Circulated by students, for students.
  • Endorsed by the coaches, teachers and parents.
  • Utilized during non-primetime hrs.
  • Cash purchase with no EFT option. (Your draft won’t take a hit)
  • The additional cash source allows you to focus more on your EFT with conventional mbrs.

So, don’t worry about the kids next summer… embrace them.



About GGFA

The Gold's Gym Franchisee Association is the independent voice of the Gold's Gym franchisees.
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