It’s a bittersweet day for those of us in the Seminole Nation. Sources say FSU head coach for the last 34 years Bobby Bowden and 2nd winningest coach all-time in College Football will announce his retirement later today.
Sorry, but we are passionate about football around here. Actually, this story also carries some weight in the club business arena as well. Many times club owners/ mangers are reluctant to make necessary changes because of past success. Let’s be clear. What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. All businesses evolve and while 5-10 years ago the gym industry would be considered somewhat stagnant, today things change constantly. As club owners we have to keep up with these changes or better yet create the changes.
Coach Bowden was old school, he built programs through discipline, he recruited the best talent, and surrounded himself with top tier assistants. Bobby and his staff were innovators and the first to develop the high-speed defense and 5 wide all out passing attacks on offense which are now commonplace in today’s game and consequently not as effective as back in the day.
Likewise, the old school gym management tactics, hardcore sales approach, antiquated advertising strategies, and 3 year contracts of yesteryear are done. Listen, I like to sit back and reflect on the old days as much as the next guy but these played out tactics largely have run their course. Living in the past, comfortable might be won’t make your fitness club money and you certainly won’t stay competitive. So what can you do to stay current. Here are some tips!
- Borrow from other industries (Starbucks became a 3rd place to be have you?)
- Create raving fans (Not new just more important than ever)
- Offer innovative programming (Is Step your latest addition to Group fitness)
- Invest in some new equipment (I assure prospects have seen elliptical before)
- Shop the competition( Are you getting outpaced)
- Take calculated risks with unusual services( Even with questionable outcomes you are evolving )
- Embrace technology ( Plan in advance for capital intensive improvements)
Somethings in the fitness industry will never change, Most things do. It’s our job to learn from past experience and help shape the future through constant evolution! As hard as it is sometimes even the best ideas, stratagies, and traditions run their course. It’s okay to reflect on the past but don’t live in it!
I think Bobby would agree!
“EVERYTHING THAT OCCURS WITHIN AN ORGANIZATION REFLECTS BACK UPON ITS LEADERS. This burden comes with the territory. Why? Because you set the standards of acceptable behavior – athletically, academically, socially. It is up to you to establish these standards, reinforce these standards, and enforce these standards. It’s these standards that have a big bearing on what will occur on your team. Keep in mind that you typically get what you expect of your team – so long as you also expect it of yourself.” – Coach Bowden