Business Measurements That Operators Need to Know
The Canadian fitness business has developed considerably from its beginnings in the mid-20th century to modern times. During this entire period of remarkable growth, one set of critical measurements has yet to appear. Club owners and managers have been unable to access answers to questions like the following:
• What do other clubs like ours pay their managers, sales staff, instructors and hourly staff?
• What profit centres do they operate?
• How do our membership numbers, retention and turnover rates compare with clubs of similar size?
• Are our operating expenses too high?
• What are the responsibilities of fitness trainers in other clubs?
For the first time in our long history, answers to these questions are coming.
Unfortunately, there is a challenge in obtaining data that is useful for future planning.
For example, some club operators want to know what other clubs are doing – but they don’t want to share their own numbers.
Fortunately, the most valuable data to be shared contains averages, percentages, ratios and other group measures that do not require the disclosure of specific numbers from individual clubs.
It has been a time consuming and expensive undertaking gathering the data, tabulating results, keeping individual club data confidential, and presenting the results with professional analysis and national coverage.
Nevertheless, the first survey of Canadian health clubs, The 2013 Canadian Health Club Report, has now been completed thanks to a partnership with IHRSA.
IHRSA (International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association) pioneered the first successful club survey with its member clubs across the U.S. In the early days, it was able to overcome concerns that some clubs had about sharing figures by hiring Industry Insights, an independent organization that specializes in conducting surveys for a wide range of businesses.
Additional IHRSA surveys followed the initial survey, and today they include a Global Report as well as reports specific to Europe and Latin America. Canada has now been added to that list, and we are the first country outside of the U.S. to have its own individual report.
The 2013 Canadian Health Club Report has been made possible by the partnering of IHRSA, Fitness Business Canada, canfitpro and Fitness Industry Canada.
IHRSA has contributed the full cost of Industry Insight’s services including the survey design, tabulation of data, analysis commentary and distribution.
FBC has coordinated the partnership development with IHRSA, authored items within the publication and coordinated input from canfitpro and Fitness Industry Canada.
Canfitpro has contributed results from an additional, major survey it completed with fitness professionals across Canada. Selected items from its survey are included in the 2013 Canadian Health Club Report.
Fitness Industry Canada has summarized past results and the current status of several major issues (such as music licensing, taxation concerns, consumer protection legislation effecting club operations, and more) which are of direct concern to club operators.
Clubs that participated by sharing their club data receive the report at no charge. All others may purchase a hard-copy or digital version of the full report online. Watch our website at www.fitnessbusinesscanada.com for further details. The final report is expected to be available in early October.
We plan to continue this annual survey and to greatly expand the quantity and quality of information provided. The more clubs that participate, the more accurate and extensive will be the value of the content.
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