The weeks leading up to the official start of summer are critical for all program directors and operators.
Attendance overall takes the biggest dive during the summer months and while you cannot blame your members for heading outdoors you really should think about ways to manage this risk. If you have a solid game plan for the summer months ahead, you will see success in one way or another.
- Reduce Costs: Plan for a decrease in participation and re-align your expenses so that you are not spending money foolishly. If you do not want to get creative with outdoor programming then you may wish to simply reduce wages by reducing the number of classes you offer. This is a quick way to save money. If you are what your lowest performing classes are today then you can best bet that these are going to be the classes that further decline in the summertime. Invest your money and your best instructors in the classes that remain strong throughout the summer. Be prepared to move your best instructors to these top performing time slots. Be confident that members will adjust their schedules to follow strong instructors.
- Get Creative with Classes and Programs: Plan to introduce an outdoor program like an outdoor boot camp, yoga, running, walking, running or hiking program. If you do not have the ability to take your programming outdoors, then bring the most popular outdoors sports and recreation activities indoors. “Stay Fit Fore Golf” is a great example. If you create a 30 minute conditioning class specific to helping golfers stay fit and injury free you will attract them especially if you promote what they want. ‘This program will help you drive the ball further and lower your score’.
- Schedule Theme Classes and ‘In-Club’ events: Remember businesses in your community suffer the same risk for loss of business during the summer. Collaborate with local businesses to bring special events and services into your club. Start a ‘Count Down’ to Summer (June 21st) with an incentive program that gets your members working out in June. Members who have engaged in your challenge and participate in your ‘in-club community’ events will be less likely to leave you during the summer. Remember habits are hard to break.