untitledI was watching the Seinfeld the other day where Kramer had an idea for a new kind of pizza joint and it gave me a thought for a new business idea.

Open a law office where people get to be their own lawyer.

They pay a rental or monthly fee for access to your office space, all of you professional legal resources, and can ask you questions once in a while.

I call it “Sue em’ yourself”

What do you think……..?

I really hope that you hate it because it is a terrible idea.

When someone hires a lawyer they are not paying for their office, resources or to get their questions answered; they are paying for the professional’s vast knowledge of the legal system, years of experience and guidance.  So if the “sue em’ yourself” model wont’ work in law why do we thing it will work in fitness?

I might be preaching to the choir here but if you look at the majority of business in the fitness industry and especially all the “big players” this is the business model we have used since the 1970’s and is still going strong today.  People pay a monthly fee for access to top of the line equipment in a beautiful space that they can use around their schedule.  The problem is that knowing what to do and how to do it is what they really need to see long term success.

The traditional fitness business model is based on offering flash to attract members.  New equipment, lots of equipment, well presented space and various amenities, while keeping the monthly costs as low as possible.  The hook used to draw people in is endless offerings for an inexpensive price.

There are 3 major flaws with this idea.

First; there is a ceiling.  Continuing to offer larger cardio theaters, better personal entertainment options, more equipment, swimming pools, indoor courts, rock climbing & daycare all while keeping the prices as close as possible to the monthly fee people are used to playing is not sustainable.  At some point the numbers don’t add up and they are forced either increase membership rates or decrease offerings.

Second; results don’t come easy.  We know people who take advantage of personal training, group training, programs or group ex stay more engaged, have better results and keep coming back.  Why set up a model that gives them the option to fail? Why not set it up from the start that they can easily get involved with a fit pro instead of having to decide if they want to dig deeper into their pocket book.

Third; connection is not organic. In a general membership facility a massive amount of time, effort and resources is spent on trying to keep members engaged and connected.  Working with a fit pro connection comes naturally and strong relationships are formed naturally throughout the process.

It is time to take a serious look at our standard operating procedure in the world of fitness businesses and decided; is this the best model to carry us into the future or is there a better way for us to impact those in our communities?

About caseystutzman

Casey Stutzman is an AFAA certified trainer and has been actively involved in the fitness industry since 2004. Since 2006 he has acted as the Head Trainer at the Bay Athletic Club in Alpena Michigan. Casey’s love of athletics and competition drove him in to the fitness industry. He uses his experience as a division 1 college football player, amateur bodybuilding competitor, strongman competitor to help others reach their goals in all areas of fitness. Casey spends his time at Bay Athletic Club teaching Boot Camps, small group training sessions, training clients and working with participants in Bay Athletic Club’s Corporate Fit Challenge program. He also develops strength and conditioning programs and does performance training for a number of local athletic organizations and high school teams. As an Ignite Performance Master trainer and Master Instructor for TRX Casey travels North America to educate and connect with fitness professionals to help them offer more to their clients and athletes. Time outside of fitness is occupied with reading, travel, indoor rock climbing, snow sports and being an active outdoorsman. He enjoys spending free time with his wife Mary Beth, his daughter Vesper, son Indiana and Turkish the family dog.

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