Donna Krech Plays Hurt to Help Club Industry

Walking around on a gimpy foot didn't stop Donna Krech of Fitness Solution 24/7 from presenting ways to create new income streams for club operators at Club Industry 2010.

Krech, who injured her foot Tuesday at an event in Baltimore, had originally planned to wear a Dorothy outfit from “The Wizard of Oz,” complete with ruby red slippers, which didn't quite fit too well today. (Krech even had a stuffed dog in a basket, a la Toto from the movie.) Krech brought home the idea that a lot has changed in the fitness industry in the past 25 years, prompting Krech to proclaim, “We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto.”

Krech encouraged club operators to alter their goals by accessing the correct knowledge and asking good questions. (Similarly, Dorothy's goal of “going home” eventually changed to “following the yellow brick road” to get home.)

Two ways to improve income streams, Krech said, are to add new offerings to new people and to offer something new or different to the same people who are already regular members. Income streams could come from spa services, boot camps or kids programs. The “sweet spot,” according to Krech, comes when money goals overlap a passion for the business and the needs of the community.

“Don't be ashamed of making money,” Krech told attendees. “Money's good.”

You've got to hand it to Krech: She made several attendees happy by giving them money for correctly answering questions about “The Wizard of Oz.”

Krech also is the founder and CEO of Thin&Healthy's Total Solution and the president and CEO of Accelerated Profit Systems. She said the weight-loss industry produces $55 billion a year, yet 40 percent of club members make purchases related to weight loss elsewhere. She also cited that the obesity rate has risen to 73 percent in this country.

“I'm not going to stand for it,” said Krech, who has been in the weight-loss/fitness business since 1982. “Not on my watch. We're club people. We save lives.”

Krech also shared some personal details. She said her husband has beaten cancer four times—in the last two times, he was told he had a 0 percent survival rate.

So a bum foot wasn't going to slow her down today.

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