Aligning your club with other professionals

Between work and running errands, most club members barely have time for a workout. So why not make their lives easier by turning your club into a one-stop shop?

By renting space to other professionals, your club provides more services to your members. As a result, you build goodwill while generating extra revenue.

Here is a list of professionals who present partnering opportunities:

  • Physical therapist. Edward Health and Fitness Center (Naperville and Woodridge, Ill.) rents out space to a local hospital to provide physical therapy. This means Edward members can get physical therapy, while physical therapy patients can continue their rehab at the fitness center. Specifically, Edward Health offers patients a program that helps them make the transition from therapy to a regular fitness routine.

    Many of the patients end up becoming full-time center members because of the care and attention that they received in the center, explains Cindy Eggemeyer, executive director. Plus the former patients feel confident working out in a place that has a physical therapist on board.

  • Orthopedic surgeon. Edward's Woodridge facility rents 3,000 square feet of space to an orthopedic surgeon. Even though his office is only open three days a week, he rents it for seven days, and all his patients are required to come in through the facility for their office visit.

    “Not only does it increase our exposure, but having an orthopedic surgeon is an added value to our facility,” notes Eggemeyer.

    Members benefit because the surgeon does some orthopedic screenings free of charge. Edward benefits because the surgeon works with many high school and college athletes, whom he often refers into Edward's sports enhancement programs.

  • Chiropractor. Gold's Gym in Conshohocken, Pa., rents space to a chiropractor, who performs free medical evaluations for all new members.

    “You get to know him right away and he becomes part of the family, so if anything happens, the members know he is here for them,” notes Kevin Burke, the president of the club. “Ninety-five percent of his patients are members. It works out very nice because he feeds us and we feed him.”

  • Massage therapist. Gold's Gym of Conshohocken also rents out space to a massage therapist. It's just another value-added service that the club provides for its members, notes Burke.

    To drum up member interest, and to give members a little bonus, the therapist often gives free five-minute neck massages out on the club floor.

  • Endermologist. While WOW! Work Out World in New Jersey also rents space to chiropractors and physical therapists, the club chain is delving a little further into the overall wellness/spa realm.

    For example, an endermologist provides cellulite reduction treatments. After all, notes WOW!'s Stephen P. Roma, “people come here to look good.”

  • Food service vendors. WOW! leases out its juice bar, a popular profit center in many clubs.

    “It all started because [we were] originally running the juice bar ourselves, which is a whole other business,” notes Roma. “We couldn't do the job that we wanted to, so we hired someone to do it.”

  • Ad hoc service providers. Every month or so, Roma invites a different vendor to come in and sell products — such as exercise clothing, jewelry and cosmetics — on an ad hoc basis. He then takes a percentage of what the vendor sells.

    The arrangement works out well for all involved, according to Roma. The vendor gets a high concentration of people in a very targeted market, WOW! gets additional revenue, and members get extra services without going anywhere else.

    “Fifty percent of our membership is female, so the cosmetics and jewelry are a natural avenue for them,” adds Roma.

  • Beauticians. Burke notes that his Gold's Gym is considering renting out space to a small beauty salon so people could get a haircut or style, a facial and a manicure.

  • Medical professionals for women. Burke claims that he has been approached by a doctor who is interested in opening a women's wellness center in the club. Burke says that he is definitely contemplating the offer.

  • Children's sport coaches. If you offer children's activities, you may want to rent out court/studio space to different coaches and instructors who specialize in children's teams/leagues, clinics, camps, tournaments, etc. Not only would you get the kids, but their parents would see how nice your facility is and how much fun their children are having, which could lead to a family membership.