CHICAGO -- Kevin Steele, principal with Communication Consultants WBS, presented a session today at Club Industry 2010 that was designed to help club owners gain a foothold in the corporate wellness market.

Steele told his audience that proper research is essential before approaching businesses with which they’d like to partner. Specifically, those who want to venture into providing corporate wellness programs must acquaint themselves with four key areas: health care statistics, the local business community, the prospective corporate client’s details and the competitive landscape.

Regarding health care statistics, Steele said it’s not enough to learn and recite them. The prospect has to be shown how those numbers relate to his own business, perhaps through days of lost productivity or higher insurance premiums, he said.

While researching the local community for prospective businesses, don’t forget to look at the contacts your facility already has, Steele said.

“Mine your membership base,” he said. “You have a number of people with links to local businesses who are already sold on the lifestyle in your club right now.”

When you have identified companies to approach, Steele said, arm yourself with specific details about them. Know the number of employees, what sort of work they do, what hours or shifts they work and who the decision makers are in the company.

Finally, Steele said, don’t neglect to research your competition and the programs they offer.

“It’s up to you whether you go head-to-head with them or try to go where they’re not,” Steele said. “It’s similar to how coaches have their teams watch videos of their opponents. You have to know what you’re up against.”