Offering your members more than fitness.

If you think you're in the fitness business, you'd better think again. In actuality, you're in the people business, and fitness is a service you offer. But it shouldn't be your only service.

The fitness industry is very competitive. One way to set your club apart from your competition is to offer your members services that will make their lives easier.

The services that you can offer members are only limited by your imagination. Here are some ideas you may want to borrow.

  • On-Site Tailor. LifeCenter plus Health and Fitness Center in Hudson, Ohio, rents space to a tailor whose business is thriving, notes Jan Rubins, owner/general manager. The tailor gets business from the community, as well as the club's members, who get a discount.

  • Women's Investment Group. LifeCenter plus developed the women's investment group due to member interest. The women use the club's conference rooms to meet once a month. They bring $50 each time to invest in stocks, explains Rubins. They have a financial advisor who helps them. This group is a members-only group and is free to join.

  • Adult Bridge Group. If you're a LifeCenter plus member, you also have the opportunity to join the bridge group. The group members meet once a month at the club and play bridge for about three hours. This group is also free.

  • Medical Focus Group. Chico Sports Club, in Chico, Calif., put in a classroom specifically for the purpose of holding medical focus groups for the community and club members. Jeffrey Stover, the owner and general manager of the club, decided that he wanted to make fitness accessible to everyone.

    These focus groups are meant to teach members and the community about exercising with physical conditions such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Stover's staff is educated on these medical conditions and more. This makes the members comfortable, plus it gives the club a high referral rate from the local physicians.

  • Family Fun Days. Don't just look to your adult members for extracurricular services/activities. Parents are always searching for fun things to do with their children. LifeCenter plus has Family Fun Days on Sunday. The club provides a whole day of activities for families — everything from rock climbing and swimming to cooking classes and crafts.

  • Dive-In Movies. Parents enjoy spending time with the kids, but they also like to have a little time alone.

    LifeCenter plus caters to parents by hosting a “Dive In Movie” on the first Friday night of every month. The club provides food and drink, and the kids bring their floats and watch a movie while lounging in the pool.

  • Bowling League/Golf Group. Don't fret if you don't have a pool or meeting room. You can offer your members services that take place outside your facility. For example, LifeCenter plus offers its members the opportunity to be part of a bowling and/or a golf team. Both are member-only services.

    While the bowling isn't free, the bowling alley gives the LifeCenter plus members discounted rates. The teams meet at the alley once a week, and at the end of the league they have a banquet at the club.

    The golf group consists of a maximum of 24 LifeCenter plus members who play every week for 18 weeks. The golf arrangement is a dollar-for-dollar trade, explains Rubins. The only cost to the players is $30, which goes toward the banquet at the end of the year.

  • Travel Club. LifeCenter plus also offers their members a travel club. “We have a travel license and book our own trips, which we offer to our members and the public,” notes Rubins. Even if you don't have a travel license, you could always research some trips and see if your members have an interest.