Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Association thoughts on returning to the gym

I haven't gone to a gym regularly in years, maybe decades. But now I am going regularly.  A few thoughts on associations reflected through my gym ...

1. You have to improve. If you want results, whether it's with exercise or with association management, you really have to make the decision to improve.  Even if you only turn up the notch a little, turn it up.

2.  Success is painful.  The biggest accomplishments can take a lot of sweat and a lot of work.  Decide to own that at the outset, so when you start to sweat and you see it's a lot of work, you're really just confirming what you thought it would be like all along.

3. If there's something members need, put that right out front.  Often associations over-analyze why their members joined or they put the things the members aren't looking for in more prominent locations than what they are looking for.  My gym has a giant case of bottled water right out front - and it only costs $1.  Every time I walk in or leave I see exactly what appeals to me - the water.  Why spend valuable web or newsletter space overly promoting programs no one wants to attend when you could instead focus on or promote the things they all want?  And everything does not have to have a profit.  Sometimes if they're paying dues let them have something for a low price. 

4.  When you're interacting, look like you enjoy it.  Everyone at the front desk is cheerful all the time.  Enthusiastic greetings, waving goodbye.  Do you ever listen to staff complain while a member might be able to hear them - or bring gloomy attitudes into an interaction with a paid member?  That has to stop.  As the customer, I frown my way all the way to treadmill - but I do smile on the way in and on the way out.  Because gym staff still tried to make it cheerful.

5.  You really might not know how to do everything - take the time to ask.   All the things you do that you never actually ever had instruction to do - it's not too late.  Find out how to do something you do all the time the correct way.  Maybe there's a way to do it better, or save time, or get better results.  Your teacher might be another association executive who can help if you just take the time to ask, a personal trainer, or someone teaching a class.

6.  Hydrate.  Over a year ago I learned a big lesson about coffee and dehydration (note: if you don't already know this, coffee will dehydrate you.)  Drink more water and less coffee and see if you feel better.  You just might find you skin, your hair and your sleep patterns change too.  When you work, or you work out, be sure you hydrate.  I know someone who sets their phone alarm to remember to take a hydration break during the day.

7.  Don't take for granted that membership is really optional and it's an expense.  Whether it's a gym or an association, a member pays for membership.  You have to keep them interested or they can just walk away.  The long economic downturn keeps many people really predisposed to considering all their costs.  Don't take any membership for granted.

1 comment:

Sue Goldman said...

Excellent thoughts..and congratulations on getting back to the gym!