Veteran Health Club Management Consultant Launches Network to save Independent Health Clubs from disappearing

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John Atwood aims to provide cost savings and guidance to help independent health clubs compete with the chains and franchises. "Blockbuster killed every independent video store a few years ago and now it's independent health clubs that need to work together to survive". Atwood's health club management consultants have formed a network of gyms, health clubs, and fitness centers working together to gain the power of a large corporate chain.

Health Club Consultants

Health Club Consultants

For Independent gyms and health clubs to survive competing with the big chains and franchises they must get the same buying power

The TAG Health Club Network has been formed to support independent health clubs. In making the announcement, John Atwood, TAG’s Founder stated: ‘As I was helping independent health clubs to become financially healthier – one at a time, I concluded that by forming a network, my team could provide broader support across any number of independent health clubs in helping them to discover and implement ways that they could operate more cost effectively and more profitably.’

He continued; ‘As health club consultants, we test marketed this group power concept focusing on marketing support. Ten health clubs participated. The results were amazing. We had a situation where one participant saved over $3,800 for just one direct mailing. On average, the savings ranged from $700 to $850 per mailing.’ Atwood said his network of health clubs and gyms is focused on saving money across the board with fitness equipment, health club software, credit card and EFT fees, utilities, and almost any other expense incurred by a health club, gym, or fitness center. The network is even working to lower prices in areas as diverse as facility design, website development, and staff training. Atwood says “the bottom line is if you spend money on it we will work to bring the cost down while maintaining the quality. We are working strategically to provide independent clubs some of the infrastructure, and advantages of scale, that large organizations enjoy.”

The TAG Network recently added their 20th member with a goal of reaching 250 members by mid 2012. Membership includes a baseline purchasing cost analysis to identify immediate cost savings opportunities. Monthly web conferences are also available to members to gain new insights and share ideas regarding such matters as financial management, SEO web optimization, and cost-effective marketing programs. Emails are sent out announcing new partnerships with vendors that have agreed to lower prices for network members. And a list of vendors who agree to discounts will be put on the TAG Network website for any member to access.

Atwood concluded; health club and gym management is challenging; ‘Health club membership growth, nationally, is being far outpaced by the proliferation of new clubs. Many independent clubs are hitting a crisis point and must begin to manage in a new way to compete with the big players. In my work with clubs, especially in this increasingly competitive situation, I have found that simply ‘grabbing’ new members is not the answer --- success is driven in large part by better operating efficiencies across the board. That’s what TAG is all about.’

And now a quote: as Thomas Paine said in the throes of the American Revolution - - - “These are the times that try men’s (and women’s) souls”. Today, Independent health clubs are in a "Battle for Survival" and these are trying time to be sure; but vision and dedication, merged with the combined powers of a network of independent clubs, can bring these clubs through the hard times, and help them emerge as strong independent businesses and centers of their communities.


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John Atwood
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