'The Smart Take from the Strong' the Emerging Health Club Business

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Former Princeton basketball coach Pete Carril once stated “the strong take from the weak, but the smart take from the strong.” According to John Atwood, Managing partner and founder of the Atwood Consulting Group The Atwood Group, a leading health club consulting and management firm, this philosophy rings true for small health club owners who are not only braving the head to head battle with the large fitness chains, but are now thriving in their quests to stand toe to toe in the ever competitive arena of membership growth.

Taking advantage of technologies available to small business and staying true to exceptional service has “evened the playing field significantly and opened up tremendous opportunities for independent owners to grow their businesses.

Featured in May’s edition of Club Business Industry, The Atwood Group indicates that a healthy combination of taking advantage of technologies available to small business and staying true to exceptional service has “evened the playing field significantly and opened up tremendous opportunities for independent owners to grow business where they once could not compete.” Atwood points to web and software technologies as well as the importance of less sterility and more personal touches that are often found with “the independence”. “Our industry is about people”, states Atwood. “Most clubs have treadmills, elliptical machines, and high energy group exercise classes. What distinguishes a good club from a great one is its staff: simply stated, the people who run programs are the programs”. Knowing a member’s name, going the extra mile and calling members when they don’t come consistently are all examples of providing personal touches that recognize the member as more than a member. This is the new standard Independent Owners are establishing.”    

The Atwood Group has taken on a national presence with regards to consulting as they’ve acquired clients from all corners of the country excited to jump into the health club industry. “Entrepreneurs are developing clubs with such uniqueness, personal touches, and “out of the box” nuances that are blending naturally with standard offerings”, states Atwood. It’s not only exciting to work with new people coming into our industry, but it’s terrifically refreshing to work with the energy and creativeness we’re developing together”.

To accommodate the dramatic surge of independently owned clubs seeking advice, Atwood has expanded his team with specialists who focus on all aspects of club operations and development. “We’ve got an all-star team of experts who have years of experience and proven success that will guide an owner from feasibility studies thru club expansions.. and have a blast doing it!”. As Joseph Sugarman once stated, “the greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity”. There’s a lot of opportunity in today’s market for a smart independent owner.

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