Dear Valued Petra-1 Customer,
We are pleased to announce the expansion of Team Mickelson. That’s right, John is getting some support to ensure you are looked after in a prompt and efficient manner.
John will still have an active role in your account but Nancy Anderson will be handling much of your day to day inquiries and requests. Many of you may already know Nancy through her excellent work in the past. We are now making her role as part of Team Mickelson official. Continue reading “Team Mickelson gets a new member!”
Just push the button on the Wizard IV Soap Station and you are ready to use the Petra line of premium body wash, shampoo or hand soap.
Petra’s Super Concentrates provide excellent body and hair cleansing performance while being mild enough to use multiple times daily. They are available in a variety of popular colors and fragrances while The Wizard II Soap Station can customize the product to a desired richness and thickness.
The Wizard IV is a wall mounted soap station, unit similar to a chemical station. In fact, for convenience, it can be linked to an existing chemical station or directly to your water source.
Wizard Soap Stations are available in a number of configurations to best suit your needs including a two button unit for multi-product mixing.
Save time, save space and save money with Petra’s Super Concentrates and the Wizard IV Soap Station.
Dear SoapBox Readers,
We are changing things up a bit in this May Soapbox Newsletter. This month we feature two individuals that have a strong desire to make things better for those around them. Tom Johnston has a desire to help change the world and Dan Lopez has a passion to change and evolve his facilities for a better membership experience.
I was introduced to Tom Johnston through a mutual friend. Tom is the Chief Operating Officer for American Leisure with a passion for promoting and championing Global Wellness Day (GWD). As explained in the content shown below, GWD started as a grass roots movement that has now spread around the world. June 11th will be the 4th year anniversary and it so happens that Tom is the GWD Ambassador for the United States. I’m sure many of you have questions and perhaps have a desire to become involved with GWD. I encourage you to contact Tom via his email and he will be more than happy to answer all your questions. Thank you Tom for sharing your passion to make the world a much better place.
Our second featured author is Dan Lopez who is the operations/facility officer for the Spare Time Clubs in Sacramento. A large portion of our readers are involved in the actual “nuts and bolts” of facility management. Its our hope you will find Dan’s insight into club operations of interest. Dan brings a number of disciplines to his role at Spare Time and is one of the few people I know that loves to share his knowledge and experience with others. Have you experienced challenges or issues in managing your facility or facilities? How can you reduce pool expenditures, how about the best form of indoor or outdoor lighting, Dan is the man that has the answers. Over the years, Dan has been able to succeed in providing the savings that ownership has needed yet has improved the membership experience. I marvel as I walk through his clubs and the logistics that take place to make his facilities safe, fun and profitable. As with Tom, Dan’s contact info is listed at the end of his article and I encourage you to contact him for words of wisdom.
We cherish our readership and it’s a pleasure and privilege to serve you.We welcome your questions, comments and concerns and if there is a favorite topic you feel passionate about, please let us know. We are here for you and would love to hear from you
Meet our Featured Contributor
Tom Johnston, Chief Operating Officer of American Leisure and GWD Ambassador
Recognized for overseeing operations of innovative lifestyle amenity spaces for prominent real estate developers. Tom has a consistent record driving increased membership and sales revenue in the health and fitness industry. You can connect with Tom via email.
Global Wellness Day: Saturday, June 11, 2016
This information brought to the SoapBox by Tom Johnston
(You can read the full press release here)
Saturday, June 11, 2016 will mark the fourth Global Wellness Day (GWD) being celebrated around the world. GWD’s international network of over 70 Global Wellness Day Ambassadors report that they are on target to have over 3,000 properties & locations in 100 countries organize complimentary wellness activities like yoga/Pilates/dance workshops; breathing & mindfulness sessions and nutrition & beauty classes to help millions realize that “One day can change your whole life.” In fact, GWD events will be held around the world on the second Saturday in June, from sunrise in New Zealand until sunset in Hawaii.
Taking away the barriers of exclusivity, this year’s rallying cry for GWD is “Wellness for Everyone!’’ with a range of cities, tourism boards, health clinics and even national dance companies offering are workshops and classes to educate & inspire the public about the benefits of proactive wellness and mind-body fitness. Waterfront communities from Asbury Park New Jersey to Imperial Beach, California, and both Jacksonville and Boca Raton, Florida, are organizing a day of family friendly wellness activities. AltaMed, the largest community health center in the nation based in California, understands wellness extends beyond healthcare and will be championing wellness opportunities for its employees and the communities it serves on June 11 in order to fully advocate equal access health & wellness services. And in Arizona, the Mountain Vista Medical Center will promote GWD activities at their Women’s Wellness Expo and the Sedona Golf Resort will hold the state’s first Wellness Golf Tournament, followed by a Community Wellness Fair at The Collective Sedona, a food/shopping/art/wellness center, with over 10 local spas holding classes and events.
Setting aside the second Saturday of June to provide complimentary, educational and experiential wellness activities to the public to promote good physical and mental health was the brainchild of Belgin Aksoy, owner of Turkey’s only destination spa and herself a cancer survivor. An idea whose time had come, Global Wellness Day was quickly embraced by the wellness industry and, amazingly, only one year later GWD was celebrated in 74 different countries at over 600 spas, hotels & destinations!
So our question to you is…What should the SoapBox do for GWD??
Submit your ideas today and we will highlight them in next month’s publication! Let’s get our local club members AND employees motivated with global ideas that think local. Click here to share your idea.
The GWD American Leisure Team
John’s Testimonials: Hear What Our Customers Are Saying!
When John asked me to contribute to The Soapbox I was honored. John and Petra have been a part of my Spare Time team for 14 years. He and Petra are a vital part of our daily business. Petra is not just a vendor they are a team member that contributes to the over all success of our company. I mention this because as a Facilities Director managing multiple locations I depend on many people to help me maintain our clubs to the highest standards.
A critical key to finding a quality vendor or solving a difficult facility issue is to seek out Quality Information before making Any Decision. When it comes to making decisions on a particular product or vendor we usually have plenty of time to gather information and investigate the products or companies before making a decision. This principal must be applied in all of our decisions, even when we are dealing with time sensitive repairs that effect our daily operation and most importantly our members. I find that many people in the repair and service industry makes decision based on their experience, that is a vital piece to understanding a problem and implementing a solution, however it is not the only piece. There are other factors. Following is a guideline that I use when making any decisions for my facilities. The challenge is to not ignore this process for time sake, because a hasty uninformed decision only leads to further problems and longer and more costly repair times.
The First piece of Quality Information needed- What is the problem? Sounds simple, however many times it is not. Really understanding what the issue is a critical step in making a Quality Decision. Asking many questions will eliminate many rabbit trails and cut down dramatically on the time it takes to solve the issue. “A quick decision leads quickly to more problems.”
The Second piece of Quality Information needed- What are the solutions? Once you have a clear understanding of the problem you must know decide how to resolve it. The key here is to once again have good information. It may be that the simple inexpensive fix may not be the right fix. The real questions are what have I spent in the past, what I will need to spend in the future and how does the down time affect my members. “A cheap fix may cost you more”
The Third piece of Quality Information needed- How do I prevent this from happening again? This is the piece that gets left out in many of our decision making process, however it is a critical function that I use to reduce both down time and cost of repairs at our clubs. If I fully understand the reasons for the failures I can put in place procedures to prevent it from happening again. This is a win win for our members and our bottom line. “Am I fixing it for today or forever?”
I strongly encourage companies to use some type of asset tracking software. I use it on a daily basis when deciding to repair or replace a particular asset such as a pool heater. It is very important that all repairs get imputed to the software so you can make an informed decision. If anyone has questions about asset tracking software, I would be happy to discuss my experience and knowledge with you.
Dear Soapbox Readers,
Just a reminder, come by the best and newest Petra booth at this year’s IHRSA Trade Show in Orlando! We’ll be handing out special prizes to those who stop by to see us at booth #1249. Get your free passes here when using promo code EXHFL.
Last month we talked membership levels, did you try the “Petra Challenge” to let your members decide what they like best?? Remember, as part of the “Petra Challenge”, we furnish complimentary product to install in both the men’s and women’s shower and vanity areas and we will know within a few days which products the membership prefer. This way your members feel a sense of gratitude that you want to provide the best locker room products available and that you value their opinion. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Again, I would encourage you to implement the same kind of program with other vendors, the cost is typically zero and something so simple can endear your membership in your desire to be a progressive and forward thinking facility. If you have questions or comments, please contact me. As the Soapbox is a forum for all things that help your facility grow and help change the lives of your membership for the better.
Towel Retention Improves Productivity and Your Bottom Line!
Poor towel retention can negatively effect many aspects of day to day operations. This can many times genuinely frustrate members, employees, and managers! Towel retention is an important aspect of running a fitness or health club.
Meet our Contributing Author, Matthew Clayton Anderson, General Manager for Petra Soap, Inc.
Matthew has been a part of the Petra team for 7 years and has spent a decade working in the fitness and healthy club industry over all. Read on to learn about his towel retention research, experience, and recommendations. You can contact Matthew via Email or on LinkedIn.
“Back in 2005, I had a predicament that I had run out of storage space for all of the workout towels that I had inadvertently taken from my local gym. I decided that I would locate all of the towels from my house and return them to the club during my next workout. I thought I should speak to the General Manager of the club, and quickly learned how much theft occurred at my club.
Follow-up research found that most clubs face similar losses when it comes to towels. 80% of towels ordered by clubs in our industry end up leaving the club one way or another. This leaves the wear and tear rate at or below 20%! This seemed insane to me, and so I decided to do something about it.
Fast forward a decade, Petra Hygienic Systems has become the industries leading towel company, and most of our success comes from the AT (anti-theft) Towel System.”
We now have over 100 customers that utilize the AT towel system included LA Fitness, GoodLife Fitness, Gold’s Gym and True Fitness in Singapore. On average, our customers see a better than 40% savings on their annual towel spend because towels are staying in the club.
It has been a fun adventure over the years, and I am proud to have provided a product that helps support the fitness industry and is ultimately good for our environment.”
Dear Soapbox Readers,
Have you experienced a plateauing of your membership levels, or perhaps a decrease in membership? Have you really given thought of how you need to separate your facility from others that seem to be doing it better, offering more programs or equipment options than your facility?
Why have you not given thought to working with your manufacturer representatives? I can’t speak for others but its not uncommon for me to be in at least half a dozen facilities a week. My knowledge base of club facilities allows me to be able to know within 5 minutes of setting foot on the premises if the club is in growth mode or is struggling to make ends meet.
A simple suggestion for your consideration, develop a relationship with a team of manufacturer sales reps, let them provide you an assessment of what you have and what you could implement for a more user friendly facility.
When visiting a facility and I’m asked about suggestions on improving the membership experience, I always start with a facility walkthrough. If the facility is a customer, I’ll make suggestions on areas that could lower their cost but at the same time provide a membership experience that exceeds their expectations. If the facility is not a current Petra products user, I suggest they Take the “Petra Challenge”, let the members decide what they like best, after all, they pay the dues so let them make the decision on what products they find to their liking. The “Petra Challenge”, we furnish complimentary product to install in both the men’s and women’s shower and vanity areas and we will know within a few days which products the membership prefer. This way your members feel a sense of gratitude that you want to provide the best locker room products available and that you value their opinion. It’s a win-win for everyone.
I would encourage you to implement the same kind of program with other vendors, the cost is typically zero and something so simple can endear your membership in your desire to be a progressive and forward thinking facility.
If you have questions or comments, please contact me. As the Soapbox is a forum for all things that help your facility grow and help change the lives of your membership for the better.
– John Mickelson
Join Bill McBride for an IHRSA Webinar This Thursday
February 11, 2016 from 11am to 12pm PST
Transitioning from primarily sales & marketing to programs and results is a big transition. Specialized studios and focused offerings are selling fitness experiences, energy and results. Group camaraderie with HR technology is also proving to be an amazing motivator. Based on the book Unselling by Scott Stratten & Alison Kramer.
What You Will Learn:
- Customer Pulse: Ecstatic, Static, Vulnerable (Not too different from Net Promoter, Neutral, Detractor)
- The problems with “Scrambling To Save” (Cause: Over promising & Under Delivering)
- What Customers Want – They want getting what they pay for
- Great experiences – not only Great, but HERE at our Club/Site
- Feedback requires Action – The Customer Rules. You can’t ask then not respond and address
- Social Media – “The Customer Strikes Back” – Business Problems or Negative Social Media? A lot of a Club’s Social Media problems are really business problems
- Discover how people now buy and learn how to enroll customers
- Explore adaptation versus re-creation
- Gain insight on coaching versus selling
- Learn how to optimize prospect motivation
- Learn how to find & enroll your best customers
- Air Canada versus West Jet
- VP of Operations (all execs should espouse)
- Everybody matters
- 2 planes going to the same place – I’m going with the one that has a better experience
- Carey Smith quote: “You treat your customers and your employees and your vendors all the same with the utmost respect and the utmost care and that will pay you back in spades”
- Treat everyone as your customers. It’s not just about customers
- If something goes wrong, you can talk to vendors, employees and clients to make things work out – Don’t take anything for granted
- Permission Marketing – Seth Godin
Bill is a health club industry veteran with over 25 years of experience leading and managing all aspects of commercial health clubs, medical fitness centers, residential, community, multi-tenant and corporate fitness sites. He co-founded Active Sports Clubs and Active Wellness, LLC and owns a health club consultancy – BMC3. Bill has served as Chairman of the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) Board of Directors, President of the Mid-Atlantic Club Management Association (MACMA) and served on the Industry Advisory Board for the American Council of Exercise (ACE). He is actively engaged as an author on industry education, serves on several Advisory Boards and speaks regularly on industry topics throughout the world.
Welcome to the November Edition of the SoapBox!
First we want to thank all our Donation Nomination participants for sharing their stories with us. Learning about and helping support these wonderful organizations has been a highlight for all of us working on the SoapBox, and we couldn’t do it without you.
Next month we have big, BIG news. We have an offer that has never been provided before. The only hint you’ll get are these four names we think you’ll recognize!
1. Bill McBride
2. Sal Pellegrino
3. Brent Darden
4. Bryan O’ Rourke
Stay tuned next month to see what we have in store! This month, we dive deeper into the technological revolution in the Fitness and Health Club industry with Bryan O’ Rourke.
Thank you all for making this newsletter a success,
John & Katy
How Technology Is Revolutionizing Fitness and the Health Club Industry
By: Bryan O’ Rourke
In his epic work, The Singularity Is Near, author and futurist Ray Kurzweil wrote, “Most long-range forecasts of what is technically feasible in future time periods dramatically underestimate the power of future developments because they are based on what I call the “intuitive linear” view of history rather than the “historical exponential” view.”
Indeed Kurzweil is correct the pace of change is exponential and not linear and therefore the rate of change resulting from technology is accelerating and most leaders do not gauge the impact this will really have. As a result technology sneaks up on us, revolutionizing industries, wrecking havoc on the unprepared while creating glorious opportunities for others.
The fitness and health club industries are no exception. Consider that the modern “health club” industry is only about 50 years old. A lot has changed in the past five decades and the implications to our industry,as a result, are tremendous.
Today we live in a world of constant connectivity, mobile networks, ubiquitous sensors and other technologies that did not exist only a decade ago. Netpulse recently created a great report on the health club of 2020 which demonstrates some of the implications of these technology trends. Access to information about people’s behaviors from sleep and activity levels to mood and food consumption is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Consumers in general are becoming accustomed to solutions and services based on advanced technologies in other industries and they will expect this from fitness and clubs increasingly. Given these realities and what is to come fitness professionals must reconsider everything about their business models not because they should but because their very survival and ultimate success hangs in the balance.
Looking at the music industry is instructive when considering how technology is and will revolutionize fitness and health clubs. The advent of MP3 technology completely changed how people enjoyed music, how it was sold and how musicians could publish their work. Some in the music business still think, however, that a decade of iTunes singles, which digital music made available, killed the music industry. Those that think this way were the “pigs at the trough”, making profits on an inefficient distribution model which rewarded a few at the expense of others. They are the naysayers and pessimist who did not see the silver lining in the dark clouds. By un-tethering music from a rigid distribution model around proprietary formats, music enjoyment and sales exploded. From 2000 to 2010, global growth in live performances and album sales both tripled. The new digital music environment and industry creates opportunities previously unimaginable. Technology grew the pie substantially and will continue to do so for the music business. Parallels exist in health, fitness and wellness. We see the industry tripling in size in the next decade as a result.
Ultimately technologies are great enablers of innovation. During a recent speech at the 2014 HCI-DC conference, author Malcolm Gladwell shared his thoughts, which fitness professionals and leaders need to keep in mind, “Sometimes when we look at innovation we make the mistake of thinking that innovation is specific to an individual invention or device. But all of those [individual] views miss the greatest transformation that’s brought about by technology — and that’s when you bring these various pieces and have them work together in combination — it’s the synergies between these tools that bring about the greatest changes in the world that we live in.” When evaluating the impact of technology on the health, fitness and wellness market professionals must integrate these evolving tools into their innovation efforts because they have the potential to significantly increase the number of people that can be engaged and serviced to adopt healthier lifestyles.
A new world of innovation is emerging in the health club and fitness space right now and substantiates the tsunami of change that is upon our industry. Pure digital service models that provide on-demand coaching like Rise are in the marketplace. Class Pass, which has obtained over $50 Million in venture capital, is now a global mobile booking business for studios, and it did not even exist three years ago. Soul Cycle with its robust mobile app is delivering an outstanding digital – physical consumer experience around their cycling offering.
Meanwhile, the Internet of Everything is driving adoption of low cost connectivity to monitor equipment with solutions like www.myecofit.com, delivering member intelligence and ultimately improving user experience.
How can brands adapt in this current environment of change brought on by technology? A recent report presented by technology solutions provided by Club Excerp, a leading enterprise software provider, addresses this when referencing the role of the CIO in the health club industry (read it here). It includes some compelling thoughts from health club leaders in Europe on the subject of technology and its implications.
- Organization needs leadership that understands the potential available through technology but more importantly that potential must be defined around the member experience.
- Brands need the right partners who understand this new era of technology and can share meaningful insights, advice, options and thoughtful paths to solutions. We are seeing major fitness and health club brands trying to reorient their models or launch completely new models in order to address a changing landscape where consumer experience will determine success or failure.
Regardless of the industry, business model or organization, technology is revolutionizing everything. The fitness and health club industries are no exception. Ultimately technology will grow the marketplace significantly. It is essential that leaders dial into key trends and reflect on their business models and the implications of technologies to their customers. The future belongs to the brave who have a vision of how to make things better using new tools. To be successful in the fitness and health club industry you must be brave and take advantage of the future that has already arrived. Our industry and its success depends on it.
Watch these three video clips which I have prepared in the past year in connection with keynotes delivered around the world on the implication of technology for inspiration:
If I can be of any help to you or your organization please let me know via email@example.com.
About the author: Bryan O’Rourke is an experienced CEO, strategist, and adviser who helps organizations and professionals realize their full potential and solve their biggest challenges. With a track record of building teams and growing global brands, his network of associates and partners have served organizations large and small. His present focus is on fitness, wellness, health clubs, technology, innovation, finance, marketing and business development, but his expertise and consultancy extends to a number of disciplines and industries. He is an owner and CSO of Fitmarc, which serves over 1,000 fitness facilities and over 5,000 instructor professionals. As President of the Fitness Industry Technology Council, he is working to create interoperability standards in the fitness space. He is considered a leading expert on technology, consumer and business trends and his views have been published in periodicals like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Inc. Magazine, and CBI among others. Bryan delivers customized keynotes and strategic working sessions and is a highly sought after speaker and facilitator who has delivered his message at industry conferences and organizational events on four continents. Via his firm Integerus, Bryan advises a number of high profile entrepreneurs, their families and leading brands on a host of business matters both domestically and internationally. To learn more visit bryankorourke.com.
Featured Petra Product of the Month!
Petra’s extensive line of dispensers provides a solution for every need from wall mount to counter top, spray bottles to bag dispensers and foaming soap to lotion dispensers. We offer a wide range of colors custom branded labels, and quick delivery. Ask you Petra representative about our Free Dispenser Program. Learn more >>
Welcome to the September Edition of the SoapBox!
Last month was one our most popular edition! Thank you to all our faithful SoapBox readers, we truly hope you enjoyed hearing the story behind Augie Nieto of Augie’s Quest and finding out about our Donation Nomination winners.
This month, we are diving into WHY we get active.
We want our bodies fit and healthy to prevent illness or injury. To help us introduce this topic, we are very excited to have Brent Darden, IHRSA Past Chairman of the Board, to share his personal story of why staying active is so important to him and his family.
Our Featured Guest
IHRSHA Past Chairman of the Board
‘Why Get Active’ from Brent Darden
Why indeed? The answer seems self-evident to those of us who have made careers founded on the premise of physical activity.
The indisputable evidence and ongoing avalanche of research supporting the benefits of an active lifestyle are endless. Hopefully you have seen, and perhaps even participated, in IHRSA’s “Why Get Active” campaign aimed at helping to reverse the epidemic of physical inactivity. This is a cause I am extremely passionate about. It’s very personal to me. Not only “why” get active, but “how”.
When asked recently to scribble a few words on a small whiteboard to answer this question and pose for a photo with the sign, I was at a loss. Not because I didn’t have an answer, but because my response was so much deeper than I could possibly communicate in such brevity. I could have defaulted to the typical, and very appropriate reasons such as; to stay young, to feel better, to look better, to be healthy, and to manage my stress.
Or, I could have been more pragmatic and shared that I am “scared straight” to exercise because of my genetic predisposition that includes a family history of; high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, gout, shingles, and dementia.
Of course, as a former club owner and current industry consultant, I preach the message of regular exercise – almost always conjoined with the encouragement to join health clubs. After all, our best clubs offer a supportive and empathetic environment filled with resources to help individuals reach their wellness goals. But, to reach the masses of the uncommitted, we must remember that activity itself is the ultimate goal – wherever, whenever, and however it occurs.
As health and fitness professionals, we “know” intellectually (in our mind) that exercise is good for everyone. As human beings, we “feel” instinctively (in our gut) that movement is good for people. To expand our influence, we must realize that as leaders of this effort we need to “show” others (in our heart) that we sincerely care about helping them lead an active life-style. Although as club operators we frequently lament the proliferation of increased competition on all fronts, we hopefully will never lose sight of the stark reality that our offering can not, and will not, be the answer for everyone.
On a very personal level, this idea has been reinforced through those closest to me. I love the health club business and have an affinity in particular for luxury level, multi-purpose clubs, since that has been my background throughout most of my career. Naturally, my family has been afforded the opportunity to use these facilities over the years and have enjoyed the experience. However, over the last year, my two grown sons have moved away and joined a budget club (Planet Fitness), a boutique studio (Yoga), and a training studio (Crossfit). Meanwhile, unable to drive very far from home due to progressing Alzheimer’s, my mother now belongs to a nearby boutique Pilates Studio. All of these offerings once regarded as “lesser” fitness options and relegated to “second class” consideration, are now effectively serving the needs of Very Important People – at least to me. I’m absolutely thrilled that they are all continuing to be active and beyond thankful that the diversification of our great industry is providing such a variety of options.
Herein lies the underlying essence of the Why Get Active campaign – reversing physical inactivity will be accomplished only through meeting individuals where they are, and embracing the broad spectrum of activity through any and all mediums. Together, let’s celebrate the simple victory of activity with as many others as possible!
Featured Petra Product
This is our second installment of five feature products. This month, our feature demonstrates an effective use of technology in the interest of quality service.
Introducing the Anti-Theft Towel System: Developed specifically for the health and fitness industry, this system solves the problem and expense of towel theft at your facility.Through membership and guest compliance, your towel budget will shrink without compromising quality of service. The AT Towel System pays for itself and puts money back into the club…guaranteed.
Learn more >>
Donation Nomination Winner Knight Cancer Institute: You are part of an unstoppable movement against cancer
Earlier this summer, we honored every single one of you at Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland with a domino art installation that read: “One billion dollars raised. We fight cancer differently.” The crowd cheered as 10,000 dominoes fell, one by one, and the word “cancer” collapsed in a heap. Thank you for all you have done for the Knight Cancer Institute. This is merely the beginning. We are moving forward-into new realms of research and discovery. We will take down cancer. Together.
Your Donation Nomination Matters!
It is through your personal and professional networks that we are able to give.
The nonprofit organizations we have been introduced to from all across the West Coast have truly been blessings. Send us the nonprofit story that has touched your life.
If selected, they will receive a $500 donation in your name. Send in your Donation Nomination here.