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Health and Fitness Facilities: NSF Standard WITHDRAWN!

If you have been following this story, you know that this is REALLY big news!

In this month, we’ve been talking about raising the bar in the fitness industry, with regards to education, training, and professional practice.  Of particular interest were the standards for the education, training, and certification of Personal Trainers.  Given the timing, I think it’s appropriate to talk about health and fitness facilities and the recent announcement that NSF International has withdrawn the NSF 341 Health/Fitness Facilities Standard.

NSF 341 was introduced a couple of years ago with the intent on establishing standards for the operation of fitness clubs.  According to an article published by Club Industry, “[the fitness club] industry is in the process of creating a standard for a voluntary certification that some people see as crucial to establishing the legitimacy of the industry. The goal of the standard, some in the industry say, is to help make fitness clubs a more respected resource in the eyes of the public.”   

Of course, none of us would argue about that in theory.  However, since NSF 341 was introduced and published for public comment, many concerns regarding the development of the Standard have been brought to light.  Of greatest concern was that the group that created the Standard was not representative of the industry and didn’t reflect the needs, interests, and concerns of the different professionals, businesses, educational organizations and certification groups.  In fact, some felt that the group itself was not at all inclusive and created a Standard that served the interests of those who were invited to participate.

So, fast forward— after the Standard was presented for approval and went out for public comment, it was eventually withdrawn.   I recommend you read the full article in this edition of Club Industry. 

My take-away, and I hope the lesson learn–is that WE ALL must be involved, engaged, and informed.  Had this Standard been accepted and implemented (or enforced!)  many could have lost their jobs.  Clubs could have possibly been forced to shut their doors.  The potential impact is significant!  We cannot be passive observers in our industry and our profession.  We must stay involved and participate in the process of shaping our industry!

Are you involved, informed, and engaged?  Read the full article and let me know what YOU think about it!    

AND PLEASE –Register for our upcoming webinar to discuss important and time-sensitive industry issues.  You don’t want to miss this one–but space is limited!

Webinar Title: Professional Standards Past, Present and Future For A Self Regulated Fitness Industry.

When: Sept 18, 2014 3:00 PM EDT

Register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1464586132956497921

 

 

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Space Is Limited: REGISTER TODAY! Professional Standards for A Self-Regulated Fitness Industry

Make sure you register for our upcoming webinar to discuss important and time-sensitive industry issues.  You don’t want to miss this one–but space is limited!

Webinar Title: Professional Standards Past, Present and Future For A Self Regulated Fitness Industry.

When: Sept 18, 2014 3:00 PM EDT

Register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1464586132956497921

 

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Personal Trainer Certification: What Does it Mean?

Our focus this month is on professional standards in the fitness industry.  In any credible profession, there should be a “path” one must follow to become “certified” and steps to ensure that anyone calling themselves “certified” has the requisite qualifications, education, and training.  This seems like a pretty simple, undisputed concept.  However, it does not reflect the reality of the fitness industry.

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Raising the Bar! (not barbell!) Fitness Industry Standards!

[caption id="attachment_209" align="aligncenter" width="547"]We're calling the fitness industry to raise the bar when it comes to certification requirements. We’re calling the fitness industry to raise the bar when it comes to certification requirements.[/caption]

Tomorrow is Labor Day!  We are about 6 weeks away from the 4th Annual Personal Trainer Summit at the Club Industry 2014 Convention in Chicago.  This is a perfect time to reflect on where we are as an industry, and a profession—and how far we still need to go!
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Facebook: Not Just for Friends!

shoestringThis month we’ve been talking about marketing strategies—but specifically, how to market on a shoestring budget.    As we discussed, we may not have much time or money to focus on our marketing efforts, but without at least some investment, how can we expect any return?  The key is to come up with ways to market to your clients and prospective clients in a way that helps meet your business goals, while staying within your time and funding budget.

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Fitness Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

[caption id="attachment_188" align="alignnone" width="625"]Shoestring marketing is easier than you might think! You just need to have a goal and create a plan. Shoestring marketing is easier than you might think! You just need to have a goal and create a plan.[/caption]

Most fitness professionals start their mornings by getting dressed and lacing up their shoes. They live in a world dominated by sneakers rather than loafers and heels. Those shoestrings are important for more than just getting dressed for the day however; they also tend to represent just about every aspect of fitness marketing. Shoestring budgets, shoestring staffing and shoestring timelines are all part of the plan for everyone from management to trainers.

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When You’re Selling: You’re Educating!

[caption id="attachment_171" align="aligncenter" width="625"]From start to finish-- personal trainers are EDUCATING their clients From start to finish– personal trainers are EDUCATING their clients[/caption]

This month we’ve been focusing on different ways to improve our selling skills. We may be the best personal trainer in our club or community; we may know every muscle in the human body and how to strengthen those muscles; but if we don’t know how to sell and get clients to use our services—all of our knowledge will go to waste.

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When You’re Selling—You’re HELPING!

[caption id="attachment_171" align="aligncenter" width="625"]Keeping in mind your goal in gaining customers is to help them reach their goals can make it easy to push yourself toward being a better salesperson. Keeping in mind your goal in gaining customers is to help them reach their goals can make it easy to push yourself toward being a better salesperson.[/caption]

In our last blog we discussed overcoming our phobia of sales and recognizing that sales is actually about helping and educating. As fitness professionals, many of us followed this career path because we want to HELP others. So, by realizing that we are not “selling” in the traditional sense of the word, but HELPING, we can become more comfortable with this essential part of our job.

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So You Think You Want to be an Entrepreneur?

Think about when you decided to become a Personal Trainer or a Group Exercise Instructor?
What did you do?

My guess is that first you did some research to find out what was required.
You then found out that you had to become certified. So you then researched the different certifications available.
After comparing and contrasting, asking around, finding the best ones for you, you signed up!
You then took a class, studied, practiced, and then took an exam!

So, now that you are certified, you begin your amazing career. You either work at a club, or another type of facility—or maybe you decide to start your own business. If you’re like most, you then realize that there was nothing in your fitness training certification that prepared you to be a successful business person. You struggle, you feel discouraged, you wonder if this was the right career path for you.

Please don’t get discouraged! You are not alone. So many of us struggle with trying to figure out how to make money doing what we love!

My suggestion: Take the same approach as you took when you wanted to become a fitness professional.

1. Research: Talk to successful entrepreneurs. See what has made them successful. Learn from them. Ask them to become your mentor.
2. Educate: Educate yourself on what it means to be an entrepreneur. Take a class on business management, finance, sales, and marketing.
3. Research some more! Once you have some guidance and education, research the business opportunities, define your business goals, and develop a strategic plan.
4. Commit: Commit, commit, commit! Your time, your energy, your resources! It takes blood, sweat, and tears!

You have what it takes! You have the passion!

If you are already a success business person and entrepreneur, please share your ideas and tips with us! We’d love to hear from you!

To find out about the W.I.T.S. Fitness Business Institute (FBI) and online courses in sales, marketing, business, and management, visit http://www.witseducation.com/business-institute/