Now in its second year, the Australian Fitness Industry Survey (AFIS), developed, conducted and published by direct debit service provider Ezypay, provides accurate data on the fitness club industry from the perspectives both of club owners and managers, and their members.
This year saw the introduction of the club members’ survey which provides additional data and establishes the real thoughts, feelings and perceptions of fitness club members.
Life Fitness CEO Paul McClure supports this year’s survey, saying,
The 2009 survey received 135 per cent more responses than last year. Like last year, 80 per cent of respondents were owners or senior managers of the facilities. Six hundred and twenty owners and managers of health and fitness clubs across Australia completed the 2009 AFIS, answering questions on areas including club ownership, staff salaries, group fitness, club and industry concerns, sales and marketing, finance, membership agreements and pricing.
This year the club members also had their say and they did so in their thousands. The response was huge with 7,000 members completing the survey and over 2,000 members taking the time to make individual comments.
The survey reported that the local fitness club market is very competitive, with 20% of clubs having ten or more local competitors within a 10-minute drive radius. Differentiation would be a key solution in such a competitive market and one way would be to offer a high customer service model compared with a no-contact model as used by some of the larger chains.
The members reiterate this point with 51 per cent of members saying they reached their goals due to advice given by the club as opposed to employing the additional services of a personal trainer.