Dave Wright is the CEO & owner of Creative Fitness Marketing & is also the owner of 7 health clubs, with sizes ranging from 5-20,000 square feet & membership bases ranging from 1,300 to 5,000 per club.
He is also the Creator and CEO of MYZONE® - a Physical Activity Heart Rate Monitor and system used to monitor, motivate, evidence and increase exercise adherence.
DAVE, BETWEEN YOUR MULTIPLE BUSINESSES & FAMILY LIFE, YOU HAVE A LOT GOING ON! WHAT IS THE SECRET TO JUGGLING ALL OF THIS?
It’s all about great people executing on proven systems. With all of my businesses, I always try and understand what I can about particular sections of the business to a point that I can then hand it over to someone else who is far more capable to execute it.
From a CFM perspective I can still remember the first club that I sold memberships for- the first tele-marketing call centre that I set up- the first corporate outreach that I achieved and the first sale that I didn’t get. It’s also important to help guide great people to be able to take responsibility and make decisions without much micro management.
MANY OPERATORS IN THE INDUSTRY HAVE A HIGH EMPLOYEE TURNOVER, ESPECIALLY WITH THEIR PERSONAL TRAINERS. AT CFM THIS IS QUITE THE OPPOSITE, WITH A LARGE NUMBER OF LONG-STANDING EMPLOYEES IN THE COMPANY. DO YOU HAVE ANY INSIGHT INTO THIS?
Not many companies have been in the business for 5 years let alone 30 years (we celebrated 30 years for CFM in 2020) and we have always stood by the moto of “Work hard, Play hard, act with professionalism’. So we want our staff to have fun with what they do and also to share in the upside of the companies success.
But remuneration aside, people want to have a level of autonomy to know that they can make a difference and that they are not just a cog in the wheel. But it also helps in that we have a business that changes lives- and nothing can be more satisfying than knowing that you are changing lives every single day.
TALKING OF RETENTION, YOU WORK WITH THOUSANDS OF HEALTH CLUB OPERATORS AROUND THE GLOBE. WHAT COMMONALITIES HAVE YOU SEEN WITH THOSE THAT HAVE THE BEST MEMBER RETENTION LEVELS?
Without a shadow of doubt the clubs with the greatest member retention are those that have the deepest relationships with their members. It’s those clubs that make people feel that they belong to a club and that they are not just a number or a direct debit run.
I often say that you can have all the tech in the world, but if you can’t say hello and goodbye to a member that walks in or out your door and engage in a meaningful conversation with them, then it’s not worth anything. This is why family gyms are the ones that have some of the best retention irrespective of the age of their equipment.