In our April 23, 2012, post, “Create your own path,” we encouraged business owners to focus on their customers’ needs, not on what their competitors were doing. You can be in what appears to be the same business as someone else, but chances are you have totally different clients/customers.
In our community, we have just such a situation occurring with two fitness clubs/gyms. We will attempt to contrast the features of each gym without promoting one over the other. Gym No. 1 has significantly more members, extended operating hours, many cardio machines, free weights and exercise machines, amenities like tanning booths and massage chairs, limited group training, and an attractive low monthly fee. Gym No. 2 has fewer members, some machines and free weights, and lots of group training options — some included in the monthly fee and others offered for an additional fee. Gym No. 2 is affiliated with a physical therapy (PT) clinic, which refers many members to the gym to participate in classes designed to promote an active lifestyle for life. Gym No. 2 refers its members to the PT clinic, too. We do not have official demographics, but the average age of Gym No. 2’s members would appear to be higher.
We have not seen any financial data on either gym, but it seems as though both are successful, even though they have two entirely different approaches.
Is your business designed to give your clients/customers what they want? Do you know what they want — or are you copying one of your competitors?