Equipping Your Facility. Part 3

Type of facility

Before purchasing equipment,DeMars advises owners toask themselves, “Who am I trying to attract to my facility?” A gym that caters to bodybuilders, for example, will focus on strength equipment, while a fitness facility that is more mainstream will need to feature more cardio. Treadmills have the widest appeal, but elliptical trainers are a close second, according to Musselman, who says members are preferring elliptical trainers over stairsteppers. People in their 20s like to useclimbers, so be sure to offerthese if you want to attract a young, cutting-edge crowd. Seniors and deconditioned members like recumbent bikes, so including these in your facility can draw people in during off-hours.

Manufacturer and equipment reputation

Before buying equipment, make sure that the company and its equipment are reputable.One way to accurately gauge the reputation of a certain manufacturer is to ask for referrals. Calling gym owners and asking about their experiences with a certain company can provide insight into manufacturers’ products and customer service. Most high-level equipment today is a good product, says DeMars: “Equipment choices are getting better and better. We’ve surpassed the learning curve [and] have a lot of fine equipment to choose from.” Musselman says, “It comes down to a sales relationship. Buy from people you’re comfortable with.” DeMars suggests that buyers avoid equipment that hasn’t been in the field for awhile and proven how it will hold up. He says thatowners should ask, “What does it take to keep this equipment in line with serving customers? Is it a maintenance and cleaning nightmare?”

Maintenance. While it may initiallybe cheaper to shop around and obtain the best possible price for each type of equipment, this could prove more expensive in the long run, says Stauble: “You have to consider the number of manufacturers you want maintenance workers to have to deal with…. If you’re just using your budget, you could end up with six manufacturers.” By paying a littlemore for some pieces, you can keep the brands consistent and only have to train workers in equipment from these companies. He also advises that owners follow the “two or none rule,” and purchase at least two of each piece of equipment for comparison during maintenance. Customers also like camaraderie: They like to work out together.

Another maintenance issue is upkeep. Will it cost you more to maintain a cheaper piece of equipment than an initially more expen sive piece?

Time availability. How fast can the manufacturer deliver? If you are operating on a tight deadline, this could be your most important issue.

Brand awareness.If you have a small budget, make sure you purchase a few brand-name pieces to give your gym credibility. “Brand awareness is important,” says Musselman. “You absolutely want a brand name.” He recommends that small-budget facilities buy at least some brand-name equipment. Be careful, though, Musselman warns: Sometimes members “squabble” over certain pieces of equipment, especially if you offer just a few brand-name pieces.

On the other hand, as long as some of the equipment is well-known, members will be satisfied. “What matters to members is their time,” according to Musselman. “If I come to a gym at eight o’clock on a Monday night, I want to get on a treadmill, and I could care less what brand it is,” he says. The “ability to get on a machine and get out of a gym,” says Musselman, is a great marketing tool. To ensure adequate access for the most popular equipment, he says, “I always recommend buying eight by a ‘no-name’ rather than two brand-name pieces.”

A house improvement just like kitchen remodelers it is a successful, great manner to increase value of home and modernize place which you, your family use and see each day.

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