Bruce Carter, President of Optimal Design Systems International, discusses some key renovation tips.
How To Create an Inexpensive Facelift For Your Club
By: Bruce Carter
You know you need to keep your club inviting and exciting. It is so easy for people to get bored with exercise, and we must face the fact that many people hate exercise in the first place. It is so important to keep thinking of ways to keep your club stimulating and motivating people to join and keep coming back for more. Therefore, the question is, “What can I do to make positive changes to my club without spending much?”
To get the best direction on this question, it is best to first prioritize where a facelift might be needed the most and then what to do to get the most “bang for the buck” changes.
Here is the step-by-step approach to take:
- 1. If you can, come up with an amount you want to spend. It will surprise you how much you can accomplish for a few dollars.
- 2. Which areas need improvement the most, relative to what areas will have the most impact with a facelift? Maybe your spinning room needs attention the most, but your entry area could also be improved. Go for the most impact for the dollar. How many people will see the spinning room changes as compared to all members seeing the improvement in the entry area? This is especially true when you only have a little to spend.
- 3. When was the last time you made a change? How expensive was it? Did those changes give you maximum positive feedback? Any change should get a good amount of positive feedback.
- 4. If it applies, are you remembering to consider the exterior of your space or building?
- 5. Once you zero in on the area or areas you want to focus on, then proceed to the inexpensive options to consider.
The following are the four most impactful, yet most cost effective ways to create an inexpensive facelift. Even $5,000 – $20,000 can make a noticeable difference depending on the size of the club.
Paint – The most effective and most inexpensive way to make a noticeable change. If you have almost all white or a plain color, then plan to add quite a bit of color. The change will be dramatic. If you have a lot of color, then plan to change those to different colors. Or, you can go to a common base color, such as white or cream, and then add strong accent colors in a few places.
The goal is to get a lot of attention but not for the wrong reasons. Too much of too many different bright colors can overwhelm most people. Colors like red, orange, purple are great for accents but not for a lot of coverage on large walls. Black will reduce the appearance of the size of your space (that is why people are told to wear black to make them look thinner). If you are considering painting your ceiling black, it will get attention but will reduce the “energy” and feeling of spaciousness in your space, not a goal for exercise areas where people need all the energy they can get. Earth colors in general are good; tans, yellows, oranges, browns,
blues and greens.
Lighting – The type of lighting that can make a positive change in appearance, yet keep the costs down, are referred to as accent lighting. This includes wall sconces, hanging drum lights, pendant lighting and accent lighting, such as track lighting. If you go online and type in any of these lighting types, you will have a wide range of items to choose from, and all can be found at very reasonable prices. Used throughout the club, such as drum lights in the lobby, pendants above the front desk, wall sconces (on dimmers) in group exercise and wall sconces next to individual mirrors above sinks in locker rooms can add much. Track lighting is great to accent areas such as a new logo sign or graphics.
Graphics, Wall Murals, Banners – This is primarily photography type graphics that are “lifestyle” oriented. Fitness oriented graphics have been used for years, such as someone doing a curl or cycling in a spin class. Most of these are outdated and often intimating to de-conditioned people. Look for people biking or running in the woods, doing yoga on the beach, hiking, wind surfing, pictures that “sell the dream” of what people would love to do. Try: istockphoto.com, shutterstock.com or art.com to find an unlimited number of options. The banners can be photos or just colorful motivational sayings or words hung in the exercise area and especially good in higher ceiling spaces.
Wall murals (such as 12′ x 8′ size) can provide a big impact for an area such as workout areas, entries to locker rooms and group exercise rooms. These can be scenes of the woods, bamboo forest, lakes and the beach. People love to be active outdoors in beautiful places, so bring the beautiful places in to your club with these types of murals. It is best to select murals that look like people are stepping into or walking by an area, so a long range mountain view is not a good choice but a scene in the woods would be. Try: muralsuperstore.com.
Furnishings and Plants – This would include the lobby and any area where members and potential members sit, including a possible sales area. The goal is to improve your social areas and provide comfortable places for people to sit. It is suggested to add some simple seating, such as ottomans outside the group exercise area for people to wait for a class. As a side note, stay away from couches because people are not comfortable sitting next to other people they do not know, and one large (and sweaty) member can make a couch a poor use of space and dollars, so stick with individual seating.
Try and make your lobby a little private, and often, it is as simple as adding a few plants (real or silk) to create a more inviting area. Make sure that, if potential members sit in an area to get presented for membership, it is a beautiful and impressive experience. Once again, going online can result in a number of lower cost options for both plants and furniture.
There are a number of other things that can be done to improve a club’s appearance with a facelift. Resurfacing a reception desk with new laminate, new tile in locker rooms, new flooring in the lobby and much more. However, there are a number of inexpensive changes that will make a surprising uplifting statement for your club. Making regular changes can be a very strong “asset” to your overall marketing and sales program.
As published on clubinsideronline.com, September 2013.