Updated September 26, 2022

Programming is the heartbeat for many fitness facilities. New programming should be implemented to keep members engaged and to bring new members into your doors. If your programming is going stale and not bringing in members, now is the time to revisit, revamp, and reenergize. We are here to help.

Programming includes everything between classes offered for 6 weeks to an annual fun run you open up to the community. You can focus programming on young adults, seniors, kids, or focus on equipment in your facility. Sometimes we can get stuck on how we define “programming”. We are here to help get your own creative ideas pumping with a jump start.

Last year we created a 50+ point list of New and Unique Programming Ideas. Our list has now increased to over 70 ideas! Did you get your hands on the list last year? Have you implemented new programming in 2022? This is one of your NIHCA benefits that should be utilized on a regular basis to keep things fresh.

NIHCA members, give us a call and we will rush to get this benefit to your inbox so that you can start implementing fresh ideas at your facility. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a NIHCA member, please give us a call, we would love the opportunity to talk with you today, (320) 722-0084!

October 25, 2021

NIHCA Knows how important programming is to your revenue. New and unique programming can keep your members engaged but it is also an amazing opportunity to bring in new members, to connect with your community, and to increase revenue.  In 2020, our fitness family was hit with an immediate need to find programming that would work with new restrictions. Many facilities came through and found great ways to stay connected with their members when the facility was closed. We want to see you succeed with programming that works in the long run and that is sustainable.

One of the many benefits of a NIHCA membership now includes access to a 50+ point list of New and Unique Programming Ideas. The list includes programming for all four seasons and both indoor and outdoor activities.

If you are a NIHCA member and would like to get a copy of this list, give us a call at (320) 722-0084. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a NIHCA member, please click here for more information and give us a call, we would love the opportunity to talk with you today!

Generating Revenue Above Membership Dollars

August 16th, 2022

You own/manage a fitness business and in order to continue to thrive, your bottom line needs to stay out of the red and we are here to help you find ways to create more cushion to that bottom line. We have heard our members talking about how they need to increase membership sales to keep up with expenses. NIHCA believes that increasing membership sales should always be at the top of your priority list. As a National Independent Health Club Association, we also believe it is important to find alternative ways for you to increase your revenue. We asked the NIHCA Networking Group how they increase their revenue outside of membership sales.

  • Rentals are by far the number one response we received on how to increase revenue.
    • Building Rental
    • Space Rental for parties or gatherings
    • Locker Rental
  • Offering additional classes can be a great way to bring in fresh ideas, new memberships, and increase your revenue. You can contract with instructors and personal trainers rather than hire staff. Offer class rates where your members pay an additional fee to attend classes. If you need ideas, reach out to NIHCA for a copy of our Unique Programming Ideas list.
  • This can include Swim Lessons, Personal Training, Weight Training, CPR Classes, etc.
  • Special Events. Host a 5k for a small entry fee. Host a challenge with a group entry fee.
  • You can sell marketing items such as sweatshirts, t-shirts, or towels. Offer small toiletries for sale.
  • Testing Services or Measurement Services. Charge a fee for a body composition scan or to record accurate measurements for your members.

We hope that these suggestions will help you think outside of the box on ways to increase revenue at your fitness center. Do you have additional revenue avenues; email them to us at


~”It’s not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin

Handling Conduct Issues

July 21, 2022

There is something to be said about good behavior, but bad behavior is talked about more often. Being a new manager or director comes with the responsibility of discipline. As a manager, do you feel like a High School Principal at times? It isn’t just young adults or older kids; how is it adults can behave so immaturely?  If you need a chuckle, keep your eyes out for “You Can’t Make This Up” tidbits in our newsletters.

We have asked our members how they handle conduct issues. Here is a list that you may find inspiration from when you need to try a new tactic:

  • Fines! Start fining your members for their misbehaviors
  • Give the member on option of paying the fine you assigned to them or involving the local police
  • Signed Code of Conduct by every facility attendee (each family member on the membership and every guest who uses the facility)
  • Clear guidelines need to be available to new members, throughout the facility, and in your policies and procedures
  • Include data of incidents right on the membership profile within your software
  • Conduct an in-person meeting for any and all incidents!
  • Have the member who sponsored/referred the member/violator reach out to the violator on the first incident if it occurs within the first 4 weeks of membership
  • Termination of membership with violation of rules

We would always hope that we live in a society where we do not have to deal with handling of misconduct. However, we know these tips will help you be strong in the circumstances to keep your facility and members safe.


~”We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weights ounces while regret weighs tons.” – Jim Rohn

Collections and Cancellations

June 23, 2022

There are many benefits to owning and running a fitness facility but there are some really tough aspects as well, like collections. When many of our members gathered for the 2022 NIHCA Spring Conference and Exhibit Expo we talked to each other about collections. There was concern from some clubs about how long to wait for payment and when to take action. We have gathered that information for you!

The biggest take away that we want to emphasize were the wise words of a facility, “Be Strong and people will adjust”. On average, most facilities wait anywhere from 1-3 months before they cancel the membership due to non-payment. Automatic payments from a bank account are much more reliable than monthly billing or automatic credit card payments. Check with your software because there are some systems that will automatically rebill if payment is not completed after 5 business days!

The most important thing to do is communicate! We recommend Call, Call, Email, Call and this should be repeated 2-3 times. The manager should be reaching out if someone at your facility has not been assigned to this task. There are options to send past due collections to an outside agency, however, many of these will take 30-40% of the recouped funds.

Use which method works best for your facility and circumstances, but if your current practices are not bringing in those collections, we recommend you give another method a try. Do not forget to update your policy and procedures!


~”There are three kinds of people: the haves, the have-nots, and the have-not-paid-for-what-they-haves!” – Earl Wilson

Post Pandemic Numbers and Good News

June 16th, 2022

Spring of 2020 brought many of us to breaking points. We were thrown into these so-called learning opportunities that we would’ve preferred never to have experienced. But here we are two years later with our heads held high and pushing to be better than ever before. We have learned from the experience and we are here to tell you that there is “good” in the numbers. We have heard your words, your concerns, and your stories. We listened. We want to highlight the positives because sometimes in life, it isn’t about the answers, but about the opportunities.

  • Many facilities are back to 75-80% pre-COVID memberships. The great news is that with these membership numbers, the facilities daily usage has increased from pre-COVID.
  • Many of the memberships that were cancelled were members who did not use the facility but had continued paying their membership dues prior to 2020. There was a lot of agreement that the current memberships include good, new members and dedicated/active long-term members.
  • Facilities started looking at their membership rates, as some of them had not been updated in over 5 years!
  • Facilities took the down time in 2020/2021, to cut revenue if it was costing them additional staffing issues and wear-and-tear on the facility. Clubs took the opportunity to make some overdue changes and some tough decisions that in the end helped them stay afloat and grow.

Keep your eyes and ears on your market and watch the trends in the fitness industry. What is working today may get you by tomorrow but might hold you back in the years ahead.

 ~”Don’t get stuck in the past, use it to fuel your future” -Unknown

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