Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Mature Market: Why Baby Boomers Are Good for Business


BABY BOOMERS


Making Business Boom


In 2012 the oldest baby boomers are turning 67, the youngest by some definitions 48. 

If we think back to the fitness boom and the real birth of the personal training industry in the 1980s and 1990s, it was fueled by boomers in their then 30s and 40s.

The fitness industry has continued to stay focused on youth, while the mature market that first created demand for it, is now often an afterthought.

So why is the segment of the marketplace that has the greatest need for personal training, and has the most financial resources often overlooked entirely by the fitness industry?  And what should one do to tap into this ever growing untapped market?



Change your Fitness Focus


Broadening your client base by working with Boomers may be an easy decision, but it requires careful consideration and proper preparation.

You will need to change the way you think about your business model.  This applies whether you manage a facility or work as an individual service provider.  You will also need to gain the fitness experience and skills needed to deliver safe and effective programming.

Here are a few things to consider relating to the fitness and business of Boomers :

On the fitness side you need to:
  • Become skilled at training mature clients for health and functional outcomes
  • Gain credentials and expertise in exercise as a tool for disease prevention and management
  • Specialize in one or more areas of concern to older adults (e.g. Balance and Fall Prevention; Post-Rehabilitation)
  • Learn advanced assessments for function, balance, health, posture and more
  • Run Small Group Training Programs in addition to 1-1 training

On the business side you need to:
  • Tailor your facility (look, feel, equipment, staff) to attract and serve this market
  • Learn contemporary lead generation strategies
  • Establish a strong digital presence online including an email opt-in for a free "resource" (report, video, assessment, training, etc.)
  • Use social media such as Facebook, email, and blogging to establish a relationship with potential clients
  • Develop a strong closing script reflecting the values of the mature adult
  • Offer long-term (6 mo or more) training programs built on recurring revenue (monthly EFT)
  • Provide excellent customer service

You can create a secure future filled with financial and lifestyle freedom but you've got to be willing to be different from all the other trainers around you.

Think twice about the 20 and 30 year old clientele that everyone else is going after. Set yourself apart by focusing on the fast-growing 55+ population. 

They're here. They've got the money. They're interested in staying healthy.

Are you ready for them?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Ritchie PhD, CSCS, HFI-ACSM  Dan has a broad background in the fitness industry including training and management in commercial and university/hospital-based fitness, for-profit, not-for-profit and educational facilities. His primary areas of expertise are in personal training for special populations: athletes, pregnancy, blind, stroke recovery, Parkinsons, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, Fibromyalgia, Alzheimers, etc. He has worked with Division I athletes some of whom have been professionally drafted. He has also worked on state funded research on exercise for severe dementia alzheimer's type. He regularly presents at national and regional conferences and has been active on committees for the American College of Sports Medicine. In May of 2008 he completed his Ph.D. in Health and Kinesiology, with a minor in Gerontology at Purdue University.


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