One promising new market that fitness instructors should consider nowadays is within the realm of employee wellness, including corporate fitness.
There has been an increased demand for employee wellness programs as of late due to the very fact that unhealthy, and subsequently less productive employees are very costly!
Health insurance agency Vitality, with the help of researchers from Cambridge University, RAND Europe and Mercer Vitality conducted an extensive survey, entitled Britain’s Healthiest Workplace Survey, which about brought some alarming conclusions.
According to the analysis of the survey, the UK loses about £ 73 billion a year on employee illness, including absenteeism and presenteeism ( being physically present at work , but with reduced productivity rates due to illness), forfeiting over a month of each year to lost productivity.
Enter corporate wellness programs. These scary statistics are pushing business policy makers to incorporate employee wellness into their core business strategies, rather than offer health and lifestyle perks as an added benefit. For this reason, employee wellness is now an industry worth £33.39 billion, globally.
Vitality also went on to suggest that effective employee wellness programs which work to reduce employee illness rates could reduce the average employee absenteeism rate to below the current average of 27.5 days a year.
Fitness professionals are now been sought after by both corporations themselves as well as by employee wellness companies hired by corporations, who are looking to sub-contract some of these relevant services.
CORPORATE FITNESS VS COMMERCIAL FITNESS
You will need to gain a deep understanding of how corporate fitness differs from commercial fitness and how you can position yourself as a real contender in this market.
Some key things to note about the corporate fitness/wellness industry:
- Your clients are not just the people you offer your professional fitness services to, but rather their employers and their managers. You will be approaching and accountable to those who decide company policy and budget.
- Business executives will view your services as any other business investment, investing the sole intention, directly and directly of ultimately improving their bottom line.
- The logistical needs of large-scale employee fitness can be costly to get started and to work as a freelancer. You will have to choose your business scale accordingly. Other options may include taking on smaller scale companies or to be hired by more established corporate wellness companies as a be sub-contractor.
- The mind-set of your prospective trainees and employees may differ from that of commercial clients with regard to motives. They may feel obligated to partake in these programs by upper management, rather than through their own initiative. Instead, they may be more motivated by the fringe benefits the company offers them by participating in employee fitness.
DEVELOPING YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY-PLAN OF ACTION
STEP ONE: RESEARCH, RESEARCH , RESEARCH-KNOW YOUR PROSPECTIVE CLIENTELLE
You will need to conduct in-depth research regarding this industry in general, developing a thorough understanding of the modus operandi of employee wellness, including the current needs, the concerns.
Additional and specific research will also be needed for each prospective company/client you approach.
STEP TWO: KNOW WHAT YOUR RESOURCES ARE
Employee fitness, on a logistical level, can work in a number of ways. Some companies are equipped with their own training and monitoring facilities or have access to these things by their very nature.
Other times, it may be up to you to plan and provide these.
Knowing what your resources are and what you are able to attain will have a huge impact on your business model as well as your prospective clientele.
STEP THREE: MAKE YOUR BUSINESS PLAN
Once you have conducted your research thoroughly and decided on your scale, it is now time to start putting this business idea together and presenting yourself as a corporate wellness fitness professional.
It is time to finalize:
- Your business name and branding
- Business website and social media aimed especially at corporates
- Products, packages and options
- Business Policies
STEP FOUR: GO OUT AND PITCH
Once you are fully kitted-up, it is time to work on finding clients.
You will need to secure meeting with your prospective clients- key policy makers in companies, which provide medical compensation to their staff.
Your pitch will be a more detailed presentation of the following:
- The need for employee wellness, including statistics and financial figures, detailing the costs of ill employees with preventable lifestyle diseases.
- How employee wellness programs, including your professional fitness services can prevent these lifestyle-induced ailments.
- The potential financial benefits, short term and long term, in investing in such a product and service- talk numbers. You need to prove that your services can ultimately improve a company’s bottom line!
- The logistics of how you will operate the services you will offer, when and how. Have an exact plan(s). Prove that your services are convenient and feasible.
- Mention how your product and services can be catered to their specific needs.
STEP FIVE: HAVE A GREAT MARKETING STRATEGY
Developing marketing and social media strategies are skill sets of their own.
The main aims of your marketing strategy are to:
- Create awareness among your prospective market about the needs for your services as well as your ability to provide them.
- Expand your customer base by using marketing and social media to expand the reach of your message.
- Establish yourself as a viable brand and build customer trust and loyalty.
- Have the relevant material ready. The basics include a website, detailing all your relevant information and contact details.
- Get listed in business journals, health clubs and online. It is a good idea to invest in SEO to ensure you rank well for those searching for corporate wellness/ employee fitness and related keywords.
Venturing in to the increasingly competitive realm of employee wellness and corporate fitness will indeed take some adjustment, but if you are smart about, you can hit gold as a fitness professional.
About the author
Josh Douglas-Walton is a health and fitness writer for HFE, the UK’s leading provider of personal training courses and the industry’s most popular Pilates instructor course. In his spare time, he’s a keen marathon runner and frequently uses yoga and Pilates to supplement his training.