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Old 03-16-2007, 07:14 PM   #1
Frank DiMeo
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Got the following article off the Fit Commerce website, maybe it will help somebody.
By the way, it's free.
Here's the article
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Health Club Networking Association Launches Aims to Bring Independent Gyms Together for Success

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(03/15/07) Jeff Keller launches a new website, Health Club Networking Association (IHCNA), that allows busy independent gym owners and managers to share success secrets.

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March 15,2007 -- In today's high-pressure health club industry, success is not option; it's a necessity. The only other option is to close the doors and hang up the towel. The trouble is, health club owners/managers spend so much time concerned about the financial success of their facilities, that their true mission to improve the health of the community goes to the back burner.

"We're so focused on getting the deposits in on time, that we lose sight of what's important," said Jeffrey Keller, the President and Founder of the Independent Health Club Networking Association (IHCNA). "We can't develop new strategies, programs, and incentives when we're in the back room counting singles from a vending machine.



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"We can't develop new strategies, programs, and incentives when we're in the back room counting singles from a vending machine."
-- Jeffrey Keller, President and Founder, IHCNA

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Jeff Keller (above) is a health club manager with a unique viewpoint of how the web can enable independent gyms to cooperate and share vital information. So, he founded IHCNA. The trouble is that as independent club owners and managers we don't have the time…we don't have centralized marketing departments or huge ad budgets or the ability to outsource some of the time consuming activities like the commercial chains. We just don't have the financial resources." Hence the creation of the IHCNA.
Measuring up to the Big Guys
The Independent Health Club Networking Association is the inspiration of Jeffrey Keller. After finishing his business degree and accepting a general manager's position at a club outside Houston, Texas, Mr. Keller noticed that independent health clubs were not necessarily in competition with each other.

"Independent health clubs most often are geographically isolated from each other. They pull from different geographic markets, hence they don't really compete with each other for success," states Mr. Keller. "So why shouldn't they too collaborate?"

The Birth of a New Way of Thinking
So what's the solution? It is the sharing and consolidation of information throughout the Internet. IHCNA brings an advantage to the fingertips of an independent club's management. The IHCNA acts as a data warehouse and point of contact for independent clubs.

It will be conducting surveys, collecting links, finding preferred suppliers, and sharing what works. A newsletter will be emailed to all members monthly, sharing ideas submitted, new products that have debuted, new literature published, and results from surveys.

All of it for FREE with the participation in the organization's collection of "What Works". You share, the organization shares. By collaborating on best practices, independent clubs can level the playing field. It's that simple!
Passing the Word
The challenge with any network is participation. No matter how noble the idea, without participation, a network will fail. Recently, the IHCNA has partnered with FitCommerce.com to spread the word of the benefits of membership.

"It is our hope that FitCommerce's customers and site traffic will notice the IHCNA, and in turn will join the IHCNA if it is applicable to them," states Mr. Keller. "FitCommerce has enormous traffic and respect in the health club community, which means its site visitors are serious about learning what's new."

With the added visibility, the IHCNA hopes its membership will continue to grow and each new member will bring something new to share with the network. "If each member had only one original idea to share, that's hundreds of ideas out there that each member can walk away from the organization with. Just imagine the possibilities."


About IHCNA
IHCNA.org is an online collaborative network of independent health club owners and managers. This organization is designed to provide information and access to each other. It does not sell a thing. What it does provide is a chance to learn more about being successful from others who are also trying to be successful. The organization is FREE and open to owners, general managers, fitness managers, recreation center managers, hospital wellness managers, sales/membership managers, operations managers, and other similar capacity professionals. For more information, please visit www.ihcna.org.


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