Category Archives: marketing

Find Your YMCA MoJo

The MoJo of your YMCA is the energy it admits on a daily basis.  The energy level of your staff and environment can make or break a YMCA.  Y employees will tell you that “if you know one YMCA, then you know only that one YMCA!”

All YMCA’s are different and each have their own personality and character.  Each have their own MoJo!  The MoJo is that little special energy that gives a YMCA that positive spirit that connects with staff and members.

Your YMCA Mojo starts with your employees.  If your YMCA has a personality it is because of leadership and staff character, energy and passion.  YMCA employees are special because most have a higher purpose given the type of organization they work for.  When employees are YMCA Mission driven it shows in their performance and action.

At the front desk-Welcome Center, do you have high spirit employees that are service driven with the ability to get things done?  Does your fitness staff know how to provide the personal attention and touch for members?  Is your CEO and upper management actively engaged in setting the tone and leading by example?

The only way to generate a higher level of MoJo at your YMCA is to lead by example.  Raise your bar for what you bring to your office, job, organization and live a higher purpose.

Email us for information on our Leadership Training:  info@theoctopussolution.com

Your Organization Structure – Need a Better One?

A typical organizational chart, like the ones found in many companies in the world is shown here; showing only titles. What do these words even mean in terms of actual responsibility?

Organization charts and fancy titles count for next to nothing.” – Colin Powell (Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff: 1989-93 )

Thank you Mr. Powell. We couldn’t agree more. An organizational chart filled with meaningless names serves as nothing more than an office decoration.

Having names on a flow chart tells the employees very little about what is going on in your organization.  Organization charts are important because they display a chain of command.  But how many staff really know the structure of their business?  Does management post or publish the organization chart?

What if an organization board was posted around the office with details?  Details such as…..

  • Names
  • Titles
  • Responsibilities
  • Performance Measures

Our clients that require more productivity are really look for organization most of the time and part of our consulting solution is to implement and train on our Organization Chart.  The results are huge.  We deliver increased performance by as much as 25%.

Want to speak with us about how to take an organization chart and make your business produce more?  Email us at: info@theoctopussolution.com

How to Get to the Next Level…THINK About It!

Many try to get to the next level but struggle with HOW to actually do it. The most effective way to take it to the next level is to think about it!?! According to Psycho-Cybernetics, “Mental pictures offer us an opportunity to practice new traits and attitudes, which otherwise we could not do. This is possible because, again, your nervous system cannot tell the difference between an actual experience and one that is vividly imagined. If we picture ourselves performing in a certain manner, it is nearly the same as the actual performance. Mental practice is as powerful as actual practice.”

WOW! What a concept! Isn’t is great to think that WE already posses the tools to take ourselves to the next level. Make a commitment to play your own mental movie everyday for 15 minutes. You are the lead actor and you get to create the movie that you desire. Play this movie over and over. You will change your life!

Food for Thought:

Watch your thoughts, for they become WORDS

Watch your words, for they become ACTIONS

Watch your actions, for they become HABITS

Watch your habits, for they become CHARACTER

Watch your character, for it becomes your DESTINY

Performance Management and your YMCA Program Directors

Attention:  Our Blog has been transferred to our new website.  Our new website will go live late next week.  We are excited to present it to you and all our clients. Back to the YMCA…

Does your Fitness, Aquatics, Youth, Camps, Special Programs, etc have a tendency to end up in their own silo’s? In many Y’s these program directors tend to get bogged down in their own world and do not see the other departments around them.  Break free and Climb Higher!

Side Note:  In a larger YMCA (even with a single location) the importance of a Chief Operating Officer is critical for managing performance and communications across the program boundaries.

Performance Management aligns the actions and plans of program departments to that of the CEO and Board’s Strategic Plan.  And provides performance measures, systems of accountability, communications, and how to manage the process to achieve the strategic objectives of the Y.

Many organizations do not review the foundation and structure of their Y before creating a strategic plan.  Once they try to execute a strategic plan they discover that the organization structure does not support the plan needs and demands.  The plan must be built on the strengths of the organization structure.  Many times we adjust the organization structure for maximum performance, THEN design the plan, THEN guide our clients through successfully executing the plan, and THEN complete the objectives successfully.

Performance Management will help to better communication in your organization, increase production, boost member satisfaction and solidify teamwork.

If you are interested in speaking with us about our Performance Management system and how it provides your YMCA with a break-through method for managing and executing, please email us at:  info@theoctopussolution.com

YMCA Happy Members come from Your Welcome Center

ATTENTION:  OUR BLOG MAY BE DOWN TOMORROW (FRIDAY) MORNING FOR SEVERAL HOURS.  Our Amazing Website Developers are Embedding our Blog into our NEW WEBSITE which may cause our Business at your Best Blog to be down.  Our New Website will be going live in the next several days and will have all the content you need!  We are Excited to introduce our new Website to YOU! Back to YMCA’s….

“The single most important thing to remember about any enterprise is that there are no results inside its walls. The result of a business is a satisfied customer.” -Peter Drucker

The employees that deal with your YMCA members the most frequent are the ones that get paid minimum wage, have high turnover, are younger in age, or are not always fully trained.  YOUR WELCOME CENTER.  They “have to” know everything going on in the organization because that is where all members are going to go for information.  That is where all questions are going from inbound phone calls.

Think about the complexity of your program structure and the constantly changing dynamics: Schedules, cancelled classes, pool closings, emergency announcements, and the list goes on.  All of this, the welcome center staff needs to be able to handle.  If the staff can not handle it, it will lead to member confusion, frustration, anger and eventually dissatisfaction with the organizations service.  Then your members leave the YMCA and join another provider.

If the welcome center staff does not know the details of the daily happenings at the YMCA then chaos and mutiny will pursue.  A communication system needs to be built and it must be able to communicate with your members and amongst your employees.

Too many times we have seen frustration and arguments with members and a staff person that “should have known about…”  Fill in the blank.  It is very difficult for staff to be the all-knowing wizards of the YMCA.  However, we can arm the staff with as much information, organized in a method that levels the playing field of communication.

Contact us for our communication and operating method for your YMCA Welcome Center:  info@theoctopussolution.com

The Importance of the YMCA History

One of the biggest assets any business has is the history of your business.  History creates a foundation for being able to support an organization whether it be through purchasing, partnership, support, or loyalty.  Many organizations train new employees using the history of the firm during their orientation process. This provides a foundation and understanding of where the company came from and what they are fighting/working for.  The United States Marine Corps uses its great history to teach it’s recruits during basic training.  Do you think Marines are proud to be Marines and loyal to their “company”?

We are taught our country’s great history in school growing up and most of us develop a loyalty and allegiance to the United States of America.  Why?  Why does that happen?  It happens because we connect to the success stories and people that have made our country great and we develop a loyalty and passion for defending and part of our great nation.  So let’s take that same idea and principle into our companies and get more energy from the employee’s and more brand loyalty from our customers.  The YMCA has one of the most impressive history’s of any organizations or company we have ever herd of…

The YMCA is a non-profit with a vast history.  How many organizations do you know that invented basketball and volleyball.  Pioneered Camping, Public Libraries, Night Schools, and Teaching English as a Second Language?  YMCA introduced the worlds first indoor swimming pool and group swim lessons.

The YMCA’s have provided the proper environment for ideas and organizations to be born:  The Boys Scouts of America, Camp Fire Girls, the Negro National Baseball League, Toastmasters, Hallmark Cards, Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, and Father’s Day.

The YMCA has help build our country and have been visited by many U.S. Presidents.  The majority of employees, members and community members probably do not know about all the great things the YMCA has done.   Do you think it is worth it to tell people about the YMCA History?  Marketing the History?…

….We do.  History builds foundation and loyalty.  The organization is a non-profit and many people may need to be reminded about what the YMCA stands for.  The YMCA is more than just a fitness center, BUT do your members and communities know that?

How to Quickly increase Your YMCA Member Sales

This week is YMCA week.  We spend a great deal of time with YMCA’s and yesterday we spoke about member retention and today we are going to speak to the importance of Recovery.  Member Recovery is the about having processes in place to, reach back out to past members and get them to re-join.

The great part about Member Recovery is that this target market has already been a member.  There are strategies we implement to drive them back.  If your YMCA has 9,000 Members and your retention rate is 50% then you lose 4,500 members per yer.  First that is way too low and you should also be working on retention strategies, but recovery plans are equally important.

With Member Recovery, you have customer information like: Name, Address, Phone, Email, Type of Membership in the Past, etc.  All your efforts to Recovering members will be a 2 part strategy:  Direct Marketing and Direct Sales.

Direct Marketing:  Stay in communication via email and mailer.  Send you past members a survey and find out why they left.  You may be doing things wrong and not know it and that is why members are leaving.  Never assume you know.  Keep you past members updated with what is happening at the YMCA.  Find out the type of membership they had in the past and send them a mailer with a discounted offer with call to action to help increase your probability of hitting their “sweet spots”.  Email us for more strategies:  info@theoctopussolution.com

Direct Sales:  You can not image how dirty of a word sales is at YMCA’s.  It is Dirty.  But Direct Sales is more effective than Direct Mail, so why are you not doing it?  Assign your most likely sales person to make phone calls one day out of the week.  Print your past member database and let one of your staff hit the phones.  Go over  a script, talking points and action items.  The start of the script should be to determine again, why they left your YMCA.  Ask them what is needed to get them back as a valued member.  Take action with trying to close them on another membership over the phone or schedule a meeting at the Y to discuss coming back.  It is best to try to close the membership over the phone.

Member Recovery is a very important step in your strategy and should not be underestimated.  Member Acquisition, Retention and Recovery Strategies are all vital to having maximum impact on member growth.  Email us to discuss more YMCA strategies:  info@theoctopussolution.com