GFAA Best Practice: Network to Grow Your Business

Kathy Ekdahl is a Staff Golf Fitness Trainer at Willowbend in Mashpee, Massachusetts.

Kathy Ekdahl on the importance of networking to grow your business:

Willowbend has beautiful fitness facilities that promote healthy living through fitness programming, wellness and nutrition, massage services and physical therapy. However, our club had no golf fitness professionals on staff or golf-specific programming available prior to my arrival. Fortunately, having owned my own gym at one time, I know fitness programming and how to introduce new ideas to potential new clients. As the first TPI-certified golf fitness professional at Willowbend, I am excited about the potential I see in the programming we can implement for our members. To effectively bring golf fitness to a facility that hasn’t offered it before, it is important to network with other like-minded golf and healthcare professionals in your area. As a new golf fitness professional at a facility, having these referral sources is vital to growing your clientele, as clients often come from people who already know and trust you. Network with physical therapists, massage therapists, golf professionals, chiropractors and even other trainers who don’t do golf fitness to build your brand and get referrals. Of course, as a private club, we have a captive audience, and getting your name out there builds credibility in-house, as well. It is also important to get buy-in from your own facility’s PGA Professional staff, as many of your clients will have started out on the golf side, taking lessons and improving their skills. This collaboration aids in developing programming that meets golfers’ needs and helps build awareness of the benefits of golf fitness.

Kathy Ekdahl on the business impact of networking to grow your business:

I actively reached out to the PGA Professionals at Willowbend even before I arrived, and now engage with them on a weekly basis. Furthermore, I have made a concerted effort to find golf professionals in our area who do not have a golf fitness presence at their facilities, to introduce myself and discuss ways that we can help each other grow our respective businesses. I have brought on a physical therapist at Willowbend, and together we strive to deliver the most effective attention that addresses our mutual clients’ needs. Now, we have a multi-faceted approach: PGA Professionals teach the swing, fitness professionals evaluate what areas of the golfer’s body needs improvement and the physical therapists serve as a resource for those who require rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries or other physical ailments. It’s a great way of building your fitness circles and offer a variety of services to your clients.

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