First fitness dealer ‘Cost of Doing Business Survey’ seeks responses, get results for your time

Find out how your business stands in relationship to the entire fitness industry by taking the NSGA’s first “Cost of Doing Business Survey” for fitness dealers and retailers -- one of the first tasks in its operation of the new fitness dealers association. Unless you work in a vacuum, you’ll want to respond since a personalized report will then be free.
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As one of the first steps in beginning to work more closely with the fitness industry, the NSGA has launched a survey to assess the cost of doing business for dealers.

But to provide the most complete data, the NSGA -- organizers of the new Fitness Industry Dealers Association supported by SNEWS® -- is seeking responses from as many dealers as possible. Your return for participating is a free, complete report of survey results that is personalized to show your store’s results in comparison to the entire industry.

Even though in your report you’ll see your business’ results called out and compared to the industry averages, the report itself is done without identifying individual stores or businesses.

“It is, of course, 100-percent anonymous,” said Thomas B. Doyle, NSGA vice president of information and research. “The valuable tool for dealers shows only averages so you can compare how you are doing to others.”

The survey is compiled by an independent audit firm and is secure and confidential -- only reporting results within the industry without providing individual shop information even to the NSGA.

What you get, however, are average margins, expenses, payroll, financial ratios and more for similar businesses ranked by dollar volume and square feet of selling space. 

“What’s in it for a dealer? Good information,” said Doyle. “Unless one works only on intuition, good information gives you direction. It is also an important tool for dealing with ‘outsiders,’ such as vendors, bankers and others, and it allows you to profile your operation against peers.”

Although dealers often hate sharing numbers, he explained, they do need comparative figures for accountants, banks and lenders.

Fitness dealers association

The “Cost of Doing Business Survey” (CODB) for fitness dealers would be one of the initial important offerings to members of FIDA, Doyle added, although you do not have to be a member of FIDA or the NSGA to participate. 

The launch of FIDA, the Fitness Industry Dealers Association, was announced July 19, 2010, in a SNEWS story, “Fitness dealers association launches -- by NSGA and SNEWS-supported.” With a founding advisory council of key dealers across the country, the association will gather steam to help the industry gain financial benefits, research, insights and education opportunities. A meeting will be held for information and discussion at the coming Health & Fitness Business Expo Sept. 22-23 at the Interbike Expo in Las Vegas.

The survey will be vital to FIDA as it progresses.

Taking the CODB survey

Since it is an online survey, it should only take a few minutes, according to the NSGA. Results are requested by Aug. 29 or sooner so results can be available by October. To complete it:

>> Go to the portal for the NSGA Cost of Doing Business survey at www.NSGAsurvey.com.

>> Register and complete the survey. Choose the “Retailer” option. 

>> Under “Specialty Sport Shop,” choose “Fitness” either with or without a Commercial Division.

The first part of the survey asks you to briefly describe your company, while the second part asks for your company’s financials (information from 1120 or 1120S, P&L and Balance Sheet). Without the financials, Doyle said, respondents can’t receive a personalized report.

Other options:

>> Complete the first part of the survey (company description) online at www.NSGAsurvey.com, then mail a copy of your company’s financials (1120 or 1120S, P&L and Balance Sheet only).

>> Contact Doyle for the mailing address, above, with any questions or to be walked through the survey. He can be reached at 800-815-5422, ext. 107 or at tdoyle@nsga.org.

To see more information about the survey, which normally costs $295 to receive, click here.

--Therese Iknoian

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