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Bardello Health and Fitness
Bardello Health and Fitness
Bardello Health and Fitness
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36 Monkspath Business Park,
B90 4NZ

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Opening Times:

06:00 - 22:00

06:00 - 22:00

06:00 - 22:00

06:00 - 22:00

06:00 - 22:00

07:30 - 20:00

07:30 - 18:00

Please see Timetable for bank holiday opening times







Bardello Dance School
Bardello School of Dance

Bardello on Facebok

Plan A. Operation Referral.

During the summer of 2014, Emma Wilson (who had joined Bardello full time as Operations Manager at the end of 2013 and is now a board director) and I had a great idea. It went something like this, “If we could get each member to introduce but one new member we would double both our numbers and revenue resulting not only in securing Bardello’s future, but enabling us to install an above ground swimming pool in the still vacant unit 37 next door.” So we set about sending all our 1500 members a package that included a number of Bardello membership cards to distribute between friends and family. If they subsequently joined, the referrer would enjoy £5 off their Bardello membership fee for time that both remained a member.


For whatever reason, this failed.

Bardello Promo

The contents of the promotion pack: six fully-featured, but un-activated Bardello membership cards to give to your friends, this A4 information card and a personal letter sent first class in a top-quality envelope to all our 1,500 members - cost a small fortune. A complete flop. Never again!

Plan B. Move Up-Market.

“We have the best venue in Solihull in which to exercise and have fun and our expansion plans for a pool etc are second to none, surely our members will be happy to pay £29.99 per month.”

So, a decision was made, we’d increase the membership subscription to £29.99 as from 31 January 2015. Never has such a badly judged decision been made; for two reasons. Firstly, in November 2014, The Gym Group had opened a £10.99 per month budget gym a couple of miles away in Shirley and secondly, a great proportion of our members were simply not prepared to pay the new asking price. We lost 500 members in one month!

Bardello Saturday Night Party Poster

In an attempt to cushion the blow of the price hike from £19.99 to £29.99 per month, we offered our members a free-of-charge party night once a month with free drink. No interest.

Plan C. Go Budget. Proving that we can turn on a sixpence, we decided to reduce our monthly subscriptions to £14.99 as from 1 April 2015. This would compete nicely with the Gym group, who by now had increased their fees for new members to £15.99 per month, and be extremely attractive for current, former and prospective Bardello members.

Plan C required a number of things to happen:
  1. Reduce our costs. This we did by; removing staff from reception and installing turnstiles; by only having one instructor on the stage rather than the usual three; by reducing the number of sessions; and by automating the sign-up and administration processes.
  2. Increase the equipment count. This we did by renting a number of top-of-the-range Life Fitness treadmills, cross trainers and bikes from The Gym Rental Company.
  3. Increase awareness of Bardello. This we did by a succession of leaflet drops to over 50,000 homes in the area, advertising via a very prominent illuminated Billboard in Shirley close to The Gym and advertise regularly in the local press.

Bardello Turnstiles

To reduce costs in the long term, we had to remove staff from reception and replace them with turnstiles and a couple of computers.

The costs of 2 and 3 have been enormous about £3,000 per month for 2 and £6,000 per month for 3.

Bardello Stratford Road Hoarding

£5,000 for this! But it certainly gave us exposure - at the supremely busy junction of Stratford Road and Haslucks Green Road in Shirley and right outside the doors of the Gym Group!

Number 1 above was not without its problems. As a result of asking our instructors to manage with just one on the stage at a time and removing them from reception duties, four of our long-standing instructors/duty managers left in one fell swoop at the end of March 2015 to start up their own exercise to music business in competition with Bardello. Thankfully for Bardello, this did not work for them as well as they had hoped, indicating that Bardello is indeed bigger than any individual or individuals – something that all businesses must achieve before they have a long-term future.

Lesson: You don't have a viable long-term business, or a business that's really worth something, until it can survive the loss of ANY member of staff, including you!

Also, until you reach this stage, you are going to find it very difficult to go away on holiday for any reasonable length of time. When you are able to do this, and assuming that you are making a profit and in the black, you are no longer running a startup - WELL DONE YOU!

Bardello Blake, Murray and Nick

Blake Fletcher from Life Fitness, Murray Rudkin from the Gym Rental Company and Nick Crawford from Bardello pose in front of the new equipment necessary to move Bardello into the low-cost gym sector.

By late summer 2015 with five months of low-cost operation under our belt, we realized that if Bardello was indeed to have a secure future, still more needed to be done; we still were not making any money; I was still funding the operational shortfall. We had had a large influx of new members during late spring and early summer after we moved to £14.99 but most of these proved to be short-lived and ended their memberships within a couple of months attracted by the low cost and not their interest in fitness. To attract those really keen on fitness we need to do two things; 1) to add some more equipment and heavier weights to the free weights area and 2) introduce a functional training area. To facilitate this, we needed more floor space, so the spa/sauna, bar and sofa areas had to go.

Bardello Spa Area Demolition

To enable us to enlarge the gym, the spa area had to be demolished. Jeremey supports during demolition.

Bardello Spa Removal

The spa upended. Its removal was far easier than its delivery two years ago - through a letterbox with the help of several butch men, if you remember!

Bardello Spa Removal

Goodbye and good riddance. The spa is removed very quickly and efficiently by National Hot Tub Repairs.

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