Our advertising over the summer is tailored towards short-term memberships so potential members can try before they commit, get in shape for summer then sign up full time afterwards if they wish. This also works well for students returning home from university who only have a couple of months to spare.
I'm fortunate that my businesses are diverse. As well as the health clubs, we have a high street bar and a hotel business which flourishes in the summer with plenty of seasonal weddings and al fresco dining with champagne flowing. The Hastings Spa Hotel is doing particularly well this summer, as holidaymakers opt to stay in the UK in light of the recession and the poor exchange rate with the euro.
It's not only customers but also employees who test the resilience of businesses by taking summer holidays. With staff, it's more a case of organisation. I leave it to my capable club managers to make sure there are no tricky overlaps and that there are enough hands on deck to deliver the service our customers expect.
The summer season does place unusual pressures on businesses but if you know what your customers want and make sure you have enough staff to look after them, there's a chance to steal a march on competitors and make hay while the sun shines.
Having those kinds of conversations, and finding out what their needs are, for instance, do you want to wear denim to these events, or regular trousers? We’ve had a tremendous run on the five-pocket pant, which is like denim, but a khaki pant, and it’s easy to move guys from one to the other, a lot quicker than a khaki trouser, because that connotates something different. All of a sudden the wife or girlfriend is smiling because he’s not wearing jeans anymore, but is wearing khaki pants.
The study, led by Professor Jonathan Grigg, shows that the lung capacity of 8- and 9-year-olds is five percent lower than the national average.
And seven percent of the kids have lung function reduced to a level internationally regarded as hazardous.
The particles are produced in vehicle exhaust and are far smaller than the width of a human hair.
After analysing the particles collected on roadside leaves, the study concluded that the pollution can be most intense at the height of many children.
"Now, if that's due to air pollution, as we suspect, they're going to be at increased risk from a range of respiratory disorders such as asthma and infection, and may be at risk in adulthood," he added.
"Our findings in the East End of London are that children living here have slightly lower lung function than what we'd expect from the national average," the BBC quoted Professor Grigg as saying.
The Blue Jackets' annual offseason search for a skilled defenseman might compel them to make a huge offer to unrestricted free agent Jay Bouwmeester.
It's unclear if Bouwmeester — after six years playing for the Florida Panthers — would consider signing on with another club in a non-traditional hockey market.
But the Blue Jackets, unlike lots of other NHL clubs, have the salary cap room to make a significant offer, upwards of $6 million per season. However, the Blue Jackets' power play was the worst in the NHL last season.
And the Jackets certainly have a need.
The Blue Jackets' blue line is made up of stay-at-home checking types — Mike Commodore, Jan Hejda, Fedor Tyutin, Rostislav Klesla are the current top four. The only player with an ounce of offensive skill is second-year pro Kris Russell, who might still be a season or two away from significant point production.