What is the single most important thing that makes members happy? Consistency! Consistent products and services are the most important element of running any business. You yourself live by this rule. You buy the same products and go to the same establishments repeatedly.

The question is why?

The reason we return to the same venues and buy the same goods over and over is simple: We like them. We are comforted knowing exactly what to expect when we make the purchase. A customer's satiated expectation keeps them coming back for more. McDonald's, Disney and Kraft are just a few companies that thrive on this single concept. A McDonald's hamburger tastes exactly the same, regardless of the city, state or even the country where it's purchased. If you bought one of their hamburgers with the anticipation of it tasting exactly the way it always has and it didn't, how would you feel? You would most likely be disappointed. When you purchase something with a certain foretaste in mind, like flavor, and you don't receive that experience the likely outcome is displeasure. Disappoint a customer this way only a few times and they are likely to go elsewhere and spend their hard-earned money on a product or service that generates the result they come to look forward to.

How do companies always replicate consistent results? By establishing successful business processes. People run processes and processes run businesses. If you look at any successful person or business you will find they have incorporated winning systems of practice. Taking the time to define a set of systems for your business can produce great results, because every customer will experience the same familiar process every time they choose your venue. Consistency causes customers to feel comforted and creates a positive emotional connection to your business. This is how you produce content, returning customers.

Taking the time to develop systems that work is a lengthy process, but it's well worth it in the end. I have seen companies that revamped old processes or created new ones increase their revenues by as much as 25% or more in a single year. To learn more about this concept of systemizing your business, you can check out the book The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber.

Tammy Polenz, CPT, has been actively involved in the fitness industry since 1991 as a personal trainer, club manager, corporate wellness consultant, and gym owner and designer. She is the author of Think Fit 2 Be Fit, founder of Vedas Fitness in Cleveland, and Wellness Director for Cleveland Hopkins Airport and has been featured in numerous fitness magazines and media. Learn more about Tammy at www.vedasfitness.com.