Group of people exercising on exercise machine in a gym.

Top 10 Fitness Trends of 2019

« Blog | Written by Caitlin Fenster | | (0) Comments |

June is here, which means the year is almost halfway over (we’re sorry to be the ones to bring to light this unfortunate truth). Is your business where you thought it would be at this point? Have you brought in the number of new members you were expecting? Have you been able to retain more members this year than in prior years?

If you’re looking to boost your facility’s earning power this year by attracting members and getting them to stick around, summer is the perfect time to reevaluate your business strategy and begin to implement new programs. The slower months open up the time to prep and implement new programs while also giving your current members another reason to visit your facility during the warmer months.

Where do you start with figuring out what programs or offerings to implement? We’ve compiled the top 10 fitness trends of 2019 from ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) as a starting point, plus takeaways for how you can incorporate these 2019 fitness trends into your current business plan.

These trends have staying power – they aren’t just passing fads – and most on the list for 2019 have earned a spot in previous years. So, dive into what these trends have to offer and you may find yourself with a highly successful summer.

1. Wearable Technology

First appearing as a fitness trend in 2016, wearable technology has made the top 3 fitness trends spots for the past 3 years – and with new tech developments happening seemingly every day, it doesn’t look to be going away anytime soon.

How can you incorporate wearable tech into your facility? One way is to make member’s ID cards available digitally so they can use their wearable devices to scan in. Another is to provide free and secure wi-fi for your members to use so they don’t eat into their data at your facility – a terrifying thought for anyone.

2. Group Training

You may already offer group training classes, but if not you should consider starting! Coming in at #2 this year, group training has been in the top 20 fitness trends since 2017.

The great thing about incorporating group training into your facility is that it doesn’t need to be based around a lot of expensive equipment. There are many types of classes that you can easily (and inexpensively) incorporate into your fitness facility’s offerings. Then, if successful and your members are interested, you can add more equipment based classes.

Group training classes can range from cardio-based classes and indoor cycling to dance-based classes and step classes to anything else you can think of! Start with the resources you have and then work your way to more classes from there.

Also, for an added incentive in the summer, build classes that cater to members spending time outside – outdoor boot camps, endurance classes, yoga classes at the local park, etc.

3. High-Intensity Interval Training

High-Intensity Interval Training, better known as HIIT, has been a popular form of exercise all over the world for quite some time and has been in the top 5 on this list since 2014 (coming in at #1 in 2014 and 2018).

Typically involving short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by short periods of rest, fitness consumers tout HIIT for the low time commitment needed to achieve quick and noticeable results. Adding a HIIT program into your fitness facility during the summer months is a great way to attract members – offering them a quick way to get in their workout without taking too much time away from the precious summer sun and activities – you can even run the entire class outside or add outdoor intervals, like running, into the workout for an extra motivation to attend!

4. Fitness Programs For Older Adults

Catering to Baby Boomers and older generations, this trend has made the top 20 list since 2007 (only dropping below the top 10 rankings in 2017 at #11). With people living longer, working longer, and remaining active longer, there is a need to develop programs for older individuals to address the new health obstacles they face. Older generations needs are also much different than those of their younger counterparts and by providing programs specifically with the older generations in mind, you’ll create a space where these individuals feel welcome and less intimidated.

5. Bodyweight Training

An inexpensive and effective way to add a new program into your facility, bodyweight training is a great way to attract members who may be intimidated by the weight room or weight-oriented classes. First appearing on the survey in 2013 at #3, bodyweight training has been in one of the top 10 slots ever since.

6. Employing Certified Fitness Professionals

New to the survey in 2019, employing certified fitness professionals has become increasingly important. With more certification programs becoming available over the years, it is easier than ever for employers to access certification validation and require staff to be certified in their field. Plus hiring certified fitness professionals will elevate the professionalism of your business and give members the peace of mind that they are getting expert and accurate guidance from your staff. Additionally, by supplying members with certified professionals to work with, you may be able to charge more for your services since members will be getting a higher level of instruction from your staff.

Ready to get started hiring certified professionals? Use our guide for 7 interview questions to ask when hiring professional trainers.

7. Yoga

With various forms offered – Power Yoga, Yogilates, and hot yoga just to name a few, yoga classes provide a low start-up cost to include in your class schedule – all you need is a room to hold the class and a few yoga mats for members to use. By hiring certified yoga teachers, you will be killing two birds with one stone to cover two trends from the 2019 survey!

8. Personal Training

In the top 10 fitness trends since ACSM first published their trends report in 2006, personal training remains a popular choice for fitness consumers. Now more accessible than ever before, personal training can take place at a client’s home, in a health club, at a corporate fitness facility, and even online through an app or online program. Offering personal training services at your gym is an easy way to bring in additional revenue and increase retention among current clients. By also hiring certified personal trainers, you will cover multiple trends on this list.

There are also plenty of apps and online platforms you can add to your personal training services to provide members with an experience that goes beyond your doors. Be sure to look for a program that integrates with your gym management software to keep your business streamlined and member data consistent.

9. Functional Fitness Training

Devised to get members moving in ways that help them perform activities of daily life – like lifting, bending, climbing stairs, etc. – functional fitness training uses strength training and bodyweight movements to improve balance, coordination, strength, and endurance.

You can create functional fitness programs for members of all fitness levels, from your beginner to the advanced workout warrior, but we have often seen functional fitness paired with programs for older adults (see #4) to help encourage a better quality of life. The beneficial aspect of functional fitness is that is can be adapted to cover the varying needs of your member-base so no one is left out.

10. Exercise Is Medicine

According to ACSM, “Exercise is Medicine (EIM) is a global health initiative that is focused on encouraging primary care physicians and other health care providers to include physical activity assessment and associated treatment recommendations as part of every patient visit and referring their patients to exercise professionals.”

So how can you incorporate EIM into your gym? For one, fitness professionals are recognised by EIM as part of the health care team in their communities, so by hiring certified professionals, you are already taking a step in the right direction.

Another way you can incorporate EIM into your gym is to partner with local health care providers. By partnering with local providers, you’ll open your business up to new members while supplying your members with local provider recommendations further their own health.

Planning on adding any of these trends to your facility or have you already integrated one (or a few) of these trends into your business? We’d love to hear more about your endeavors and success in the comments below!

For the full list of all 20 worldwide fitness trends for 2019 visit ACSMs Health & Fitness Journal.

Gym- Woman on phone

7 Benefits of Using Text Messaging for Gyms

« Blog | Written by Caitlin Fenster | | (0) Comments |

Look around your gym. Most if not all members have their phone strapped to their arm, are streaming music into their wireless headphones, recording their health stats through devices, filming their workout to post to social media – I bet a few members are texting right now (hello, multitasking in an ever-connected world). If you want to reach and engage members, and attract new members at the same time, you need to be where they are – their phones.

With texting being such an essential part of everyday life today, gym facility owners need to make sure they are utilising text messaging as a part of their day-to-day operations in order to maximize their growth and success rate.

Long gone are the days of cumbersome T9 texting (where are my millennials?!). Generation Z missed out on the fun of having to memorise how many clicks it took to type an ‘s’ – it’s 4 in case you forgot – nor go through the agony of going one click too many.

With qwerty keyboards accessible to consumers since the mid-90s and only becoming more affordable over time, it’s no wonder why texting has blown up in popularity to become the main source of communication today. A fast and seamless way to get in touch with someone? It’s a no-brainer.

Have you started taking advantage of texting for your gym? If not, read on to learn 7 benefits of incorporating text messaging into your gym’s business operations:

1. Stay Relevant

In our day-to-day lives, speed is king. Consumers expect products to be delivered in two-days and information within seconds – and will often get frustrated when they don’t receive these services. With text messaging platforms able to send 100-500 messages a second, texting will give members and prospects the immediacy they have grown accustomed to and keep your gym relevant in an ever-connected world. Your gym will also become more attractive to members and prospects by showing them you can keep up with the everchanging technology landscape and needs of consumers. If you’re looking to provide members with the most up-to-date services, texting can help get you there.

2. Convenience is Key – Automate Messaging

Texting is an effective tool for contacting members conveniently since most, if not all, members usually have their phones within arm’s reach at any given time. It also lowers the pressure for members to answer right away, like with a phone call, giving them the choice to respond when the time is suitable for them but is still a personable method of communication.

One way a good texting platform delivers convenience to both your gym and members is through automated messaging capabilities (bonus tip: a great facility management software should offer a comprehensive text messaging solution for even more convenience). Setting up auto text messages will connect you with members on a regular basis, ensuring your gym stays at the top of their mind.

Here are a few simple campaigns to set and forget:

  • Billing decline alerts and late payment alerts
  • New prospect marketing
  • New client welcome
  • Membership renewal reminders
  • Class reminders
  • Birthday messages
  • Yearly member anniversary reminders
  • Member appreciation messages
  • Prospect sale promotions
  • FAQ responses

With automated messaging enabled, your gym can be accessible to members 24/7, giving you the confidence that members receive and answer outside of business hours and will provide members the high-quality customer service they expect.

3. Forge Personal, Non-Intrusive Connections

Building a relationship with members is difficult when they are constantly on the go. Text messaging allows you to reach them wherever they are with the method of communication they are most comfortable with. A text messaging platform can segment members into targeted groups in order to send personalised messages based on their interests or goals. These messages can be as simple as motivational quotes, nutrition tips, class schedules, and more.

Be wary of character limits and novel-esque messages though. Texts should be short, sweet, and not so frequent they become annoying. Messages should also encourage members to follow a link to your website for more information – further boosting your website’s SEO and traffic.

4. Cost-effective Tool

Most texting solutions will offer various price points ranging from pay-as-you-go to monthly packages with a set amount of texting credits – typically starting between 1,000 and 2,000 text messages. With individual texts ranging from £0.01 – £0.05 and monthly services being as low as £49 a month, 1,000 messages can cost anywhere between £10 and £49 a month – possibly even cheaper depending on the number of credits available in the solution you choose.

5. Higher Engagement Rate

Texting has by far the highest engagement rate of any communication medium. Where phone calls can go unanswered, brochures can be thrown out or placed in a drawer “for later”, and emails can sit unread – texting has a 97% read rate. Texting will not only almost always get messages read by recipients, but it will also get messages read quickly.

6. Boost Marketing for a Well-rounded Strategy

Between print advertising, social media, local events, and more there is no doubt your gym is being marketed across multiple platforms. Text messaging is another simple and universal way to attract new members – and holds an engagement rate that far surpasses other mediums. With short code and keyword campaigns, prospects can easily reach out to your gym on their time to gain further information or take advantage of the latest promotion you’re running. 

7. Complete Mobile-Friendly Experience

With 95% of the UK population owning a mobile phone, if you want to reach members and target prospects you need to reach them on their phones. From optimising your website, building your voice on social media, and developing a streamlined branded mobile app, texting is the final piece of the puzzle to complete a mobile-friendly experience for your members. Texting will also help drive traffic to all those resources you’ve spent so much time crafting.

With a wide range of benefits, it’s no wonder why gym facility businesses, and businesses in every industry for that matter, are adopting text messaging to drive sales and promote member engagement.

Do you have questions or want to learn more about how text messaging can impact your gym facility business? Contact us today!

EZFacility at work

Why Switching Your Gym Software Doesn’t Have to Be Stressful

« Blog | Written by Caitlin Fenster | | (0) Comments |

There are plenty of reasons you are looking to change your gym management software provider – it’s too complicated, there are too many hidden fees, they don’t have the features you need, their support team has you on hold for hours, etc.

Many EZFacility clients who have switched from other gym software providers were running into the same issues yet, though they were fed up with the runaround, were still hesitant to make the switch because they thought it would disrupt their day-to-day business too much.

It’s completely understandable that they, and you, are tentative about switching providers. Switching software can be a daunting undertaking – but it doesn’t have to be.

Let’s address some common concerns we have heard from clients when considering making the switch to EZFacility.

The transition process is too difficult

That’s what we’re here for! During the transition process, you’ll have a dedicated Customer Success Specialist performing one-on-one training to guide you through utilising our software to its fullest. They will be there every step of the way to help set up your EZFacility account to your gym facility’s specific needs. Our training team has facilitated transitions from almost every other gym management software company out there, so they are experts when it comes to ensuring a painless transition.

Once finished with training, our devoted customer success and support teams are readily available to help at any point. With accessible support, you’re not left high and dry trying to figure out functionality on your own (which we’re sure is one of the reasons you want to leave your current software provider).

Learning a new gym management software will take too long

There is always a learning curve when starting anything new – hey, we’re just being honest – but the EZFacility team is here to get you up and running quickly. Getting started quickly though doesn’t mean we sprint through set up. During implementation, our team works with you and your team to ensure everyone is comfortable and confident running your business with our software. Because we work together to get you up to speed, you won’t break stride with current gym operations.

How do we do this you may ask? Completed in 4 recommended, 1-hour training sessions (some clients feel comfortable with less training sessions, and some with more) our training process is one that has been designed with a “Train-the-Trainer” approach in mind. The “Trainer-the-trainer” methodology will grant your gym the opportunity to have a “go-to” in house EZExpert to help current and future employees become comfortable using EZFacility. 

 Don’t worry though, we are always available to field questions and walk you through any requests that may arise during and after the training process. Our Support Center is also available 24/7 for you to access user guides, helpful product articles, and videos, along with the ability to submit a request for support. 

Members will be double billed and/or not billed at all

We know that maintaining consistent billing is vital to your gym’s livelihood. To safeguard against members being double billed during the transition, we recommend you choose a cut-off date for billing where all transactions will be switched over to EZFacility from your current (and soon-to-be former) software provider. On the very rare occasion payments are missed when the transfer occurs, we have plans in place to bill members once you activate billing through EZFacility.

Additionally, our customer support team is available Monday – Friday during normal business hours to guarantee your billing (and gym) runs efficiently.

72% of EZFacility clients have switched from another software provider

Data will be lost in the migration

Our Customer support team consists of import specialists, there to navigate you step-by-step through the data migration process to guarantee an effortless transition. With EZFacility data migration templates ready for use, all you have to do is plug in member information from your current software provider.

From there, our knowledgeable team will review the import file with you and will work together to make sure that the data migration into our software is a successful one.

It really is as simple as that.

My members will have a hard time adjusting to a new interface

Just like you may have a slight learning curve, so might they. But to make it easier for members (and cut down questions to you) we have member directed FAQs and support articles available, with more always being created.

Plus, our easy-to-use interface minimizes service interruption for members and makes it easy for them to pick up.

There will be additional fees to switch

A good gym management software shouldn’t charge you to import or export your data – so we don’t! At EZFacility we believe that your data is your data, period. You can access it at any point, no questions asked.

We are also rooting for your success which is why we don’t charge additional fees for extra training or support (we like to shake up the norm). Think of us as your own personal cheering section.

We Understand Change is Difficult.

Let us put your worries to rest. Ditch the software that’s slowing down your growth and get started with one that was built with you in mind.

Whether you go with EZFacility or not, we’re here make you comfortable with whoever you choose.

Book a demo to learn more about EZFacility and see why switching your gym management software provider doesn’t have to be stressful.

Group of young happy people in a health club.

7 Ways to Retain New Year’s Resolution Members for Fitness Centres

« Blog | Written by Caitlin Fenster | | (0) Comments |

2019 is upon us and we all know what that means – the “resolution” season is in full swing. For fitness business owners, this time of the year presents an exciting (yet stressful) uptick in members looking to start healthier habits. The downside to this rise in “New Year, New You” clientele, is that they inevitably begin dropping like flies a few weeks into the year – and that means member retention rates will suffer.
While the initial spike in memberships is wonderful to see, this fluctuation in new members (and revenue) makes it difficult to plan for the rest of the year. So, how do you motivate new members to keep walking through your door? Fortunately, there are quite a few ways to inspire member loyalty and increase gym member retention from resolution-goers. Read on for seven new member retention ideas to get you started.

  1. Make New Members Feel Welcome

Now, this may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s often the simple answer that gets overlooked. Starting a new activity, especially when you don’t know anyone, can be intimidating and nerve-racking. One way you can make new members feel at ease in your fitness center is to create a “Welcome Bag”. This can include anything you’d like to give new members to get them off on the right foot. A water bottle or sticker with your logo, branded t-shirt, protein bar, supplement samples (especially if you sell them), an invite to your members only Facebook page so they can interact with other members, a staff guide with pictures, titles and bios to help break the ice, etc. Providing members information about your staff and opening conversation between other members will help new members feel comfortable attending your fitness facility. People also always love freebies so anything you decide to include, especially geared around your business, will show your appreciation for new members and anything with a logo will further promote your facility.

  1. Build a Community

It’s harder for new members to walk away from your fitness center when they feel a part of your community. Here are a few easy ways you can create a personal connection with new members to foster your growing community and continue to make them feel welcome:

  • Remember their name and make it a point to say hello whenever you see them.
  • Reach out after their first time at your fitness center.
    • This could be both in person or through email, a phone call, or text.
    • Pro tip: Using your fitness center management software, set up automated email and text check-ins based on your members activity. Humblebrag – EZFacility makes it easy to set and forget these types of (and more) automated messages so you can focus on getting away from your desk and in front of members.
    • Ask how they are liking your facility, do they have any questions, or make note of how well they are doing.
      • Brownie points if you reference a specific activity you saw them performing.
    • Make sure your staff is continually engaging with members to make them feel recognized and valued.
      • Set up tasks for you and your staff to follow up with new members within your software. By setting up tasks, you’ll know exactly when staff are reaching out to members and how frequently – assuring no new members will slip through the cracks.
    • Introduce new members to existing ones and encourage existing members to say hi and reach out to new members.
      • Bonus – getting your existing members involved will, in turn, help them feel like they are contributing to the community environment.
      • You can also run a “Peer Advocate” group where members involved receive benefits, such as free or discounted classes, for engaging with new members.

These small gestures will go a long way in making new members feel like a contributing and significant part of your fitness center’s community.
Another way to create a community is by hosting various events. Events can be both in your fitness center or offsite at a local park, restaurant, or bar. The events you host can range from charity events to holiday parties to competitive programs. Hosting an event for members will take a bit more planning and energy, but in the end is worth the effort since it will give current and new members time to get to know each other outside of their workouts – and forge deeper bonds between them.

  1. Get Involved in the Community

Another way to build a community within your fitness facility is to get involved in the community your fitness center is located. Make sure you have a finger on the pulse on community activities, like races or fundraisers, and encourage members to not only participate but arrange a meet-up at the event – you can even encourage your members to wear your fitness center’s t-shirt to the meet-up to boost the community feeling. More likely than not your new members live in the general area of your fitness center, so it will be easy for them to participate as well as get involved in their own community. This social buy-in outside of the walls of your facility will help to strengthen the community and retention within the walls of your fitness business as well.

  1. Celebrate Success

When a new member signs up, part of the onboarding process should be asking what their goals are – and if they aren’t sure, help them develop some! Once they have a specific and actionable goal(s) set, make sure you and your staff are tracking their progress through your fitness center management software. Fitness Assessment tracking will make it easy for anyone on your staff to see how a member is progressing without having to check in with the last staff member who interacted with them.
After a while, reach out and give some encouragement so they feel someone is holding them accountable for showing up to put in the work. Also, make it a point to acknowledge when they achieve their goals. Completing a goal is exciting enough, but when someone congratulates you on that goal it can feel like you’re walking on cloud nine. Have a ‘Way to Go’ board where you post the accomplishments of members so others can congratulate them as well.

  1. Save Members Money

Everyone likes saving money – and new members are no different. Work with local businesses to offer discounts and/or deals to members and offer promos to their clients. Not only will this make members feel like they are making up the cost of their membership at your fitness center elsewhere (and in places they may already shop), but you will also be further establishing yourself as a part of the local community which can help attract new members and retain existing ones. Provide a “Local Partners Booklet” containing all deals in the “Welcome Bag” for members to easily reference. Keep the savings momentum going by promoting new deals throughout the year.
Another way to endorse local businesses and their deals is by holding a meet and greet with local vendors at your facility to create stronger community bonds as well as offer members new resources they can take advantage of.

  1. Gamify Loyalty Rewards

People inherently are drawn to gamification reward systems because of the additional benefits they receive for their efforts.
Here are a few tips and ideas when developing loyalty reward programs:

  • Make it easy for members to join and participate.
  • Offer an exclusive/premium level.
  • Include referral benefits.
  • Consider friendly competition programs.
  • Know your audience. Have rewards that make sense for your members, so they don’t lose interest.
  • It needs to be fun and challenging, not frustrating for members to achieve the goals you set.
  1. Provide External Resources

Offering resources for members to access outside of your health club expresses your investment in their success and keeps you at the top of their mind. In turn, members will view your business as a place to go for industry expertise and advice and will come to you with any questions they have. A couple resources you can make available to members include:

  • A video library of common workouts and proper use of machines.
    • This can also help new members just starting their fitness journey feel less lost and reduce their risk of injury.
    • A comprehensive fitness center management software will be able to provide you with a pre-made library of exercise videos so you can hit the ground running and don’t have to spend hours shooting, editing, uploading, and organizing video content.
  • Easy travel workouts.
    • Maintaining a collection of pre-made workouts for members will show you’re committed to them reaching their goals even outside of your fitness center.
  • Nutrition guidance or suggestions.
    • This could include easy recipes, healthy eating tips, or a meal plan template.
    • If you don’t feel comfortable providing recommendations, partner with a local nutritionist to establish a mutually beneficial deal which you can include in the “Local Partners Booklet”.
    • You can also point new members in the directions of various apps or useful articles and books to help them reach their goals.

For these ideas to help build loyal members and increase retention they need to be consistently kept up. There, unfortunately, is no magic potion you can add to your water fountains to keep members coming back to your fitness center without any effort on your part.
But the good news is that improving in any of these facets will go far in building a better environment within your fitness center that drives new members to stick around for the long haul and achieve their goals. And, the great news is all these tips will work for any new (or current) member throughout the year!
These are just a few ideas to get you started increasing member retention in 2019! Let us know in the comments below what you have found successful to keep members engaged after the New Year glow has faded.
Interested in learning more about how EZFacility can help increase retention rates? Request a free trial and schedule a live demo today!

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The Best Time to Set Goals for Your Gym is in the Fall

« Blog | Written by Caitlin Fenster | | (0) Comments |

Through my personal experience, something I have found is that it’s so much easier for me to say I’m going to do something than to actually begin doing that thing. Some might say that’s “all talk and no walk”. Unfortunately, in some aspects of my life, they’d be right.
This is why I never make New Year’s resolutions. I can’t tell you how many times I have been at a New Year’s gathering and I tell a friend that I’m going to start eating healthier during the New Year. All too often, later that very same night I catch my friend’s eye as he or she is staring at me unhinging my jaw as I start on my second piece of chicken, bacon & ranch pizza which, to my embarrassment, I ordered not long after our conversation.
New Year’s resolutions usually fail, and for many, they’re just tradition. Think about it, why do so many people fall short on their resolutions? It’s partly because people are so ambitious about their resolutions but also, there is no real change between January 1st and December 31st, aside from a splitting headache.
Life has a natural rhythm to it. Different seasons elicit different emotional responses. When spring begins, I breathe a sigh of relief that the winter is over, and I can look forward to the warmer months ahead. Spring seemingly blends with summer as the trees get more and more green. Summer is chaotic and freeing but ends too quickly. Abruptly, the leaves begin to change and the hot, damp air quickly becomes crisp and refreshing. Autumn serves as a natural transition between summer and winter. However, the leaves aren’t the only things that change.
Autumn is also a time of cultural transformation: kids trade in bathing suits for backpacks, vacations turn into commutes, summer tank tops turn into fall sweaters, TV shows re-emerge with new episodes, and football starts up. Fall is when new routines are born. There is rising popularity to the idea that September is the best time to set goals for your business’s future and it makes sense too. When you’re surrounded by change and transition, whether that be culturally or seasonally, it’s easier to fully commit to a goal you’ve set for yourself or your business.
So this year, give autumn resolutions a shot and see for yourself why experts believe autumn is a great time to plan and begin achieving your goals.
What are some of the top goals you should focus on?
The key to making, maintaining, and achieving your goals is keeping things realistic. Aim for the moon, but to get there you first have to get off the ground. After opening your first gym your immediate goal shouldn’t be to open a second location. While keeping the big picture in mind is crucial to your business’ success, your short-term goals should be stepping stones and therefore be your primary focus this fall. Not only is it a great time to start thinking about your autumn resolutions and set goals for your business’ future, but we have some great advice for achieving some of the most popular goals for gym owners:
Gym Fitness Goal #1
Increase the number of memberships sold
Selling multiple memberships obviously equals more revenue which then means more money to hire the best staff, upgrade old equipment, or buy a better location. Money makes the world go round, especially if you’re a gym owner looking to expand your business. Fall is a terrific time to recruit new members to your gym for a variety of reasons. As previously mentioned, fall is when routines are born. All the people that are done with vacations and have kids back in school will undoubtedly have more free time that they are looking to spend doing something. Why shouldn’t they spend their time at your gym?
All sorts of businesses have back to school specials that drive more traffic into their stores and more online purchases. Gyms are no different. Offer back to school specials from late August to the middle of September. All your new membership gains will undoubtedly lead to long-term, loyal clientele as you follow through with the goals outlined below. Another good idea is to offer reduced rates during fall for groups of two or more that sign up together. By doing this, you get people considering joining your gym to bring a friend or two. It’s basically cheap, non-labor intensive marketing.
Lastly, a great idea is to offer your current members incentives to refer people to your gym. Referrals are another great way to get some incredibly low-cost publicity out there. For example, if one of your members refers three people to sign up, consider giving them some free gym garb. If they refer five people consider giving that member a free month and if they refer ten people consider a really nice prize like a free month with ten free personal training sessions. Put your members that achieve these awards on a board in front of the gym as another incentive to get more people spreading the word of your gym. In this scenario, the cost of giving a gym membership away for free is greatly outweighed by the gains of five new members who can also pursue your incentive program.
Gym Fitness Goal #2
Improve Relationships and Reduce Attrition
Retaining long-term clientele can be a difficult thing to do because people’s lives are always changing. Some move away and other lose the habit of going to the gym. Being a gym owner is like a juggling act which has its upsides and its downsides. On one hand, it’s difficult to balance every aspect of your gym but, on the other, you have the sole ability to determine the exact direction you want your business to move.
That being said, an important part of the juggling act you put on is reducing member attrition. How do you do this? Improve your relationships with your members. This not only increases your chances of getting more members, but it also decreases the chances that people leave your gym for a competitor (or other reasons). But how do you find any time to get to know your members when you’re so busy? If you can’t get out from behind your desk how are you going to learn about another human being?
An all-in-one software tool can be an effective way to maximise your gym’s efficiency, especially if that software is staff-friendly and has a mild learning curve. Once you and your staff are able to handle all the various cloud-based administrative tasks quickly and easily, you’ll be able to focus more on your members. Thus, you’ll attain better relationships with your members and reduce the number of members that leave your gym. Software that is able to handle billing processes through automated services additionally takes the strain off of your relationships with your members. It’s no secret that financial disputes can tear people apart, so this aspect can be pretty necessary for creating better connections with your members.
Another important aspect of planning for your gym’s future and setting achievable goals is to make sure they’re measurable. If you want to reduce member attrition and let that serve as a metric that measures your relationships with your members, you should be able to measure your retention rates. Being able to watch your retention rates grow will only drive you to work harder to improve your business.
Gym Fitness Goal #3
Expanding Your Gym’s Offerings
It’s truly a one of a kind time in the fitness industry. With the rise of social media, it seems that every day there are more and more products, personalities, and fitness regimes flooding the industry. With all of these new additions to the industry, the competition you face for your members’ loyalty and attention has never been fiercer. Give your members what those other gyms can’t, a personalized and unique fitness experience with an owner that has a genuine vested interest in their clients’ well being and fitness experience. This is something many commercial gyms can’t compete with.
One of the best ways to compete is to expand what your gym has to offer beyond just good equipment and knowledgeable staff. Put on fitness and nutritional seminars that are free to your members but outside visitors must pay a fee. By doing this you’ll both gain credibility within the community, promote more people to join your gym, and maybe turn a little bit of a profit. Another thing that you have to your advantage is the failing system of commercial gyms. They don’t want people who are serious about their fitness goals at their gyms because they make a profit off of those that buy a year-long membership on January 1st and never show up. Educational sessions bring in the kind of fitness go-getters that you want in your gym. People that want to learn and improve themselves have contagious attitudes which can only benefit your gym. Give your members a personalized fitness experience, not the “drive-thru” fast food version.
Yet another fall is rapidly approaching and as the seasons gear up to transition, you can transition as well. Now is the perfect time to reflect on your business and look at what you can improve and set goals for the future. Are you excited because we’re excited for you!
Have more goals you would like advice on how to achieve? Share them in the comments section below!
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