Gym owners usually don’t think twice when shelling out thousands of pounds on gym equipment, lighting and an expensive sound system – and rightly so. That’s a big part of why your members choose your club out of the other gyms available. However, for most gym owners, investing in the business usually stops there.
One of the most overlooked areas when investing back into the gym is operations. It makes sense; in the early days, you’re so focused on spreading the word and getting customers through the door, taking a step back and thinking about how you’re going to manage all of your member data and admin is at the bottom of the list.
Investing in your operational processes is one of the best ways to get a return on your investment. After all, streamlined operations are the best way to prepare your business for scale and give yourself more time to spend on the gym floor building relationships with your customers.
We’re going through the best operational investments you can make at your club to set your business up for success.
A robust gym CRM.
More than 50% of the gym owners we speak to don’t use a dedicated member management system to run their club. Most are using a spreadsheet or a paper diary to keep track of member information and bookings. It might be enough to get by in the beginning stages, but it’s a system that isn’t built to scale, does not follow GDPR guidelines and essentially makes it difficult to keep everything in order. Disorganised businesses fall victim to poor productivity, limited growth and even stress as a result of being snowed under with gym admin.
Using a reliable CRM for your gym will allow you to take control of your members’ personal information and provide a means of effective communication with your customers and prospects. You can use it to automate mundane tasks such as chasing missed membership payments and marketing comms, giving you more time to concentrate on what you do best.
Member management, class bookings, payments, marketing and reporting tools are all under one roof so that you no longer have to switch between systems to get stuff done.
“I would one-hundred-per cent recommend ClubRight to any martial arts club struggling to stay on top of their admin. Many of the features have made my life so much easier so that I can focus on teaching and spending more time with my family.” – Daniel Cuthbert, UKA.
Online joining solutions.
In an era where convenience is key to customer satisfaction, contact forms and phone numbers aren’t enough when it comes to joining new members. The common factor between these two common solutions is that they both require human intervention to complete the sale. You’re limited by your opening hours to accept telephone enquiries and contact forms have to be seen by a member of the team and manually followed up on to move the sale along.
Online joining bypasses all of that. It allows your potential customer to browse your offering, purchase a membership or class pass, pay for it by card and get their confirmation email. When done right, that process can take five minutes and your new customer could be at your club for their induction within the hour.
It’s a powerful solution because you can effectively sell memberships 24/7. You can share a direct joining link on your social media profiles so that someone can join from their Facebook feed. It’ll also help you collect all of the personal information you need from a member; things like contact details, medical information and marketing preferences. Plus, if someone abandons their purchase mid-way through joining, you’ll still have their details to follow up on – either through an automated task or by picking up the phone and asking what stopped them from joining.
Online Payment Collections.
It’s no secret that cash payments are becoming a rarity and we’re moving ever closer to a cashless society. Online transactions are the new norm, and there’s no reason why gym memberships can’t be bought online too.
Paying by card and Direct Debit are safer and faster ways to pay, and it means your revenue gets paid straight into your business bank account. No need to deposit bags of cash in your local bank every few days. It also makes it much easier to calculate pro-rata payments, joining fees and discount codes that are set up in your CRM system. You can also increase your retention rates by giving your members the option to auto-renew their memberships so that neither have you need to lift a finger to ensure continuity.
Up-to-date computer hardware.
Most importantly, it’s worth investing in some decent computer hardware. It doesn’t have to be the latest and greatest PC with all of the bells and whistles, but it needs to be modern and up-to-date enough to handle being used throughout the working day. We can’t speak for every gym software out there, but we recommend any PC that operates Windows 10 operating software (or newer) to our customers.
We also get asked whether it’s better to have a laptop or a desktop PC, and the answer is that both have their advantages in different situations. A laptop is great for when you’ve left the club for the evening and need to get some admin done at home, whereas a desktop is much better suited to have in the club on the front desk. It’s also worth investing in more than one PC if your budget allows it, especially if you have access control. That’s simply because if there are any hardware issues with the main desktop, people can still get in and out of your premises.
On the topic of tech, always invest in your broadband service provider. An internet connection is vital these days and internet buffering can cause several problems. If you want to stream music to the gym floor or allow your members to join your Wi-Fi, get a separate network so that it doesn’t slow down your main router.
If you only take away one thing from this post, it’s that you should always invest in solutions that will make your life easier. A gym that operates smoothly will keep your customers happy and keep you stress-free, putting you in the best position to grow and scale the club. Your best option is to find a solution that addresses everything we’ve mentioned so that everything is kept securely in one place. Spend some time getting everything set up correctly and it’ll be one of the best investments you can make.
If you’re new to ClubRight, we offer an all-in-one solution that encompasses everything we’ve talked about and so much more; from access control to member, trainer and admin apps. It’s also one of the most affordable gym membership software on the market right now. No other solution can match ClubRight’s level of functionality at our price point.
Our software has also been built by people that have experienced what it’s like to run a gym. Our team has more than forty years of experience in the leisure industry combined. To work with us, contact one of our product experts at +44 (0)203 884 9777 or get a free virtual demo to see the software in action.