5 WAYS TO CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN IN YOUR GYM

Fall is upon us, which means your members are in the Halloween spirit but also might be losing their spirit to go to the gym. Thankfully there are many different Halloween tactics your club can use to keep members motivated all while you’re enhancing retention and attracting prospects. Here are some ways your club can celebrate the spooky holiday.

1. DECORATE YOUR FACILITY 

This is probably the easiest thing you can do to celebrate Halloween. Members and prospects are already in the Halloween spirit, so a gym full of Halloween will make them want to stay in your facility longer.

2. HOST COSTUME CONTESTS FOR GROUP CLASSES 

By hosting group classes that have costume contests with prizes, members and prospects are likely to participate because there’s incentives involved. Your chances of gaining new members also increase as well and you’re building community at the same time. Use our Pass A Friend program to funnel people in.

All you need to do is offer current members passes prior to Halloween, think of small prizes to whoever referred their friends to your club and grand prizes for the winners of the contests. Encourage attendees to download My Member Account Mobile App to check-in and see the featured Halloween classes. Track member attendance and the success of these featured classes using our Attendance Detail Report.

3. DO HALLOWEEN THEMED WORKOUTS

Members could perform a variety of Halloween-themed workouts: pumpkin smashing, deadlifts, skull crushers, spider squats–the list goes on. Incorporate these exercises into your featured group classes.

4. HAND OUT FREE “TREATS”

This could go hand and hand with our Pass A Friend program. Encourage your members to bring in their friends and instead of candy, hand out things like protein shakes, protein bars, water bottles, t-shirts with your club’s logo and slogan, and larger prizes for the winners of your club’s costume contests.

5. PLAY HALLOWEEN MOVIES NEAR CARDIO EQUIPMENT

Set up your facility so that some screens are playing different Halloween movies while people are exercising on treadmills and ellipticals. One, this will get gym-goers to stay on your equipment for longer and two, if your members are aware of all the fun Halloween-themed events your gym is offering, they will look forward to their next sweat session so much more, which boosts your long-term retention.

10 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR GYM SAFE

It’s easy for your members to get caught up in thhrefeir workouts and for you to get caught up in your retention, but it’s important to remember that gyms can be serious danger zones if proper precautions aren’t taken. As a gym or club owner, it’s your job to ensure your members’ safety. Here are 10 ways to keep your club and your members safe.

1. HAVE SECURITY CAMERAS THROUGHOUT YOUR FACILITY

This is not only important for dangerous situations like theft and unwelcomed people in your club, but it’s especially important to have security cameras for unstaffed hours and in the pool area if your club has one. Security cameras also assure your members are respecting their surroundings like other members, your equipment and your club rules.

2. SHOW MEMBERS HOW TO USE EQUIPMENT AT SIGN UP 

Not only does ignorance hurt your member retention, but it can also literally hurt your members if they don’t know what they’re doing and are using machines incorrectly. To avoid injury, either show members how to use your machines during tours or offer free classes at sign up that show them how to perform basic functions with correct form.

3. HAVE A COMPANY SECURELY PROCESS YOUR PAYMENTS

First and foremost, your business cannot successfully run without cash flow and secure transactions. Second, you and your members need to feel at peace knowing their personal information like credit cards on file are safe. ASF securely processes membership dues through PCI compliance, assuring owners that member information is safe and putting members at ease. Learn more here.

4. HAVE A SAFETY PROTOCOL 

Whether it’s someone who fainted, or someone drowning in your club’s pool, you and your staff need to be prepared for any situation. Form a company protocol that all staff and trainers must follow. Go through drills every month to confirm everyone is updated on the safety measures. If your club is larger, make sure to have an intercom so that your staff can quickly and easily communicate with each other. Have a lifeguard in the pool area at all times who is CPR certified.

5. INSPECT YOUR EQUIPMENT REGULARLY

Although it’s easy to trust your machines, all equipment wears and tears at some point, so it’s best to inspect it on a daily basis for the sake of member safety, according to Zogics. Check for loose or frayed cables and any other signs of malfunctions. Also make sure treadmills and weight machines are placed strategically, away from walls and have enough space apart from each other.

6. HAVE MULTIPLE AREAS WITH FIRST AID KITS

Injuries can happen anywhere and at any time in your club, so it’s important to have multiple areas with first aid kits. It’s not only convenient for your staff, but it keeps employees focused on your members rather than scrambling for a first aid kit.

7. LEARN CPR

According to the National Personal Training Association (NPTA) there is no official standard that states personal trainers must be certified in CPR, but it’s always a smart idea. This is especially pertinent for elderly members who are more at risk. You may not need to perform CPR on a regular basis, but it sure comes in handy when you do, and gyms are very common places for CPR to take place. Save yourself the stress and someone’s life by learning CPR.

8. RESTRICT YOUR POOL HOURS

If your club operates for 24 hours and has a pool, restrict your pool hours to a specific time block. This is important especially for when your club is unstaffed. Although you might have members who would like to use your pool during late hours, it’s not worth risking someone slipping or drowning.

9. ENSURE CHILD SAFETY WITH KIDCHECK SOFTWARE

Not only is member safety your number one priority but keeping their children safe is as well. KidCheck software reduces liability for you because it ensures only authorized caretakers can check kids in and out. When a child gets checked in, the software displays any allergy or medical information that your staff needs to know regarding your member’s child and it gives guardians the ability to quickly detect where parents are located in the event of an emergency.

10. CLEAN UP AND KEEP PATHWAYS CLEAR

Whether it’s water in the pool area or locker room or free weights in the wrong places, this pertains to anything that could pose a hazard in your gym. Check your club every hour. Clean up water to prevent members from slipping, make sure equipment is where it’s supposed to be and keep pathways clear for fire safety.

HELPING YOUR MEMBERS WITH COMMON GYM MISTAKES

Mistakes made at the gym are a part of any fitness journey initially, and most of the time, owners and club staff are not even aware of what areas their members struggle in. This is 100 percent preventable, but typically results in lower retention, so it’s crucial for owners to understand common gym mistakes and what warning signs to watch out for. Here are some of the most common ones and how to help your members avoid making these mistakes.

THE MISTAKE: NOT UNDERSTANDING THEIR BODIES AND GOALS

How you can help:

Talk with your members at sign up about their goals. Give diet tips or suggest personal training based on what you think could best benefit them. Do your research about different body types and post these facts on your club’s social media. Fitness is very visual, which is usually what members are missing when it comes to understanding the way their own bodies work. If they don’t understand their bodies, they can’t address their goals. Post diagrams, videos and other images to help them, especially new members who are just starting out.

THE MISTAKE: NOT HAVING A PLAN

How you can help:

It’s pretty simple to detect if someone doesn’t have a plan when they’re at the gym. They’re typically wandering around or getting on and off equipment very quickly. Lack of structure is one of the biggest culprits to gym attrition. Boost your retention by addressing these warning signs. Talk with new members at sign up and actually help them form a plan.

THE MISTAKE: INCORRECT FORM

How you can help:

You can always simply talk with members about what questions they have about different exercises, but many people are embarrassed to admit that they don’t know how to do a push-up correctly. An easy fix to this issue is offering a group class that demonstrates how to perform basic exercises like push-ups, planks, squats and lunges. Offer this as a free group class to new members and prospects as a way of saying “thank you” for signing up with us or trying out our facility. For individuals that prefer digital demonstrations, create quick social media how-to videos showing basic movements. This will add value to your brand and up your retention.

THE MISTAKE: NOT WARMING UP AND COOLING DOWN

How you can help:

Dedicate an area of your gym that is solely for stretching and relaxing. Members will often get the memo during a personal training session and group class that warming up and cooling down are part of the process. Just make sure trainers and instructors are informing them just how important they are to successful workouts and seeing quality results.

THE MISTAKE: DOING TOO MUCH CARDIO AND NOT ENOUGH WEIGHTLIFTING

How you can help:

Start by simply educating your members, because chances are, even long-time members have probably been doing everything backwards. Depending on their goals, suggest personal training or group classes that are strength training-focused. Post different cardio workouts on your social media to offer your members variety so they aren’t running just to run.

Focus especially on members who are looking to lose weight. These people usually have backwards thinking that doing hours of cardio is how they will lose weight, when in fact weight loss derives from a clean diet, a lot of strength training and a little bit of cardio every week. Although weight loss is relative and depends on a person’s body and goals, the general rule of thumb is usually the opposite of what people initially think.

THE MISTAKE: DOING CARDIO BEFORE STRENGTH TRAINING

How you can help:

Offer classes that include a mix of both cardio and strength training, beginning with weightlifting and ending with cardio, and make sure the instructor or trainer highlights why cardio comes before strength training.

THE MISTAKE: SPENDING HOURS AT THE GYM

How you can help:

Although you might think keeping your members at your gym for hours will magically boost your retention, it won’t. In fact, it will probably do the opposite because more time at the gym doesn’t equate to more results. Set a time limit on your group classes for about 45 minutes. Personal training sessions usually last about 30 minutes to an hour on average, so once a class or session is over, that’s an indicator that the workout itself is finished too. This should do the trick for members who aren’t very time-conscious.

THE MISTAKE: WAITING FOR EQUIPMENT

How you can help:

It’s always best to have more space, but because you can’t instantly increase your gym’s square footage, you can still create more space by expanding certain areas and eliminating less popular machines. Take notes on what areas are used up the least and fill those spaces accordingly with equipment that’s in higher demand. If this is a recurring issue, consider expanding your facility in general.

THE MISTAKE: BEING IMPATIENT

How you can help:

Being impatient goes hand and hand with ignorant members who think they’ll magically have flat abs after one sweat session. Although you can’t always control whether a someone is sprinting too fast on one of your treadmills or lifting way too heavy of weights, you can offer tips on social media about this information and suggest personal training, so misinformed members get the correct answers from trained professionals.

THE MISTAKE: USING THE SAME MACHINES AND DOING THE SAME REPS

How you can help:

Recommend personal training to members who need a little more guidance in this department and encourage them to try different classes. Don’t be afraid to recommend a class to a member just because you think they’re not going to like it. Most of the time, people have no idea what they like or don’t like and who knows, your recommendation could be a game-changer for someone. When you mix up what your gym offers and give a variety of fitness tips, members feel more inclined to mix up their routines as well.

THE MISTAKE: NEGLECTING A HEALTHY DIET

How you can help:  

You may not be a registered dietician, but this is an area that gym owners don’t take enough advantage of and 90 percent of the time is why members aren’t seeing results and they don’t even realize it. Instead of keeping your members misinformed and frustrated with their progress, post healthy food and cooking tips on your social media.

Members don’t usually eat well because they have no structure or don’t know what to eat. Suggest personal training to those who are looking to lose weight and clean up their diet. Not only will a personal trainer offer structured workouts, but they will also help form meal plans. The last thing you want is your retention to suffer because of something as simple as this.

THE MISTAKE: NOT RECOVERING AND TAKING TOO LONG OF REST PERIODS

How you can help:

We cannot reiterate enough the value of personal training and group classes. Keep resting periods capped at 30 seconds during personal training sessions and group classes so members get the hint to keep their heart rates up. Inform your members from the get-go about the importance of taking a day off and alternating between legs and upper body workouts. Create online content about the value of recovery and how it will help them see faster results during their fitness journeys.

HELPING YOUR MEMBERS OVERCOME GYM FRIGHT

It’s easy to get comfortable and send a new member on their way once a contract is signed and you have finalized their membership through My Enrollment, but don’t just take their money and let them figure out the rest because chances are, they still have a lot of questions and feel very insecure.

Being almost two months into the new year, now is about the time when resolutions begin to fade. According to FOX News, the perception that fitness clubs are looking a little less crowded is because gym fright is starting to sink in. Aside from gym memberships being too expensive, three out of the five reasons people are already giving up on their resolutions have to do with self-esteem issues and not knowing how to operate gym equipment.

Consistent guidance and follow-up are not only key to helping your members overcome gym fright but are also crucial to keeping them long-term. Here are some ways you can achieve that.

TALK WITH YOUR MEMBERS ABOUT THEIR FITNESS GOALS

As an owner, there’s a lot to keep track of and you probably don’t know all of the details about a member at top of your head, but you can talk with them about what they hope to achieve, take notes and keep that information in their membership file. Ask them questions, get a feel for their specific needs, and make suggestions about different things their membership entails or how our gym software could benefit them. Use our retention cards as a personal touch to continuously make them feel welcome in your facility.

SUGGEST GROUP CLASSES OR PERSONAL TRAINING

One of the most common reasons for people cancelling their memberships is because they aren’t seeing results, and that can derive from gym intimidation. Whether that means the member is doing certain exercises incorrectly or they are afraid to try new machines, it can usually be avoided by introducing them to motivators like personal training or group classes where they will be around others, won’t feel so lost and will have more customized workouts.

WALK THEM THROUGH ALL NECESSARY GYM SOFTWARE 

Members need a strong balance between details and efficiency, especially if they have specific fitness goals. That starts with teaching them how to use all of the tools that will help them be successful. First and foremost, introduce them to our Mobile App. Then in My Club Business, show them how to sign up for classes and personal training sessions using My Scheduler and Rapid Class Check in. Make sure they are aware of everything their membership offers along with any other add-ons they might need like supplements or childcare. A lot of the time, members don’t take full advantage of everything their gyms offer because they weren’t informed from the get-go.

GIVE NEW MEMBERS A TOUR OF YOUR FACILITY 

New members usually have a lot of questions, one of them being where everything is located. According to FOX News, 49 percent of people are intimidated by the thought of the gym. Based on that statistic alone, it’s more than likely that many of your members avoid certain areas of your facility solely because they don’t know what they’re doing. As you show them around, walk them through how to check in, where lockers are and ask them if they have questions about classes or how to use certain equipment. Member money is valuable, and you don’t want them wasting it because they’re too intimidated by the weight room or they’re curious about using an elliptical but are too self-conscious to try it. If they feel limited, it’s likely that they will eventually cancel their membership, or it will expire and never renew. It is your responsibility to reassure them of why they signed up with your gym in the first place and to keep them coming back.

OFFER GUEST PASSES THROUGH OUR PASS-A- FRIEND PROGRAM

Facing fitness fears with a friend is a lot easier than doing it alone, and new members especially will benefit from this and be a lot more likely to step out of their comfort zones with a workout buddy. Not only does our Pass-a-friend program benefit the member with four guest passes, but it’s also a great opportunity for you as a club owner to gain prospects.

Bottom line is that happy members are lifelong members. The more comfortable they feel, the more they will take advantage of, which will lead to consistent usage of their membership and a greater chance of renewing their contract.

6 REPORTS TO HELP YOUR GYM’S MARKETING EFFORTS

Whether your fitness club is always busy, or you think you’re falling short in some ways, every business can improve. Just because you have members locked into contracts and using your facility on a daily basis doesn’t mean your job is done. In order to retain your members for life, it’s not only imperative to stay on top of your marketing strategies, but your gym needs real data to recognize patterns, understand your members, along with ensuring that your overall marketing efforts are working. Here are six of our reports that can help you achieve that.

1. 30/60/90 DAY RETENTION DETAIL 

This attendance report displays the number of times a member has come into your facility by date range since signing a membership. It also gives a member’s contact information, their last visit date and their membership type. This is vital for your marketing efforts because analytically, it can give you a pretty good idea of whether or not a member is happy in your gym.

This report is also important for the first 30 days of someone’s membership so that you can establish a good first impression, and it’s especially crucial for open-ended contracts that require payments. For example, if you notice a member has not been in your facility for 60 days, there’s probably a high chance of that individual cancelling their membership. The 30/60/90 Day Retention Detail report allows you to track your members’ attendance at any time, on any device and anywhere, so that you can avoid attrition to the best of your ability and rev up your marketing efforts when needed.

2. BIRTHDAY LISTS 

Wishing your members happy birthday does make a positive impact and is a very simple way to effectively market to them. Our Birthday Lists report keeps record of all contract buyer and card holder birthdays, so that you don’t have to. Not only does it show membership beginning and expiration dates, but you can also email members straight from this report. When you individualize something for someone and make that person feel special, you have a higher chance of renewing their contract.

3. HOURLY ATTENDANCE GRAPH (GENDER)

This attendance report digs deep into specifics. It shows how many females and males are coming into your facility on the hour. Showing analytics at an hourly rate is important for determining the peak times of your gym, and retaining gender-specific data is helpful because maybe if there’s a certain time frame you see fewer women, you can market heavier to your female members to get more people in.

Because you are able to recognize hourly patterns, you can easily test out marketing strategies and see if any numbers fluctuate. For example, this is a great report for something like the holiday season. Since people typically tend to fall short with physical fitness during that time, it would be a good chance for you to test the waters on some holiday marketing and see the direct impact for a specific time of day or for a certain gender.

4. AGE BREAKDOWN

Your facility may have people of all different ages coming in, but every gym has a specific demographic. When it comes to physical fitness, age plays a huge factor in determining your demographic. For example, if your fitness club is a barre studio, majority of your members are probably female, specifically between the ages of 18 and 30.

Our Age Breakdown report provides actual numbers for you to track your demographic. Not only can you run reports by contract buyer and card holder, but this report gives you a total count of your members by age and gender. Overall, it helps you know what age range you have coming into your facility so that you know better who to market to. Another example would be if most of your members are seniors, you probably wouldn’t want to advertise an intense body pump class.

5. DAILY NOTES LIST

This report displays all member account notes entered by your club or by ASF for any date. The notes could be financial or anything pertaining to a specific member that might be helpful for your gym to know. If your club has a promotion going on, this is also a great generic report to show who specifically participated in the promotion. Another example could be that if a contract expired, a staff member can make note of having already contacted that member in the Daily Notes List, which will put your club and ASF on the same page to prevent over-calling and excessive marketing.

6. DAILY SERVICE NOTES LIST 

The helpful thing about this report is that it is specific to the upkeep of your facility. It allows ASF to notify you of details about your club that you may not be aware of. When a member calls into ASF, we are able to put their feedback into the Daily Service Notes List so that you can easily view it. For example, if one of your machines is broken or there was a complaint about the cleanliness of your weight room, those notes can be entered into this report, so you can resolve the issue as soon as possible.

HOW TO MOTIVATE UNMOTIVATED MEMBERS

All types of people walk into your club every day with different moods, goals, body types and lifestyles, and although you’re not a mind reader and can’t always tell whether or not people are motivated, it’s important that you’re constantly attentive to each member.

It’s easy to assume that everyone who goes to the gym is super excited to be there, but motivation is always fluctuating, especially on certain days, at certain times and with new members who are adapting to new fitness routines and still adjusting to your facility. How your members feel day in and day out affects their long-term motivation. Here are some things your club can do to keep your members motivated.

HAVE FRIENDLY STAFF WELCOME PEOPLE INTO THE FACILITY

No matter the day or time, make sure your staff is greeting all members and guests by name and wishing them a good workout. Our gym check-in system can also help you with this because it automatically displays a person’s name as they walk into your club, which is an efficient way of making them feel important.

Overall, however, the more sociable your staff is, the more inclined people are to come back. An approachable staff is especially important for prospects not only because people feel more open to asking questions about memberships, but first impressions are vital to your club’s brand. Think of your staff as your members’ cheerleaders. Your members made it to the gym, now make sure your staff is there to give them a pat on the back, because it’s common for people to work out even when they aren’t in the mood for it.

PLAY UPBEAT MUSIC IN YOUR FACILITY 

This seems like a no brainer, but music plays a huge role in motivating people to exercise, and it’s especially imperative for people that forgot headphones. Create a playlist with a variety of tunes so that there’s something for everyone.

SHARE TRANSFORMATIONS ON SOCIAL MEDIA 

Not only will this make your members proud of their accomplishments, but it will also motivate them to go to your gym when they are feeling unmotivated. Whether you’re posting to Facebook or Instagram, create a custom hashtag so that your members can easily be featured. This will make your members feel like they are a part of a community and will reassure them of why they chose your club in the first place. Plus, you’ll get more social media traffic and possibly prospects, so it’s win-win overall.

HAVE WALL INSPIRATION AROUND YOUR FACILITY 

Think of it like a physical Instagram feed for your club. All of those well-known sayings like, “believe in yourself” and “you got this,” actually help members mentally create positive body images, which ultimately pushes them to keep going, even when they’re feeling lazy. Make sure to have wall inspiration near mirrors, as mirrors tend to naturally reflect negative body images. By having wall inspiration, your facility will overall feel like a safe and encouraging space to grow.

ENCOURAGE GROUP CLASSES AND PERSONAL TRAINING 

Not only is it fun to work out with a group of people, but people care what others think about them, which will most likely cause members to push themselves harder during group workouts or personal training. Efficiency also motivates people. Once you’ve walked them through how to sign up for sessions and classes through My Scheduler, they will be more likely to commit to what’s already set and stone.

MONITOR MEMBER ACTIVITY 

First off, keep record of your members’ attendance using My Reports, specifically our 30/60/90 Day and Non-Attendance reports. These are especially crucial for tracking new members to ensure they’re using their memberships. If the reports show excessive absence or overall low attendance for someone, you’ll want to follow up with that person because the reason could be something as preventable as gym intimidation.

A lot of the time, people lose motivation and steer away from their gyms because certain areas are too crowded. Even if your gym seems really busy, you still could be dropping other members because you don’t have enough machines or space in certain areas. Avoid this by monitoring what’s being used the most and least during certain times. For example, if your elliptical machines are often empty but your weight room is always packed, maybe expand the weight room so all members feel free to use the space. The last thing you want is to turn members off because you aren’t tending to their needs like you should be.

OFFER GUEST PASSES TO NEW AND EXISTING MEMBERS 

It’s pretty much fact that people feel more motivated to exercise when they are doing it with someone else. It could stem from a competitive drive or just simply because they aren’t exercising alone. Use our Pass A Friend program and provide your members with up to four guess passes. Do this with not only new members to keep them motivated, but also for existing members, because you never know when someone might need a little push, and it’s a great way to get prospects through your door.

GIVE YOUR GROUP CLASSES FUN THEMES

Whether it’s a Halloween-themed spin class where everyone comes dressed in costume or it’s a 70s -themed Throwback Thursday aerobics class, shake up your club’s routine by adding some spunk to your group classes. Your members appreciate variety in their workouts because it prevents exercise from becoming stale and stagnant. Use our Rapid Class Check In for these types of classes so that members and prospects can spontaneously sign up and join in on the fun.

HOW TO MAINTAIN A CLEAN FACILITY

This seems like a no brainer and you’re probably thinking that the answer is you simply clean your facility to maintain it. However, the cleanliness of your gym or fitness club goes a little deeper than that–a deep clean if you will. Not only does it affect the overall look, feel and brand of your gym, but according to Fitness Magazine, research says that members could be getting much more than flat abs at the gym, like fungi and Staph infections, the flu and even Hepatitis A and MRSA.

Even if you think your gym is spotless, it’s probably not. If you truly think about it, it’s no surprise that gyms are a haven for bacteria. Vast amounts of people with different health conditions carrying different germs, work out in your facility every day and sweat on your equipment.

Although you can’t control what people do, especially outside of your club, there are things you can do as a gym owner to make sure your facility sparkles because let’s face it: your members come to the gym to get healthy, not sick and a dirty gym is gross. Besides, people still try to stay active even when they have the common cold, which spreads germs but also the sicker a member is, the less time they are spending in your gym, and you don’t want that either. Here are some preventative measures you and your staff can take to minimize germs.

OFFER CLEANING STATIONS 

Most gyms and fitness studios offer stations with paper towels and spray bottles filled with disinfectant solutions, but in case you don’t already, offering cleaning stations is a small preventative action you can take to immediately kill germs. You’re probably still wondering how many people actually use them, and unfortunately, that’s why gyms collect so much bacteria, because many people don’t, but that’s also because gyms don’t encourage it enough or in a way that they should.

Members are more likely to wipe down a treadmill after using it rather than a weight machine. According to Natural News, free weights are often used, but hardly ever cleaned. Exercise balls and mats are rarely cleaned either because people don’t always think about it, yet they carry bacteria like Staphylococcus.

If you have cleaning stations with signs that encourage and remind your members to wipe down equipment, you have a better chance of avoiding harmful bacteria, helping them in the long-run. Although you can’t force your members to actually use your cleaning stations, it’s better to have them than not at all. Besides, your members pay to work out in your facility, not clean it. So even though it’s common courtesy for them to wipe stuff down, it’s not their job to–it’s yours.

HIRE A CLEANING STAFF

Whether or not this is your general staff, make sure your employees are vacuuming, wiping down equipment that isn’t currently being used, maintaining bathrooms and locker rooms as well as picking up trash. We recommend you have a separate cleaning staff from your general employees because if you have your front desk person vacuuming when they should be welcoming people in, there’s a chance of missed opportunities for new members, and besides, you want different types of people running your facility, so that all member needs are met. It looks more professional for your overall brand to have employees walking around cleaning because it shows that you care about your club and that you care about your members feeling comfortable where they work out.

Simply relying on your members to get rid of germs by wiping down equipment is not enough. According to an experiment conducted by the TODAY Show, the buttons on cardio equipment at a New York gym carried a bacteria level of 2,134. Any bacteria level over 100 was considered a fail. Natural News says that even after people wipe down those machines, bacteria can still live on them for up to three days.

In other words, deep cleaning your facility is your best bet, plus members and guests definitely notice and appreciate those small details, which is vital to the success of your business. If you’re an owner of a boutique fitness studio that runs solely on group classes, like barre or yoga, it’s not a bad idea to have a cleaning staff, but you probably don’t need to worry about it as much since group classes are controlled and moderated by instructors, rather than the individual actions of members.

CHECK OUR DAILY SERVICE NOTES REPORT

Our Daily Service Notes Report is a good tool for ASF to inform your gym and staff of things you might not be aware of, like the cleanliness of it for instance. This could be anything like the bathrooms were dirty one day, or there was gum stuck to an elliptical. Specific complaints like that happen all of the time. Think about it this way. You don’t want your members exercising in a dirty environment. That’s unsanitary and embarrassing for you as a fitness club owner. Your members chose your gym for a reason. Whatever their deciding factor was, one of the worst things that could happen is a member cancelling their membership because they were grossed out.

The Daily Service Notes Report is perfect for very specific issues. Obviously, your club is a public place and public places will always carry germs no matter what, but the issues reach a whole level when it’s disrupting a member’s workout. Chances are when things like that happen, members will complain directly to your staff for an immediate solution, but either way, this report is imperative to check so that you, your staff and ASF are all on the same page and can resolve the issues when they arise.

USE OUR HOURLY ATTENDANCE REPORT

This report helps you determine the peak times and slow times of your facility each day, on the hour. You’re probably wondering how this report would help you clean your gym. If you have effectively determined your peak times, then you know that more people using your equipment also means more germs.

At the same time, you can determine your slower times to track when it’s okay to send your staff around to clean, especially if you don’t have a specific cleaning staff. Regardless, you should be cleaning your club or at least inspecting it every hour. This report helps you determine appropriate times to maintain it so that your members are always exercising in a clean environment.

CREATE A CLEANING CLOCK 

Whatever this looks like or sounds like–whether it’s a reminder over the intercom or specific times all of your employees are aware of, everyone needs to be on the same page. With members and prospects coming in and out of your gym, asking questions and signing up for memberships, it’s easy to forget to clean, so simply setting cleaning reminders for your employees can resolve issues before they’re even a problem.

BOTTOM LINE

If people touch it, clean it. It’s better to be overly-detailed about the look and feel of your gym, than not enough.

Resources

https://www.fitnessmagazine.com/health/germs/germs-at-the-gym/

https://www.naturalnews.com/filthiest-objects-gym-germs.html

https://www.today.com/health/germs-gyms-where-they-re-worst-what-do-about-them-t121318

HOW OUR SCHEDULER HELPS GYMS & MEMBERS

When it comes to running a gym or fitness club, happy members are obviously top priority and key to healthy retention. You may think that the technical side of running a business is only helpful to you as a gym owner, but members appreciate intuitive and up to date software that benefits their fitness journeys and gym experiences–especially when it comes to personal training and group classes. Here is how our scheduler helps both gyms and members.

ORGANIZES YOUR CLUB

Organization is crucial to any successful business, especially a gym because fitness success stories derive from people having plans and structures. Our scheduler displays day, month and year views on a clean and modern interface that makes navigation quick and easy, using our robust drag and drop. With this feature, an owner is able to sign a member up for an event in a calendar view by quickly dragging a class or personal training session right under their profile. Our scheduler also offers features like room design and conflict resolution, which go hand in hand when it comes to knowing what is where and when events are happening.

The room design feature allows owners to label where all classes and trainers will be on a given day, while our conflict resolution solves any scheduling issues before they arise. Both features will verify whether an event has been double-booked or is in the wrong area of room. Plus, personal trainers feel taken care of with these features because they don’t have to worry about making sure their trainees are in the correct area at the right time. Lastly, our scheduler will send out email notifications to all sides of the party–class instructors, trainers and members to notify everyone where they’re supposed to be at what specific times, ensuring there is no miscommunication, and everyone is on the same page.

EFFICIENT FOR MEMBERS

Members need efficiency with their fitness goals and appreciate being able to quickly sign up for personal training or group classes right from their phones. This ultimately adds value to their fitness experiences and an owner’s retention because members don’t have to jump through hoops to use all that a gym has to offer. Besides, if a gym or fitness club does not offer these tools that members need to be successful, retention will go down and members will seek them elsewhere.

It’s all about understanding people, then implementing that intuition into the software. Sometimes members, especially individuals who are new to working out, don’t even fully know what they need and want. Their deciding factor of signing up for a gym membership in the first place may not have necessarily been the software. They also most likely didn’t even know from the get-go that technology would help their success, but it will sure keep someone around in the long run because they feel like they are being taken care of.

Members sign up for group classes and personal training for a reason, ­and it’s usually because they need the extra motivation and a typical gym session just won’t cut it. On a deeper level, members need other people to relate to and connect with, and fitness, whether it’s a spin class or one-on-one training, is as personal as it gets from a business standpoint. When technology covers the extra work, screen time is reduced, and face to face time is increased.

ULTIMATELY BUILDS COMMUNITY

In this day and age when technology dictates every waking moment, establishing strong bonds with all gym members is imperative to healthy and successful gyms. The point is for the technology to take care of the owners, so they can take care of their members. Even though many would argue that technology retracts us from authentic human interaction, it’s actually the opposite with our scheduler.

The more intuitive and efficient technology is, the less time a client spends looking at a computer screen and worrying about running their business, which means they have more quality time to connect with their members, enjoy club activities with them and help them reach their fitness goals. As this happens, the retention of a fitness club will naturally increase because the technology takes care of the rest.

Our scheduler is available to all current ASF clients. For more information, contact our Sales Department directly at 800-227-3859 and sales@asfpaymentsolutions.com.

GYM OWNER STRUGGLES & HOW TO TACKLE THEM

Opening up a gym or fitness club typically starts with two things: a passion for fitness and a passion to help people with fitness. Taking risks is one of the primary aspects that comes along with being a business owner, and even with the most successful businesses, all owners experience trial and error, setbacks and triumphs. Here are some of the most common gym owner struggles and how you can successfully handle them.

WEARING MANY HATS

This is pretty much inevitable when an owner first opens up a gym. There’s a lot of pressure associated with being an every-man. You feel that you have to be the trainer, business owner, salesman, janitor–everything in the book, and it’s so easy to spiral into all of these job descriptions and forget to simply be the gym owner. Of course, it’s natural to take on multiple jobs, especially at first, but trusting and working with other people is something that you have to do if you want your gym to grow and succeed. A common occurrence when first opening up a gym that many owners struggle with is member attachment. Members tend to get very comfortable with certain trainers and don’t want to change. The issue arises because unfortunately, a growing fitness club sometimes needs to alternate between multiple trainers.

HOW TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM

 Be proactive with your business–not in a way that you pressure yourself to wear all of the hats, but in a way that you set strategies and create a cohesive brand for your gym. When you’re first opening up a business, it’s very common to hire people that you’re familiar with like friends and family. Before going through the hiring process, be organized and have regulations and guidelines already set in place. Have a game plan from the get-go that has systems set in place, so you can teach all of the operations to new hires and people that you already had on board.

INTENSE COMPETITION 

 It’s so easy to fall into the trap of what everyone else is doing, and to a point, you have to understand what others are doing and know what attracts people. First and foremost, avoid thinking of competition as an “issue.” It’s part of life and always will be, and understanding your competitors is also part of understanding the industry you’re working in. Just avoid becoming obsessed with it.

HOW TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM

 Start with understanding your own club and your own business goals because even though you’re in the same industry among thousands of other gyms, there’s always one thing that sets you apart from them, and vice versa.

This especially applies if for example your fitness club is a yoga studio and a kick-boxing gym just opened up down the street from you. Initially this seems like competition, but if you compare the two, your yoga studio has a completely different demographic than the kick-boxing gym. If the issue you face is that it’s another yoga studio down the street, do something like giving free t-shirts to new members at sign-up or hand out water bottles to prospects who try a yoga class for the first time. Include your company logo, slogan or mission statement on free products. This way, you’re taming the competition, not losing sight of your business goals and most importantly, creating value for your club that sets you apart from everyone else.

ATTRACTING NEW MEMBERS

Arguably one of the most common issues all businesses face is how to get new people in your door. Although exceeding the expectations of your current members is a must for positive word of mouth, in today’s age, businesses need to go beyond their front doors.

HOW TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM 

Even though you might feel like a tiny fish in a giant ocean we call the internet, social media advertisements on platforms like Facebook and Instagram in addition to your other marketing efforts should be at the heart of your focus. Everyone is on social media, you can reach thousands of people and you can effectively target to your specific demographic. Within your social media ads, make sure to have incentives like free classes for a week and click throughs to your website so a prospect can easily learn more about your club.

Also, take advantage of our Pass-a-friend referral program, which offers passes that are custom to your club and automatically emails new members. Along with measuring the profitability of your marketing program, it tracks sales follow-up and closing percentages. As an owner, all you have to do is brainstorm incentives for members that refer their friends to your club.

MEMBER RETENTION 

When members are happy, that usually means fitness clubs are successful and gym owners are smiling, but member retention is a bit more complex than that. A lot of the time, there’s pressure attached to member retention and gym owners focus so much on funneling new people in that they forget to keep the current members satisfied.

HOW TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM 

People sign up with specific gyms for many reasons: membership price, convenient location, or something as simple as a friendly conversation you had with them–the list goes on, but unfortunately, people also cancel memberships for very specific reasons too. Sometimes the reasons are out of your control like the member moved or they lost their job and had to cut their expenses, but gym owners usually have a lot of power when it comes to retention. If you don’t already, your club needs to pull reports using gym management software. To breakdown your member retention, you need to analyze your gym’s data using reports like our Hourly Attendance Report, Age Breakdown Report, 30/60/90 Retention Detail Report and Birthday Lists.

You need to understand essential details like the peak and slow times of your facility, what the main age range and gender of your members are, when specific people signed up for their memberships and how often they come in to work out. Acknowledging specific details like member birthdays is crucial to making them feel valued. Another important retention detail is that members are never locked in for life, so it’s vital to bring the same value to the table as you would for prospects.

This means hosting unique events or giving out free merchandise with your club’s logo and mission statement to current members. You also need to know details like members cancelling because of broken machines or the cleanliness of your club. You can break this down using our Daily Service Notes report. The whole purpose of using reports is understanding where your strengths and weaknesses are as a business, so you can maintain healthy retention.

MANAGING PAYMENTS

This is one of the most common obstacles when running a fitness club because once your gym is operating, it’s difficult to keep track of everyone’s payments and membership types. This is why all gyms need someone to process their members’ payments for them.

HOW TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM 

When you have someone else like ASF to process membership payments for you, then you suddenly have more time for other things­ like getting to know your members, understanding their fitness goals and needs along with bringing prospects on board. Money obviously matters to your business and is usually a fragile topic when it comes to members. That’s why ASF not only processes all of the payments for you, but when financial problems arise, members and owners are able to resolve the issues by talking with ASF customer support. When ASF manages payments, owners and members can be confident in their cash flow along with the service and communication that is provided to members.