ASF recognizes the impact that COVID-19 is having on your business and your members. We've been extensively reviewing the evolving situation, during this unprecedented pandemic.
Due to COVID-19, our industry is facing unprecedented challenges. Many clubs are temporarily—or, in some cases, permanently—closing their doors.
In doing our part to preserve your business and contribute to the sustainability and longevity of the industry we all love so dearly, we are making some changes to mitigate liability in these uncertain times. We are actively monitoring gym collections during this time and, unsurprisingly, we are seeing an increase in member chargebacks and/or refund demands.
Effective immediately, ASF will hold 10% of all membership collections in reserve until 30 days after the applicable facility has reopened and is operating under normal circumstances. Funds reserved on your account will be held and safeguarded for your benefit and, until released back to you, will only be used to pay chargebacks and/or refund demands raised from your members, or other fees that are owed to ASF from time to time. Doing this will prevent both you and ASF from being liable if or when members perform chargebacks and/or demand refunds through their credit card providers and automated clearing houses. The reserve funds will be released to you once the COVID-19 crisis is behind us.
We will continually monitor and reevaluate this policy as this industry crisis unfolds. This action is to help ensure that your business can weather the storm and be in the best possible position once clubs reopen.
We are happy to answer your questions. Please reach out to our Client Support team at 1-800-527-6898.
COVID-19 has forced our industry to quickly make significant changes to our business plans. Listening to feedback from our clients and understanding the shift in services, ASF has moved quickly to release this new product enhancement to our Scheduler application.
We're excited to announce that ASF clients can now schedule online streaming events using our Scheduler application.
• Login details and access information can be stored for each event
• Members can easily register for classes or training online
• Event details are emailed directly to them
This new product is free to all clients through August 1, 2020!
To get started, watch the video and call our Client Support team at 1-800-527-6898.
Not an ASF client yet? Contact our Sales team at 1-800-227-3859 to learn more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to rethink how they can survive during these unprecedented times.
Online training and classes have proven to be a significant resource for health clubs and martial arts studios.
However, you may be under the impression that it’s an expensive undertaking.
The reality is that you can stream classes and training with little or no money out of pocket using Facebook Groups, YouTube or Zoom.
Below is a link to an instructional video on how you can take advantage of these tools.
These are long term tools you can continue to use for your business in the future, once this pandemic subsides.
We're excited to announce a new program update to our Scheduler application that will allow you to book online training events is on the way.
Stay tuned for more tips by the end of the week.
We’ve received great feedback, suggestions, ideas and business tips from our clients. We will continue to share and hope you can implement them into your business plan.
Today, we’re going to dive into some more details and break down some of the suggestions we sent previously.
- Start by placing a message on the homepage of your website informing members about the status of your operations. Champion Boxing & Fitness has a good example of how to do this.
- Provide additional information. Ideally, have a link that takes the member to a page with more detailed information and updates. Champion Boxing & Fitness’ page is clean and easy to navigate.
- Create email campaigns with ASF’s software, My Club Business, to inform members of how you’re supporting them. FitWorks does a great job by offering members a free month added to their membership, in addition to the time they are mandated to close their doors.
- Offer members the opportunity to join virtual workouts during this pandemic. Again, Fitworks does an excellent job encouraging their members to stay healthy!
- Post workouts on your social media pages. Urge Fitness does a fantastic job with their Facebook page.
These are just a few suggestions our great ASF Community is contributing.
Want to share? Send us your ideas, suggestions and success stories to email@example.com
We will continue to provide more tips to help support your business and your members.
This is a stressful time for you and your customers. We hope that we can be helpful to you as you navigate the uncertain path of the COVID-19 virus and how it might impact your business in the coming weeks.
As we know, COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation and ASF has prepared a comprehensive business continuity plan to help you run and protect your business.
1) Our Customer Operations Member Services call center will remain available to you during our normal business hours. Member Services hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. MST
2) Out Customer Operations Client Support call center will remain available to you during our normal business hours. Client Support hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. MST
3) Our Customer Operations Tech Support call center will remain available to you during our normal business hours. Tech Support hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. MST. Additional after-hours support will remain available through our After-Hours portal.
4) Payment processing & Remit schedules will continue as scheduled. Any external banking factors will be communicated with you as soon as they are received.
5) Our Training Department will continue with all scheduled training appointments. With possible business suspensions, this is an opportune time to upgrade to your software to the newest applications at no additional charge. Contact our Training Department @ 1-800-527-6898 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many clients have shared tips for protecting their business and we want to share some of those with you.
• Utilize social media and post several times a day, letting people know how you are taking steps to have your facility professionally cleaned.
• Publish a policy of how often your facility is cleaned and the increase since learning more about COVID-19.
• Gather testimonials from members that endorse the cleanliness of your facility.
• Post pictures of your staff, cleaning crew, and members, wiping down equipment.
• Post daily information regarding physical exercise and nutrition keeping the immune system intact.
We hope these items help you with the success of your business and are ready to assist with any adjustments during these changing times.
It’s easy to think that once a prospect shows interest in your club means they’re ready to get on board, but remember people test the waters for many different reasons, especially for something like a gym membership, that is considered a luxury expense.
With that being said, there are different stages of prospects, anywhere from the first initial interest to pen in hand, ready to sign. In between those stages, it’s your job to lock them in. Here are some methods to turn your prospects into members.
OFFER FREE TRIALS
This is probably the most obvious and common strategy for turning prospects into members, which means it is one of the most important ones for making a prospect actually feel like a member.
Offer two-week free trials to all prospects for all areas of your club, like classes, spa services and pool access. Create a profile for them in My Member Account Mobile App so they can easily sign up for events and quickly check into your facility.
Another effective strategy is to offer two-week money-back guarantees. This way you’re still generating income while keeping the member at ease financially. Both methods give prospects the full experience and up your chances to seal the deal.
HIRE THE RIGHT SALES TEAM
The key to successful sales is authenticity and technique, which means building true relationships with your customers and establishing trust. When hiring the right sales team, think about the perspectives of your prospects and what would win them over.
The answer in most cases comes down to human connection. Make sure your sales team masters strong pitches and that they don’t rely on automated CRM campaigns. Automation may seem more efficient, but it strips the human connection, which decreases sales in the long haul. In a nutshell, the prospect needs to see you and your staff as actual human beings to not only close the deal, but to become loyal members and boost your retention.
Understanding your potential members and hiring the right sales team are like yin and yang, since they are the first interactions prospects have with your club aside from your front desk staff. Plus, the one who makes the membership sale is the one who gets to know the prospect the most, which is why it’s imperative to learn about their fitness goals and desire for a gym membership. Ask your prospects questions like what brought them in and what is motivating them to join a gym.
People get memberships for many reasons, whether that’s to lose weight, improve endurance, relax or alleviate back pain, and chances are, they will give you clear-cut answers that will cue your sales team to not only establish stronger relationships with them, but to also upsell services like personal training, spa perks, nutrition coaching and group classes–valuable club assets that your prospects maybe didn’t realize they needed or wanted in the first place.
GIVE FACILITY TOURS
At this point in the process, you’ve already gotten to know your prospects, now it’s time to put your club in the spotlight. With facility tours, your staff can get to know prospects even more while making them feel like members.
Remember that each area of your club serves a purpose and holds value, therefore it’s important to highlight its features and perks during tours, increasing your chances to upsell. Avoid simply pointing at equipment and areas. Learn your prospects’ initiatives and initial interests in wanting a gym membership, then sell the value in a way that is specific to them and their fitness goals.
At this point, you’ve gotten to know them, and they’ve seen your facility. Now it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty: membership pricing and packaging. As easy as it is to assume members are turned off by pricing, it’s actually a prime opportunity to lock in their loyalty.
Not only do members appreciate transparency about what they’re paying for, but they deserve it. Rather than making the common mistake of tip-toeing around your pricing, present everything as-is, explain the value of each package deal and make sure they understand your terms and conditions. Think of it like this: the more honest you are with them, the more they trust you, and the longer they will last as your member. Always remember that your business is valuable, so in pricing pitches, build the value of your services that is equal to or greater than your price.
INTERACT ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media is one of the most commonly used tools among members. They are constantly taking gym selfies, sharing transformation photos and stories with their fitness communities. Social media, however, is also the most misused for gyms and fitness clubs when it comes to finalizing a membership sale.
At this point, you’ve gone through the entire prospect process, so you may have already signed them on, but if they are still on the fence, interact with them on platforms like Facebook and Instagram by liking and commenting on their posts. If they have already signed on with your club, ask their permission to send them emails about updates on your club’s social media to increase member engagement and retention.
Related Post: How to Generate More Club Revenue
The livelihood of any successful business is to keep the income flowing. Aside from memberships, there are plenty of club money-makers. Here are some ways to increase your revenue.
HERE’S HOW TO INCREASE GYM REVENUE
1. TAKE YOUR CLUB MOBILE
Your members check their phones regularly, so if you’re not already using My Member Account Mobile App, you’re missing out on some revenue-generating opportunities. With the touch of a finger, members can quickly and easily purchase additional training and events and can access club promotions and offers.
2. SELL TO CURRENT MEMBERS
Instead of focusing solely on prospects and new memberships, increase your dollar signs by selling club merchandise to current members through Point of Sale software. Offer anything and everything that might benefit a member and their fitness goals like workout gear, step trackers, supplements, class bundles, training sessions and protein shakes. ASF Point of Sale and Inventory Management applications allow your staff to easily ring items up and quickly track your inventory.
3. OFFER PREMIUM MEMBERSHIPS
You’ll always get members who
want the bare minimum, and even though higher prices typically steer people
away, remember that higher prices mean more value to your members, especially
if your club offers a range of package deals that they can compare before
making a decision. Neatly display the membership levels on your website in a way
that conveys the value of the premium membership.
For example, your basic
membership that costs $10-$20/month might restrict members to only equipment
and free weights, but if the member purchases premium level, they can receive a
certain amount of training sessions or group classes and extra perks like spa
and towel services for $10-$15 more a month. Amplifying what your gym offers
ups the value of your club and is an effective way to incentivize your members.
Don’t be afraid to show membership prices either–people appreciate
4. UPSELL TO CURRENT MEMBERS
This is the same thing as making a simple sale to an existing member, but it’s kicking it up a notch through accurate targeting and technique. To effectively accomplish this, you’ll want to target members who are on your basic membership plan. Narrow this list down by running reports of all these members. Once you’ve done that, gather their emails and send out an email blast promoting an offer of your choice. This could be a sale for an add-on service or an offer to upgrade to premium level. Promote this via My Member Account Mobile App as well for more results.
5. OFFER TRAINING
Whether big or small clubs, training equates to 9 percent of total club revenue, according to IHRSA. ASF clients have seen as high as 20 percent, so it’s a huge money-maker and can be part of package deals or add-on services. You can also offer different types of personal training like one-on-one and small group training and vary your pricing based on the value. Small group training has recently been an uprising trend within the fitness industry, according to IHRSA.
6. OFFER NUTRITION & HEALTH COACHING
Whether your members are trying or have tried to lose weight, we are no strangers to the never-ending epidemic. According to Time, about half of Americans said they tried to lose weight in 2018 and majority of those people still don’t realize that lack of nutrition is the main culprit.
Not only is nutrition where
your members fall short, but it’s where your business is missing out as well. Offer
nutrition and health coaching packages for members to purchase. Even if your
club is already generating big numbers without this added perk, nutritional
guidance is a huge opportunity to up your revenue. Promote these services on My
Member Account Mobile App and run monthly reports to determine the popularity.
7. OFFER CHILDCARE
Another service that can aid in higher revenue is childcare. Many of your members have kids, so allow them to work out in your facility without the hassle of finding a babysitter. Learn more about childcare services here.
We’ve already covered five other mistakes in part 1 of common mistakes gym owners make, so here are four more mistakes made by owners and how to avoid them.
YOU FOCUS SOLELY ON MEMBERSHIPS
Yes, memberships are the lifeline of your club, however, if you remain completely focused on bringing prospects in, you will eventually lose connection with current members and you won’t give any attention to other opportunities that generate income, like your point of sale items.
Retention is just as important as signing new members, so keep current members satisfied by running special promotions and discounts on club merchandise, personal training and fitness class packages. This will help you maintain strong retention and generate more revenue at the same time. Above all, remember to find a healthy balance between prospects and current members.
YOU’RE AFRAID OF INNOVATION
The fitness industry changes all the time and if you aren’t open to change, then your club will stagger, and you’ll eventually be unable to keep up with member standards. To avoid making this mistake, keep up with fitness trends, ensure your club is active on social media, both organically and through paid advertising and above all, be open to member feedback and actually listen to what they need and want. Make sure your club is active in the community by being a part of organizations like IHRSA or Association of Fitness Studios (AFS) to gain more business insight and stay current with industry trends.
TOO CROWDED WITH TOO MUCH EQUIPMENT
On a positive note, your fitness club is so popular that it’s overflowing with members. The harsh reality is that not only is this a common gym owner mistake, but it’s also a huge culprit for gym membership cancellations. Why would this be your fault though? Your club and business structure lack balance, with equipment, physical space and too many members to accommodate for.
For one, you know the square footage of your gym from the get-go, so unless you’re planning on expanding it, you know how much equipment can fit in it. With more members coming through your doors, more equipment seems like the best solution, but realistically, members need space to breathe and move, so as an owner, it’s your job to find the right balance between these. Keep tabs on the less popular equipment and areas of your club, so you can decide what should be subtracted to create more space.
The same thing goes for group classes and training sessions. If you’re noticing a higher count of members attending a specific class, offer that class more frequently to avoid overflow, increase traffic and up member satisfaction. The best way to gather these numbers is to pull attendance and hourly traffic reports through gym management software. Be sure to talk with your equipment vendor supplier about equipment layouts and mapping out better use of your space.
LACK OF UPKEEP
Upkeep applies to the quality of your equipment and the cleanliness of your club. If you’re not mindful about these things, your retention will suffer. Machines like treadmills and ellipticals break down all the time. Although the wear and tear are not your fault, a common mistake among owners is allowing these issues to linger.
Not only does this prevent members from using your machines, but the lack of proactivity devalues your memberships and gym. This applies to the cleanliness of your club as well, and dirty facilities are a huge culprit to membership cancellations.
You care about your club, so constantly taking care of it is vital to reducing attrition. To make yourself more aware of possible upkeep issues, refer to our Daily Service Notes–a report that allows ASF to transfer member feedback to owners and learn more about how to maintain a clean facility here.
Selling memberships and products is the lifeline of any fitness business and adding gym management software like Point of Sale and Inventory Management into the mix is imperative to handling those tasks. Here are a few reasons why owners need both.
1. INCREASES REVENUE & BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT
The whole purpose of running a gym or fitness club is to sell memberships, fitness gear and generate more income, especially for services that can’t be physically displayed in gyms. Point of Sale is a must-have tool that brings more attention to extra club add-ons like child care, spray tanning, towel service and massages.
Through accurate inventory tracking and reporting, gym owners can detect which services and items they sell most of, so they know what to order more of and perhaps where they should consider decreasing retail prices or running promotions. With a higher understanding of these strengths and weaknesses, owners and their staff have better chances of upping business engagement and generating more club revenue.
2. TRACKS & ORGANIZES CLUB INVENTORY
Organization is key to running a successful gym or fitness club. With the use of Point of Sale and Inventory Management, owners can track and organize club merchandise all in one. The convenient layout of both include custom categories, sub-categories and product images to make it easy for staff to find items while completing transactions and for owners to better track their merchandise. By simply clicking on an image, Inventory Management will show product quantity, purchase history, the cost of the item and the vendor, while Point of Sale will instantly add an item to checkout.
Owners can also adjust retail prices for special club promotions and events while also renaming products and updating how many more of a selected item they wish to order, simplifying the tracking process and ensuring all staff is on the same page. Larger gyms and fitness clubs with higher sales traffic, more employees and multiple locations can especially benefit from Point of Sale and Inventory Management, along with Martial Arts schools to provide and track uniforms for their students.
3. EASY-TO-USE TIME-SAVERS
Point of Sale and Inventory Management can be accessed anywhere and on any device. While a staff member is ringing up an item for a member through the Point of Sale interface on a front desk computer, a club owner can be updating inventory counts with the touch of a finger through Inventory Management on an iPad, tablet or smart phone, eliminating unnecessary spreadsheets and steps. Owners can conveniently scan item descriptions and easily search categories and sub-categories to access product information faster. Both applications save time and stress, increase efficiency and ultimately simplify daily club operations for everyone.
Point of Sale and Inventory Management applications work simultaneously, like yin and yang. Without both, owners lack organization and proper club functionality, ultimately losing overall business engagement. The combination of both is as simple as making quick transactions, then giving owners the ability to instantly update their inventory after finalizing those transactions. Being able to both sell and track various products seamlessly makes for an all-in-one stronger business model for gyms and fitness clubs, big or small.
Learn more about ASF’s Point of Sale and Inventory Management applications and request a demo here.