COMMON MISTAKES GYM OWNERS MAKE PT. 2

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.

3 REASONS TO USE POINT OF SALE SOFTWARE

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.

BOTTOM LINE

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

TECHNOLOGY IS BRINGING OWNERS AND MEMBERS CLOSER

Technology can arguably retract us from authentic relationships as our eyes stayed glued to our smart phones, however when it comes to fitness, it’s the saving grace for both owners and members and the key to building stronger bonds between them. Member goals can vary anywhere from weight loss, to muscle toning, to improving their diets. The goal of owners is to increase their revenue, which makes technology the bridge between the owner and the member.

SOFTWARE THAT CONNECTS MEMBERS & OWNERS

Giving members the ability to quickly sign up and check in for events increases efficiency on both ends­. With gym management software, members have more time to enjoy their workouts and focus on their wellness goals, while owners have one less job to worry about and their time can be spent helping their members instead.

In addition, advancements in gym management software are allowing members to make extra purchases directly on their phones, like personal training sessions, supplements and club merchandise, instantly increasing revenue for owners and adding value toward member goals. Enhancements in club management software include reporting, for owners to more effectively track member behavior. Accurate reporting is vital in understanding a club’s demographic, saving important member information like birthdays, learning how a club can improve and most importantly, exceeding members needs and expectations.

SOCIAL MEDIA TO INTERACT WITH MEMBERS & BUILD COMMUNITY

Social media has changed communication, especially in the fitness industry. Although there’s speculation and controversy surrounding social media, it serves as a positive outlet to effectively market to members and allows them to share transformations, frustrations, success stories and common struggles.

Popular platforms like Facebook and Instagram give owners simple and meaningful opportunities to celebrate their member’s triumphs and also keep up with fitness trends like online personal training, quick fit tips and nutritional counseling. Owners can connect with their members along with hundreds of prospects through organic social media and paid advertising by offering value that will help them with their fitness journeys.

Factors could include discounts on memberships, point of sale items and personal training packages. Both parties benefit this way, establishing stronger business to consumer relationships. Ultimately, social media helps owners better understand their members, even beyond the gym. Majority of members are on social media hashtagging their gym selfies and snapping photos of their healthy food. By interacting with them through this outlet, owners can more effectively market to members and offer fitness-related things that match their interests and needs, establishing loyal customers and increasing profit. Learn more how social media benefits health clubs here.

DIGITAL RESOURCES THAT OFFER MORE VALUE

Members need guidance and credible resources while working toward their goals, which is why it’s important for owners to keep a library of online blogs and articles that are geared toward fitness and wellness. The more value owners provide their members with, the more likely members are to achieve their goals, while owners maintain healthy retention and continuous cash flow.

TEXTING FOR INSTANT REACH

Texting is as personal as it gets in this day and age, since that’s how majority of members and prospects communicate on a daily basis. Sending out text alerts not only informs members with important information and updates, but it’s also an effective way for owners to maintain relationships with their members, even if the text messages are automatic. Owners can text various things like when payment information is updated, when full classes have more openings, when a class is cancelled or a member reschedules a session, when the club itself is closed, along with birthday texts for a personal touch.

BOTTOM LINE

What do all of these components have in common? Efficiency. More efficiency equals more member engagement, resulting in stronger bonds between owners and their members and higher chances of landing prospects. It’s difficult for members to focus on their fitness goals and owners to focus on generating revenue when neither have the necessary tools to take care of them. In a nutshell, owners can choose to hide behind their computer screens, shedding negative light on technology, or they can choose to walk across the bridge with everything them and their members need to succeed.