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
Running a gym or fitness club is just as challenging as it is rewarding, since there are so many factors that play into the success of one. Here are common mistakes to be aware of so that you can keep yourself and your business in check.
MANUALLY TRACKING YOUR MEMBERSHIPS & CLUB DATA
Technology and gym management
software exist for this exact reason. If you’re spending your time updating
spreadsheets and have no way to accurately track the data of your club, you’re
not only wasting time that could be spent elsewhere, but you’re most likely
collecting inaccurate numbers.
Health club management software is meant to do these jobs for you, so you have more time to not only engage with your members, but you know your gym’s strengths and weaknesses from a calculated standpoint, resulting in a stronger business structure. Learn more about gym management software here.
NOT UNDERSTANDING YOUR DEMOGRAPHIC
Every gym or fitness club has one, and if you don’t understand the people using your facility, then you don’t understand your business to its full potential. This mistake falls closely with the lack of gym management software. The best way to understand your demographic is through accurate reporting. It’s important to know if your club attracts more females or males and what age range you’re dealing with.
YOUR MARKETING DOESN’T MATCH YOUR DEMOGRAPHIC
A common mistake many
businesses make is marketing to the wrong crowds. This goes for genders and age
ranges you’re choosing to target on platforms like Facebook and Instagram as
well as the content you’re sharing. Effective marketing affects all angles of
your club, and understanding your demographic starts with accurately targeting
those prospects in the first place.
For example, if your fitness club is a small boutique or a specialty club like a barre studio, it’s important to recognize that you’ll probably attract more females, so your marketing budget will be better invested if your social media platforms target primarily women within a certain age range. Whatever your content may be, whether you’re posting funny memes, inspirational quotes or nutrition tips, make sure it aligns with your specific audience, both organically and through paid advertising.
YOUR DEMOGRAPHIC IS TOO NARROW
This might seem contradictory
to the above points but remember that just because your club might have a
specific demographic doesn’t mean to exclude the outliers. Although you might
cater more to a specific gender or age group, consider how other types of
members can benefit from your club. This will add more value to them and expand
your money-making opportunities.
YOUR TRAINERS AREN’T DIVERSE
Different types of members have
different needs, which is why it’s important to have a variety of personal
trainers. Whether that’s a mix of males and females, older and younger or
everything in between, always think about your members and how you can best
help them achieve their fitness goals.
Remember that just like how
member goals vary, personal trainers specialize in different areas of fitness
as well. While many members might like to lose weight and tone their muscles,
you also want to open your personal training up to individuals who want to
focus on less intense exercises or specific workouts like functional
It’s also a possibility that
both males and females feel better with their same gender in a personal
trainer, so have both men and women staffed to ensure comfortability. The more
you cater to different individuals, the stronger your retention will be.
With the new year in full swing, now is the prime time to get a gym membership. Whether your goal is to lose weight and gain muscle or improve your endurance, there are plenty of reasons to give in. Here are some reasons to join a gym.
4 Reasons to Join a Gym Today
1. HELPS WITH CONSISTENCY
No matter what your fitness goals entail, consistency is key to reaching them and in order to maintain consistency, we need structure, which is exactly what a gym provides. When all of the equipment you could ever need is conveniently in one place, you’re more likely to stick with your goals, and more importantly, reach them.
2. OFFERS VARIETY
The beauty of a fitness club is that there is a little something for everyone and a variety of ways to use equipment. From free weights to cardio machines to swimming and Zumba classes, gyms offer members variety, which is crucial for maintaining motivation and preventing stale workouts. With an abundance of equipment, you’re always able to mix up your routine so you’re never bored, and you actually enjoy working out.
3. PERSONALIZED SUPPORT & POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT
Personal trainers and class instructors are there to help you reach your fitness goals by offering expert advice and hands-on guidance to ensure proper form and a healthy diet. It’s especially important for those who feel intimidated by the gym and are insecure about what they’re doing.
Group classes and training are also effective for reaching your goals and receiving extra help. A group setting might seem intimidating initially, but rather than focusing on how you look to other people, confide in other attendees as well as your instructors to learn new exercises and expand your fitness knowledge.
4. MEMBERSHIP & MERCHANDISE DEALS
The beginning of a new year is a peak time for receiving special discounts on memberships along with various fitness items like water bottles, protein powder, workout gear and even deals on personal training, so take advantage of any and all deals your gym might be offering. These offers will be kind to your wallet and your health.
It’s a no-brainer that January is the hottest time for fitness clubs. Gym memberships will be on the rise, and even though right now prospects may be postponing their motivation to join a gym, it’s still the prime time to get ready for all of the future chaos. Here are some ways your gym can prep for the new year.
Tips on How to Prep Your Gym for the New Year
PREPARE FOR MEMBERSHIP FLUCTUATIONS
It’s common to see a large increase in memberships during this time as it is to also see a large drop once resolutions fade, but you don’t have to let new members slip through the cracks. Battle those common fallouts by tracking your attendance using our 30/60/90 Detail Retention Report and offering special promotions through My Member Account Mobile App so you’re actively motivating new members and have a higher chance of locking them in long-term.
FOCUS ON CURRENT MEMBERS
Although it’s easy to focus solely on bringing new members in, existing members are motivated as well and now is a perfect time to generate more club revenue through them. They can increase their training by purchasing additional training sessions and discounted point of sale items in My Member Account Mobile App. Members who were on board with your club before the new year’s hype guarantee healthy retention above anything else, so it’s important to maintain loyalty with them.
Recognize that high rises also mean busier peak times. While a busier gym is a positive thing for you, it can be frustrating for members due to lack of space or equipment. Although you can’t always control those factors, you can check to ensure your equipment is clean and working properly before the big new year’s rush. Also mention off-peak times to current members so they have options. If need be, use your club’s increased income to invest in new equipment later in the year.
USE GYM MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
It’s important to keep yourself organized as a business regardless, but it’s especially crucial during popular seasons. Make sure your club operates with gym management software to stay on top of your retention and your revenue. Become familiar with our Attendance Report, our Hourly Attendance Report, our 30/60/90 Retention Detail Report and our Revenue Detail Report.
The retention and attendance reports will help you more effectively track prospect and member behavior and our Revenue Detail Report simplifies cash flow tracking, giving you the ability to look up revenue from an individual day and up to a full month.
Encourage members and prospects to use My Member Account Mobile App, so they can easily purchase and sign up for classes and training events. This way, you’re keeping everyone engaged, simplifying their experiences and generating more revenue all at once.
Make sure you’re up to date with the software by reviewing training videos and clicking on the “what’s new” section in My Club Business. You can also get in touch with ASF Client Support to acclimate to the software.
ELIMINATE FINANCIAL STRESS
Pools of prospects also mean an overwhelming increase in cash flow. In the midst of the new year’s chaos, it’s just as important to have another company process your payments–for organization and your own sanity. By handing over financial responsibilities to ASF, member payments are processed safely through our PCI compliant system, which puts everyone at ease and gives you more time to funnel people in and satisfy current members. Learn more here.
ADVERTISE SPECIAL PROMOTIONS
Even though fitness and joining a gym might be an afterthought for members and prospects right now, this is a prime time to run holiday discounts and advertise your club online, and lucky for you, there are many different sales and ads you can run to promote your business. Motivate current members with discounts on point of sale items or free personal training sessions by encouraging them to refer their friends.
Run social media ads that offer a month off membership dues if prospects sign up during the holidays. Make sure social media campaigns contain links to My Enrollment so a prospect can sign up right away. Display special discounts on supplements, apparel and personal training in My Member Account Mobile App so current members can purchase directly on their phones.
By actively promoting various areas of your business throughout the holiday season, you’re engaging new and existing people, generating more club revenue, providing value to your gym and your audience and helping your club stand out.