Announcement: No Late Fees or Return Items

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.

For facilities that have decided to continue processing membership dues, beginning in April, ASF will no longer charge any Late Fees or Return Item Fees to members that are continuing to make their payments during this pandemic. We understand their commitment to your business and your community.

ASF will continually monitor and reevaluate this policy as this industry crisis unfolds.

We're here to support you. Please reach out to our Client Support team at 1-800-527-6898.

Announcement: Membership Collections in Reserve for 30 Days

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.

Schedule Online Classes & Training for FREE!

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.

Streaming Online Classes During COVID-19

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.

Great Ideas for Your Business During COVID-19

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 clientsupport@asfpaymentsolutions.com

We will continue to provide more tips to help support your business and your members.

Stay Healthy!

ASF’S COVID-19 Impact & Support Guide

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 training@asfpaymentsolutions.com

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.

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.

COMMON MISTAKES GYM OWNERS MAKE

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 training. 

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.

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