A guest post on our blog shares his Insight on the growing pains of a small fitness business and what he found to help alleviate the pain and rediscover the excitement!
Here is a teaser... from Gym Business Insights: "Small Gym Management: From Pen and Paper to Nightmare to Software
I can’t think of one personal trainer, group fitness instructor, or even hardcore recreational gym goer that has not thought about, at one point or another, opening their own training facility. One of the best problems to run into when opening your own gym is the growing pains associated with selling a great product. Obviously, in a situation like this, organization is key to the long term success of the facility.
From personal experience, I was on board with a small new private training facility that started experiencing these exact problems. Early on, everything was handled via pen, paper, and excel. This worked very well with twenty and less members using the facility. Being primarily a personal training and small group fitness gym, the low number of members was easily manageable. All billing was done in person, each month. When members were late on payments, there were only two or three phone calls that needed to be made. Several class times were offered throughout the week that was under the assumption of “since people are paying, someone will show up at each time.” With no one signing up for a spot in the class beforehand, class sizes varied from one to fifteen people with absolutely no warning. Even with the larger class size, it was still pretty easy for one trainer to make sure everyone got their money’s worth.
Everything was working smoothly… until membership doubled...
Visit the blog to find out what happened next!
I have posted the full length article on my Gym Business blog at - but here is one section of it...
Gym Maintenance and Gym Owners
Gym owners are affected two-fold, legal liability issues and financial costs.
To prepare for the worst, legally speaking, it is always best to document EVERYTHING, including all preventative maintenance done to equipment and the steps taken after equipment is no longer in working order. Have all this recorded in one place (like a log book) and include receipts of equipment parts and pictures. Make the notice signs conspicuous and if necessary remove any potentially dangerous equipment from the gym floor! I know I might be sounding extreme, but a little of extra time now can save you a lot of time and money in court later. Make this log book a priority and enforce it with your employees!
Financially speaking, this can definitely be a source of controversy. I understand and empathize with anyone not liking fees on top of membership dues. So there are only really two ways to budget as a business owner for both the wear and tear of your facility AND also for those times when a total makeover is needed in order to re-energize your existing member base and/or to remain competitve with new and looming competition!
First budget suggestion (and I can thank my IdeaFit community for remaining Insightful suggestions), is to either have an extremely low membership price with a contract that conspicuously lays out a set fee for maintenance and enforce it from the beginning! I know that most major gyms budget yearly and in advance for these high cost business expense by including a maintenance fee within the membership contract and detailing what the fee will be used for to the members. Gym owners can reassure their members that these fees are being used appropriately by posting news to their social media pages or other announcement forums as to how these additional fees are being used.
The second budget option (which also seems to be the most suggested from other professionals in the community) is just to have included both the expected and unexpected maintenance costs in a higher based membership price.
The full blog post detailing these personality types can be found at http://blog.gyminsight.com/.
Here is a teaser of each personality one is likely to encounter at a fitness gym...
1. The Washed-Up Meathead- Be careful when making eye contact with him because if you show even a mild amount of interest, it may start him off on a diatribe of all of the accolades he received during his sporting career!
2. The Faux Trainer- No matter what exercise you are doing, he will loudly exclaim to you that you are doing it wrong.
3. The Over-Enthused Workout Lady- She is very easy to spot because she is everywhere at once!
4. The Contender- Always be on guard when he is in the gym!
5. The Miscellaneous- You can spot him because he wears a shirt with the least amount of sleeves possible...
Do you fall into any one of these categories?
If so, is there anything that can be added to develop the character more?
Are there any character types that are missing?
What are they and the details?
Guest post by Mike Hedlesky covers the most basic and essential terms anyone in the fitness industry should know.
Here is a teaser from my blog where you can read the full post!
There are some very basic terms that every gym owner should be using and considering on a daily basis in order to make sure they are running an efficient and profitable club:
Sales- Obviously, the sales are what drive the club forward. If no one is buying your product (memberships) you are not making money. Sales can be broken down into two very important groups. Gross Sales are how much is actually billed to the client or member. Net Sales are the actual profit of the gross sale that the club receives after all deductions are made. For example, the gross sale of a personal training session may be $60. The net sale may only be $30 to the club once the personal trainer is paid out.
EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) - This is the most hassle free way to collect membership dues at a gym. Simply by getting a members credit card number or bank/routing number, monies are collected each month via auto billing so that you and your staff don’t have to feel like bookies tracking down unpaid gambling debts. Also, keeping track of the clubs Recurring Revenue (collection of gross sales of monthly payments) based on the Number of Existing Members is as easy as clicking on the “Reports” icon in your auto billing system. With this in mind, you can also easily keep track of average monthly and total New Member Sales to ensure the positive growth of your club. Furthermore, using gym management software like this will allow you to keep a database of prospective member information.Following up with unsure walk-ins is key to keeping a high member Conversion Rate.
Anthony with Lifestyle Fitness in Las Vegas will take you through this billing service step-by-step.
Never be held hostage!
Keep your late fees!
Cancel Memberships in a blink of an eye!
Anthony, Manager at Lifestyle Fitness, will share with you our strategy in selling Personal Training!
After you are done viewing the video, check out the program that Anthony is referring to. It is a Software as a Service (Saas) powered by XEFinancial at:
The payment processing service also allows for the clubs/personal trainers to be paid weekly!
Comprehensive details on any member are only 1-click away from any screen in the Member Manager software. Member information includes a picture of the member, the member's name, the date that the member signed up, all access keys assigned to the member, and recent club usage history. It includes front desk and outside door controller check in software that allows our clients to utilize a 24 hour check in process. The Front Desk software that is included in this package informs the manager or person at check in if there are any issues with a client account at check in and can show a picture of the member checking in for added security.
Is your fitness club still in the 80's selling memberships out of binders and blank fill in contracts?
If you are, you need to see this video. This sales program is a professional presentation to your potential gym members. It also protect you from mistakes down the line... With a simple swipe of a credit card, all of the member's vital information for billing and if ever, collections, is automatically imprinted on the sales contract. Eliminate your staff's transciption errors and defaults months later with this program.
Narrated by the developer of Insight, Lawrence Fagan takes you on a step by step tour of his newest software for membership based services!
Basic Website Layout
If you’re building your gym website from scratch or if you’re updating your current website, you need to make sure that you have at least the basic pages that everyone looks for:
- Home – your main landing page with plenty of information on your gym. Make sure that all the basic questions are answered here: where is the gym, when is it open, what does it look like, what features and amenities does it have
- Tour – Have more in depth information on this page. A video tour of your gym is ideal but if you don’t have video tour, ensure that there are plenty of pictures on this page
- Testimonials – You must have a testimonial page. Don’t skip this for any reason
- Contact Us – Address, phone number, email address, map showing the exact location
- Frequently Asked Questions – Every time a customer asks a question that isn’t on your website, be sure to add it to this page. The goal is to make the transaction as seamless as possible by eliminating obstacles and concerns before the customer ever arrives for a tour
Rules to Live By
- Every page of your website should have a clear call to action. You never know which page of your website that your visitors will land on first so each and every page needs to have your free trial membership form on it.
- Every page should be dedicated to one specific thing. For example, if a visitor clicks on a page titled “Recipes,” ensure that the only things on that page are delicious recipes. Leave the workout tips for a “Workout Tips” page.
- Accommodate the way that different visitors read. Some people like long format articles, some people like bulleted lists. Make sure to use meaningful headlines and that article and page content matches the headlines.
- Text is horrible for selling. Make sure that your pages have plenty of pictures, video, and even audio.