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.
My fitness center recently started building our email list. At the time of our first campaign, we had approximately 350 addresses on our list. We had no idea whether or not even half of them would work. We sent out an email to former members (those who had cancelled and were no longer using our facility) stating that they could re-join for only $15 per month. The catch?? The former members had to act quickly as the deal would expire in one week. Within that week, we re-signed 14 members as a direct result of that email.
Let’s do the math… we immediately made $210 in profit (14 members x $15). This not bad for sending an email!
Seven months later since that first campaign, of those 14 members that re-signed, not one of them cancelled their membership. Who would cancel a $15 monthly membership?
So, let’s recap this what this single email profited: an immediate $210 profit + $1,470 in dues over the past 7 months = $1,680 total and still counting! Meaning that if we break it down even further, to date the value of every person on our tiny 350 address list is $4.80 ($1,680/350).
I believe that one of the most underutilized resources in any business, especially the fitness business, is email marketing. Most of the gyms I havee visited do collect new member email addresses at some point, generally during the new membership sale. However, after the email addresses are collected they typically sit in a filing cabinet on a membership contract. In some cases, the gym management will actually type the email addresses into a computer, but there they will die. If you ask any marketing expert, they will tell you that your email list is invaluable!
Additionally, one of the most valuable marketing demographics on the internet is health and wellness. If you want to see for yourself, just search for the term “weight loss” and look at the number of results you get (as of this writing, I got 414 million results on Google). Most marketers would sell their firstborn to get an opt-in email list of customers in the health and wellness sector (opt-in means that the list subscriber willingly gave you their email address because they are interested in hearing from you). While any marketer would kill to get their hands on a health and wellness email list, your members are walking in every day and handing their emails addresses to you because they WANT to hear from you!
Go see what a single email is worth to you and start today!
If you wouldn’t feel 100% comfortable walking around your club or gym barefoot (including the bathrooms and showers) you have a big cleanliness problem! If you’re paying attention, you’ll notice the moment you walk into a business whether or not the owner values cleanliness. Your customers are willing to forgive you for a lot of things including a small facility, or old equipment, but they will never forgive you for an unclean or unsanitary workout environment. I’m harping on this because this is the low hanging fruit. No matter your resources or your budget, you can improve the cleanliness of your gym today and I promise that your members will notice.
Keeping your club or facility clean is easy once you institutionalize cleanliness as a policy. Start by creating a cleaning checklist (or get mine at http://blog.gyminsight.com/). The columns of your checklist should represent days of the week and the rows of your checklist should represent items to clean or specific cleaning actions (such as ‘vacuum all floor mats’). Once you have a checklist, make sure that your staff follows the check list every single day.
After your staff gets the hang of utilizing the checklists, then start performing random audits of their work. Take a checklist and randomly highlight 5-10 rows and do a walk-through with the person who is responsible for the list. For each item that you highlighted, give it a score (A-F) and when you’re done, write the cumulative score on top of the checklist. By doing random walk-throughs with your cleaning staff, they will learn how you like things cleaned and which items are of the highest priority.
Create your cleaning checklist today and start enforcing it immediately. Your members with thank you and your competition will hate you for it.
An age old business adage states “What gets measured gets improved.” Therefore, you should measure the things that are important to your business.
We know if we’re in danger of posting a bad week, month, or quarter way before the numbers are crunched by accountants and that is the single most powerful tool a business can have. We know if we’re slacking on personal training sales way before any accounting period ends and every person in the company sees these numbers every single day. The result of constantly measuring and showing the results to every person in the company is accountability. The practical take-home is that we haven’t missed a goal ever since we started measuring and our growth and profit margins look amazing. It’s nearly impossible to miss a goal when every person in your company is focused on that goal and sees the progress several times a day.
So what is a Gym Management System (GMS)? I believe the term was coined by 24-Hour Fitness, who to the best of my knowledge, was the first large scale operator to put a comprehensive real-time accountability system in place. The way it was explained to me was that Mark Mastrov made it clear to every person in the 24-Hour Fitness organization that accountability and real-time information were going to be paramount in 24-Hour Fitness’ massive expansion and domination. Their GMS allowed 24-Hour Fitness to scale rapidly, keep costs in check, and hold regions, districts, and even individual clubs accountable for their share of the cash needed to fuel such powerful and rapid industry domination.
To start out, can you or any of your staff members answer the following questions right now?
- How much EFT do we need to set up at our Glenwood club to hit our goal this month?
- Which one of our clubs is selling the most annual membership agreements?
- How much EFT did we set up yesterday?
- How much personal training have we sold so far today?
- What’s our total personal training liability right now?
These are just a small sampling of questions that can make the difference between health clubs that are just barely making it versus an industry juggernaut.
Can you build a world class health and fitness organization without a GMS? Maybe, but you’ll be competing against companies who do have such systems, and chances are, they’ll eat your lunch.
Get Insight, a GMS at: http://www.gyminsight.com/insight