Utilizing the new Live Stream Scheduling Integration in the MIS Platform to weather the COVID-19 storm
If there is anything the recent COVID-19 crisis has made crystal clear, it is that the way we do business will never be the same. As communities all across the world have had to face unprecedented shutdowns and halting of services, businesses such as your own have had to navigate a new way to succeed in business. Nowhere has this impact been felt stronger than in the health, wellness, and fitness community. As gyms and health centers are forced to close their doors, new solutions and opportunities have started to arise – and the team at Membership Integrity Software (MIS) is your critical partner in not only surviving this crisis – but thriving during it.
MIS is proud to offer our new, cutting edge, and secure Zoom Scheduling Integration. The new Zoom Scheduling Integration works seamlessly with the MIS platform to schedule and manage all of your online virtual classes, as well as delivering an intuitive, simple to use, and cost-effective member booking experience through the MIS member portal. Virtual class hosts can easily create, view, and start their own Zoom online class within the MIS system in an easy, secure, and concise way that will keep your classes running and your revenue streaming in. With a robust platform designed to handle multiple users sharing accounts, your gym or healthcare facility can run a virtually endless number of classes that will thrill your clients and boost your bottom line. The new Zoom Scheduling Integration platform delivers secure online virtual class options for your gym, positioning your business to deliver high quality health care experiences while your competition remains stagnant.
During these trying times, clients are desperate for normalcy and a healthy lifestyle. While other businesses are shutting down, the Zoom Live Stream Integration system provides solutions to keep your business booming – both during and after the crisis. Reach out to the MIS team today to learn more about the power of Zoom Live Stream Scheduling Integration and the MIS platform, and take the opportunity to grow your business during these uncertain times.
Running a gym is no easy task. Keeping records up to date, maintaining a spreadsheet of all clients, collecting payment, and communicating with your staff is enough to drive you up the wall. Good news is, there are lots of technology and software that can help take away all the stress of gym management.
However, choosing the right software to implement in your facility is like walking into a candy store as a kid. So many choices to make. So many possibilities.
What if you invest in something that doesn’t fit your business? What if your customers don’t take to the software? What if your staff has problems using that gym management software?
If you’ve been looking for a gym management solution yet you experience decision paralysis when it comes to choosing the best software, then this guide is for you. This guide reveals what to look for when choosing the best gym management software to help you grow your business.
Let’s dive in.
Look for a System that Has a Mobile App
It’s a known fact. Most of us are glued to our phones. Our mobile devices have become an extension of us.
They’re our source of transportation (Uber, Google maps, and other ridesharing apps). They’re our source of food. They’re also our source of information, shopping, and perhaps the most important means of communication in the 21st Century.
This is why it makes sense that your first consideration should be whether the gym management system has a mobile app. And, not just a basic mobile app, but one that offers added value to your customer fitness experience. An app that allows them to track their work out progress, make payments, and reserve classes.
Having a gym management system that has a mobile app feature also allows you to get rid of boring paperwork and spreadsheets. Members can easily register without having to fill stacks of paperwork.
Some systems have a custom branded app specifically built for your business. This software allows customers to interact directly with the business, which can help increase engagement and customer loyalty.
Does the Gym Management Software Have Website Integration Tools?
What good is a gym software if it doesn’t reflect your brand? Your software provider should offer website integration tools together with the system. The gym management software that you choose should give users the same experience as your website.
It should provide a seamless experience for your users (similar to what your brand is known for). Most gym software providers offer website integration and branded web tools as basic services. These tools work with different website platforms, including Squarespace, WordPress, Wix, and Weebly.
Choosing a system that can integrate with your website will allow your customers to book and pay for services through one centralized platform.
What Are Your Exact Needs?
Other than running your gym, what other functionalities do you expect your gym management system to perform? Maybe you’re looking for a system that can help with marketing. Or maybe one that can help boost community and mobile engagement.
Whatever your needs are, there is always a gym software for you.
Before you start your search for a gym management system, first conduct a need assessment on your business. What areas do you feel need improvement? What are your short term, midterm, and long-term goals?
Every gym software is different and comes with its unique features. Some may be stronger in certain areas when compared to others. Take time and determine your exact needs, and you’ll be able to choose the best gym management software for your business.
Does the Vendor Offer Customer Support?
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when choosing a gym management system is choosing a gym software with poor or no customer support. At one point or the other, the system is bound to experience technical issues. Whether it’s during the onboarding process or while using the system, your software provider should be able to handle these issues quickly and effectively.
Some indicators of excellent customer support include the availability of online resources that cover different aspects of the software. Examples of these online resources can include blog posts, instructional videos, and a FAQ section.
Look into whether the software vendor has a live chat, phone, and email support. These are clear indicators of an active customer support system.
Feedback from past users can also be a benchmark for assessing customer support. Software providers who offer excellent customer service receive positive feedback from their clients.
What Identification Options Does the System Provide?
How easy is it for people to access your facility? Can a stranger walk in and start working out? Do your members have to wait in line as the receptionist confirms their names from the list?
When choosing a gym software, look for one that offers multiple check-in options. Your software of choice should allow both fingerprint and bar code check-in, which helps to ensure that only registered members can access the facility.
Also, look for fitness management software that has a photo capture feature. This feature will allow you to eliminate fraudulent check-ins by preventing non-members from using member ID to gain access to your facility.
Choosing the Best Gym Management System
The fitness industry is extremely competitive. There are thousands of gyms and fitness centers all around the United States. This may be tantalizing for fitness enthusiasts but as a gym owner, it can be extremely problematic.
How do you maintain a competitive advantage against other fitness centers? How do you attract more members to your gym? By leveraging the right gym management software, you take away most of the stress that comes with management, which leaves you with more time to focus on growing your business.
Take time to speak to different vendors on how they can help you. Also, experiment with demo versions of different software to find out which is most useful to you. However, if you’re short of time, and aren’t looking to experiment with different products, consider using the MIS software for your gym management needs.
Approximately 160 million Americans are overweight or obese. So there is a great demand for high-quality gyms.
Opening a gym, however, is an investment in time, energy, and money. Read through the checklist below to see if you have what it take to be a Gym Owner.
The Ultimate Checklist to Opening A Gym
A lot goes into opening a gym and running your own business. You will need to manage everything from working with clients to ensuring that the bathrooms have toilet paper. There are also legal and financial items to consider.
Below is a checklist to help you decide if you are ready to open a gym.
Are You an Entrepreneur?
Take a step back and ask yourself some key questions?
Are you willing to pour your heart and soul into your business? Most entrepreneurs do, at least in the beginning. Inc.com has 17 ways to know if you are an entrepreneur.
Personal Training Certifications & Licenses
Unless you have a partner in your business who is an exercise physiologist by education or a certified/licensed personal trainer, you MUST become certified yourself. In the health and fitness industry, you need someone in a leadership role having one or both of those credentials.
In the U.S., personal trainers are not licensed; they are certified. Certifications are not overseen by the federal or state government but are self-monitored by the industry.
IHRSA is the international leader in the operational side of gyms, health, recreation, and sports clubs. Join them to learn about where the industry is headed.
For business licenses, keep reading.
Create a Business Plan
Successful businesses have a plan and work that plan; unsuccessful businesses do not.
You may feel you have a plan stored in your head, but the act of putting it down on paper identifies areas still needing work.
If you are seeking funding from a bank, or are taking on investors, a business plan is required.
Things to Include in Your Business Plan
This is not a comprehensive list, check with your local college or university business schools, or the Small Business Administration for help on creating a solid plan.
Create a Budget
Are you drawing a salary in the beginning? How much is rent and equipment expenses? What licenses or inspections do you need? What is your estimated tax obligation for your area? You need to know the answer to these and other questions to ensure you have enough money to open, and run, your own gym.
Find a Location
Your gym needs a physical location. Find it and secure it. This process takes a long time especially if you need to build it out. Factor the cost of this into your budget and in the Timeline.
Will you need staff? What qualifications do they need? When are you going to start hiring? What type of pre-employment screening do you want or are required by law? Hiring is expensive, so work through the process before you bring a new staff person on board.
Equipment for the Gym and for Operations
You will need “stuff” for your gym. This will include exercise equipment as well as office equipment.
Typical Gym Equipment
Barbell Set and Rack
Pull-up Frame and Bar
Fitness Ball (Exercise Ball)
Additional Ideas: wooden bar for stretching, resistance bands or tubing
Depending on the size of your space, budget, or audience you may want to consider larger machine equipment.
Can you leverage contacts/relationships to help control the costs of equipment? Check out equipment affiliate programs. An affiliate program may provide you free equipment or cash for each item you sell when you promote their product line.
Office Equipment to Run Your Gym
You decided to open your own gym because you are passionate about health and fitness. However, you also have to run the business side of the gym. Consider using a membership software to manage and automate the operational side. Click here to watch a 1.5-minute video to show you the power of membership software. Still, have questions? Schedule a demo to see specifically how we can help you run your gym.
Legal, Insurance & Licenses
Have an attorney review all your waivers, insurance policies, partnership or financing paperwork. Yes, it is an upfront cost, but failing to do so prior to opening your doors, could cost you your business if you get sued. Keep in mind the cost of defending yourself, even if you did nothing wrong, could bankrupt you.
You will need both insurances for your business and licenses to operate it. These requirements will depend on where you live.
Now that the pieces are coming together; what is your timeline? This should be as detailed as your budget and they should dovetail together.
Identify Your Niche the Key to Successful Marketing and Sales
What makes your gym special? Who is your ideal customer?
This knowledge helps you to ensure you are offering the right programming and services. Once you know all this; tell the world why they need to come to your gym.
In today’s world, social media is a must, but balance it with traditional marketing and word of mouth. Keep in mind, happy customers are your best source of referrals.
It’s a Process
There is a process for opening a gym and a process to run a gym. Don’t skip steps. You can prevent your business from falling by making sure you prepare before you start.
Ready for the Next Step
If you are just starting the process of opening a gym or are small and have less than 25 members, check out our Free Trial. We know after trying our product you will love it and our talented team is excited to help you grow and expand.
For fitness enthusiasts, that’s great news. But as a gym owner, this can pose a problem: how do you beat the competition?
Gym club management software might be the answer. The right software can propel your gym into the modern day. It offers a streamlined experience that customers will love.
Not sure how to use gym management software to grow your business? This guide is for you — keep reading to learn how to implement this strategy to get more customers!
What is Gym Club Management Software?
Gym software basically just helps you automate processes. This can speed things up for your customers, while also saving you money. With software, you won’t have to pay so many staff members.
In addition to automating the check-in process, your software can also automate payments, track leads, and much more. Exactly what your management software can do will depend on which type you choose.
For example, you can get gym club software that’s focused on attendance tracking, merchandise sales, marketing, and more. Most gym software offers multiple functions to meet the changing needs of your clientele.
How Gym Software Can Grow Your Customer Base
Now, let’s take a look at how you can use gym software to get more customers.
Get Your Staff on Board
One of the best ways gym management software can help is by making sure your whole team is on the same page.
Do you feel like you’re the only person making the decisions and looking at the numbers? It’s probably because you are.
Gym management software can open a portal to important information for all your staff to see. This helps them feel more involved, and take more responsibility for getting more customers.
Your gym club management software should offer analytics tracking so you can see how well your approach is working. These analytics can show you everything from which classes clients like the best to what time of the day your gym is busiest.
When your staff understands these patterns, they can take more ownership. They’ll want to get more people to sign up for their classes or training sessions.
This can even become a friendly competition for staff members: seeing who can get the biggest class of the week or month!
Your software can also let your staff know about promotions to mention and other ways to support the gym. Make sure they can access relevant information, and stay open to your staff’s suggestions for more ways to grow your gym.
Reach Your Target Audience
With your staff on board with the new software, you can now turn your attention to reaching your ideal customer.
With so many gyms in the U.S., you have to set yours apart in more ways than one. It can’t just be a place for people to go work out. Instead, it has to be a place that has a specific appeal for a specific group of people.
Figure out your niche, and then you can figure out how to reach customers within that niche. Some software can track your leads and even send out marketing materials, like promotional emails.
Software that tracks attendance can be useful for seeing how to adjust your scheduling and marketing accordingly.
Is your gym’s Thursday afternoon Pilates class always full?
You might consider adding a second class at the same time to catch the overflow students. But if you have a Friday morning yoga session that only ever gets a handful of students, you might want to move it to a different time.
Attendance also helps you see how your staff is doing.
For example, if you have a staff member whose classes aren’t well-attended, this might be an opportunity to train them in making their classes more engaging. But remember that the issue might just be that the class schedule doesn’t work for many customers.
You can also track attendance for your individual clients and customize your marketing accordingly. Did a customer recently stop showing up? A gentle nudge in the form of a promotional email might get them coming back in.
Some gym management software helps you get the word out about any promotions that you have going on.
For example, you can use your software to email all of your customers about a new class series or a new trainer. You can also use it to connect with leads who haven’t become members yet. A discounted offer can prod them toward actually buying a membership.
Even a change in hours or a simple schedule change can mean a lot to some customers. The right software makes it easy to contact everyone at once with the information they need.
Gather Contact Information
The best gym membership software doesn’t just help track current clients. It also keeps contact information on prospective and former clients. It can even organize them into the categories you need.
For example, you might send out a seasonal discount offer to three categories of customer, with a different message for each. The current clients could be encouraged to share the offer with friends. The prospective and former clients would be encouraged to purchase the discounted membership for themselves.
There are all kinds of marketing benefits to being able to easily gather and sort contact information. The right software means you can get rid of that bulky file cabinet and start storing it all online.
What’s the Best Gym Software?
The right gym club management software will let you do all this and much more. But where can you find the best gym management software?
The top software options have a wide variety of features that offer multi-faceted benefits.
Is your 2019 resolution to amp up your fitness program?You’re not alone. Fitness is almost always part of the top ten most common New Year’s resolutions.It can be hard to stay competitive as a gym, however. This is especially the case if you are trying to attract new members.One way to stay ahead of the curve is to implement fresh workouts your members are most likely to love. These include new group and individual fitness routines.In this post, we discuss the top fitness trends you can bring to your local gym this year!
1. Power Yoga
Yoga classes have been a component of most gyms for years. It’s hard to find any city in America that isn’t home to scores of yoga studios.When it comes to fitness trends, however, yoga classes are going beyond traditional vinyasa and meditative flows. Power yoga, in particular, is making a scene this New Year, and for good reason.Most power yoga courses are designed to build strength and develop endurance. They often even coax participants into a healthy cardio sweat, depending on the pose or exercise performed.Indeed, “yoga fitness” can incorporate full-body toning components, giving participants a more comprehensive workout than traditional asana.Consider offering a power yoga class to gym members.
2. Team-Based Workouts
Team-based workouts are exactly what they sound like: fitness sessions that involve teams of individuals.These workouts can take any shape or form, depending on the gym. Many are often categorized as “Bootcamp” workouts, designed to foster competition and build community.This is what makes team-based workouts so effective: their ability to keep people accountable and develop team spirit. In most workout sessions, participants “race” to beat other teams.Team-based workouts can also coax participants to make new friends, push their limits, and change their perspective on fitness itself.Be sure to offer gym members team-based workout classes. Consider setting up a Bootcamp-stye class that meets during pre-work hours, even as early as 6:30 A.M.
Pound is quickly becoming one of the most popular group fitness classes available.A full-body workout that includes cardio, conditioning, and strengthening, Pound turns all participants into rockstars–literally. Think Zumba meets rock and roll, and that’s Pound.Pound workout participants use Ripstix, light drumsticks, to beat and “pound” out rhythms. Yet you won’t just be working your arms when you Pound.These classes have members sweating in no time, given the fact that they integrate core work, leg strengthening exercises, and cardio.Bring a Pound instructor on board to encourage members to get fit and bring out their inner rockstars.
4. Barre and Cardio
Barre and cardio classes combine traditional cardio and dance elements. Participants will get their hearts pounding while implementing traditional yoga, Pilates, ballet, and dance moves.The best part of barre and cardio classes is that these do not require any additional equipment. All you may require is a ballet bar and a few mirrors.Incorporate barre cardio courses into your workout schedule to cater to the dance-inclined members at your gym.
5. Personal Training
This may seem like old news for 2019, but personal training is making a comeback.More and more people are interested in customized workout routines. Personal trainers are ideal for individuals looking to jumpstart their fitness without having to sweat in a group setting.If you don’t do so already, consider hiring personal trainers to offer private services to clients. If you already offer personal training, consider marketing this aspect of your gym heavily this year.Or consider hiring more trainers with a varying range of expertise. Make sure you have an equal mix of male and female trainers, too, to cater to all members.
High-intensity interval training (HITT) involves short, intense bursts of exercise. It may be more effective than standard workouts that involve long-term, slow-building exertion.What’s more, it can be fun and easy to implement.Right now, it’s possible to follow a HITT routine on YouTube. Bring your gym members from their living rooms to your gym, however, by hiring instructors to teach HITT classes.Just like barre and cardio classes, most HITT classes don’t require any equipment. Body-weight only classes are more likely to cater to a larger population as a result.
Kickboxing offers participants a spirited and effective way to develop strength quickly. In a group setting, kickboxing can be an invigorating and fun fitness experience!Most people go to kickboxing studios to get their punch on. Stay competitive as a gym by offering your own kickboxing classes.This will mean investing in kickboxing gloves for members, but the investment is likely worth it.
8. Functional Fitness
Functional fitness refers to workouts designed to help participants develop practical strength. Functional fitness routines can be helpful for individuals recovering from injuries, struggling with sedentary office jobs, or wanting to build lift strength.You may want to offer a few functional fitness sessions to members. At the very least, consider having some of your personal trainers lead functional fitness workshops.
9. Zumba Step
Who doesn’t love to get a workout while dancing? Zumba classes have been popular with members for quite some time.You can add more flair to these classes by implementing Zumba Step, a fresh reiteration of the traditional Latin dance class.Zumba Step is designed to focus on the lower body. Participants still get the same Zumba cardio workout. However, Zumba Step routines can hone calves, strengthen glutes, and develop quad power.
Fitness Trends for 2019
Ensure all of your gym members experience top-notch workouts by implementing these current fitness trends at your gym. Gyms in 2019 are likely to incorporate more group or team-based fitness classes such as Pound or kickboxing.Consider offering high-intensity interval training (HITT) classes to gym members.Your gym members may be eager to work with a personal trainer this year. Be sure that your gym can meet this demand!Or incorporate functional fitness classes into your gym’s class schedule. These enable members to work up a sweat and develop strength likely to be useful to them in other areas of their lives.Are you looking for ways to bring these fitness trends to your gym? We can help. MIS gym software is a must for all business owners seeking to take their fitness platforms to the next level.The best part about our software? It’s packed full of features that matter. Check them out here!
Weights, cardio machines, cable crossovers, and squat racks. Add the smell of sweat and disinfecting solution. And you have everything a person thinks of when they picture the gym.Here is a phrase that doesn’t come to mind: retention strategy.But if you want your gym to stay open these two words must always be on your mind. If you want to stay in the black, this matter needs all your attention and more, it is that important.Stick around for 8 ways to stop spending so much on new customers and invest in the ones you have.
New Customers are Expensive
The oldest rule of business states, “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” Owners and managers forget the second oldest rule much faster. Finding a new customer costs much more than keeping a current one.Many books exist on the why of this topic. Instead, this article will focus on what to do to keep them.
Get Cozy with Information Technologies
Phones tell people everything now. They are calendars, alarm clocks, and post-it notes. What’s more, they connect people to the world around them. Use them to your advantage
You Need an App to Provide a Personal Experience.
You can’t avoid this fact anymore. Your gym needs a free app. It isn’t just an App, but client retention software.It’s fine to have In-app purchases available. But if you don’t have an app at all, you are begging to have your members taken by someone else.Think of it this way. People electronically sign in at your gym. But every time a customer misses the gym for 14 days you, the manager, get an alert to call them.You would spend your whole day calling members who hadn’t been in lately. Absolute bonus points on the personal touch, but not a very good use of time or money.Instead, your app does the work for you. Your IT personnel sets the app to deliver personalized reminders every 7 days they miss at the gym.Your customer now feels remembered and important. They go from being a number paying you money to being a valued member. Also, let customers know you missed them if they haven’t been in for a week or more.
Try to meet with each member at least every other month. When a person first joins your club, your retention strategy begins.Sit down with them for an extra ten minutes. Don’t show them the weight machines and give them a tour, yet. Get to know them.Learn a new name every time you work a shift and have your workers do the same.More important, learn their goals and take down their stats. Take weight and measurements. Every two months, set up your app to remind people to update their progress and goals.
Nothing gets people fired up like healthy competition. Let people make teams of up to 10 people and hold each other accountable. If they cannot find a team on their own, help them find one.What is the goal? Make it the greatest percentage of lost weight. Or try the highest percent of days worked out. You could even make it the biggest increase in one rep max on five exercises.The only limit to the types of competitions is your own imagination.
Yes, reward people just for showing up. They receive three points every time they work out. Customers use those points like money.Suppose at 450 points they get a free month at the gym. For someone who works out every day, they could get two free months a year.Yes, you will lose a tiny amount of money those two months. But they will keep paying you for the other ten months year after year. A small change like this puts your retention strategy to work for you.
More Retention Strategies
How much time do you spend reading about the latest workout fad? True, some fads come and go, but some stick around. The people who chase fads don’t make a huge percentage of your clientele, but they do exist.Be the first gym in the area to offer newer types of classes. Advertise them both to your members and newcomers.
It is truly unfortunate how many companies ignore complaints or see them as annoyances.Memorize this phrase: Complaints are your platinum mine, treat them as such! This phrase is as important as your retention strategy!How you handle complaints will determine your success. If you make people feel like you heard them, they will stick with you. If you make them feel like their complaint brought change, they will be loyal to you alone.What’s more, the cheaper gym across town won’t be able to buy them from you. Not when you have their loyalty.
This issue is a tough one. First, you have to train yourself to treat your staff like you want them to treat customers. Second, you need to train them to do the same.Always lead by example. Don’t let customers always see five or more staff members “manning” the front desk. And never let your staff be idly playing on their phones.Customers see this and make all the worst assumptions. Even worse is to let this go on when there is plenty to do out on the floor or in the locker rooms.
Discounts for Off Peak Hours
Everyone knows what a hassle working out can be. It’s even worse if you have to wait 5-30 minutes just to use one piece or equipment.This retention strategy may not be necessary all year long. Use it only as needed.Try offering customers small discounts to workout at slower times. Midday, later evening or early morning are usually slower times at the gym.
Make Your Gym a Success
Remember, new customers cost much more than current customers do. If nothing else, make sure you contact customers who left to find out why. You can’t always bring them back, but you can prevent repeats of the same problem.Your gym doesn’t have to be one that flounders with no real growth. Aim high with your retention strategy and keep it above 90%.Above all, make sure your customers feel like you heard their voice. For more software services look into all the features and benefits of mygymsoftware.com.