What to Know Before Building a New Sports Facility

What to Know Before Building a New Sports Facility

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So, you’re thinking of building a sports facility and you’re doing a little homework first. Congratulations!

In this blog, we’ll cover key items to consider before embarking on this exciting new business journey.

First Things First

When creating anything in life, a solid foundation is key. In this case, a literal solid foundation is what you will need. That requires proper funds, appropriate regulations, and reliable contractors.

Funding

Name an adventure that doesn’t encounter a few hiccups, right? Nobody wants them to happen but being prepared can save time, money, and setbacks. Calculate how much money you will need for the entire project from start to finish. Then, tag on a bit more to cover emergencies and unplanned hurdles.

Regulations

Next, check with your local municipality center. Each local municipality center has information related to specific zoning and building regulations. You, of course, want everything done up to code and that is smart thinking. As the age old saying goes, “Haste makes waste.”

Contractors

Look for contractors with great reviews and plenty of experience building sports facilities. Check out their website and past projects, too. And really take your time selecting one. Your vision is only as strong as the company building it.

Sporting Events and Parking

Before determining the size of the sports complex and building type, two things are crucial. And, they go hand in hand. First, you need to imagine the future sports events you want to hold in your sports complex. After that, think about the amount of parking needed to accommodate everyone. And then some! Because remember, you will be competing with other nearby facilities for guests.

Parking

Parking gets a second shout-out here because it is often overlooked. Many places decide on minimum parking. The problem with minimum parking is, it doesn’t allow for growth and expansions down the line. So, adequate parking space is a big deal! 

Also, the location and layout matter. When designing a parking lot, think about the distance from the playing field.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How far will guests have to walk from their vehicles to the sporting events?
  2. Are any vehicles in danger of being hit? Because depending on the sport, there could be a chance of stray balls and broken windshields. This means you might need proper signage, protection nets, or a different layout.
  3. Speaking of the layout, is it easy to navigate, and is congestion going to be an issue?
  4. What is the type of lighting you are thinking about? Proper nighttime lighting is important for safety and security. But it also raises your budget. So, start listing cost-efficient, and environmentally friendly, options like LED.

Athletic Surface and Weather Conditions

The athletic surface and outdoor weather conditions also go hand in hand. And they matter to the teams who will be playing at your facility. There are pros and cons with natural grass and artificial turf. Artificial turf is pricklier and more prone to heat. And natural grass requires maintenance such as mowing and pesticides. Whereas, artificial turf does not. Also, natural grass can become muddy and slippery after a rain downpour.

If your playing facility is outside, consider installing a lightning detection system. Most events are during rain or shine. But for a more weather-controlled option, indoor sports facilities are great, too. Some might even prefer it. Here’s why.

Conclusion

Building a new sports facility can be a lot to think about. This list is only the beginning! Once you’re up and running, some other key considerations include creating a business plan, researching management software programs, building out a solid team, and incorporating marketing strategies. Subscribe to our blog to stay up to date with more industry tips.

You may also be interested in:

Soccer Facility Business Trends

How to Increase Revenue at Your Indoor Soccer Facility

Marketing Ideas for an Indoor Soccer Facility Business

How to market your shooting range

Own a Shooting Range? Here’s How to Market It

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It’s no secret things are still socially distanced in all industries, and life in general. And the shooting ranges industry is no different. Maybe you found it challenging to market your shooting range beforehand. And now it feels even more difficult during the coronavirus. Because not only are you trying to manage your business, engage existing customers and attract new ones, now you have to do it all digitally as well. And how do you do that when a shooting range is very much an in-person sport?

Well, business owners, we have some tips on how to market your shooting range in 2021. We want to help you continue to hit the mark in the months to come.

Host a Free Intro. Course

Depending on what social distancing guidelines look like in your area, you may not be able to host an in-person workshop. And that’s okay! But you can always offer free online introduction courses in the interim. Introduction to gun safety, shooting techniques, how to clean your firearm, personal defense and more. Any course to help your new members learn more about you while building new skills at the same time is always worth offering.

Keep Up With Email Marketing

Without face-to-face contact, it’s more important now than ever to keep up with your email marketing. (Social media and mobile apps too!)

The good news is, marketing has already been leaning toward an online presence over the last several years. So, it’s completely doable. The even better news is, your shooting range software can help you manage all your communication needs. Everything from check-in emails to new class alerts and limited time offers. If you have any questions about how to get the most out of your software, our team is always happy to assist you. Call us, anytime.

Ask For Reviews

Don’t be shy. Reach out to existing members and ask them to share a little member love with their friends and family. Another good idea is to use your email marketing system for follow-ups. Ask new visitors to share about their positive experiences. The sooner you follow-up, and the fresher it is in their minds, the more likely they are to share it.

Tap Into Influencer Marketing

There are many reasons why influencer marketing is growing rapidly. The first one is that everything is done mostly online now. Millions of people come and go online each single day. And they are sharing their everyday likes, opinions and experiences. When you team up with the right influencer, you are opening yourself to more outdoor enthusiasts and potential fans.

Another reason influencer marketing is so effective is because people trust recommendations by other people. Even if they don’t know the person in real life. They like that it’s coming from a real live person versus a company advertisement.

Influencer marketing can be a powerful tool for your digital marketing plan. Plus, you don’t even have to spend that much money on it. To start, reach out to somebody lesser known but with a strong following. You can offer them free products and services in exchange for their honest reviews online.

Which type of business model is right for your gym?

Are You Using the Proper Business Model for Your Gym?

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Sandwiched in the middle of another pandemic year, fitness businesses around the world continue to grow and evolve. Everything the fitness industry knew back in 2019 is very different from what it knows in 2021. If you are a gym owner and haven’t done so already, now could be a good time to check in with your current business model. Find out what still serves you and what doesn’t, in order to stay on top of the competition and continue reaching your target audience. We’d love to help you get started in your search! In this post are some different membership models to consider for your gym.

Membership-Based

Let’s start with a membership-based gym model because it’s what most people think of when they first sign up at the gym. It’s a monthly or annual fee in exchange for unlimited access to facility services. The pros are, it’s been around the block. So, it’s tried and true. It’s straightforward in what your members will receive for their fee. And when it comes to cash flow, it’s a steady and predictable revenue stream for business owners.

The cons are, because it’s an annual contract, members can sometimes feel locked in or locked down. Especially if they aren’t getting full use out of their membership like they want. Or, circumstances arise and they can’t. For example, when people were unable to access their gyms at the start of the coronavirus and couldn’t take full advantage of the equipment and classes they paid for. 

Tiered Membership Models

A tiered membership model is a membership based subscription with options. And who doesn’t love options, right? If members are anxious with a traditional membership plan, offer them a tiered plan. It will allow them more control over their pockets and fitness experience. Adopting a tiered membership shows clients you’re listening to their wants and needs. And that’s pretty cool.

Digital Subscription  

Everyone has watched the fitness industry dive into the digital work out space these last two years. Some businesses slowly added in online accessible features. Others went fully online. What’s great about a digital subscription during the pandemic is gym owners don’t have to fuss over social distancing, limited capacity, masks or sanitization. However, the downside is members can miss out on the full gym experience. For most people, that’s a huge deal. A big pull of a physical gym is that group motivation. Plus, friendly competition and professional in-person guidance. 

Hybrid Fitness

Hybrid Fitness is somewhere in-between membership based and a digital subscription. By adopting a hybrid fitness business model, you can offer clients the best of both worlds. One with a mixture of in-person and online classes.

Your in-person clients will look forward to a more intimate class-size experience. Your online clients will still get the feel of being in your gym’s environment while working out from the comfort of their homes. Also, your in-person members have the flexibility to access a live-streamed class. Or, stop by a digital library whenever they are unable to make it there either, ensuring they still get in a workout.

Group Fitness

Speaking of group motivation and friendly competition, there’s a business model for that. One where members can pay for a bundle of classes, connect with other members and bounce off energy. While some people need music to pump them up for their workout, others enjoy having like-minded individuals to achieve goals with.

Pay As You Go 

A pay as you go plan can help attract members who are maybe on the fence about committing to a plan just yet. It lets them come and go as they please, and take what they need from your services. From a business perspective, sure, it might not have great cash flow. But, it could still be worth implementing into your business model plan. And remember, you can always mix and match business models until you find what works best for you. There is no right or wrong way to do your business, only what feels right to you.

Conclusion

Gym owners, remember this. Like you, some of the most successful businesses are the ones open to evolving. As you know, successful businesses don’t get stuck in their ways. They are always looking for ones to help grow their business. So, continue researching and learning. Listen to fitness industry trends, as well as your target audience and you will do well.  Start with these insights to different membership models for your gym. Then, keep digging for more information until you find your niche and groove. As always, we wish you well on your success journey.

Do's and Dont's When Expecting "New Year's Resolution" Gym Members

Do’s and Don’ts When Expecting “New Year’s Resolution” Gym Members

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Many people will be heading into the new year with the same new years resolutions as last year: Be happier, make more money, live a healthier lifestyle and join the gym. Coronavirus or not, those things haven’t changed. And a new years resolution gym membership is great news for you as a gym owner!

Even though your gym classes might be meeting up differently these days, with the right strategies, you can be sure to keep any new members motivated and showing up day after day. Here are some do’s and don’ts for your new year gym memberships.

1. DO have your Management Software ready

With a good management software on your side, you’ve already won half the battle. While your software streamlines the administrative side of things, you can focus more attention toward retention efforts such as building and establishing new member relationships.

The best time to set up your software is well before the rush of the new year, so you know how to operate it. But, we are happy to guide you through the process at any time, and answer your questions.

2. DON’T forget to track attendance

One of the things you can use management software for is to track new gym members attendance. Tracking any member’s attendance is always important to your clients success and your fitness business. However, tracking new member’s attendance is especially important because it helps you to understand how to better motivate them. Maybe you need to move around class days and times, or switch up your offerings. Member attendance can help clue you into all of those things. 

3. DO send out nurture emails 

When you are alerted to a string of member absences, go ahead and send those gym members a personalized email to let them know they are missed and you care. If they feel like nobody notices, it’s easier to let themselves off the hook. But having somebody in their corner can encourage them to keep pushing toward their goals. And in this case, not just anybody- the gym owner! It could be greatly impactful.

 4. DON’T be afraid of the digital landscape

Now that all fitness classes have completely moved online, there is a good chance it could stay that way for awhile. So, don’t shy away from it. The gyms who learn to fully adapt and embrace the change will be the ones who thrive most in the long haul. Plus, it’s not so bad. Having digital fitness classes allows for more flexibility and connectivity.

5. DO find a niche

Do some soul searching and figure out what you’re truly passionate about when it comes to the fitness industry. Now that everyone is online, you need to find the thing that sets you apart. You need a niche.

There’s a lot of competition online right now. Some websites are even offering free content which make things even harder. So, it’s imperative to stand out. Having a niche can help you do exactly that. Figure out what makes you and your business unique and choose to be an expert in your field vs. somebody who dabbles in a little bit of everything. It can make a huge difference.

5 Ways to Grow Your Gym Business in 2021

5 Ways to Grow Your Gym Business in 2021

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It’s no secret 2020 has been one big, giant rollercoaster ride for gym owners. The pressing question on everybody’s mind is what will 2021 hold for the fitness industry? While no one knows the answer for certain, don’t be discouraged. There are still ways to keep pushing forward. Here are some tips and tools for creating revenue streams that will steady your member retention rates, increase revenue and help your fitness business grow.

Refresh online classes

At the start of the Coronavirus, the fitness industry made its collective jump into the world of online classes. By now, you’re likely a pro with a pretty solid handle on everything. But like with any trend, they’re always changing. So, pay close attention to your competitors latest class offerings, or do a little extra research on the web, and then give your own classes an occasional refresh when you feel it’s appropriate. Of course, if something is working out extremely well for you, don’t feel pressured to mix it up. Like the old adage goes, “If it ain’t broke- don’t fix it.”

Create a referral program anyway

Creating a member referral program might feel low on the do list these days but we are here to say: create it anyway. That’s because, it’s never a bad time to ask your gym members to help you spread the love to their friends and family. If anything, now is the perfect time for it. The rewards don’t have to be big, either. There are plenty of budget-friendly incentives including, free one-on-one workout sessions, free class passes or even a choice of merchandise from your shop.

Sell merchandise

Speaking of merchandise. Don’t pack up the yoga pants and reusable water bottles just yet. Whether your classes are meeting in person or online, your gym members will still need items for their workout sessions. And one item you don’t want to miss out on selling right now is face masks.

It’s true, they’re everywhere and everyone is likely counting down the minutes until we can be rid of them forever. But in the meantime, they’re here to stay. So, why not create some eye-catching and comfortable masks with your gym logo on them?

Team up with other companies 

We’re all in this together, right? Team up with your business neighbors. It’s no secret that other companies are trying to find ways to keep their goods and services out there also. So, team up with the ones you respect and admire and offer to help each other out. Let them keep some of their products in your shop in exchange for them doing the same with yours. Or, even better, if they in the health and wellness field also, team up for a joint class or workshop.

Look for trends with Management Software

If you want to see how your new tricks are performing, pay attention to your management software. It can help you track member attendance and engagement which can clue you into what’s really working for member retention.

Gym owners, we hope you enjoyed reading these tips on different revenue streams and how to make your fitness business grow. If you try them, come back and let us know how they worked out for you.

Get to Know EZFacility Partners

Let’s Get to Know EZFacility’s Partners

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A part of what makes EZFacility so great is all the like-minded companies we get to partner up with. When our clients sign up for our EZFacility management software, they also gain access to a ton of other companies. Our partners help our clients with better attracting, managing, and engaging their customers. They also help them with enhancing their overall brand.

If you aren’t familiar with our EZFacility partners, they include 97Display, Authentic8, Brivo Systems, Constellation Payments, Passport Technologies, Perkville, Plastic Printers, QuickBooks, Smartwaiver, Textmunication, Rapid Gun Systems, CoachMePlus, SportsLife X, and Trainingym.

Here is a bit about each of them.

97Display offers website solutions and digital marketing services for health and fitness businesses.

Authentic8 helps protect businesses from all web-borne threats. They also supply specialized RFID cards, keyfobs, stickers, wristbands, and barcodes.

Brivo Systems provides a 24/7 cloud-based access control system. Plus, video surveillance products for physical security.

Simplify and streamline your payment processing with none other than Constellation Payments.

Passport Technologies helps deliver customized and integrated client-access solutions.

Are you thinking of finally creating that loyalty program? Sign up with Perkville. They have a plan to grow your business through loyalty points awarded for check-ins, referrals, birthdays, and more.

Plastic Printers is your go-to for member key cards, POS hardware, ID card printers, and any other printing needs.

QuickBooks provides a streamlined accounting system with financial management and sale tracking.

Now clients can sign waivers digitally (and securely), on their own electronic devices thanks to Smartwaiver.

With Textmunication, build brand recognition and improve engagement, retention, and member loyalty with targeted SMS messages and campaigns.

Rapid Gun Systems is a certified NCR Counterpoint POS reseller and systems integrator.

CoachMePlus is a coaching management software for coaches, trainers, and athletes.

Trainingym makes sure gyms get their hands on some specialized tools. They have 3-d workout videos, body composition analysis, and satisfaction surveys.

Identity One’s IDlink will revolutionize the way check-ins are done at your place of business by making it completely cardless.

To learn more in depth about our list of EZFacility partners, click here. The list is always expanding. That’s because it’s super easy to integrate with existing and future partners. Also- we just love doing it! So, if you are interested in being our partner and believe we could be a good match for you, please contact us to learn more.

Testimonials and EZFacility Customer Success Stories

Testimonials and Success Stories from EZFacility Customers

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Combing through a variety of management software programs in search of one that’s both good and trustworthy can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming.

We could give you a list of reasons why to choose us or tell you the many benefits of using EZFacility, but we believe our satisfied clients say it best. So, we’ve created a reviews page filled with multiple customer success stories straight from the source.

Our customers are from different industriesincluding community centers, gyms & health clubs, shooting ranges, sports facilities and universities plus more but their level of contentment is always the same.

Take a peek at what some of them have to say about us:

“Before we had EZFacility, an enormous amount of time, effort and energy was expended in scheduling and not always with success. Every change in date or time, every rainout became a major headache, not to mention the confusion that erupted when four teams showed up to use the same field or when bases were incorrect. When we finally began to use EZFacility, life changed. The training was excellent and using the system is a breeze! Scheduling an entire league is quickly done and it is not possible to double book any field.” -Darcy Belyea, City of Glen Cove Parks and Recreation

“I can’t stress enough that it’s a great experience. Always! If and I do mean IF we have a problem (usually it is us not knowing how to do something properly) we call and immediately get an answer! Not only an answer but a fast and friendly answer! We have never had a bad experience calling in or a customer service person that was not willing to help or wasn’t friendly! As far as the product goes it does everything we need it to and does it very efficiently and very well.”  – Eric Peterson, Powershop Gym, Inc.

“We have been running our shooting ranges for 10 years with this product. Customer service is excellent. There are no hidden fees with the POS system. Reporting is great, a wonderful off the shelf product that can be used by different businesses. The online eCommerce is simple and great to use.” – Michael Galella, Michigan State University – Demmer Shooting Sports Center

To keep reading more about the benefits of EZFacility and our customer success stories, click here. Or if you’re more of a visual person and would like to watch video reviews instead, you can find a list here.

5 Reasons Why People Love Soccer from EZFacility

5 Reasons Why People Love Soccer

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When COVID-19 came about earlier this year, it changed the way sports facilities do things. Many spaces limited the amount of traffic. And other facilities moved from indoor to outdoor, including soccer facilities.

The thing about soccer though is it’s a flexible sport, regardless of Coronavirus. That’s one of the reasons why people around the world love it as much as they do. Some even say it’s the best sport ever created. (Is it? Tell us in the comments.) While we don’t like to play sports favorites, we can give you a list of more reasons why soccer is popular at any time of year. But, especially now!

1. It’s good for you

Okay, so the first one is a bit obvious. But, it’s still worth mentioning. Soccer is fantastic for cardiovascular health, with all the continuous running. Plus, it builds strength and endurance, improves flexibility, and lowers body fat, to name a few.

Normally: Any kind of exercise is good for the body and mind.

In a COVID-19 world: Everyone appreciates how exercise is extra good for the body and mind right now. They are searching for a good way to keep active and soccer could be a solution.

2. It can be played anywhere

Because soccer doesn’t need much equipment, it can be played in pretty much any open space. For example, at a soccer facility or on a soccer field, yes. But it can also be played on any field, in someone’s backyard, at the beach, or even on the street.

Normally: When soccer players aren’t in an organized game at their soccer facility, they often start-up friendly matches at parks.

In a COVID-19 world: Being able to play the game anywhere is an even bigger blessing. Soon, Indoor soccer facilities in the U.S will reopen in phases. But in the meantime, it’s nice to just get out of the house and get a game going wherever. Check with your local parks to be sure they are open. While many playgrounds remain closed, plenty of open fields have the green light.

3. It can be modified to be socially distant

True, the occasional collisions happen in Soccer. But for the most part, it isn’t a full-contact sport like American Football.

Normally: Both are entertaining to participate in, and watch.

In a covid-19 world: Right now the less physical contact, the better. And actually, even before covid-19, some indoor soccer facilities put on matches with reduced team sizes. So, the game isn’t affected in that sense.

4. It’s easy to learn

Normally: Soccer is generally easier to learn (and follow) than some of the other sports.

In a COVID-world: Beginners can test it out to stay active. Then, once they’re hooked and soccer facilities reopen, they can research how to play on an organized team with a local facility.

5. It can be played by anyone

It’s no secret taller athletes tend to perform better in Basketball and Volleyball. Or that smaller athletes do better in Tennis and Gymnastics. But the cool thing about soccer is- it’s a free-for-all. It doesn’t discriminate when it comes to shape or size. And everybody is welcome to be soccer players on the soccer field.

Normally: People of varying ages and sizes do equally well in soccer. And sometimes, the underdog surprises you. But that’s part of what makes it exciting!

In a COVID-19 world: Equal opportunity is especially encouraging in any setting. But it’s especially encouraging to have an equal sport opportunity in the current Coronavirus situation.

Soccer is great- especially now. It can be played anywhere, by anyone, at any time. Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts.

EZFacility Gym Management Software

Resources for EZFacility Customers

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We know getting familiar with a new tool or product can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming. That’s why we’ve created these SaaS resources to help assist you. Customer success is very important to us.

Listed below, you will find different links to the benefits of usingEZFacility, common how to’s, onboarding, instructional online videos and more. 

Why EZFacility?

EZFacility is a Software as a Service (SaaS). With SaaS, there is nothing to install or update. All you need is an internet connection and you are able to access your information anywhere, anytime. It’s convenient, it saves time and it saves money.  

Discover some other benefits of using EZFacility like customer insight, improved customer loyalty, optimized infrastructure, maximized staff productivity, increased revenue, and reduced costs.

Press & News

Don’t just take our word for it. Find out what others have to say about EZFacility and why we’ve been named one of the most popular software management services out there.

Onboarding

Need help onboarding? Here you can learn how to get started adding venues and trainers, creating schedules and memberships, selling contracts and more.

How To’s

If you have a question, you might find what you are looking for in this section. Browse articles with answers to commonly asked questions including how to set up a brand, how to add social media links to the self service portal and how to integrate or navigate Zoom.

Online Videos

If you’re more of a visual learner, check out these online videos. And know that you aren’t alone! In fact, the majority of the population prefers visual learning to any other type. It’s easy to retain information when it’s in a video or on a diagram. After all, “seeing is believing.”

Sign-up for an upcoming webinar or view past webinars here. Also, follow us on Youtube.

Blog

Our blog is home to several tips and tricks related to the different industries currently utilizing EZFacility. It also contains more information about why it’s beneficial to use a facility management software system.

Covid-19

This resource section was created due to the Coronavirus. We know how many of our clients have faced business challenges this year and we believe this list can be helpful to customer success.

Partners

We only align ourselves with the best of the best. Find a list of other like minded businesses we partner with who have additional tools for you and your business.

More

If you have a question you were unable to find the answer to, try asking it on this page. Or please don’t hesitate to call us on the phone. 1.877.358.7774 – US, +44 (0) 203 3270480 – UK.

Is there something else you would like to see on this page of SaaS resources? If so, let us know. Your feedback is valuable to us.

What Customers Are Looking for in a Personal Trainer

What Customers Look for When Hiring a Personal Trainer

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If you are a new personal trainer or planning to become one, here are some things to consider when attracting clients.

These are the top items customers look for when hiring a personal trainer or fitness instructor. 

Certification

Proper certifications and qualifications are the first items people will ask trainers to provide. And that’s fair, right? After all, improper exercise can lead to unnecessary pain, excessive soreness and potential injury. Ouch. So, a certified personal trainer is a must.

College education isn’t necessary however, a certification from either the NASM, ACE or NSCA is required: National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), The American Council on Exercise (ACE), and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

Personality

Personality is everything. The problem is, there are a lot of different personality types in the world and -let’s face it-  not all of them get along. The same is true for clients and trainers in the health and fitness world. Professional chemistry and compatibility should be obvious during the very first session.

You won’t always hit it off with everyone, (and that’s okay) but there are some things you can do to set each new session up for success.

Listening Skills

While it’s important for the client to get a feel for who you are and what you’re all about, be sure to listen too. You will need to take note of their fitness goals, what they hope to accomplish during your sessions and which style of coaching works best for them. Communication is a vital key.

Practice What You Preach

When you’re in the business of teaching others how to better themselves, they will look to see how you are bettering yourself also.

Practice what you preach by working on your own fitness goals in your downtime, including properly fueling your body with clean foods and scheduling time for workouts.

Patience

What works for one client won’t necessarily work for all clients. Some clients may need more encouragement, motivation and direction than others. Be patient.

Authenticity

Relax and be yourself! At the end of the day, of course you want new business and clients.  But it should never come at the cost of sacrificing who you are or your values. So, just be you. When you are yourself and you’re comfortable with it, it shows. As a result, you will attract the right people for you.

Reputation

A solid reputation is another hot list item clients search for in a certified personal trainer. If you’re new to the industry, don’t worry. It isn’t impossible to get paying clients without one. But, you may have to work harder initially to earn their trust.

Once you’ve established a working relationship with a handful of people, word of mouth will take off and new clients will come knocking. One suggestion to consider is getting yourself on social media. Word of mouth is fast but in the age of social media, having an online presence is sometimes faster.

Cost and Availability

Cost and availability play big roles in deciding factors also. Open yourself up to more potential clientele by offering a flexible availability.

As for pricing, new personal trainers sometimes wrestle with how to set up their pricing packages. First, focus on your value and ask yourself what you offer to clients. Then, work on communicating that value to them. If it helps you to take a peek at competitors prices before you get started, do it. But at the end of the day, don’t be afraid to ask for what you feel your time and experience are worth. If clients are confident about your confidence, they will pay for your services.

For more fitness instructor or health and fitness industry related tips, check out more of our blog.

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Client Highlight: C2Tactical Utilizes EZFacility Digital API

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With everything going on in the world this year, firearm sales have been on the rise. Particularly in America, where 2020 has brought about a lot of chaos. As a result, the news has shown a steady climb in traffic at shooting range facilities.

That’s why we contacted our friends over at C2 Tactical. We wanted to ask them a few things like, how they are managing, what they think guests are most interested in learning about and which EZFacility feature has been most helpful to them during these hectic times. Here was their response. 

Vincent Vasquez, The Owner of C2 Tactical, confirmed he has seen a significant increase in the demand for shooting range and training services in his state of Arizona. He also said customers have been most intrigued by two main areas- C2T’s range service memberships and their nationally recognized training. Because of this, it has been important to him to have a company like EZFacility on his side.

Vasquez said,

At C2 Tactical we looked for a vendor that could help us grow into the future. In reaching out to the great folks at EZFacility, we were able to work up a system that allows for an almost unlimited demand.”

So, which EZFacility feature has he found to be the most beneficial? The API.

“The largest feature has been the digital API. This is a critical technology add that most other vendors do not have. EZFacility’s willingness to enhance it further has given us the ability to have even more custom created items such as a class calendar that shows open seats and can streamline customer bookings. We are excited to see the new enhancements in class ID’s so that we can create even more streamline bookings.”

If you’re unfamiliar with what an Application Programming Interface (API) is, it’s a software-to-software connection that allows two or more applications, or websites, to share data with one another.

If that sounds complicated, it is and isn’t. You’ve likely seen or even used one before without knowing it. For example, Hootsuite is an API; One that allows users to post information to several social media platforms at once.

Well, EZFacility’s API works similarly. But, instead of business owners hiring someone to write out their own code from scratch, they simply integrate ours directly into their website or application instead. It saves them time and money. Plus, it’s easy to use.

Vasquez added,

“Over the last couple of months we were able to program out classes, website services, shooting lane reservations and other services that we provide in a very organized way. As we continue to work with the EZ team, we are working to further enhance the API feed to continue automating future offerings and streamline presentations on our website.”

There are several different kinds of EZFacility API’s. But each one allows users to share real-time scheduling, billing, updates and much more.

If you still have questions about how to use one and why, start here for additional examples or reach out to us directly. We love the interaction! For more information on some of our other popular business features and benefits right now, read this.

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What Are the Benefits of Using a Management Software?

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This is for anyone debating whether or not to implement management software in their business. Are you curious what management software is, who it’s for and what the benefits are? Or if it’s even relevant now in a covid-world? Find out the basics inside this post.

What is management software?

Management software is a program designed to help businesses get better organized.

It sounds simple, right? However, as you know, most people aim to be more organized but just don’t know where to start or how to stay that way. That’s where we come in.

With EZFacility, you don’t even have to think about it. Once the system is in place, it’s easy to get on track with your business and stay there. Plus, we help you every step of the way. We take great pride in being the ultimate package when it comes to helping our clients run their businesses. We are there to onboard you, tailor fit the program to your needs, and to support you always.

Why do you need it?

Imagine being able to streamline all your administrative operations in one easy to use platform. Enrollment? Check. Scheduling? Check. Reporting? Check. Billing? Check. Staff and client management? Check, check.

The idea is that EZFacility does the heavy lifting so you can spend more time on the things that matter most like, connecting with clients or growing your business.

Who is it for?

EZfacility is designed for most clubs or any place with a membership-based model. Here are some examples of the industries we have work with:

  • Gyms, Health and Fitness Centers
  • Indoor Soccer & Sports Facilities
  • Personal Training Businesses
  • Baseball Training Facilities
  • Yoga and Pilates Studios
  • Tennis Clubs
  • Parks and Recreation 
  • Ice Rinks and Hockey Training Centers
  • YMCA’s and Community Centers
  • Sports Performance Training Centers
  • Shooting Ranges and Gun Clubs
  • University Rec & Intramurals

If you don’t see your industry listed above but still think our management software could be a good fit for you, don’t be afraid to ask. Contact us to speak with a representative and find out more information.

What are the benefits of using EZFacility?

So, what are the benefits of using EZFacility, anyway?

Well, for starters it’s cost-effective and can optimize infrastructure. It helps save time and money, it can increase staff productivity, and it can be used anywhere in the world. Not to mention, it offers important customer insight. And proper customer insight can lead to customer loyalty which in turn could lead to more revenue.

SaaS benefits

Saas benefits gets its own little section because we want you to know what saas (software as a service) means.

It means there isn’t anything for you to install, update or do, really. You can access your EZfacility software from anywhere in the world, any time you want with total confidence. As long as you have an internet connection, you are good to go. Oh, technology! And that’s especially great news right now with everyone at home during quarantine.

Read more about our benefits here.

Is management software helpful during the pandemic?

Times are weird right now (boy, are they ever!) So, we get it. If you’re new to the idea of management software, you might be wondering if now is even a good time to start. The short answer is, yes, it’s absolutely helpful.

When things moved online without warning, it was an adjustment for everyone. It’s understandable how important business tasks might have gotten lost in the shuffle.

We know you are doing your best to re-adjust and quickly. And we bet you’re doing a great job. But when you are ready, we can help you ease up much of your anxiety.

EZFacility can save time and money and allow you to spend more time connecting and tending to the growing needs of your clients. Client loyalty and being present for your members is more important now than ever before. During this social distancing, people are longing for ways to stay and feel connected to their communities. While you’re taking care of them, we can help take care of you.

Schedule a Demo

Are you interested in learning more? Schedule your free trial and online demonstration today.

EZFacility Video Library

New EZFacility Business Features and Benefits

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Things get busy, we know how it goes. That’s why we want to check in and point out some of our newer EZFacility features you might have missed.

Over the last several months, we’ve been working hard to come up with new tools we believe are helpful for your continued transition from in-person classes to virtual ones. EZFacility wants to do more to help than just say we are here for you. That’s why we’ve come up with these new features to allow you to stay connected with your clients even in the midst of social distancing.


Yes, the world is socially distancing in a physical sense. But humans are social by nature and not even a pandemic can take that way. People still very much want to be -safely- connected to others and businesses. And that includes your company. Especially if you were a part of someone’s everyday routine prior to COVID-19. And honestly, even if you weren’t. You never know, someone could be searching at this very moment for a healthy way to fill up their time and space with an instructional class or two and then stumble upon your studio. So, be ready for them.

Here is how you can help existing clients and future clients alike, with our new Zoom Integration and Video Library features.

Zoom Integration

While Zoom itself isn’t new, it’s new to our site, and that’s still pretty exciting. With this new integration, moving online and setting up classes is made easy.

Again, nobody is socially distancing, emotionally. Only physically. People want to be connected and we want to help connect them to you. Zoom makes it possible to maintain that sense of normalcy. Whether it’s to hop on a chat with a loved one, attend a conference call, have happy hour with friends or to join a cardio class- zoom is ready for all of it. And we are ready for that last part. How about you?

By adding Zoom capabilities to our EZFacility self-service portal, it gives our clients the ability to live stream their classes for any studio sessions, whether it’s group or one-on-one’s. Plus, it’s mobile-friendly which means meetings can be launched or watched on cell phones from quite literally anywhere.

Video Library

The Video Library is a great place to start building a collection of classes for clients. It’s also a way to keep everything as normal as possible. Instead of your clients walking through your physical front doors, now they can walk through your digital doors and find a comprehensive list of classes being offered.

Showcase different classes and specific instructions or even create short introductory videos about your studio and instructors. The possibilities are endless.

All you have to do is record videos on a third-party video tool such as Facebook or Youtube, upload them, set a reservation type and sit back and wait for them to be enjoyed. Or enjoy them yourself!

Don’t forget to add your social media links directly to your self-service page too so clients know where to find you on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter and more.

This is only the beginning. We hope to enhance this Video Library feature and keep adding other useful tools for you to access in the future.

More Help

Are you looking for additional help or information during COVID-19? Take a look at this list of resources we’ve put together. Be sure to check back often as we update it.

If you’ve tried these new features, we are always interested in hearing your feedback. Or if there is something else you’d like to see, please let us know.

Reach More Members

June Fitness Trends for 2020

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We know it’s only mid-way through the year but let’s take a look at some of the top fitness trends for 2020 so far. Surprisingly (or not so surprisingly), many of them have remained the same from previous years.

It’s only surprising because when you think of fitness trends, your mind likely goes to the more novelty items or fads- like exergaming (what?) or goat yoga! (Yes, we’re still talking about goat yoga. It appears to be alive and kicking, in case you were wondering. So, maybe that’s a bad example.)

But the point is, typically, most trends are something you see come and go, especially in this industry. It’s understandable. Getting up and going to the gym everyday can be tough, and people are looking for a way to keep themselves interested and motivated. You have to be careful though. Falling in with a bad trend can be lethal. Once the excitement fades, determination and commitment tend to follow it. So, if you are trying on a trend for size, you want something you can count on, right?

HEARD!

Well, rest assured these top trends are tried, true, and expected to stay for awhile. If your instructor’s looking to spice things up at your fitness facilities or you’re an avid exerciser who wants to grow your skills, hang around and see what made this year’s cut, in no particular order.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Well, that’s a lie.

Because if there was an order, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) remains at the top of every list for several reasons. It’s rigorous. It’s quick. It’s fun. It’s effective. And it keeps people coming back for more.

While professional runners are no stranger to interval training, this style of working out has only been on the scene for maybe a decade now. We say only but that’s pretty solid as far as fitness trends go and it doesn’t show signs of slowing down. That’s why it’s the perfect addition for any studio wanting to increase their retention rates. Group training workouts in general are growing in popularity. Think: indoor cycling. If indoor cycling is Queen then, HIIT is King. 

Wearable Technology

Wearable technology isn’t going anywhere anytime soon either. With technology advances seemingly growing by the day, it’s becoming easier and easier for people to take the reins of their health. Fitness trackers and smart devices help with tracking calorie consumption, calories burned, heart health, sleep quality and emotional health.

Health and Wellness Coaching

Speaking of emotional wellbeing. More people are acknowledging that taking care of oneself isn’t just about the physical portion any longer.

The total body package includes a healthy mind as well. The problem is, admitting that to be the case is only the first step. Cooking up a healthy mindset makeover action plan is a big second. But don’t fret. That’s where health and wellness coaching comes into play. The purpose of a Wellness Coach is to help clients form healthy habits and encourage them to stick with the program.

Personal Training

It’s easy to spot what you want to fix about yourself physically. But with mental health, you may not always be sure how to get there or, how to motivate yourself to even try. That’s the reason why personal training will never go out of style. Let’s face it, those guys are good.

Fitness Programs for Older Adults

Sometimes, aging can feel like a worn-down car with its check engine light on. When really, aging should be more like that of a fine wine. By investing in and offering well-crafted fitness programs for older adults—your fitness facility will be one of the richest wine cellars out there.

Exercising can greatly reduce blood pressure, disease, obesity, bone density, cancer and more. Plus, it’s proven to make everybody downright happy and happiness is, of course, tied to longevity.

Online Fitness

With the world being more connected than at any other point in human history–technology has propelled the popularity of at home workouts. While it’s hard to beat the sense of community and belonging that you get from showing up to physical fitness facilities every day, sometimes the choice of convenience is nice.

For that reason, online fitness continues to grow in popularity. Nobody is saying that clients do not want to head into the gym anymore because, that’s crazy talk. But, getting there isn’t always possible and it’s great to have options. 

Yoga

Like HIIT, yoga isn’t new to the game by any means. It’s garnered more attention in recent years, but it has been practiced quite literally, forever. In fact, the oldest form of yoga dates back thousands of years. How’s that for a sturdy trend? A total mind and body one, at that. With yoga, you get flexibility, strength, and self-reflection.

Do you agree with this year’s list of fitness trends for 2020? Do you have any predictions for next year’s list? And is group training here to stay or do you think it will go? Let us know in the comments.

Gym and Fitness Competitions

Gym and Fitness Competition Ideas

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You would be hard-pressed to find a single person who doesn’t love a good and friendly gym competition. One of the biggest challenges in keeping up with any fitness routine is staying motivated. Many studies find that competition can help people better reach their goals.

Buddy support and music are two other great motivators when it comes to exercise and fitness goals. But, there’s just something about competition. Maybe it’s the feeling of victory or the bragging rights. Maybe it’s the prizes or maybe it’s all the above. Whatever the reason, fitness challenges are great for raising member engagement and marketing your gym. Plus, they’re plain fun to host.

With so many types of challenges to choose from, it can be hard to decide where to start. There are monthly challenges, running challenges, cycling challenges, personal best challenges, and SO. MUCH. MORE. If you’re ready to get some going, we hope this blog helps you. On your marks. Get set…

But First! Before You Start

You want to make sure no matter which gym challenges you choose, they are: 

  • Easily joined
  • Enjoyable
  • Compatible with fitness trackers and other wearable technology 
  • Properly tracked with your software management. Otherwise, keeping tally can get confusing

The Prizes

Prizes can be whatever you want them to be:

  • Free gym time
  • Cool swag
  • A member feature
  • Bragging rights

The Gym Challenges

Social Media Challenges

As you’ve probably suspected, most, if not all, of your members, own at least one social media account. So, don’t be shy! Invite them to take part in a social media challenge.

You can do it one of two ways. 1. An on-going challenge for the month where every day members have to upload a photo or video of their workout. And you can even create a special hashtag for your studio. 2. A one-time challenge of a specific, timed task:

  • Planks
  • Push-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Punches

Social media motivates members to stay accountable in front of their friends and family. Once they announce plans to reach their goals they are more likely to hold themselves accountable. Plus again, it’s a great way of marketing your gym. It opens you up to a larger audience and shows people just how fun and supportive you really are. 

Running Challenges

People go to the gym for different reasons. But, one of the top ones is probably for burning calories. And what’s better at burning calories than a good ol’ fashioned run?  The best part is, running challenges can be done anywhere, anyhow. So, whether you want to gather a big group outside of the gym or, you want to meet up virtually it’s all good.

Cycling Challenges

Cycling challenges are like running challenges because they can be done in-house or virtually too. The difference is that with cycling you can vary it up a bit more and make categories. Winners will be chosen by:

  • Best time
  • Most distance traveled
  • Fastest distance traveled

Personal Best Challenges

Every gym member has their own set of fitness goals. Find out what they are.

The goals don’t have to be the same for everyone in order to participate. It doesn’t matter if they’re trying to be better at their running time, or deadlift. Whatever their current status is, document it and then challenge them to beat it quicker than any other gym member.

Give everyone a month to work at their fitness challenges and see what happens. At the end of the month, take down everyone’s information again to see who beat themselves by the predetermined goal: 10%, 20%, 30%, etc.

Have A Great Time

First and foremost, it’s about having a great time. Smashing fitness goals is a close second. But, fun should come first. So, no matter which types of challenges you pick, have a ridiculous amount of fun putting them on, or even joining in on them!

How to Grow Your Tennis Club

How to Grow Your Tennis Club

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Most people can agree tennis is one of the most underrated sports of all time, but nobody knows for sure why. It’s safe, it’s fun, it’s affordable. It’s also a full-body exercise, great for the mind, social, competitive and can be played all year-round on a variety of tennis court surfaces. So, what’s not to love, right? Here are some tips to consider for growing your tennis club at any time, even during the pandemic.

Find Your Strength

Every sport has its strength. You just have to find it and use it.

In general, tennis’ strength is that it can be played all year long. So, if someone is looking to join a club that’s always active, tennis clubs are certainly appealing.

Right now, tennis’s strength is that it’s perfect in a COVID climate. That’s because, whereas other sports have big teams, tennis does not. It involves two tennis players, sporting on a court that is already spread out, thanks to natural court dimensions. No flooring tape required! Standard court dimensions are somewhere around 78 feet. That’s way more than 6 feet.

This means group size, social distancing, and cloth face coverings aren’t a big concern for tennis. And it’s also the reason why many outdoor courts have been able to open up ahead of gyms and other fitness facilities that may have concerns about larger gatherings and group size.

Of course, health and safety measures should still be used to help stop the spread of COVID-19. For example:

  • Tennis players should refrain from shaking hands or hugging after a match.
  • Tennis tournaments should wait to resume until things are normal.
  • Social distancing should be respected, and cloth face coverings should be worn when passing other members inside of the health club.
  • Some tennis court surfaces could require additional cleanings.

Get Online

Old school marketing can still make waves but the easiest way to reach an audience is online. Use social media to promote your tennis club- or any club. 

Did you know, on average, each person spends about 4 hours and 25 minutes browsing the internet every day? And 2 hours and 25 minutes of that time are on a social network.

And think about it: that was pre-pandemic. The numbers are likely double the amount now. That’s why it’s as important as ever to have an attractive and functioning website as well as a strong social media presence.

  • Have fun!
  • Display it.
  • Talk about the endless physical and mental benefits.
  • Feature great tennis players, either from your club or celebrities.
  • Promote tennis tournaments.
  • Let everyone know your outdoor courts are open!
  • Offer online classes for tips and techniques.

Implement a Management Software

Anytime is a good time to implement management software. But, if you don’t have one already, now is a good time to research and learn how to use the program. When you’re able to free up time normally spent booking courts and instructors, or billing clients, that’s time away from building up your business. A management software takes over the heavy lifting so you have more time to do other really important things—like perfecting your backhand!

Summer Camp Guidelines 2020

Summer Camp Guidelines for 2020

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As a kid, what’s better than attending summer camp?

We already know you know the answer (it’s next to nothing!) but we want to say it out loud anyway. So, here it is…

Nothing beats summer camps! Kids know it and parents know it. Summer camps are filled with open-ended play, nature, adventure, imagination, life lessons, friendships, sports, independence, and more. The list goes on and on. The truth is, every kid should enjoy at least one summer camp experience in their lifetime.

This year return campers are extra antsy to get at it. Especially after several months of being stuck indoors- thanks to COVID-19. Sorry, we tried not to give power to the name. But the fact of the matter is, like it or not, this thing is going to be our reality for a little while longer.

So, how does it impact summer camps and how can camp owners make the most of it? Sure, it requires extra preparation, training, and care but it doesn’t have to dampen the fun.

The Basics

By now, you could talk about health information, social distancing, cloth face coverings, and handwashing in your sleep! You’re a pro and that’s good news because none of it is going away just yet.

Here’s how to help stop the spread of COVID-19 at camp in a way that kids won’t mind (or maybe even notice.)

  • Turn handwashing into an activity.
    • See who can draw the best hand-washing signs for display on campus.
    • Challenge campers to invent their own hand-washing jingle to be voted on.
    • Host a friendly hand-washing competition like, a wash station relay race.
  • Practice social distancing by assigning fewer groups of campers to each camp staff member.
  • Promote group bonding by doing team building activities that can be spaced out naturally. Think: Karaoke, charades, art and obstacle courses.
  • Encourage campers and employees to wear their cloth face coverings from home or:
    • Provide masks with fun colors and the camp logo.
    • Give kids a sewing lesson where they can whip up their own.

Plan A

Plan A is to open camps on schedule. (Cue wild cheering and proceed to “Preparedness”.)

Preparedness

Policies and Procedures and CDC guidelines

At the top of the to-do list is getting acquainted with the CDC guidelines pertaining to health and safety for all campers and staff. 

Staff Training

After you’ve given your routine employee run-down, you will need to update all camp staff on the new health and safety protocols in place. This includes:

  • Extra cleaning measures
  • Group size
  • Flexible work hours
  • Camp Alternatives
  • Daily temperature checks for all campers and staff
  • The signs and symptoms of the virus
  • Customer service

Software Management

You have kids to plan for, staff to train, and new health information to learn- oh my!

Take away some of the stress by having your community-center management software ready to go. One of the many benefits of management software for camps this year is that it can be used to track the absences of each camper and potentially spot an illness pattern before you do. Schedule your free demo today.

Plan B

We know- Plan B isn’t anybody’s first choice. That’s why it’s Plan B. But it’s okay. Sometimes, things have a way of surprising you. So, don’t discount these options yet.

Virtual Camp

At first, it might be hard to get excited about virtual camp. Especially when it feels like everything is going virtual. School, work, fitness, happy hour and now summer camps too? How does a virtual summer camp even work? And will you have to cancel field trips?

Virtual summer camps work by getting everyone together online for group activities. You can still do your team building and you have to get creative for field trips. The good news is it won’t affect group size, either. You could sign up multiple kids this way. Then all you have to do is map out ways to keep busy.

Zoom Karaoke? Yes. Cooking classes? Absolutely. Craft sessions? Kids love it. Sports? Double yes!

The same way gyms are offering online classes, you can too. Hire specialty instructors and mix up your schedule with martial arts, yoga, dancing, cardio, etc. The possibilities are truly endless.

You don’t have to cancel field trips. Have them go virtual also. Plan a “vacation” where everyone can dress up for a specific theme and then explore with you through music, language, art and food lessons.

Day Camps

Before turning virtual, another option to consider is a flexible schedule like day camps. Keep kids mainly virtual but bring them to the campus once or twice a week for special, socially distanced, fun.

Or, how about alternating schedules? Staff and campers can share the campus by breaking down into small groups of campers and staff and putting them on a block schedule. If you ever had a block schedule in high school, you have an idea of how it works. Except, in this case, the same group of adults and kids will always rotate together to help stop the spread of covid-19.

Happy Camping!

Good luck at camp. We hope everyone stays happy and healthy all summer long and creates memories to last a lifetime.

Local and State Parks Reopen Post-Pandemic

Local and State Parks Reopen Post-Pandemic

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With May coming to a close, sweet summertime is rolling in behind her. And after months of social distance and quarantine, many people cannot wait to go to their local and state parks. They are ready for sunshine, fresh air, swimming, sporting, and just-all-around celebration. So, how should parks prepare for their guests? Here are some safety measures to consider and a couple of resources to check out.

Clean

We know being told to clean more might feel a bit redundant at this point but it’s still important to say. While things are beginning to open back up, that doesn’t mean we are out of the woods yet. The pandemic is very much still here, and we need to stay safe. All public facilities play an important part in health and safety.

Go through inventory and stock up on personal protective equipment. Then, map out a new cleaning and sanitizing procedure. Personal protective equipment could mean many things. To start, you want to have plenty of masks, gloves and virus-resistant chemicals.

If you are interested in cleaners that are tough on viruses but are environmentally friendly, start here.

Stay up to Date

Local and state parks are reopening at different rates. So, the rules and regulations could vary between cities and states. Stay up to date with your local and national news to know which directions to follow. 

In general, phase 1 includes the limited reopening of spaces and amenities with safety measures. Social distance and facemasks aren’t entirely going away just yet.

Prepare Staff

The truth is, a majority of the population has been cooped up and not everyone who visits will be in a good mood. You want to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Schedule staff training before you open up to the public. Be ready for every scenario. You might have long lines, upset visitors and uncooperative visitors who don’t want to adhere to safety rules. Help your staff by training them in advance. Walkthrough every different possibility and teach them how to handle each one.

Post Guest Guidelines

Now is a good time to revisit your rules and have your legal department okay them. Many things have changed and you want to be certain your coverage hasn’t. Once you are in the clear, don’t forget to update your website with any new information pertaining to the changes. Also, post clear visuals around your facilities so guests are made aware of them.

Get Management Software Ready

Relieve some of your anxiety by having a parks and recreation management software set up and ready to go prior to reopening. EZFacility’s all-in-one management software application is designed to make your life easier. It will streamline your facility scheduling, inventory management, registration, sales, and more. Meaning, you will have more time to focus on the health and safety of your employees and visitors.

Good luck, stay safe and have a great limited reopening (and keep your fingers and toes crossed for a quick full reopening!).

A New Normal for Personal Trainers

A New Normal for Personal Trainers

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When the Coronavirus reared its ugly head at the start of the year, many businesses had to adjust to a new normal. It was a new normal which included little to no interaction with customers. Restaurants switched to takeout and delivery, big-box stores pushed curbside pick-up, and the world spun madly on. But now, we are reopening, and everyone is getting ready to re-adjust once again. So, what will that look like?

For certified personal trainers, it’s great news. We know it isn’t impossible to have virtual fitness sessions or fitness programs. Hello, 2020! And in fact, some trainers may even prefer it. However, the majority live for that face-to-face energy. They want to push limits together, sweat together, and high-five one another.

While that last part might have to wait a bit longer for its comeback, one-on-ones are just around the corner. With a few minor tweaks and extra liability insurance, you will be on your way. If you are a trainer, here’s what to expect.

Adjusted Schedules and New Locations

Restrictions are dwindling but you want to remain vigilant. You can limit your exposure to clients in many ways and still be an effective mentor and trainer. In place of house calls, maybe ask to meet at a nearby park instead. It will allow you to avoid unnecessary contact with extra people and surfaces. Plus, the fresh air and Vitamin D is good for everyone.

Another idea is this. Instead of completely dropping online sessions right away, alternate between virtual fitness and in-person sessions until things are back in full swing.

Limited Interaction

Don’t worry, hugs, high fives, and handshakes aren’t gone forever. But, for the time being, it’s air-fives and foot shakes for you. And no stretching your clients during any training session, no exceptions. Six feet of distance is still recommended, even for certified personal trainers. In the meantime, go for a side by side hike or jog. Or, pull out the yoga mats for some much-needed anxiety-relief with a side of strength and conditioning.

Equipment Substitutes

Gym equipment can be notorious for being covered in germs, whether you’re at the gym or at home. You have two options.

  1. Pack your usual gear and bring along some spray bottles and rags to clean in-between clients.
  2. Find substitutes for your equipment. Use bodyweight exercises in place of weights when possible. If you prefer actual weights but don’t want to touch each other’s equipment, get creative. Use everyday household items like cans and water jugs instead of dumbbells.

Over-Communication

A world pandemic is an uncharted territory for everyone involved. Now more than ever, it’s important to keep the conversation going with your clients. Let them know what changes to expect in your fitness programs and how it will impact your time together.

There is no such thing as over-communication in any relationship. Remind your client not to show up for a training session if they are feeling ill. Then, before you start, talk about what you plan to do together, especially if it’s a new or modified activity. You want them to be aware and comfortable. It’s also a good time to reassess their fitness goals. It’s possible their fitness goals have changed since their last in-person session with you. Are they still focused on strength and conditioning or something else? What is it? Endurance? Weight loss?

Tweaked Contracts

In some cases, a change to your location or activities could mean first consulting with your legal team. They will let you know if you need to add certain verbiage or liability insurance to your contract in order to cover you. It could also mean your clients have to sign a new waiver. But, if that’s the case, don’t fret, there’s no need to be in the office. Mobile-friendly software like EZFacility has your back. It will allow your client to sign their waiver while you are out and about.

Personal trainers, welcome back! Let us know how your first time in-person sessions go. We look forward to hearing from you.

How to Train for Intramural Sports During a Pandemic

How to Train for Intramural Sports During a Pandemic

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If you are on the fence about recreational sports, do yourself a favor. Join an intramural league at least once in your college lifetime. Intramural leagues are several different things all rolled into one experience. They are exercise, of course, but they are also friendly competition, life skills, and connecting with a community. They are for anyone and everyone who just want to get together with a group of friends and enjoy sports, camaraderie, and inexpensive fun.

Intramural leagues are not the same thing as college sports. The two are different, though the words are often used interchangeably. In short, intramural sports are organized by students outside of school sanctioned sports programs—basically played for fun and bragging rights! College sports are organized and funded by a university and are a bit more competitive. Intramural teams play against one another while college teams play against other college teams. BUT, that’s another blog for another day!

The question here is- how do student-athletes on intramural teams- or any organized sports- keep their minds and bodies busy when their sport activities are on a break? Because as you know, it’s important to train solo and stay in shape, even during downtime. Here are some at-home workout ideas to get started with.

Virtual Race

Running is always a good go-to option because not only is it good for physical health but it’s also good for mental health. And being home alone doesn’t mean things can’t get a little competitive with some company. Thanks to the internet and many different streaming services, friends and family are just one phone call away from joining a virtual race together. The best news is, it can be done in a variety of places and over and over again.

Planking

When done properly, planking can be a very effective practice. It helps coordination, flexibility, metabolism, cardio training, and even posture and back pain. Do it solo or challenge a group of friends to see who can outlast who.

The Classics

When in doubt, take it back to the basics with some jumping jacks and pushups. They are oldies but goodies for a reason. Jumping jacks get the heart rate going and test the body’s physical endurance. Push-ups strengthen the upper body and core. Plus, there are so many different ways to do them that they never get boring. (Do they? Reader’s poll!)

Swimming

Go for a swim. Swimming is great because it works out a variety of muscles and maintains vital organs, all without any stressful impact on the body. Also, it’s just plain fun, relaxing, and refreshing. So, go on. Dive in.

Dry Swimming

This one might sound silly but don’t skip it over it. Just laugh all the way to the final results. Many professional swimmers use a combination of dry land exercises when they can’t get to the pool, or don’t want to get wet. Breaststrokes, flutter kicks and more can all easily be done on any flooring. All you need are stretch bands, exercise balls, and a little imagination.

Are you involved in recreational sports or sport activities? What’s your take on organized sports? And what exercises would you add to our list? Let us know in the comments! If you need more ideas for at-home or outdoor workouts for fitness levels of every kind, read this next.

Properly Disinfect Gym Equipment Post-Pandemic

Properly Disinfect Gym Equipment Post-Pandemic

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With hope of a decline in COVID-19 cases, the world is planning for a return to familiar routines. This includes businesses in a big way. The public will be looking at many places like grocery stores and restaurants to help keep the public safe.

Fitness centers, this also includes you. Have you given any thought to cleaning gym equipment or new employee training? Members will be interested in learning how you plan to keep your space squeaky clean. If you need help coming up with a plan, here are some key items to keep in mind.

Ask Members for Help

Believe it or not, the first step to ensuring your gym members stay healthy starts with your gym members. And? Some old-fashioned soap and water!

Don’t underestimate the power of washing your hands. Washing your hands continues to be the number one defense against viruses. It’s near impossible to disinfect every single gym surface touched in one day. That’s why it’s crucial for everyone to wash their hands before and after using each piece of equipment.

Soap and water kill germs best. But, you can offer several stations with disinfectant wipes throughout the building as a back-up. Also, give members access to spray bottles and rags to wipe down their machinery.

  • Antibacterial soap kills bacteria- not viruses.
  • Wet wipes, such as baby wipes, only remove dirt and oils from the skin.
  • Same for hand sanitizer. It only kills bacteria unless you find an alcohol-based version. When using it, keep it on the hands for a certain amount of time. Otherwise, it might not work.
  • It might take several wet wipes or disinfectant wipes to get hands and gym equipment clean.

Learn the Difference Between Cleaning, Disinfecting and Sanitizing

Do you know the differences between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing? According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), there are some. And it’s a good time to learn what they are because cleaning on its own is not enough right now.  Learning the differences will help you map out your return routine and put you at the top of your cleaning game. Here are the differences in short:

  • Cleaning removes dirt and germs from services but doesn’t kill them.
  • Disinfecting will kill germs through the use of chemicals.
  • Sanitizing uses a combination of cleaning and disinfecting. It lowers the number of germs and the spread of reinfection.

Buy the Right Chemicals

If you are looking for the best cleaning defenses against viruses, here they are. Soap and water, bleach, isopropyl alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide.

If those cleaners aren’t appropriate for your flooring, it’s okay to use your regular cleaner. However, you should use the above recommendations for all other surfaces. Certain items such as ammonia solutions do not protect against viruses.

And as always, do not use certain products in combination with each other. Surprisingly, bleach and vinegar fumes don’t mix well together, the same way bleach solutions and ammonia solutions don’t. They can create hazardous, or potentially deadly, fumes when combined. If you need to use several kinds, a good idea is to use them on alternating days.

Know the Dirtiest Spots

Here’s a pop-quiz for you: which areas of fitness centers are harboring the most germs?

Did your mind immediately go to bathrooms, locker rooms, or door handles? While you technically aren’t wrong, those are mega hotspots also, your gym equipment actually has more! The treadmills, weights, gym mats, and exercise balls are all loaded.

Maybe that’s because people touch them more often or because bathrooms get more attention. Either way, it’s better safe than sorry. Create a chart and keep track of how often you’re tackling each item. The same goes for home gym equipment as well. Personal trainers who make house-calls should be mindful of that. Always wipe down home gym equipment in between uses.

Another thing to pay attention to are your cleaning supplies themselves. Your rags are cleaning counters and your mops are cleaning the floors. What’s cleaning your rags and mops? You don’t want to accidentally reinfect surfaces. So, be sure to thoroughly disinfect, sterilize all rags, mops and get your equipment clean.

Hire Extra Staff

Now you know the who, what and where, it’s time to start cleaning gym equipment and more. Consider hiring extra staff if you need to. Because, if you cleaned bi-weekly, prior to the Coronavirus, you should clean weekly now. Start out with a daily routine and scale it back as time goes on and infections continue to decrease.

Have a morning crew, a night crew, and an in-between crew ready to go. Your management software can help you with creating and keeping track of your new schedules. And if you’re worried it might come off as excessive- don’t be. Seeing your employees in cleaning action could help to ease your gym members’ minds.

Good luck with your cleaning! Be safe and healthy. To find out more tips, during the Coronavirus and more, subscribe to our blog.

COVID-19 Questionnaire

COVID-19 Fitness Questionnaire

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In one of our recent posts, we talked about the different types of fitness and gym questionnaires to give your members. Because again- who better to ask than them? And believe it or not, that’s still true, even in the midst of a pandemic. We know members haven’t exactly been at your facilities but that doesn’t mean they don’t have things to say.

When COVID-19 first started, a lot of changes were rolled out in a short period of time. Everyone went from working out at the gym with friends to suddenly working out at home alone.

During this time, members have had ample time to think about what they miss most about the gym. While it’s fresh in their minds, ask them to put it to paper. Here are some ideas to get you started.

New Fitness Goals

It’s true most people join the gym with a certain goal in mind. Now that they’ve been home for a while, follow up with them on their goals.

  • How do they feel about their goals now?
  • Are they still working toward the same ones they were earlier on in the year?
  • Do they have any new ones? If so, what are they?

Online Classes

Each gym will have to decide what to do about online classes once things get back to normal. Will they go away completely or can they somehow stay on and serve a purpose?

  • Do members love or hate online classes?
  • Are they easy to follow? Are they hard?
  • Would they be interested in having access to one even after quarantine is over?
  • Have they had any difficulty finding the proper tools and equipment at home?
  • Did they order any new equipment they’d like to see at the gym when they get back?

General Feedback

Remember, pandemics and quarantines are new to everyone. No one knew what to expect going into all this. Ask your members what they have learned so far from their experience and what you could do to improve it.

  • How do they stay motivated?
  • Are your emails, texts, and videos helpful?
  • What do they enjoy the most about them?
  • What is the hardest part of being away from the gym?
  • Is there a certain teacher or class that stands out from the rest right now? Who is it and why?
  • Do they plan to come back to the gym? Why or why not?

Easing Back Into Things

This portion could be extra helpful in getting you and your members back into the swing of things once everything is back to normal. Ask them how you can help make them more comfortable when they return.

  • Would they like to see you clean more?
  • Would they like new class offerings?
  • Do they need to take it slow to help rebuild muscle tone or endurance? Or are they ready to jump in?

These are just some questions to get you started on your survey. We know you will think of many more great ones to add. We wish you every success during these uncertain times. Our hope is you come back even greater and that maybe a survey like this can help you achieve your goals.

COVID-19 Legalities

COVID-19 Legalities for Gyms and Health Clubs

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Over the last couple of months, gym owners have had to quickly transform their studios from in-person training to virtual. If you are one of them, it’s possible during your transition you overlooked two factors: Liability and insurance coverage. 

Did your heart skip a beat reading those words? What about them? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone.

This is new territory for everyone involved. Between drafting emails and choosing video platforms, liability and insurance coverage likely are not at the forefront of your mind. Especially if you’re new to owning a gym and recently conquered all that legal mumbo-jumbo anyway. Or, if you’ve owned one for a while and are pretty confident about the language you have in place. However, a pandemic changes things.  Here are some things to consider.

Tweak the Language

As you know, accidents don’t only happen at gyms but your coverage might only protect you there. This is why any instructor who has ever considered hosting a boot camp at a local park has been encouraged to double-check their policy first. Well, the same is true for online classes. During COVID-19, many people are learning they are not covered at home and require a more blanket-coverage policy.

Now is the time to pull yours out and go over the language with a fine-toothed comb. You want to be sure it covers you anywhere, anyhow. No one knows for sure how long this virus is here for and you would hate to encounter a preventable setback early on, or at all.

Add a Disclaimer

If you’ve ever tried a workout video before, like P90X or Insanity, then you’ve seen an example of a disclaimer. It’s all the text that scrolls on the screen just before you delve in. What it’s telling you is: do not proceed before consulting with your doctor. It’s also telling you to stop immediately if there is any shortness of breath, chest pains, or nausea.

While that seems like common knowledge to many, it’s important to include. This is because not everyone doing your workout will be a pro-gym-goer. Some of them could be trying it out for the first time in several years, as a way to keep busy during the quarantine.

So, whenever you post pre-recorded videos, be sure to tag in a quick disclaimer. And if you’re instructing live, go over it each time before you start. Even if it seems redundant, it is necessary.

Have Conversations

Keep an open line of communication with your clients. Before you start online instructions, let them know it may be more challenging than what they are used to and tell them why. There isn’t the proper space and equipment at home like there is at the gym. Also, instructors aren’t able to watch over clients in the same way. That doesn’t mean it isn’t possible to accomplish but they will have to be mindful and careful.

Teach your members to look for any signs of stress, encourage them to do modifications if need be, and to reach out with any questions or concerns they have.

Familiarize Yourself with Legal Terms

Familiarize yourself with specific legal terms like “Force Majeure”. It’s an unpredicted circumstance that prevents someone from being able to fulfill contracts. In this case, it’s your clients and their membership contracts with you.

In the upcoming weeks, it’s possible you’re going to discover many people are unable to pay you and you will have tough decisions to make. To waive or not to waive, that is the question!

Unfortunately, not every business is able to waive fees for their clients and that’s understandable. The hope is that those much-anticipated business grants will soon roll in and save the financial day. But, in the meantime, there are definitely some things you can do to safeguard yourself. One of them is by adding a clause in your contracts for any new clients that are signing up now.

What to Expect When Gyms Reopen

What to Expect When Gyms Reopen

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Over the next several weeks, some states will begin reopening with the fitness industry at the very top of the list. Fitness enthusiasts everywhere will be eager to get back to their gyms so they can reclaim their health and a sense of normalcy. But the burning question is, will it be like it was B.C (Before COVID-19) or will there be a new normal?

As a gym owner, here’s what to expect and implement in your own gym to help ease everyone’s minds while also keeping them safe.

Phases

You’re going to hear a lot about phases. Your gym won’t reopen in full force but instead in several installments.

In the first phase, you will see some social distancing still going on. You’re likely sick of that term by now but it is crucial in stamping out the virus for good, or else, the nation risks reinfection and another quarantine.

The first phase could look like:

  • A capped amount of guests each day
  • Limited workout areas
  • Arrows on the floors to help direct the flow of traffic
  • Empty workout equipment between every person who is on a bike or treadmill, etc.
  • Classes continuing to meet online, for the time being

New Employee Training

Plan a meeting with your employees before reopening. It’s okay to be honest with them if you are unsure how things will play out. This is a new situation for everyone involved.

One team building idea is to come up with a list of questions and concerns you think guests might have. Then, roleplay them together. It will help employees feel more prepared and confident and less silly when they have to say things like, “Excuse me, you need to be standing six feet apart.”

Cleaning

It’s no secret gyms were always one of the germiest places to hang out in. Whenever there are a bunch of people in one space, touching the same surfaces, over and over, there is bound to be germs.

We know that you know how to deep clean your gym and you take pride in doing so! But, whatever you were doing before should be ramped up now. And, don’t be shy in asking members for help. They should be willing to do their part, especially after being stuck at home for so long. They will have a newfound appreciation for being able to go to the gym again.

  • Set out spray bottles and paper towels for everyone to wipe down their equipment/mats before and after each use
  • Give special attention to all door handles, surfaces and bathrooms

Proper Hygiene Practices

In addition to wiping down equipment, remind everyone how important proper hygiene practices are right now. Ask them to:

  • Stay home if they feel ill or have been around someone who feels ill
  • Not to share towels or other personal items
  • Wash their hands
  • Use soap and water over hand sanitizer whenever possible
  • Avoid eye rubbing and face-touching

Follow the Guidelines

Because this is an ever-evolving situation, things can change at any time. So, it’s very important to stay up to date with any news in your particular state. The President has given each Governor the ability to put their own plans in place and you need to follow their lead.

6 Ways to Boost Gym Revenue During Covid-19

6 Ways to Boost Gym Revenue During Covid-19

« Blog | Written by Emily Duty | | (0) Comments

Covid-19 is here and your gym is closed down for safety measures. So, you’ve moved classes online with various chat platforms and EZFacility’s new video library feature. But now what?

You’re absolutely right! Keeping members motivated and classes rolling are two important areas to focus on. But, you’ll still need to safeguard your long term goals. You can do this by bringing in steady revenue despite what’s going on.

In this post, we’ve put together a list of ideas that have worked for some of our other gym owners. Check them out and see if you spot anything you think might work for you too.

Discount Memberships

Don’t be afraid to temporarily discount your memberships and services right now. Especially as members make the move online with you.

It doesn’t lessen the value of your product at all. Instead, it allows members to hang on to their memberships during these uncertain financial times. It also makes sure you still have steady money coming in.

Rent Out Equipment

If you don’t want to discount your memberships just yet, you can look for enticing perks to offer up instead. One thing to offer existing members is the ability to rent out your gym equipment, for free! It could make working out from home that much easier -or enjoyable- for them. And again, it gives them an extra incentive to hang on to their membership.

Bonus Classes

While new sign-ups might be far and few between in the coming weeks, they aren’t impossible. So, don’t get discouraged.

Entice new members by offering a bonus with their sign-up.  For example, a package of 10 extra sessions that don’t include an expiration date. It’s something for them to cash in whenever things get back to normal. (And they will!)  You could also keep your referral program going strong with the same kind of idea.

Gift Certificates

Offer gift certificates that work like bonds. Meaning, whatever amount your customer chooses to purchase now can be used for higher value later.  

What this does is, it puts immediate money into your institution and keeps you going, with the promise of more worth to the customer later on. And who doesn’t want more when it comes to the gym? More classes, more personal sessions, and more merchandise? Yes, please!

Private Video Calls / 1-on-1 Sessions

Speaking of personal training sessions, another thing you can offer is private video calls. You’re likely already streaming free sessions to spark interest for new members and regular classes for existing members. So, how about tossing some 1-on-1 time into the mix for an additional fee?

If your area isn’t on lockdown and you and your clients are comfortable with it, you could even offer 1-on-1 sessions in person. Since, they are way safer than group sessions.

These are just some of the ideas you can use to continue bringing money to your gym. Have you tried any yet? Let us know what’s been working for you.