Group of people exercising on exercise machine in a gym.

Top 10 Fitness Trends of 2019

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June is here, which means the year is almost halfway over (we’re sorry to be the ones to bring to light this unfortunate truth). Is your business where you thought it would be at this point? Have you brought in the number of new members you were expecting? Have you been able to retain more members this year than prior years?

If you’re looking to boost your facility’s earning power this year by attracting members and getting them to stick around, summer is the perfect time to reevaluate your business strategy and begin to implement new programs. The slower months open up the time to prep and implement new programs while also giving your current members another reason to visit your facility during the warmer months.

Where do you start with figuring out what programs or offerings to implement? We’ve compiled the top 10 fitness trends of 2019 from ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) as a starting point, plus takeaways for how you can incorporate these 2019 fitness trends into your current business plan.

These trends have staying power – they aren’t just passing fads – and most on the list for 2019 have earned a spot in previous years. So, dive into what these trends have to offer and you may find yourself with a highly successful summer.

1. Wearable Technology

First appearing as a fitness trend in 2016, wearable technology has made the top 3 fitness trends spots for the past 3 years – and with new tech developments happening seemingly every day, it doesn’t look to be going away anytime soon.

How can you incorporate wearable tech into your facility? One way is to make member’s ID cards available digitally so they can use their wearable devices to scan in. Another is to provide free and secure wi-fi for your members to use so they don’t eat into their data at your facility – a terrifying thought for anyone.

2. Group Training

You may already offer group training classes, but if not you should consider starting! Coming in at #2 this year, group training has been in the top 20 fitness trends since 2017.

The great thing about incorporating group training into your facility is that it doesn’t need to be based around a lot of expensive equipment. There are many types of classes that you can easily (and inexpensively) incorporate into your fitness facility’s offerings. Then, if successful and your members are interested, you can add more equipment based classes.

Group training classes can range from cardio-based classes and indoor cycling to dance-based classes and step classes to anything else you can think of! Start with the resources you have and then work your way to more classes from there.

Also, for an added incentive in the summer, build classes that cater to members spending time outside – outdoor boot camps, endurance classes, yoga classes at the local park, etc.

3. High-Intensity Interval Training

High-Intensity Interval Training, better known as HIIT, has been a popular form of exercise all over the world for quite some time and has been in the top 5 on this list since 2014 (coming in at #1 in 2014 and 2018).

Typically involving short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by short periods of rest, fitness consumers tout HIIT for the low time commitment needed to achieve quick and noticeable results. Adding a HIIT program into your fitness facility during the summer months is a great way to attract members – offering them a quick way to get in their workout without taking too much time away from the precious summer sun and activities – you can even run the entire class outside or add outdoor intervals, like running, into the workout for an extra motivation to attend!

4. Fitness Programs For Older Adults

Catering to Baby Boomers and older generations, this trend has made the top 20 list since 2007 (only dropping below the top 10 rankings in 2017 at #11). With people living longer, working longer, and remaining active longer, there is a need to develop programs for older individuals to address the new health obstacles they face. Older generations needs are also much different than those of their younger counterparts and by providing programs specifically with the older generations in mind, you’ll create a space where these individuals feel welcome and less intimidated.

5. Bodyweight Training

An inexpensive and effective way to add a new program into your facility, bodyweight training is a great way to attract members who may be intimidated by the weight room or weight-oriented classes. First appearing on the survey in 2013 at #3, bodyweight training has been in one of the top 10 slots ever since.

6. Employing Certified Fitness Professionals

New to the survey in 2019, employing certified fitness professionals has become increasingly important. With more certification programs becoming available over the years, it is easier than ever for employers to access certification validation and require staff to be certified in their field. Plus hiring certified fitness professionals will elevate the professionalism of your business and give members the peace of mind that they are getting expert and accurate guidance from your staff. Additionally, by supplying members with certified professionals to work with, you may be able to charge more for your services since members will be getting a higher level of instruction from your staff.

Ready to get started hiring certified professionals? Use our guide for 7 interview questions to ask when hiring professional trainers.

7. Yoga

With various forms offered – Power Yoga, Yogilates, and hot yoga just to name a few, yoga classes provide a low start-up cost to include in your class schedule – all you need is a room to hold the class and a few yoga mats for members to use. By hiring certified yoga teachers, you will be killing two birds with one stone to cover two trends from the 2019 survey!

8. Personal Training

In the top 10 fitness trends since ACSM first published their trends report in 2006, personal training remains a popular choice for fitness consumers. Now more accessible than ever before, personal training can take place at a client’s home, in a health club, at a corporate fitness facility, and even online through an app or online program. Offering personal training services at your gym is an easy way to bring in additional revenue and increase retention among current clients. By also hiring certified personal trainers, you will cover multiple trends on this list.

There are also plenty of apps and online platforms you can add to your personal training services to provide members with an experience that goes beyond your doors. Be sure to look for a program that integrates with your gym management software to keep your business streamlined and member data consistent.

9. Functional Fitness Training

Devised to get members moving in ways that help them perform activities of daily life – like lifting, bending, climbing stairs, etc. – functional fitness training uses strength training and bodyweight movements to improve balance, coordination, strength, and endurance.

You can create functional fitness programs for members of all fitness levels, from your beginner to the advanced workout warrior, but we have often seen functional fitness paired with programs for older adults (see #4) to help encourage a better quality of life. The beneficial aspect of functional fitness is that is can be adapted to cover the varying needs of your member-base so no one is left out.

10. Exercise Is Medicine

According to ACSM, “Exercise is Medicine (EIM) is a global health initiative that is focused on encouraging primary care physicians and other health care providers to include physical activity assessment and associated treatment recommendations as part of every patient visit and referring their patients to exercise professionals.”

So how can you incorporate EIM into your gym? For one, fitness professionals are recognized by EIM as part of the health care team in their communities, so by hiring certified professionals, you are already taking a step in the right direction.

Another way you can incorporate EIM into your gym is to partner with local health care providers. By partnering with local providers, you’ll open your business up to new members while supplying your members with local provider recommendations further their own health.

Planning on adding any of these trends to your facility or have you already integrated one (or a few) of these trends into your business? We’d love to hear more about your endeavors and success in the comments below!

For the full list of all 20 worldwide fitness trends for 2019 visit ACSMs Health & Fitness Journal.

Why Switching Your Gym Management Software Doesn’t Have to Be Stressful

Why Switching Your Gym Management Software Doesn’t Have to Be Stressful

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There are plenty of reasons you are looking to change your gym management software provider – it’s too complicated, there are too many hidden fees, they don’t have the features you need, their support team has you on hold for hours, etc.

Many EZFacility clients who have switched from other gym software providers were running into the same issues yet, though they were fed up with the runaround, were still hesitant to make the switch because they thought it would disrupt their day-to-day business too much.

It’s completely understandable that they, and you, are tentative about switching providers. Switching software can be a daunting undertaking – but it doesn’t have to be.

Let’s address some common concerns we have heard from clients when considering making the switch to EZFacility.

The transition process is too difficult

That’s what we’re here for! During the transition process, you’ll have a dedicated Customer Success Specialist performing one-on-one training to guide you through utilizing our software to its fullest. They will be there every step of the way to help set up your EZFacility account to your gym facility’s specific needs. Our training team has facilitated transitions from almost every other gym management software company out there, so they are experts when it comes to ensuring a painless transition.

Once finished with training, our devoted customer success and support teams are readily available to help at any point. With accessible support, you’re not left high and dry trying to figure out functionality on your own (which we’re sure is one of the reasons you want to leave your current software provider).

Learning a new gym management software will take too long

There is always a learning curve when starting anything new – hey, we’re just being honest – but the EZFacility team is here to get you up and running quickly. Getting started quickly though doesn’t mean we sprint through set up. During implementation, our team works with you and your team to ensure everyone is comfortable and confident running your business with our software. Because we work together to get you up to speed, you won’t break stride with current gym operations.

How do we do this you may ask? Completed in 4 recommended, 1-hour training sessions (some clients feel comfortable with less training sessions, and some with more) our training process is one that has been designed with a “Train-the-Trainer” approach in mind. The “Trainer-the-trainer” methodology will grant your gym the opportunity to have a “go-to” in house EZExpert to help current and future employees become comfortable using EZFacility.

Don’t worry though, we are always available to field questions and walk you through any requests that may arise during and after the training process. Our Support Center is also available 24/7 for you to access user guides, helpful product articles, and videos, along with the ability to submit a request for support.

Members will be double billed and/or not billed at all

We know that maintaining consistent billing is vital to your gym’s livelihood. To safeguard against members being double billed during the transition, we recommend you choose a cut-off date for billing where all transactions will be switched over to EZFacility from your current (and soon-to-be former) software provider. On the very rare occasion payments are missed when the transfer occurs, we have plans in place to bill members once you activate billing through EZFacility.

Additionally, our customer support team is available Monday – Friday during normal business hours and on call during the weekends to guarantee your billing (and gym) runs efficiently.

Data will be lost in the migration

Our Customer support team consists of import specialists, there to navigate you step-by-step through the data migration process to guarantee an effortless transition. With EZFacility data migration templates ready for use, all you have to do is plug in member information from your current software provider.

From there, our knowledgeable team will review the import file with you and will work together to make sure that the data migration into our software is a successful one.

It really is as simple as that.

My members will have a hard time adjusting to a new interface

Just like you may have a slight learning curve, so might they. But to make it easier for members (and cut down questions to you) we have member directed FAQs and support articles available, with more always being created.

Plus, our easy-to-use interface minimizes service interruption for members and makes it easy for them to pick up.

There will be additional fees to switch

A good gym management software shouldn’t charge you to import or export your data – so we don’t! At EZFacility we believe that your data is your data, period. You can access it at any point, no questions asked.

We are also rooting for your success which is why we don’t charge additional fees for extra training or support (we like to shake up the norm). Think of us as your own personal cheering section.

We Understand Change is Difficult.

Let us put your worries to rest. Ditch the software that’s slowing down your growth and get started with one that was built with you in mind.

Whether you go with EZFacility or not, we’re here make you comfortable with whoever you choose.

Book a demo to learn more about EZFacility and see why switching your gym management software provider doesn’t have to be stressful.

Woman on phone at gym

7 Benefits of Using Text Messaging for Gyms

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Look around your gym. Most if not all members have their phone strapped to their arm, are streaming music into their wireless headphones, recording their health stats through devices, filming their workout to post to social media – I bet a few members are texting right now (hello, multitasking in an ever-connected world). If you want to reach and engage members, and attract new members at the same time, you need to be where they are – their phones.

With texting being such an essential part of everyday life today, gym facility owners need to make sure they are utilizing text messaging as a part of their day-to-day operations in order to maximize their growth and success rate.

Long gone are the days of cumbersome T9 texting (where are my millennials?!). Generation Z missed out on the fun of having to memorize how many clicks it took to type an ‘s’ – it’s 4 in case you forgot – nor go through the agony of going one click too many.

With qwerty keyboards accessible to consumers since the mid-90s and only becoming more affordable over time, it’s no wonder why texting has blown up in popularity to become the main source of communication today. A fast and seamless way to get in touch with someone? It’s a no-brainer.

Have you started taking advantage of texting for your gym? If not, read on to learn 7 benefits of incorporating text messaging into your gym’s business operations:

1. Stay Relevant

In our day-to-day lives, speed is king. Consumers expect products to be delivered in two-days and information within seconds – and will often get frustrated when they don’t receive these services. With text messaging platforms able to send 100-500 messages a second, texting will give members and prospects the immediacy they have grown accustomed to and keep your gym relevant in an ever-connected world. Your gym will also become more attractive to members and prospects by showing them you can keep up with the everchanging technology landscape and needs of consumers. If you’re looking to provide members with the most up-to-date services, texting can help get you there.

2. Convenience is Key – Automate Messaging

Texting is an effective tool for contacting members conveniently since most, if not all, members usually have their phones within arm’s reach at any given time. It also lowers the pressure for members to answer right away, like with a phone call, giving them the choice to respond when the time is suitable for them but is still a personable method of communication.

One way a good texting platform delivers convenience to both your gym and members is through automated messaging capabilities (bonus tip: a great gym management software should offer a comprehensive text messaging solution for even more convenience). Setting up auto text messages will connect you with members on a regular basis, ensuring your gym stays at the top of their mind.

Here are a few simple campaigns to set and forget:

  • Billing decline alerts and late payment alerts
  • New prospect marketing
  • New client welcome
  • Membership renewal reminders
  • Class reminders
  • Birthday messages
  • Yearly member anniversary reminders
  • Member appreciation messages
  • Prospect sale promotions
  • FAQ responses

With automated messaging enabled, your gym can be accessible to members 24/7, giving you the confidence that members receive an answer outside of business hours and will provide members the high-quality customer service they expect.

3. Forge Personal, Non-Intrusive Connections

Building a relationship with members is difficult when they are constantly on the go. Text messaging allows you to reach them wherever they are with the method of communication they are most comfortable with. A text messaging platform can segment members into targeted groups in order to send personalized messages based on their interests or goals. These messages can be as simple as motivational quotes, nutrition tips, class schedules, and more.

Be wary of character limits and novelesque messages though. Texts should be short, sweet, and not so frequent they become annoying. Messages should also encourage members to follow a link to your website for more information – further boosting your website’s SEO and traffic.

4. Cost-effective Tool

Most texting solutions will offer various price points ranging from pay-as-you-go to monthly packages with a set amount of texting credits – typically starting between 1,000 and 2,000 text messages. With individual texts ranging from $0.01 – $0.05 and monthly services being as low as $49 a month, 1,000 messages can cost anywhere between $10 and $49 a month – possibly even cheaper depending on the number of credits available in the solution you choose.

5. Higher Engagement Rate

Texting has by far the highest engagement rate of any communication medium. Where phone calls can go unanswered, brochures can be thrown out or placed in a drawer “for later”, and emails can sit unread – texting has a 97% read rate. Texting will not only almost always get messages read by recipients, but it will also get messages read quickly.

6. Boost Marketing for a Well-rounded Strategy

Between print advertising, social media, local events, and more there is no doubt your gym is being marketed across multiple platforms. Text messaging is another simple and universal way to attract new members – and holds an engagement rate that far surpasses other mediums. With shortcode and keyword campaigns, prospects can easily reach out to your gym on their time to gain further information or take advantage of the latest promotion you’re running.

7. Complete Mobile-Friendly Experience

With 95% of the US population owning a cellphone and 77% owning a smartphone, if you want to reach members and target prospects you need to reach them on their phones. From optimizing your website, building your voice on social media, and developing a streamlined branded mobile app, texting is the final piece of the puzzle to complete a mobile-friendly experience for your members. Texting will also help drive traffic to all those resources you’ve spent so much time crafting.

With a wide range of benefits, it’s no wonder why gym facility businesses, and businesses in every industry for that matter, are adopting text messaging to drive sales and promote member engagement.

Do you have questions or want to learn more about how text messaging can impact your gym facility business? Reach out today!

Group of young happy people in a health club.

7 Ways to Retain New Year’s Resolution Members for Fitness Centers

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2019 is upon us and we all know what that means – the “resolution” season is in full swing. For fitness business owners, this time of the year presents an exciting (yet stressful) uptick in members looking to start healthier habits. The downside to this rise in “New Year, New You” clientele, is that they inevitably begin dropping like flies a few weeks into the year – and that means member retention rates will suffer.
While the initial spike in memberships is wonderful to see, this fluctuation in new members (and revenue) makes it difficult to plan for the rest of the year. So, how do you motivate new members to keep walking through your door? Fortunately, there are quite a few ways to inspire member loyalty and increase gym member retention from resolution-goers. Read on for seven new member retention ideas to get you started.

  1. Make New Members Feel Welcome

Now, this may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s often the simple answer that gets overlooked. Starting a new activity, especially when you don’t know anyone, can be intimidating and nerve-racking. One way you can make new members feel at ease in your fitness center is to create a “Welcome Bag”. This can include anything you’d like to give new members to get them off on the right foot. A water bottle or sticker with your logo, branded t-shirt, protein bar, supplement samples (especially if you sell them), an invite to your members only Facebook page so they can interact with other members, a staff guide with pictures, titles and bios to help break the ice, etc. Providing members information about your staff and opening conversation between other members will help new members feel comfortable attending your fitness facility. People also always love freebies so anything you decide to include, especially geared around your business, will show your appreciation for new members and anything with a logo will further promote your facility.

  1. Build a Community

It’s harder for new members to walk away from your fitness center when they feel a part of your community. Here are a few easy ways you can create a personal connection with new members to foster your growing community and continue to make them feel welcome:

  • Remember their name and make it a point to say hello whenever you see them.
  • Reach out after their first time at your fitness center.
    • This could be both in person or through email, a phone call, or text.
    • Pro tip: Using your fitness center management software, set up automated email and text check-ins based on your members activity. Humblebrag – EZFacility makes it easy to set and forget these types of (and more) automated messages so you can focus on getting away from your desk and in front of members.
    • Ask how they are liking your facility, do they have any questions, or make note of how well they are doing.
      • Brownie points if you reference a specific activity you saw them performing.
    • Make sure your staff is continually engaging with members to make them feel recognized and valued.
      • Set up tasks for you and your staff to follow up with new members within your software. By setting up tasks, you’ll know exactly when staff are reaching out to members and how frequently – assuring no new members will slip through the cracks.
    • Introduce new members to existing ones and encourage existing members to say hi and reach out to new members.
      • Bonus – getting your existing members involved will, in turn, help them feel like they are contributing to the community environment.
      • You can also run a “Peer Advocate” group where members involved receive benefits, such as free or discounted classes, for engaging with new members.

These small gestures will go a long way in making new members feel like a contributing and significant part of your fitness center’s community.
Another way to create a community is by hosting various events. Events can be both in your fitness center or offsite at a local park, restaurant, or bar. The events you host can range from charity events to holiday parties to competitive programs. Hosting an event for members will take a bit more planning and energy, but in the end is worth the effort since it will give current and new members time to get to know each other outside of their workouts – and forge deeper bonds between them.

  1. Get Involved in the Community

Another way to build a community within your fitness facility is to get involved in the community your fitness center is located. Make sure you have a finger on the pulse on community activities, like races or fundraisers, and encourage members to not only participate but arrange a meet-up at the event – you can even encourage your members to wear your fitness center’s t-shirt to the meet-up to boost the community feeling. More likely than not your new members live in the general area of your fitness center, so it will be easy for them to participate as well as get involved in their own community. This social buy-in outside of the walls of your facility will help to strengthen the community and retention within the walls of your fitness business as well.

  1. Celebrate Success

When a new member signs up, part of the onboarding process should be asking what their goals are – and if they aren’t sure, help them develop some! Once they have a specific and actionable goal(s) set, make sure you and your staff are tracking their progress through your fitness center management software. Fitness Assessment tracking will make it easy for anyone on your staff to see how a member is progressing without having to check in with the last staff member who interacted with them.
After a while, reach out and give some encouragement so they feel someone is holding them accountable for showing up to put in the work. Also, make it a point to acknowledge when they achieve their goals. Completing a goal is exciting enough, but when someone congratulates you on that goal it can feel like you’re walking on cloud nine. Have a ‘Way to Go’ board where you post the accomplishments of members so others can congratulate them as well.

  1. Save Members Money

Everyone likes saving money – and new members are no different. Work with local businesses to offer discounts and/or deals to members and offer promos to their clients. Not only will this make members feel like they are making up the cost of their membership at your fitness center elsewhere (and in places they may already shop), but you will also be further establishing yourself as a part of the local community which can help attract new members and retain existing ones. Provide a “Local Partners Booklet” containing all deals in the “Welcome Bag” for members to easily reference. Keep the savings momentum going by promoting new deals throughout the year.
Another way to endorse local businesses and their deals is by holding a meet and greet with local vendors at your facility to create stronger community bonds as well as offer members new resources they can take advantage of.

  1. Gamify Loyalty Rewards

People inherently are drawn to gamification reward systems because of the additional benefits they receive for their efforts.
Here are a few tips and ideas when developing loyalty reward programs:

  • Make it easy for members to join and participate.
  • Offer an exclusive/premium level.
  • Include referral benefits.
  • Consider friendly competition programs.
  • Know your audience. Have rewards that make sense for your members, so they don’t lose interest.
  • It needs to be fun and challenging, not frustrating for members to achieve the goals you set.
  1. Provide External Resources

Offering resources for members to access outside of your health club expresses your investment in their success and keeps you at the top of their mind. In turn, members will view your business as a place to go for industry expertise and advice and will come to you with any questions they have. A couple resources you can make available to members include:

  • A video library of common workouts and proper use of machines.
    • This can also help new members just starting their fitness journey feel less lost and reduce their risk of injury.
    • A comprehensive fitness center management software will be able to provide you with a pre-made library of exercise videos so you can hit the ground running and don’t have to spend hours shooting, editing, uploading, and organizing video content.
  • Easy travel workouts.
    • Maintaining a collection of pre-made workouts for members will show you’re committed to them reaching their goals even outside of your fitness center.
  • Nutrition guidance or suggestions.
    • This could include easy recipes, healthy eating tips, or a meal plan template.
    • If you don’t feel comfortable providing recommendations, partner with a local nutritionist to establish a mutually beneficial deal which you can include in the “Local Partners Booklet”.
    • You can also point new members in the directions of various apps or useful articles and books to help them reach their goals.

For these ideas to help build loyal members and increase retention they need to be consistently kept up. There, unfortunately, is no magic potion you can add to your water fountains to keep members coming back to your fitness center without any effort on your part.
But the good news is that improving in any of these facets will go far in building a better environment within your fitness center that drives new members to stick around for the long haul and achieve their goals. And, the great news is all these tips will work for any new (or current) member throughout the year!
These are just a few ideas to get you started increasing member retention in 2019! Let us know in the comments below what you have found successful to keep members engaged after the New Year glow has faded.
Interested in learning more about how EZFacility can help increase retention rates? Request a free trial and schedule a live demo today!

The Best Time to Set Goals for Your Gym is in the Fall

The Best Time to Set Goals for Your Gym is in the Fall

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Through my personal experience, something I have found is that it’s so much easier for me to say I’m going to do something than to actually begin doing that thing. Some might say that’s “all talk and no walk”. Unfortunately, in some aspects of my life, they’d be right.
This is why I never make New Year’s resolutions. I can’t tell you how many times I have been at a New Year’s gathering and I tell a friend that I’m going to start eating healthier during the New Year. All too often, later that very same night I catch my friend’s eye as he or she is staring at me unhinging my jaw as I start on my second piece of chicken, bacon & ranch pizza which, to my embarrassment, I ordered not long after our conversation.
New Year’s resolutions usually fail, and for many, they’re just tradition. Think about it, why do so many people fall short on their resolutions? It’s partly because people are so ambitious about their resolutions but also, there is no real change between January 1st and December 31st, aside from a splitting headache.
Life has a natural rhythm to it. Different seasons elicit different emotional responses. When spring begins, I breathe a sigh of relief that the winter is over, and I can look forward to the warmer months ahead. Spring seemingly blends with summer as the trees get more and more green. Summer is chaotic and freeing but ends too quickly. Abruptly, the leaves begin to change and the hot, damp air quickly becomes crisp and refreshing. Autumn serves as a natural transition between summer and winter. However, the leaves aren’t the only things that change.
Autumn is also a time of cultural transformation: kids trade in bathing suits for backpacks, vacations turn into commutes, summer tank tops turn into fall sweaters, TV shows re-emerge with new episodes, and football starts up. Fall is when new routines are born. There is rising popularity to the idea that September is the best time to set goals for your business’s future and it makes sense too. When you’re surrounded by change and transition, whether that be culturally or seasonally, it’s easier to fully commit to a goal you’ve set for yourself or your business.
So this year, give autumn resolutions a shot and see for yourself why experts believe autumn is a great time to plan and begin achieving your goals.
What are some of the top goals you should focus on?
The key to making, maintaining, and achieving your goals is keeping things realistic. Aim for the moon, but to get there you first have to get off the ground. After opening your first gym your immediate goal shouldn’t be to open a second location. While keeping the big picture in mind is crucial to your business’ success, your short-term goals should be stepping stones and therefore be your primary focus this fall. Not only is it a great time to start thinking about your autumn resolutions and set goals for your business’ future, but we have some great advice for achieving some of the most popular goals for gym owners:
Gym Fitness Goal #1
Increase the number of memberships sold
Selling multiple memberships obviously equals more revenue which then means more money to hire the best staff, upgrade old equipment, or buy a better location. Money makes the world go round, especially if you’re a gym owner looking to expand your business. Fall is a terrific time to recruit new members to your gym for a variety of reasons. As previously mentioned, fall is when routines are born. All the people that are done with vacations and have kids back in school will undoubtedly have more free time that they are looking to spend doing something. Why shouldn’t they spend their time at your gym?
All sorts of businesses have back to school specials that drive more traffic into their stores and more online purchases. Gyms are no different. Offer back to school specials from late August to the middle of September. All your new membership gains will undoubtedly lead to long-term, loyal clientele as you follow through with the goals outlined below. Another good idea is to offer reduced rates during fall for groups of two or more that sign up together. By doing this, you get people considering joining your gym to bring a friend or two. It’s basically cheap, non-labor intensive marketing.
Lastly, a great idea is to offer your current members incentives to refer people to your gym. Referrals are another great way to get some incredibly low-cost publicity out there. For example, if one of your members refers three people to sign up, consider giving them some free gym garb. If they refer five people consider giving that member a free month and if they refer ten people consider a really nice prize like a free month with ten free personal training sessions. Put your members that achieve these awards on a board in front of the gym as another incentive to get more people spreading the word of your gym. In this scenario, the cost of giving a gym membership away for free is greatly outweighed by the gains of five new members who can also pursue your incentive program.
Gym Fitness Goal #2
Improve Relationships and Reduce Attrition
Retaining long-term clientele can be a difficult thing to do because people’s lives are always changing. Some move away and other lose the habit of going to the gym. Being a gym owner is like a juggling act which has its upsides and its downsides. On one hand, it’s difficult to balance every aspect of your gym but, on the other, you have the sole ability to determine the exact direction you want your business to move.
That being said, an important part of the juggling act you put on is reducing member attrition. How do you do this? Improve your relationships with your members. This not only increases your chances of getting more members, but it also decreases the chances that people leave your gym for a competitor (or other reasons). But how do you find any time to get to know your members when you’re so busy? If you can’t get out from behind your desk how are you going to learn about another human being?
An all-in-one software tool can be an effective way to maximize your gym’s efficiency, especially if that gym management software is staff-friendly and has a mild learning curve. Once you and your staff are able to handle all the various cloud-based administrative tasks quickly and easily, you’ll be able to focus more on your members. Thus, you’ll attain better relationships with your members and reduce the number of members that leave your gym. Software that is able to handle billing processes through automated services additionally takes the strain off of your relationships with your members. It’s no secret that financial disputes can tear people apart, so this aspect can be pretty necessary for creating better connections with your members.
Another important aspect of planning for your gym’s future and setting achievable goals is to make sure they’re measurable. If you want to reduce member attrition and let that serve as a metric that measures your relationships with your members, you should be able to measure your retention rates. Being able to watch your retention rates grow will only drive you to work harder to improve your business.
Gym Fitness Goal #3
Expanding Your Gym’s Offerings
It’s truly a one of a kind time in the fitness industry. With the rise of social media, it seems that every day there are more and more products, personalities, and fitness regimes flooding the industry. With all of these new additions to the industry, the competition you face for your members’ loyalty and attention has never been fiercer. Give your members what those other gyms can’t, a personalized and unique fitness experience with an owner that has a genuine vested interest in their clients’ well being and fitness experience. This is something many commercial gyms can’t compete with.
One of the best ways to compete is to expand what your gym has to offer beyond just good equipment and knowledgeable staff. Put on fitness and nutritional seminars that are free to your members but outside visitors must pay a fee. By doing this you’ll both gain credibility within the community, promote more people to join your gym, and maybe turn a little bit of a profit. Another thing that you have to your advantage is the failing system of commercial gyms. They don’t want people who are serious about their fitness goals at their gyms because they make a profit off of those that buy a year-long membership on January 1st and never show up. Educational sessions bring in the kind of fitness go-getters that you want in your gym. People that want to learn and improve themselves have contagious attitudes which can only benefit your gym. Give your members a personalized fitness experience, not the “drive-thru” fast food version.
Yet another fall is rapidly approaching and as the seasons gear up to transition, you can transition as well. Now is the perfect time to reflect on your business and look at what you can improve and set goals for the future. Are you excited because we’re excited for you!
Have more goals you would like advice on how to achieve? Share them in the comments section below!
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Textmunication and EZFacility Launch ‘EZMessaging’ With Access to Thousands of Clients

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PLEASANT HILL, CA, September 6, 2018 – Textmunication Holdings, Inc. (OTC PINK: TXHD), a cloud-based mobile SMS marketing platform provider, has developed a white label solution for EZFacility, a leading sports and fitness club management software (CMS) provider, delivering instant member notifications for EZFacility’s health clubs, personal training studios, sports facilities, and recreation centers.
EZFacility will brand the “Short Message Service” (SMS) solution powered by Textmunication as “EZMessaging.” EZFacility has thousands of clients worldwide and has become one of the largest providers of feature-rich management software for the sports and fitness industry. The new solution will be available to EZFacility clients this month and will offer SMS packages to fitness and sports clubs of all sizes.
The collaboration will offer EZFacility customers advanced online tools to more precisely reach their members, build brand recognition and increase marketing ROI. SMS mobile marketing is the most effective method to communicate directly with opted-in members in a nonintrusive, FCC compliant text-messaging medium. SMS marketing has a very high open rate, builds brand loyalty, customer engagement and helps to generate new business. EZFacility clients will gain instant control of their member communications and marketing engagement capabilities. Return on investment (ROI) is achieved quickly and seamlessly through the software integration between EZFacility and Textmunication.
Textmunication has become the preferred SMS provider to many of the top CMS companies by developing API integrated solutions geared towards automated communication, lead generation, health tip alerts, new member notifications, cancellation updates, birthday alerts, reminders for renewals, personal training reminders and prospect follow-ups. In addition, members or clients who have not been active for several weeks can receive reminders along with incentive offers for family and friend referrals.

“We are pleased to partner with EZFacility to help their clients reach their members with engagement, retention and loyalty touchpoints through our white label solution,” stated Wais Asefi, Chief Executive Officer of Textmunication. “We are impressed with EZFacility’s focus on technology, innovation, and collaboration to advance their client’s member engagement.”
“We are very much looking forward to this partnership. The sports, health, and fitness industries aren’t going mobile – they have gone mobile,” stated Eric Willin, Chief Operating Officer of EZFacility. “This collaboration provides our clients with a user-friendly and simple platform for instant member engagement and is a huge timesaver for their marketing and operations efforts.”
Text TXHD to short code 87365 to sign-up for news alerts and announcements via SMS.
About Textmunication Holdings, Inc.

Textmunication Holdings, Inc. (“TXHD”) is a leading mobile marketing solution provider helping thousands of clients across North America improve engagement, retention, and loyalty with their members. Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, Textmunication leverages its dynamic SMS software platform delivering robust APIs and integrated mobile marketing solutions in markets such as health and fitness, beauty salons, sporting events, hospitality, entertainment and digital marketing firms. The company’s new software platform named “Smart Automated Messaging” (SAM) – provides a powerful nonintrusive and valued-added engagement tool capable of delivering more than one billion SMS per month. CIOReview Magazine recognized Textmunication as one of the “Top 20 Most Promising Digital Marketing Solution Providers” in its annual 2018 edition. Textmunication offers cutting-edge technology with upcoming solutions such as Rich Communication Services (RCS). Textmunication was chosen as an early adopter of RCS by a leading mobile messaging provider which could create a paradigm shift in the text messaging world with rich images, videos, chat box features and multi-media in a single text. Textmunication is also a minority owner of Aspire Consulting Group LLC, a government consulting firm located in the Washington, D.C. area. To learn more about Textmunication, visit our website at www.textmunication.com

Safe Harbor Provision:
Except for the statements of historical fact contained herein, the information presented in this news release constitutes “forward-looking statements” made pursuant to the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements in this press release as they reflect Textmunication Holdings’ current expectations with respect to future events and are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the risks described in Textmunication Holdings’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements contained in this news release and any document referred to in this press release.

Why Understanding the PHIT Act Is Important for Your Facility

Why Understanding the PHIT Act Is Important for Your Facility

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Imagine this scenario: It’s the mid-year blues of the fitness industry season and your facility is busy. Retention is rising and your sign-up rates show growth in your gym management software. It sounds like a dream, but this situation may not remain a fantasy. Not if the PHIT (Personal Health Investment Today) Act becomes a law in the United States.

There’s quite a lot of information floating around regarding the PHIT Act. Here are the basics to understand what the PHIT Act is and what it could mean for your fitness facility.

The PHIT Act in Summary

The PHIT Act proposes that Americans will be allowed to use their Pre-Tax Medical Accounts to help pay for certain physical activities. With a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account—Americans could place up to $500-$1000 of pre-tax money to cover fitness classes, memberships, and personal training sessions. The expenses can then be written off as a tax deduction.

What Are Pre-Tax Medical Accounts?

Pre-Tax Medical Accounts are generally offered through an employer-provided healthcare account, or the Affordable Care Act. With either, people can place aside part of their earnings that will pay for out-of-pocket medical, dental, and vision care expenses not covered by a health benefits plan. If the PHIT Act becomes law, physical activities like yoga or cycling classes would be categorized as an out-of-pocket medical expense.

What the PHIT Act Means for Gym Owners

Easier public access to yoga lessons, personal training sessions, and gym classes means more chances for facility owners to increase revenue. If every member of your facility brought a considerable sum that was specifically meant for exercise activities, they would be more likely to keep on spending after that sum is gone. Why? The psychology of out of pocket spending. The sum your members start with is cut from their paycheck so because it doesn’t feel like the member is paying directly, the member may choose to continue spending at your facility.

As it stands now for the PHIT Act, youth memberships, youth sports leagues, and health club memberships are all included in the bill. The PHIT Act does have some restrictions though. The bill states that golf, sailing, and horseback riding “shall not be treated as a physical exercise or activity” to be covered. For those golf and sailing enthusiasts all hope is not lost—all bills under review to become law have the potential for alterations until passage.

What Gym Owners Can Do to Prepare for the PHIT Act

Think of the estimated expense as the chance to plan memberships and package deals in advance. It’s important to get that competitive edge before the PHIT Act is passed just as it’s always important to have a promotion plan ready before the surge of holiday memberships begin. Complete your strategy and have your business-ready to act. Then, all that’s left to do is spread the word. Share promotions on social media, post some signage around your business and local community or immediately send email campaigns to leads you have collected. While the responses pour in, your competitors will still be scrambling at the drawing board.

Why the PHIT Act Matters

Physical inactivity is a growing problem in the United States. The Mayo Clinic reports that less than 3 percent of Americans meet the basic qualifications for a “healthy lifestyle”. Even so, fitness classes remain popular. According to the 2018 IHRSA Global Report, the health club industry generated at least $87.2 billion in revenue in 2017.

The PHIT Act is meant to deter the problem of idleness, promote a healthier lifestyle, and encourage productivity. In a nutshell, think of it as a tax break for fitness memberships. Cost effective access to exercise classes could make staying active more desirable to your clients—and potential clients!

The History and Current Status of the PHIT Act

The PHIT Act was in Congress on March 1st, 2017. On July 12th, 2018, the House Committee of Ways and Means passed the bill in a vote of 28-7. It then was moved to the House of Representatives for further consideration. On July 25th, 2018, the PHIT Act was passed by a 277-142 vote. The bill is now on its way to the Senate.

What the PHIT Act Could Cover

  • Health Club Memberships
  • Personal Training Services
  • Exercises Competition Fees
  • Yoga and other group fitness classes
  • Youth Sports Leagues

What Could the PHIT Act Not Cover

  • Golf
  • Hunting
  • Sailing
  • Horseback Riding
  • Exercise Equipment

What Happens Each Time the PHIT Act Is Presented

The PHIT Act is susceptible to alterations each time it is presented and reviewed on the floor. For example, the PHIT Act previously had exercise videos, exercise equipment, golfing, sailing and hunting under the list of covered exercise expenses. These all have subsequently been removed from the bill.

How to Impact the PHIT Act

IHRSA (International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association) created a page where people can contact local senators with an automated, or personalized message about the PHIT Act. You can also reach out to your senators on your own with a telephone call or email through the official senate.gov website.

How to Find Out More About the PHIT Act

We recommend the official congress.gov website where the PHIT Act is listed. There you can opt to receive alerts on the latest news regarding the status of legislative proposals.

Do you have any thoughts about the PHIT Act regarding your facility? Let us know in the comments below and feel free to vote on our social poll on how you think the PHIT Act could affect your facility.

7 Interview Questions When Hiring Personal Trainers for Your Gym

7 Interview Questions When Hiring Personal Trainers for Your Gym

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Careers as fitness trainers and instructors are among some of the fastest growing, in terms of popularity, in the nation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2016 and 2026, employment rates of fitness trainers and instructors are projected to increase 10 percent. That’s certainly more than the average for all occupations. So, congratulations! Your career path has taken you into one of the quickest growing industries.

Unfortunately, with so much growth comes a lot of noise. It seems like every day someone is coming up with the next best supplement, gym equipment, workout regimen, you name it. This growth also brings a lot of new people in search of jobs to the industry. Some of who will show up at your gym’s door in search of an employment opportunity.

So, how do you sift through all the noise? How do you distinguish the candidate that chose to become a personal trainer after seeing a couple of Instagram posts and the candidate who genuinely has a passion for people, health, and fitness? The answer is that you have to ask the right questions during the interview process. It seems trivial on the surface but asking the right questions and knowing what to look out for in responses is a sure fire way to find the perfect fit for your gym.

Before we start, first and foremost, it is important that the candidate is a certified personal trainer by either the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) or the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). He or she should also appear to be working towards his or her own fitness goals. Just as you wouldn’t want a hoarder to clean your house, you don’t want a person that doesn’t work for their own fitness goals to give your members advice on how to achieve theirs.

After you have identified some qualified candidates, let’s brainstorm some good interview questions to ask your prospects:

1) What aspects of working for my gym are appealing to you?

This is a pretty broad question and it’s purposely constructed that way. It gives you a chance to see the candidate’s train of thought because there are so many different ways to answer. A good sign to look out for is a candidate that primarily speaks about their passion for helping people.
However, if they only talk about their own personal love for the gym, the fact they need money, or other reasons that don’t involve helping others, this is something to take note of and be cautious about. Candidates should have a love for people just as much as they love fitness.

2) How would you respond if a client asked for your advice on how to diet while working long hours?

This question puts the candidate in a client-trainer situation to see how they would respond in a real, on-the-job scenario. Make sure to follow up on this question. You want to encourage the candidate to expand on their reasoning. This will allow you to see the candidate’s knowledge and ability to give your members relevant and helpful tips.
Pay attention to whether or not the candidate responds in an appropriate way. Is the advice good or bad based on your own knowledge and experience? Does the candidate answer in a confident manner? If they don’t fill you with confidence, how do you think your members will feel?

3) What blogs or other resources do you use to keep up with current fitness news and trends?

Look for candidates that regularly check well-respected blogs and other fitness news sources. Some examples can be found here. Well-informed trainers will be able to give your members the most up-to-date information (Duh). The train of thought 20 years ago may not hold true today.
Remember when everyone wanted to banish cholesterol to the bottom of the ocean where it couldn’t hurt us anymore?
Watch out for candidates that use social media as their main source of fitness news. Social media can be helpful for a variety of reasons (like getting new exercise ideas) but it isn’t overly reliable as anyone can say whatever they want; unchecked by professional opinions. Bottom-line is there is a lot of great information on social media but there is also a lot of bad. Candidate’s that go beyond to respected sources will be the best for your business.

4) In ten years, what do you think you’ll be doing?

Look for a candidate that has ambitions and shows personality. If you don’t think your prospective employee has a promising future in the industry they’re probably not the best fit for your gym. A candidate shouldn’t be content just collecting a paycheck every week. They should be inspired and working on improving him or herself every day. That mindset is contagious and will spread to your members.
Watch out for someone that lacks ambition. Trainers should seek to motivate, not need motivation themselves. If you want your gym to grow, your trainers should be committed to that growth and want to grow alongside it.

5) What is your biggest weakness?

This is possibly the most cliché interview question that has ever existed but, there’s a reason for that. In a situation where you’re trying to present your best self, it’s difficult to admit your own faults. Look for a candidate that is willing to be honest and discusses how they’re addressing their weakness. Obviously, there is a line here. If your interviewee says “I tend to scream at my clients when they don’t listen to me”, there’s a good chance that person isn’t the best fit for your gym.
Watch out for candidates that won’t be fully honest, as this will ultimately diminish their credibility. A cliché question such as this can elicit endless cliché responses, many of which are not accurate and not totally truthful. If a candidate responds with something like “I’m a perfectionist” they’re most likely not being totally honest with you.

6) How will a tough week affect your workday?

At least one question about handling adversity is crucial to the interview process. Everybody goes through ups and downs and nobody handles them the same way.
That being said, all it takes is for one bad session with a trainer that doesn’t feel fully invested for a member to decide your gym is not the right fit. In every profession, it’s important to check your personal life at the door, especially for customer-facing professions, like personal training.
If your trainers are going to be scaring off clients every time they get a parking ticket, they may not be the best fit for your gym.

7) How would you increase our membership sales and retention rates?

This is a question about experience. Look for a candidate that has some fitness industry wherewithal and is able to craft a reasonable response with confidence. The more experience a candidate has, the easier it will be for him or her to answer this question.
Watch out for a candidate that seems disinterested or doesn’t have any ideas about how to improve your business. As previously mentioned, your trainers should be committed to helping your business grow.

Bonus Question: How tech-savvy are you?

Gym Management Software should be a staple at your gym because it can maximize your gym’s efficiency by reducing time doing administrative tasks. That being said, some gym management software is difficult to use or doesn’t provide all the aspects needed to manage your gym on one platform. This can be solved by using an all-in-one, staff friendly software that gets you and your staff out from behind the desk and doing what you love.
Another way to solve this issue is to find a trainer that is experienced, personable, knowledgeable, and willing to switch back and forth between different platforms doing mundane tasks in order to handle your clients’ accounts. We think the former is easier.

So, in conclusion, what does the ideal personal trainer look like?

Good question. Every gym environment is unique and thus different trainers will be a better fit for different types of gyms. However, there are qualities that all trainers should possess.
The best fit for any gym is a candidate that:

  • Has a passion for helping people reach their goals
  • Is informed and able to give good fitness and nutritional advice
  • Has ambitions
  • Is willing to be honest about their weaknesses and is working on addressing them
  • Won’t let a tough week affect the way they conduct themselves in your gym
  • Has some industry insights and experience

Have more ideas for questions? Comment them in the section below!

Gym Management Software For Beginners

Gym Management Software For Beginners

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Front-Desk Check-In. Extensive Reporting. Online Registration. Self-Service. What do you think of when you hear these terms?
Is it a fully operational facility running at the optimum level of success? Or does the word ‘extensive’ followed by ‘report’ invoke some anxiety? Don’t worry! Gym management software is not meant to be intimidating. It is here to help you make your life stress-free and it does not take years of classes to understand. (And if it does, then it’s time to seek alternative options!)
Of course, if this is your first time considering gym management software, you’ll want one that’s easy-to-use for you and your staff. Make sure to look for functions and customizations that stand out and  communicate a clear purpose for how they will serve your facility.
Let’s take the feature Self-Service for example. As the name implies, your clients will have the ability to interact with your facility at their convenience. They can schedule an aerobics class or one-on-one personal training sessions, purchase a gym membership, pay invoices for their aerobics class and more—all online, within your pre-set parameters.
Another stand out feature in beginner-friendly software is drag-and-drop scheduling functionality. Why? Ease-of-use and saved time! Consider the laborious process of making a class schedule on paper. The rows. The boxes. The information written between all the lines. And then, the inevitable changes: cancellations, postponements, etc. For paper, that’s either erasing, crossing out, or a complete redo of the whole schedule layout.
With the ideal gym management software, it’s a simple drag-and-drop answer. This seamless advantage should be easy-to-use, understandable, and make the calendar managing experience stress-free.
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What else makes up beginner friendly gym management software? There’s a lot, but at its core, it should be accessible at any time and anywhere, have easy to reach customer support, and one-on-one training available. These characteristics will define your relationship with the software going forward.
Nobody wants to be stuck with software that’s not helpful or beginner friendly. (Think about the learning curve if you choose a software that doesn’t include an onboarding process for your staff. Yikes!)
If you are wondering more about effective examples of gym management software, we recommend signing up for a free demonstration of one the most highly experienced, ranked, and trusted gym management software solutions.

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EZFacility Named in Capterra’s Top 20 Most Popular for Membership Management Software

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EZFacility Ranks Among The Top 20 Membership Management Software
Woodbury, NY (May 11th, 2018)
–EZFacility announced today that it has been named a Top 20 Most Popular Membership Management Software product by Capterra, the leading online resource for business software buyers.
In the fast paced and ever evolving industry that is Membership Management Software—it is quite humbling to be ranked so well amongst our peers,” comments Bryant Strozinsky, Director of Operations at EZFacility.” This placement reaffirms EZFacility’s’ continued commitment to providing clients with feature rich software solutions, and fanatical customer support.”
Top 20 Most Popular Membership Management Software is an independent assessment that evaluates customer base, number of active users, and social presence to generate a list of market
leaders in the member management space that offer the most widely adopted solutions. The Top 20 Most Popular Member Management Software is available at https://bit.ly/2KQsgln
About Capterra
Capterra is the leading online resource for business software buyers. Founded in 1999, Capterra features validated user reviews and independent research across hundreds of software categories. From Accounting to Yoga Studio Management, Capterra covers it all. Each month, Capterra helps more than three million buyers find the right software. Capterra is a Gartner company. For more information, visit Capterra.com.