3 Key Strategies for Managing a Gym Effectively
As with any business, before opening a gym you’ll need to do ample research and planning to set yourself up for long-term success.
By investing the time to gain a thorough understanding of the fitness industry and the inherent challenges that come with starting a gym and being a new business owner, you’ll be able to put strategic plans in place to help you navigate foreseeable obstacles, mitigate risk, increase profitability, and keep things running smoothly and efficiently.
One of the best ways to build a successful gym is to start with a solid framework and management software system in place to help streamline administrative tasks, improve communication and collaboration, simplify membership management, and more—saving you valuable time and money.
Whether you’re opening a new facility or stepping into a new managerial role, to effectively manage a gym you’ll need to wear many hats and juggle various responsibilities—many of which can be laborious and time-consuming.
By streamlining your gym’s operations and administrative tasks using tools and technology at your disposal—for example, gym management software—you’ll be able to manage your time and fitness business in the most efficient ways possible.
Here are three strategies to improve gym management:
1. Perfect the Member Experience
The fitness industry has undergone a major transformation while adapting to shifting demands and changing consumer habits caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s important for gym and fitness business owners to understand that customers’ expectations have changed dramatically since the pandemic hit—especially in the fitness industry, where members have grown accustomed to the convenience and flexibility that digital fitness offerings provide.
Now more than ever, providing a great customer experience is a non-negotiable for gyms and fitness-related businesses.
Ways to Create a Great Customer Experience
In today’s increasingly digital world, ensuring a positive member experience is more important than ever.
The experience you provide—whether positive or negative—will stay with you and impact your long-term success. In fact, 87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a consistent experience.
A great customer experience provides your business with a competitive edge, improves customer satisfaction and customer engagement, and helps you attract loyal customers. Conversely, a bad experience has the opposite effect, and can quickly lead people to cancel their memberships or leave negative reviews online and on social media.
A great customer experience is what will keep your members coming back, and make them more likely to recommend your business to friends.
Remember—you’re selling a long-term relationship with a continuous service, so it’s imperative that you build a strong team of engaged employees, solicit customer feedback, and continue to monitor digital trends in the fitness space to make sure you’re keeping up with the shifting landscape.
2. Streamline Operations
If you want to operate a gym efficiently, you’ll need to find gym management software that streamlines every part of your business. Without a secure and centralized platform in place, you’ll waste countless hours of valuable time trying to track everything manually, which also greatly increases the likelihood of costly mistakes and human error.
EZFacility’s all-in-one gym management software is secure, scalable, and always accessible. That means whether you’re at home or on the go, you can trust us to make sure your customers’ data is safe, their interactions are secure, and your facility is protected. And because EZFacility’s features are designed to support the needs of fitness businesses of all sizes, our software can be tailored to support your specific needs.
Our fitness facility scheduling and management features centralize and consolidate the process of scheduling physical resources, classes, clinics, and rentals into a color-coded schedule. Not only does this allow you to locate available resources at-a-glance, but our resource utilization reports also ensure your facility is working to capacity.
3. Identify and Manage Growth
Have you ever wondered where in the online buying and registration process clients are dropping off?
If you utilize gym management software like EZFacility, you can finally find out the answer (and more!) using our Google Analytics connector. And, as you continue to grow and open additional locations—you can rest assured that EZFacility is by your side and ready to grow with you.
The bottom line is—in today’s digital landscape, it’s imperative to use gym management software to operate a gym efficiently, and to set the stage for business growth.
In order to assess success and identify growth opportunities, you need to have access to and a constant pulse on all of your financials at any given time. This simply isn’t possible without a secure software solution in place.
EZFacility’s comprehensive dashboard and reporting suite give you an in-depth look under the hood of your gym any time, and in real-time–including financial, point-of-sale, marketing, payroll, membership, and more.
10 Tips for Improving Gym Management
Managing a successful fitness business involves juggling multiple elements and processes.
Here are 10 tips to help:
1. Document the entire member experience
In a membership-based business, the customer experience is ultimately what defines and drives your business.
In order to provide a great member experience, you must remember that the experience extends beyond just the initial signup—the member experience begins at the first point of contact with customers, and encompasses all of the touch points throughout the customer journey.
The experience you provide is what makes your business unique, and it’s what attracts people to your products and services over your competitors. Providing a great member experience is critical to creating a positive association with your business, boosting customer engagement, and building a community of loyal customers.
To ensure you’re providing a positive member experience, you need to continuously offer exceptional customer support, anticipate—and exceed—customers’ expectations and needs, and provide an experience your members can’t get anywhere else. Additionally, you need to understand how your members think, and what they want.
2. Track everything
From membership management to payroll reports—you need to keep track of everything. And there’s a lot of everything.
Simplify your life and business by streamlining your entire financial and reporting system using gym management software.
With EZFacility, specifically, you can enjoy the following benefits:
EZFacility’s membership management tools make it easy to create custom membership plans, manage relationships, sell services online, assign plastic or RFID member cards, track payments, and automate text and email reminders to reduce client delinquencies.
POS & Inventory Management
Our POS and inventory management features allow you to manage point-of-sale products from a desktop or mobile device, monitor product levels, automate reorder alerts, manage online or in-house coupon codes, and report on product profitability
Extensive Report Suite
EZFacility’s extensive report suite offers an in-depth look under the hood of your business. This includes quick and easy access to financial, point-of-sale, marketing, payroll, membership, training reports, and more. Export reports in a variety of file types, including .csv, .pdf, and .xlsx.
QuickBooks Online Integration
Easily connect with tools that you already use—like QuickBooks Online. Save time and stay organized by syncing EZFacility financials directly into the QuickBooks Online platform.
3. Build a team of A-players
Running a gym isn’t just about laying out equipment—it’s about creating a space that can change people’s lives. The environment you foster plays a huge role in whether a member has a positive customer experience or a bad experience—and the same applies to your staff and employees as well.
You’re likely familiar with the saying “happy employees create happy customers”—and studies have confirmed that employee happiness is directly correlated with employee efficiency, creativity, and productivity. If you want to consistently provide positive customer experiences, you need to build a team of happy, engaged employees.
Your staff is the first line of contact with customers, and they are the faces of your gym, so you’ll want to hire creative problem solvers who share the same passions as you and exude positive energy. You’ll want to hire people with positive energy who share your passion for fitness. And, as your gym grows, you’ll want to keep in mind the future skills and qualities new hires may need.
Always remember that you can hire incredible talent in your business—but it’s your responsibility to provide them with the tools, resources, trust, freedom, and support they need to be the best representatives they can be for your facility.
Your entire business model will depend on the people you choose to hire—so don’t underestimate the importance of employee management and the need to always offer a positive work environment to bring out the best in everyone.
4. Improve communication
Communication is key to any relationship. Make it easy to reach you, and remember to meet the customers where they are.
You can do this by physically posting contact information, visibly, throughout your gym and at the front desk. You should also always make the contact section on your website and digital communications easy to find and easy to follow.
Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from both employees and customers—and don’t take it personally! Remember that the only way to improve things is to first have a realistic understanding of where you currently are.
Look at feedback as an opportunity to grow and to continue to evolve and adapt your business practices to offer the best gym and customer experience you can!
5. Ask for customer feedback
The best way to know if you’re meeting customers’ expectations is to ask them.
Asking for customer feedback after key touch points during the customer journey shows members you care about their experience, which leads to greater customer satisfaction and higher customer engagement. Customer feedback is also an invaluable way to learn what you’re doing well, in addition to identifying areas for improvement.
6. Use gym management software to the fullest
Your gym management software should also help improve the member experience by allowing your members to access all the information they need—whether to pay their membership through your platform or sign up for your latest workout stream.
Self-service client portal
Self-service Client Portal empowers clients to update payment information, pay outstanding balances, schedule sessions, purchase packages or memberships, register their kids for summer camp or soccer clinics, and more—all online, and all on their own.
With a range of options that include mobile or RFID member cards, biometric scans, and unique identifiers, our Self Check-in feature allows clients to check themselves into your facility or classes from a tablet, kiosk, or desktop computer.
7. Automate and delegate
Centralize the scheduling of physical resources and consolidate all classes, clinics, and rentals into a color-coded schedule. At a glance locate available resources and master resource utilization reports to ensure your facility is working to capacity.
8. Prioritize member retention
Improve member retention by thinking from the customer’s point-of-view to create a seamless, hassle-free joining experience, followed by an exceptional customer experience that always makes members feel encouraged by and connected to your facility.
9. Invest in marketing and sales
Marketing is an essential function needed to promote your gym and to differentiate yourself from competitors to attract potential members—and, when utilized effectively, marketing campaigns can also be a great way to keep current gym members engaged and reduce churn.
There’s no shortage of options when it comes to gym marketing ideas, but it’s important to remember that implementing a multichannel approach will increase the likelihood of reaching your target audience and the overall success of your marketing campaigns.
The fitness industry is highly competitive, and it’s easy to get lost in the noise. So, what can you do to stand out? Answer: multichannel marketing campaigns. And a mix of both paid and unpaid marketing efforts.
10. Be adaptable.
As we touched on earlier, fitness consumers’ expectations have changed since COVID-19, and gym owners need to be willing to meet the consumers where they are.
Data from a recent global study revealed that 70% of responding internet users worldwide were using their smartphones or mobile phones more as a direct result of the coronavirus outbreak, and another study found that mobile owners worldwide will continue to increase to 7.33 billion by 2023.
For gyms and fitness-related businesses, this means that a strong digital presence is key to long-term success. Additionally, consumers now expect a hybrid combination of in-person and online workout options. They want to be able to research, book services and communicate with brands easily.
The key takeaway is that what works now might not work in six months—so you need to be ready to change and adapt your business model because it’s that level of flexibility and adaptability that will allow you to beat out the competition.
It’s always best to make sure your app, website, and social media channels are updated. Aim to make them user-friendly, informative, and offer a seamless experience.
We know how overwhelming it can be to manage a gym. Let EZFacility help do the heavy lifting so you can focus on the things that matter.
Try EZFacility for free! Schedule a free, no-commitment demo and product tour today.