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The Top Successful Facility Secrets

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How likely are your members to keep coming back to you if you expose them to misinformation? Fitness trends are constantly changing, you want stay up-to-date with the most current health and wellness news. It’s not enough to rely solely on your own professional education. In order to stay ahead of the game, you should be in the know on what professional journals, publications and your clients themselves are saying. Being on top of these funnels of information will allow you to become the fact checker, refute any misinformation printed by these publications, and establish yourself as an expert. If clients feel you are the most reliable source, they will turn to you for advice on proper fitness, exercise and nutrition practices.

Be fair, but firm

We’re all only human, which means certain situations can arise where you may need to bend the rules a bit. If you find yourself in this positon, make sure your clients are aware you are bending a policy. For example, if you have a 24-hour cancellation policy but you decide not to charge someone due to illness, be sure they are aware that you are bending this policy for them this ONE TIME but it will not be tolerated going forward.

Have Trainers Assign Homework

Make your sessions last longer by continuing them outside the facility. Clients should be given certain instructions or things to focus on when they are on their own time as well. Give them mini exercises to practice at home, or require them to keep a food and workout journal. Breathing exercises, posture activities and meditation activities are some other great examples to try. Clients can discuss or show what they tracked during their next session or communicate with trainers via email.

Continue Education of Trainers and Staff

Knowledge is power. While the organizations your trainers obtained their certifications from will inform them of what they need to do to keep it current, your trainers need to continue their education in other ways as well. They can easily do this by reading verified fitness journals and publications, as well as attending classes, conventions and conferences to stay on top of fitness trends and news. These are all investments in your business, not expenses.Li

Like what you’ve ready so far? Excellent. We’ve got more tips to share in our video series.

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3 Ways Climbing Can Surge Up Teamwork.

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For every key I type there is a small sting in the “distal phalange” of my fingers. In other words, each and every joint in my fingers are aching. And you know what? For the story and team bonding experience that I am about to share—it is totally, absolutely, 100% worth it.

So, here’s the gravity of the situation. Before I was a master of fearing heights, I was a veteran of never turning down the opportunity to spend time with others. Part of having a detail oriented filter is this urge to learn more, from both myself and the people around me. So, who was I to say no, I don’t want to do this awesome thing that could potentially open my perspective? I said yes before I could remember what yes means and then spent the remainder of days dreading my amiable tendencies.

But I climbed. I climbed a fifteen-foot wall. A tanned fifteen-foot wall stapled with brightly colored stones, some in the shapes of dinosaurs—and others, just stones. I would soon come to identify these as holds. I learned the name as our instructor waved his hand along a path of said colored stones and said “each hold has a color grade and route.” He proceeded to explain that the color hold you start with helps determine your route for as far as you can go.

So, for example, you choose a green hold, you should ideally reach for nothing but more green holds. My mind has a detail oriented filter (as I’ve mentioned) so learning how much color and design is put into indoor climbing was pretty impressive. Some holds looked like flaming heads and some looked like turtle shells. However, color coded holds are not the part of this story that I will be detailing further. This was just an opener to explain how there’s so much more to climbing than a surface observation. What it takes to climb is courage, confidence, trust, and most of all, good teamwork because when you climb, you don’t climb alone. It takes teamwork. Yes. It takes two to climb.

Be the Belayer. Support Your Team.

To climb, there must be two people, each with a role and title. The first, naturally, is the climber. This is the one who embarks on a journey upward. The second, is the belayer. This lucky penny is responsible for pulling a rope connected to the climber as they climb.

The more rope the belayer has under their arms, the safer the journey down for the climber when they choose to descend. It sounds easy in theory, but in action, quite stressful, yet exceptionally rewarding. Being the belayer is being both a physical and mental cheerleader for the team. Each pull on the rope is a cheer of support for your colleagues. The more support given to your colleagues the quicker they can reach their goals and also recover from any fall.

Be The Climber. Trust Your Team.

As the climber, I constantly felt the rope of my harness pulling back, ensuring my safety as I slowly reached higher and higher. It was a noticeable pulling sensation at first and then it became a second thought as I continued to climb. Later I realized that was trust. Reaching ahead towards your goals without looking back but knowing there is someone there to help.

Of course, we all have our moments of doubt that suddenly come back full force. When I reached the top it happened, I froze and my mind went blank. There was nothing I could do alone because the next step for me was to lean away from the wall as if I was…. you guessed it, falling. Except I wouldn’t fall. The rope being pulled by my belayer slowly, safely reeled me down and I felt like a bird safely floating on a tree branch. It felt easy. With trust teamwork is easy. Though full disclosure, I didn’t lean back immediately after reaching the top, but after an experience of good sound teamwork, there will be no hesitation.

Be The Volunteer. Motivate Your Team

You already know, I wasn’t on board with climbing in the beginning and I probably would have never tried it on my own. But there was something that made me agree to try and that was the enthusiasm of my friend who asked me. My friend the volunteer. It was through their energy that I agreed to partake in an experience that would completely enhance the bond between us.

So what’s the message here? It’s to be the volunteer. Be the one who ventures and asks and occasionally dares. Rock climbing is not the obvious solution to stronger team building but it is a good example of those looking for new team building activities. From freeze tag to charades, there’s a chance you’ve played a game that tests the bond between you and your coworkers. While you may think the best way to enhance that bond is to keep playing the same game, the better solution is to instead try something completely new. New experiences and challenges help us improve our skills, so why not add “rock climber” to your team player description? It’ll surely stand out on any resume!

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Social Media and Self Promotion

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Congratulations! Your business has been recognized in an extraordinary manner. Whether it be an honorary title, a rave review or newly awarded achievement—it’s a wonderful accomplishment worth sharing. You can certainly make a quick capture of a moment to post for social media or you can apply more strategy to make the content last longer. And why not? It’s a special moment worth remembering! Below is a list of thoughtful approaches in expanding both the reach and length of self-promoting content.

 

Show Rather Than Tell

 Recently, EZFacility received recognition as achieving the number 9 spot in Capterra’s Top 20 Most Popular Membership Management Software. If you’ve been to our company page, you already know that EZFacility started at a modest size and then grew to fantastic proportions thanks to hard work and a dedicated team which helped us earn this spot. To exemplify our appreciation, we shared content focusing one what best represents the success of our software: our client’s successes. On both Twitter and Facebook we shared precisely that and as seen, the act of showing rather than telling expresses a more visual representation of that success. When celebrating positive news, it’s great to make sure the presentation of the message is bright as the content itself!

Think Before You Use Hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to be seen by both new people and potential clients. For newcomers to social media, a hashtag is a short phrase following the # symbol that identifies a social media post as a topic. For example, if someone were to post about how they met a goal of performing 100 push-ups a day, they may write a hashtag #PracticeMakesPerfect or #LifeGoals at the end to encapsulate the message of their post as a lesson of dedication. If a popular hashtag is used by a mass amount of users in the same time period, then the hashtag will trend and become visible for all users to see what’s trending on social media. It’s important to make sure a hashtag has some relevancy to the post and there’s no space between the text. If not, then the post will neither reach their targeted audience nor the maximum range of its audience. #HashtagsDoneRight

Build Up Anticipation

Content featuring surprises can gain quite a lot of attention. Think of the news headlines that read “You Won’t Believe This.” and “What You Hear Will Shock You”. These are sentences meant to grab your attention and while successful they are dramatic and we don’t want to turn authentic social media posts into that! Ideally, we would like to introduce intrigue to the presentation but not too much at the risk of oversaturating the content. One method is by making an announcement for your announcement. For example, we did a short tease post on social media about an upcoming blog post to be released in the afternoon. Note how we included a timestamp on when the reveal would be to keep audiences engaged. Using time effectively within a modest range gives the audience less of a burden to check back and less time to wait!

Make it Accessible Across Social Media Accounts

Spreading self-promotional material across your different social media account platforms is ideal but what’s better is to alter the content to fit the best practices of the social media account. One of the best references to find the style of each social media post is to look at examples from other accounts you follow (and that means competition as well!). Most pictures on Instagram have dynamic angles whereas photos on Facebook have a traditional ‘photo album’ appearance. Catering the presentation to your social media accounts will create for a significant impact for varying platform audiences.

 

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Are Administration Tasks Occupying Too Much Of Your Time?

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Congratulations! You have achieved the dream of opening your own gym or personal training facility. Your initial marketing campaign was such a success that your membership numbers have gone through the roof and many of your fitness classes are oversubscribed. It all sounds wonderful, however, as your business grows unfortunately so does the administration and tasks. Administration tasks that can take you away from offering first class support to help your members achieve their fitness goals. It’s great to be kept busy by clients on the increase, signing up and joining classes but there is a price to pay if it all becomes too overwhelming. The wheels of progress can collapse in two ways:

1) The administration tasks become overwhelming and this results in mistakes.
– Too many clients turn up for a class due to incomplete bookings for previous clients, resulting in a double booking and therefore not enough space for everyone.
– So either you allow everyone to participate anyway – even though there are too many clients – resulting in a cramped, stressful environment. Or you have to turn away some clients even though you were meant to have booked them in – and again they’re stressed,
– Or maybe you’re letting clients in without a package by mistake so they are attending classes without sufficient monitoring. So clients end up coming to classes without paying. There was frequent rescheduling but the action wasn’t sufficiently monitored enough so the class ends up being surprisingly empty.

2) The other scenario is you’re on top of the administration tasks but it’s taking you forever and stopping you from actually leading those fitness classes or guiding your members to reach those fitness goals you helped them set when they joined your facility.

In the April edition of Gym Owner Monthly Magazine, Gym Owner of the month – Nick Pugliese from Bornefit – listed one of the main reasons for the success of his new facility is because they know their members on a personal level and create a family atmosphere within the gym that urges people to come and train.

However, it is possible to be up to date on your admin without it taking over your life while still engaging with your customers and ensuring they feel welcome at all times. If you give clients a way in which they can book their own classes or personal training sessions online, or through a mobile app, then they are in total control of scheduling themselves. Not to mention all of that time spent in administration tasks is now back on your side for however you see fit!

Using EZFacility’s self-service module or branded mobile app can get you there. Our clients can see what classes you are offering, how many spaces are available based off the maximum class numbers that you set and book into the ones that suit them. When a class is full, it’s full – no double bookings! No crammed classes!

You may be thinking how a ‘family feel’ of a facility stays intact if clients are not engaging with anyone when they are making a class reservation? Well, with the branded mobile app you can share facility information, photos and videos to keep your clients informed as well as sending “Push Notifications” to update clients about class availability, recent news, events and more. Keeping that family feeling 24/7 rather than whenever members pop in. Furthermore, you can create virtual coupons and market current promotions to your clients. What better way to keep engaged with your clients in the modern day at any given time!

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The Ventriloquist, The Magician And The Right Magic For Your Business. PDF Edition

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The following is an EZFacility blog that was printed in the National Fitness Trade Journal Spring 2017 edition.

Manager, Director, Leader. These are some titles you’ve earned before becoming the business owner. As the business owner, you have effectively attained the right to control your business identity, and every business owner of course, should have control.

The funny thing is though, clients want control too and in today’s digital environment there are many ways to pull off the ol’ smoke and mirrors trick to keep clients happy while still guiding the identity of your business.

But this is where we should stop.

A big aspect of your business identity is its relationship with your clients. Tricks should never be an approach to any relationship not the start of an honest business. It should also never become a last resort for any matter of business because then the business identity turns into The Ventriloquist, making clients “believe they are in charge” when they’re actually the dummy, thus increasing the risk of a fallout.

To read the full blog article in PDF format,please click this link or the image below



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5 Methods of Communication Due For A Comeback

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You need to contact a client and are considering between a phone call or an email. After a pause, you choose email. Ideally immediate results follow, the clients response is swift, and you move on now that your objective is complete….or is it? We all want to keep our clients happy and we all hope we are doing everything to ensure that they’re satisfied at the end of the day. Yes, we hope. But do we really know for certain this is true? Here are some methods of consistent engagement to utilize so you can ensure a healthy, happy client relationship to maintain.

1: Positive Body Language

Chances are you can remember this exact moment. Think of the last time you raised your hand for a high-five and received nothing in return. It certainly makes an impact and you probably remember the person. This is the power of a bad impression and it can be quite a powerful thing. So what can be done? You’ll be pleased to know the answer is practically effortless. Just like a good pre-workout stretch, opening up your body and standing up straight enables a confident atmosphere for both you and your client. According to a study published by the American Psychological Association , something as small as a firm handshake leaves an impression of extroversion-one of the utmost ideal traits of an entrepreneur. We also recommend keeping those arms unfolded and open for interaction to create an environment of approachability.

2: Handwritten Cards/Letters

Yes emails are easier, but Grandma still mails you birthday cards doesn’t she? And they’re signed in that unique penmanship that makes you think of her and her only? Maybe there’s also a little drawing or message attached. Something that becomes a symbol of them and their love. While we probably don’t want your client to love you like Grandma does, we can agree they should feel content at the mention of your name and or business. Of course like Grandma you should stick to about 1-2 cards a year maximum.

3: “Lets do Lunch”

Think of treating your client as you would a new friend. Recommend them locations of local parks and healthy eateries local to your business. Work these mentions between conversations with existing customers and make flyers for newcomers. A good way to remind clients that you care is to hand out coupons relevant to your suggestions. If a client declines these suggestions or offers-make note of it. Even if there’s no connection at the end of the conversation, there still was a takeaway moment to learn from the experience and in time, develop a different angle of approach.

4: Courtesy Calls

Try not to let “Goodbye,” be the last thing you hear from a client on a daily basis. Through follow up phone calls or emails- you can turn that “Goodbye” into a “Thank You!” or maybe even something better! If using a phone call follow up, use this opportunity to ask questions that flesh out your client as a person-“We’re doing a birthday checklist and noticed you’re not listed. Want to sign up?”. If your emailing, you can use this moment to attach a quick survey for feedback. On the off chance the follow-up proceeds to a negative response-this gives you a heads up to rectify and learn from the situation. An unsatisfied client that is willing to communicate is more than likely to be accommodated than one who chooses to suffer in silence. On the flip side however, initiating a follow up call or email gives the silent sufferer an opportunity to voice their opinion.

5. Asking More Questions!

It’s time to one up your client trivia by using EZFacility’s CMS where the most detailed account profiles are made possible. When you think about it, account profiles are absolutely everywhere from Panera Bread to AutoZone, but how personalized are they beyond a name and a birthday? How much easier would it be to add new programs to your business if you knew what activities your clients enjoyed the most? By using EZFacility’s CMS you can get started on your next move.

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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Pokemon Go and YOUR Business

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Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard about the new augmented mobile app exploration game, Pokémon Go, that has become an almost overnight sensation.

Downloads of the game have surpassed even the most well-known apps, including Tinder, Snapchat and Bumble and it’s percentage of daily active users has doubled that of Twitter. Users around the world are spending a shocking amount of time travelling around communities, visiting local restaurants, stores, and other businesses in their search for Pokémon. Some even go so far as driving to other nearby towns in attempts to “catch” more rare types of Pokémon.

Many businesses, both big and small have caught on to the possibilities of this growing phenomenon and are capitalizing on it by using creative marketing campaigns and app purchases to drive large amounts of traffic through their doors, with the ultimate goal of converting players into paying customers.

Health Clubs can easily jump on this growing craze at virtually no cost and with minimum allocation of time and resources–all you need to do is know how to play the game.

There are many different ways you can use Pokémon Go to attract local players to your location and, hopefully, convert them into paying customers.

1. Is your Club a “Gym” or a “PokeStop”? The two types of locations this game that attract players in droves are called Gyms and PokeStops. Thus, either of these locations can be used in any strategy you choose to promote colossal sales. Pokémon Go runs off of an augmented reality HUD (also known as a heads-up display) of the real world. Each player creates an avatar “trainer” in the game that explores the virtual world as they navigate the real one. Players flock to PokeStops to collect rewards, collect Pokeballs and collect potions. PokeStops are usually buildings or businesses (in the real world). Although there is no official map that lists and locates all the Gyms and PokeStops, players have uncovered a workaround by using a searchable world map developed for another game by Niantic called “Ingress”. Players realized that the map for Ingress maps almost every PokeStop and Gym, the only difference being they are known as “portals” in Ingress.

To access this map, install the Ingress app on your phone and sign in with your google account. (If you don’t have one it’s very simple to make one and takes very little time). Once set up, you will be directed to a searchable map with all the listed “portals” which, again, are actually Gyms or PokeStops.

While many of these stops are businesses, even if you’re isn’t, there is most likely a PokeStop or Gym nearby that will still drive traffic your way.

2. Host a Lure party! Many businesses are jumping on this marketing strategy. Here’s how it works. A “lure module” is something you can buy in the app to lure wild Pokémon to a location, which, needless to say, attracts players to that location as well.

Businesses typically will buy a package of lure modules and advertise a “Pokémon Go Lure Party” for one night. Each lure is active for 30 minutes so businesses will set them to be back-t- back in order to attract the most amount of players possible for the entirety of the party. This can be extremely effective if your business is or is near a PokeStop. It’s easy to set up and costs virtually nothing. Let’s break down the cost just to show how little you need to spend to reap massive rewards:

Let’s say you decide to spend $100. This gives you about 14,500 Pokecoins which is the in-game currency. An eight-pack of Lures costs about 680 Pokecoins. Let’s break this down some more to see the real ROI this presents:

14,500 Pokecoins/680 = 21 eight-packs of Lures

(21*8)/2 = 84 Hours

$100/84 hours = $1.19 per hour

So, at the price of about a dollar per hour, you can attract crowds of players to your place of business. We also recommend offering special deals for Lure Party attendees to encourage even more participation.

3. If you are located near a Poke Gym, host a Battle! There are three different “Teams” that “trainers” (users) can be a part of in the game. These teams are called Mystic, Valor and Mystic. Teams “battle” each other at PokeGyms and the winning team “takes control” of that gym. As a result of this, users are constantly meeting at gyms anyway, so there is no need to purchase Lures, so you’ll have a constant influx of new potential customers.

To find out if your business is close to a gym, you can refer back to that Ingress map or open the game in your phone and look for tall building-like structures with Pokémon at the top. They are pretty hard to miss so you will see right away which ones are closest to your location. Businesses can take advantage of these PokeGyms in a number of different ways. Most of these methods rely on some creative marketing on your part. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Customized Pokémon Gym Badges: Everyone loves getting free stuff. You can easily customize these badges to incorporate your business name and logo when ordering from a supplier. Simply search online for “Pokémon Gym Badge” and “custom orders” to find suppliers.
  • Winner Discounts: Advertise which team has current control of your gym and offer discounts on memberships, packages, merchandise, etc for that team. You can do this on a poster, sandwich board, or any other physical advertising materials you have at your disposal.
  • Utilize Social Media: I’m sure by now you’ve seen followers on facebook posting screenshots of the game. Follow their example and post ongoing battles with searchable hashtags such as #pokemongo or #teamvalor.
  • Organize a PokeHunt: Here’s another example of a lucrative creative marketing tactic. This strategy is allows for a little more flexibility as it doesn’t rely solely on how close your business is to a Pokestop or Pokegym. Organize a Pokémon hunt that ends at your businesses with an after party to make a lasting impression and facilitate brand recognition. This is fairly simple to set up as it just requires an advertisement stating the start time of the hunt. Allow time for players to show up, and then have your staff (wearing your logo of course) lead them on this excursion. This is a really great way to promote brand awareness and establish your business as an inviting community that players or potential clients want to return to.
  • Social Media Deals: Last but not least, offer discounts for clients who post pictures of Pokémon they find at or around your facility with a hashtag that names your business. This spreads awareness on social media and let’s other players know what types of Pokémon are near you.

While it is still in its early stages, the Pokémon Go app has already presented numerous possibilities for businesses both big and small. As new updates and developments are added to the game, the opportunities will only continue to grow. If you’re business hasn’t jumped on the Pokémon Go band-wagon, it’s about time you started!

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Social Media No No’s

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I’ve addressed this area before, but I cannot stress enough how crucial social media is to your fitness or sports business. Last time in my blog, 8 Best Practices For Promoting Your Business On Social Media, I spoke about all the tactics you SHOULD be using with your various social media platforms. But, what is also, if not more important, is what you should be making sure NOT to do.

The following is a list of major “DON’Ts” to abide by in the digital space.

1. Sending automated twitter messages to new followers.

I know it’s hard to avoid the siren call of “automated” anything. Let’s face it, we don’t want to waste time individualizing each reply, but, believe me when I tell you it goes a long way. I can’t even tell you how many times I have received an automated reply that goes something like this:

“Thanks for the follow! Get my free e-book here!” or, “Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc., or my favorite, “How have you stayed motivated this week, download my blah blah blah.”

The point is, automated messages–no matter how witty and clever you think they are– give the impression that 1. I am just a number 2. You just want to clog my inbox with promotional materials instead of get to know me and my specific needs and 3. I am just not intelligent enough to realize this is an automated message and you don’t really care how motivated I was this week.

Key Takeaway: Automated messages are no beuno.

2. Grammatical Errors.

You may think it’s no big deal to make a mistake here or there, but if you think your followers aren’t judging you for each wrong use of “there”, “their”, and “they’re”, you’re dead wrong. Also consider your client demographic. Do you work in a high-end gym or boutique? If you do, grammatical errors can be extremely off-putting.

3. Responding to public negative feedback in a condescending or defensive manner.

Even if the feedback is completely untrue, responding in a kind, gracious manner makes you look really good. Getting into long-winded debates over what did or didn’t happen and what is or isn’t true not only leaves a sour taste in this complaintant’s mouth but also for your other followers and potential clients. Be the bigger man (or woman) and take this feedback as constructive criticism. It helps to think of complaints as gifts. For every person that voices a complaint, there are probably at least a dozen others with the same complaint who would rather leave than voice their concerns. Use this negative feedback as constructive criticism to improve on and build your brand and business.

4. Not having a “like” or “follow” button on your business website.

Do we even need to explain?

5. Not taking interview requests.

Interviews are a fantastic way to promote your business! Always say yes and always respond in a timely fashion. Even if the publication asking for an interview isn’t industry-specific, you are still reaching a variety of audiences and the more your brand is out there circulating, the more publicity and attention your business will get. Plus, while the interviewer may be from a smaller publication now, that doesn’t mean they will stay that way forever! And, on the same note, when the press publishes nice things about you, make sure to acknowledge them in a gracious manner. Keep that positive rapport going to capitalize on possible future feature pieces.

6. Not responding to tweets/posts/comments from people who are NOT followers.

This an opportunity to build a relationship with non-clients. Interact with these users, educate them about your brand and mission (without shoving it in their face) and eventually they just may become clients.

7. Failure to acknowledge bloggers/publications in your local area.

Follow them, repost their relevant content, like the heck out of their posts and invite them to participate in events and social functions at your facility. Start small and target local channels before attempting to step into the big leagues.

8. Having no social media presence at all.

This should go without saying—especially in a world where almost everyone is online and on some form of digital platform. The benefits of promoting your brand on these different channels is astronomical and should NOT be ignored. This is the easiest way to tap into a myriad of audiences from different demographics. While you’re at it, start up a blog too and develop a consistent schedule so subscribers know what to expect each week.

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Fitness Trends of 2016: Explore the Possibilities

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Can you believe we are already half-way through 2016? We’ve gathered up 4 of the latest fitness trends that have surfaced this year as well as what’s to come.

1. Exercise as an Experience

This developing trend views fitness as a lifestyle rather than a painful chore to “get over with” before moving on to more enjoyable activities. You may have noticed the emergence of smaller, specialized, boutique studios such as Crossfit, yoga, boxing, MMA and indoor cycling in recent years. This trend is a direct result of clients looking to get stronger, fitter and participate in a more social, intimate, and less stressful environment. Studies have proven that partner workouts or workouts done with a friend produce better fitness results and increase client motivation to reach fitness goals. These smaller studios provide a place where people with similar interests and fitness goals can come together and view exercise as a social and enjoyable experience. That’s not to say larger health clubs can’t tap into this specialized fitness trend. Many facilities are incorporating these boutique classes into their list of offerings. For example, there has been a notable increase in large gyms adding Zumba classes, boot camps, barre classes, and ever increasingly popular themed races and outdoor obstacles to establish their facility as a hub that people are drawn to have an atypical, community experience outside the gym walls. There has also been an increase in demand for body weight training exercises (which actually ranked No. 2 as a trend to watch for 2016 and beyond) as well as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) which involves short burst of high energy exercises followed by short periods of rest and is crammed into a 25 to 30 minute workout. Clients are looking for a less time consuming workout that they can easily fit into their work and social schedule that still produces almost immediate results.

2. Professional Trainers and Instructors

Gone are the days when fresh out of college staff are sufficient enough to teach clients proper form and offer fitness advice. Credentials matter. Recently, professionals certified by ACE or ACSM and other recognized agencies are in high demand. Health clubs should strive to ensure at least half of their staff includes individuals with certifications from accredited agencies. These trainers are able to challenge customers, keep them safe AND develop workouts tailored to a client’s needs. When clients see results, this increases their motivation to reach their goals and they’re willingness to keep coming back to your club! The focus should be on developing trust between trainers and members rather than spending the majority of their time recruiting new clients.

3. Functional Fitness

To put it simply, clients will get bored of the same old routines, so switch it up! Keeping workouts fresh will keep members motivated and enable faster fitness results. Interval training has been shown to be extremely successful as it allows the combination of different exercise methods to create versatile workouts. Some of the most popular examples include body weight training with elliptical running, indoor cycling with boxing, strength training and rowing and more. The key is to provide trainers with as many workout methods as possible to keep clients interested and dedicated.

4. Think outside the box…err we mean gym!

In the world of smartphones and social media, we are more connected than ever before. This means that trainers can influence client lifestyles and continue to assist with fitness goals outside of the gym. Apps that track nutrition choices, out-of-the-gym physical activities, heartrates and more are being adopted by health clubs to help trainers add value to existing workout regimes.

Additionally, clubs have begun adding outdoor activities such as obstacle course training, boot camps, marathon prep training, and sports league pre-season training to their repertoires. This is a great way to connect with clients’ interests outside the gym!

The key thing to take away from all of this is to keep the big picture in mind. If you are considering adding one or all of these trends to your club, understand that this is an ongoing social experience that will need to be constantly updated year to year. Give clients as many opportunities as possible to find their fitness niche, have an enjoyable and successful workout experience, and establish yourself as a trusted health and wellness community hub.

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5 Ways To Overcome Gym Membership Retention Challenges

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If you are a human living on planet Earth, chances are you pay a LOT of monthly bills. You have your car payments, your cable bills, cell phone bills, mortgage or monthly rent and, let’s be honest, who doesn’t have Netflix these days? With all of these obligatory payments each month, chances are you are going to be extremely picky about how you spend your precious leftover income. A recent study found that most people who cancel their gym membership –for reasons other than relocation or medical issues—do so because they aren’t utilizing their membership to its full potential and are sick of watching their monthly dues sucked from hard-earned paychecks.

With the rise of boutique clubs offering programs and services at lower prices, gym owners are now put on the spot to create rewarding experiences and perceived value for members. The cost to save a member is much less than the cost of acquiring a new member, so there is tremendous benefit in having a set of efforts, activities and resources allocated to trying to prolong the experience with the existing member. Now, more than ever before, gym owners need to focus on making clients feel motivated and confident in their membership investment.

So, how can big gyms compete with lower-priced alternatives and meet retention challenges head on? Here are 5 key ways to consider:

1. Exceptional Onboarding and the Right Staff.

Start off on the right foot and straight off the bat. You don’t want members to feel lost, intimidated or overwhelmed when they first sign. Make it a policy to place a personal phone call to a client two days after they join or send them a handwritten postcard. Let them know that your club is full of friendly people that are easy to connect and relate to! When it comes to hiring your coaches or personal trainers, focus on quality over quantity. A critical component of an exceptional customer experiences is matching a client with the right trainer and allowing for smooth connections with other members. Hire people who are great listeners and fully committed to keeping in line with your club’s image and goals. Trainers should easily be able to identify client needs and interests. For example, if a client is into group classes, trainers should know to pair them up with other attendees and create a mini “fit fam” they can turn to for support and help reaching their goals. It’s also important to avoid “friction points” during the onboarding process and first few weeks. For example, avoid frustrating situations such as forgetting to give them their membership cards or neglecting to teach them how to book a class or use equipment properly. You must give them the tools to succeed.

2. Incentives/Rewards:

Who doesn’t like presents? Offer rewards and incentives to keep clients coming back. This is extremely critical for the first few weeks and months. Offer a $25 reward for attending a trainer’s program or for getting their picture taken. Offer a free class to clients who attend classes twice a week for 60 days, or 3 free PT sessions once they reach 3 months. Maybe after one month, you give them one month free (who doesn’t like free!) or a special discount at your smoothie station—the possibilities are endless. The point is, you need to keep your clients interested and perceive the value of returning to your club.

3. The 21-Day Rule and Effective Software for Tracking Activity

One of the most frustrating issues clubs face is figuring out WHY a client leaves. Most of the time, it could have been anything. Did they dislike one of your instructors? Was the music too loud? Did they face gymtimidation? WHAT WAS IT? The challenge is your lack of information. Aside from asking how a client is doing every time they sign-in at the front desk, how can you track client activity and identify “fragile” members before they leave?

The solution here is all-in-one management software. Most gym software out there has more sophisticated tracking tools that will allow you to identify information such as who hasn’t been visiting your gym as often. Once you have this precious information, you can start putting together a strategy to interact and re-engage them. You can also use sophisticated tracking tools to easily see which classes have the highest attendance and focus your marketing efforts on promoting them even more.

Using these tools, you can then implement the 21-day rule. The rule is simple: if a member has not visited your facility after a full 21 days, your club reaches out to re-engage them. Be sure to establish a membership retention team to reach out 21 –days, 60 days or even once per quarter. Methods of re-engagement can range from sending an encouraging email to personally checking up on the client the next time they attend a class. Your goal is to reignite their motivation to be a part of your club’s culture and “family”.

4. Cutting Edge Classes

Last but not least, offer classes and programs catered directly to your clientele’s interests. Keep on top of trends! Want to compete with that boutique Crossfit gym down the road? Offer Crossfit classes and, while you’re at it, create a Groupon to encourage clients to bring a friend! Do your research to make sure you remain on the cutting edge.

These are just some tried and true tactics to combat retention issues; but in reality, the possibilities are endless. Start with these 5 key tips and use what works best for YOUR facility.