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How Great Gym Management Will Keep Your Gym Running In 2021


With top-notch gym management, you can maintain the right ambiance for members, ensure profitability, execute promotional activities to increase gym memberships and retention, and manage employees efficiently. . In short, your gym management strategy will decide your gym’s success.  In a poll conducted in June 2020 in the US, 46% of participants said they’d be very reluctant to return to the gym or an exercise class anytime soon. More than a fifth said it would take upwards of six months for them to feel safe returning to the gym.

Pair that with the increase of home gym sales in the United States and gym influencers on Instagram attracting millions of followers, it looks like more people are trying to get in shape at home. That means the competition in the fitness industry is fierce. You’re not only trying to win against chain fitness clubs but also the at home fitness industry that has had over a year of unfiltered access to the market. 

In this article we are going to look at the basics of gym management and explore some ways you can manage your gym more effectively and efficiently. 

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What is Gym Management?

Gym management oversees the entire operation of the fitness center and is responsible for all aspects of running a profitable facility. Gym management ensures smooth management of everything from financial management, sales, and marketing to staff recruiting, training, and scheduling. It also focuses on amplifying sign-up and retention efforts.

To have successful gym management, you must be organized, confident in your decisions, and have a thorough awareness of all aspects of the business. To this end, sophisticated gym management software is an essential tool to help you manage the human functions of gym management in 2021.

Great gym management practice all about identifying potential issues and fixing them with speed and efficiency. Gym management is the crucial framework on which the entire business functions smoothly. Great organization, management and resources will help your business flourish. 

Why is Gym Management Important? 

A YouGov study found in 2018 that a staggering 75% of employees left their roles due to poor management. This statistic alone should be enough incentive for fitness business owners to prioritize good management practices. If staff are leaving that means it’s not just your relationship with them that has broken down, it means that other areas of the business may be suffering too. Let’s take a look at 3 areas where gym management is essential.  

Building a Great Team 

Gym management oversees the staff and their quality of work. The team ranges from front desk personnel to personal trainers. Managing such a unique team means making sure that all employees are well-trained. 

Employees focused on personal training should be certified, personable, and work well with people of various backgrounds. That will ensure that all members feel comfortable talking to and working with personal trainers. Front desk personnel and brand ambassadors must have stellar communication skills and deliver convincing sales pitches. Making the right first impression is essential to get new members to sign-up.

Teamwork is also critical to maintaining a healthy working atmosphere. Trainers, front desk personnel, and other employees must set the gym’s environment by being friendly with each other. Encouraging friendly behavior helps develop the environment for members, making them feel at ease.

Administrative Duties 

These include handling the budget, membership management, wages, and planning the purchase of new equipment.  Maintaining the facility is a crucial administrative task. That includes ensuring all exercise equipment is working perfectly to minimize participant and staff injuries. That also reduces the liability of the gym and builds an excellent reputation for your facility. 

There should be a gym management plan if equipment fails for speedy repairs or replacements. Cleanliness should be a priority with regular checks to maintain quality control. Cleanliness is of particular importance now more than ever to prevent disease and keep members healthy.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) 

The goal of any comprehensive CRM system is to keep the members happy. That benefits the business in several ways, from word-of-mouth advertisement to higher customer retention.  The most significant thing to keep in mind while devising a customer service strategy is having a clear goal, such as building a sense of community. It takes more than having great equipment to open a gym. You’re creating a platform that’s a significant part of people’s lives, so consider the atmosphere you want to develop and make sure the facility reflects that. 

Remember the members by their name and talk to them about their health and fitness goals to show your dedication. Another unique way is by running monthly or yearly challenges to foster friendly competition and allow members to get to know each other. These initiatives will help members get to know each other and the employees, which is essential for building a friendly community. Communicate with your members regularly. Set up a feedback form or send out a monthly email to get their feedback. To be engaged in their local gym, they must feel like they are a part of that process.

8 Ways to Improve Gym Management in 2021

With the future of brick-and-mortar gyms uncertain, gym management is facing unique challenges. How can you make your gym profitable during a pandemic? 

First, let’s talk about some good news. The American Physiological Society states that the percentage of Americans who completed the required 150 minutes of exercise each week increased by nearly 8% in 2020. Shockingly, the number of individuals who exceeded that goal rose by over 10%.

However, COVID-19 restrictions mean that gyms need to be extremely careful. That means you have to modify your gym’s policies, embrace all virtual trends, perfect the art of sanitation, and interact with your members regularly.

1. Rigorous Health and Safety Regulations 

Your gym should follow all the recent CDC gym guidelines. Reduce the number of people in the gym and take their temperatures before they enter. Ask members to wear masks in public areas and while walking between machines to reduce the chances of disease. 

Increase the spacing between weights and aerobic machines in the gym, and provide members with sanitation materials. That includes hand sanitizer, tissues, and sanitizing wipes to disinfect the equipment. That’ll encourage members to be extra-careful, which is the need of the hour in 2021. Focus on sanitising communal surfaces regularly. These include doorknobs, self-service kiosks, and weights.

2. Superior Gym Management Software 

Using the right gym management software will help you grow your gym business by increasing revenue and boosting long-term success. Gym management software will automate schedules, keep them in sync with websites and mobile apps, and streamline organization and management. 

Using the right gym management software will eliminate the guesswork and automate the sign-up process, allowing members to choose their trainers, time slots, and payment methods. Automation makes your business more competitive and improves customer experience. Gym management software can ensure you keep track of all members by installing check-in points and payment processing. 

Having various accessible and straightforward point of sale (POS) will help increase customer retention, streamlining payment processing. Make sure payment methods are compatible with both cash and credit card. 

3. Better Customer Retention

88 percent of group fitness participants keep their membership, while only 82 percent of gym-only members keep theirs. Create a weekly community workout program covering various classes for both men and women of different fitness levels. Getting people to come to the gym other than their gym sessions is one of the best gym customer retention tactics. 

Excellent examples include blood drives, half-marathons, and healthy cooking lessons. Make sure to follow CDM guidelines and ask gym members to sign waivers to reduce liability. Events like these nurture a sense of belonging among customers, allowing them to make friends and get to know employees. 

4. Smart Scaling 

Contrary to popular belief, the most lucrative health club isn’t always with most members. Robert Dubar’s research suggests starting with a goal of around 150 clients for first-time gym owners. That’s a reasonable goal that allows you to perfect your customer service and gym management software. 

It also allows you to develop one-on-one relationships with members. Having a grander goal in mind may set you up for failure, especially if you consider the additional hiring costs that will take away your profit margins.

How that works is: if you want 150 clients, you can easily figure out your rates by working backwards from your goal salary. On a typical day, approximately 60% of your clients will show up, which will also help you calculate the number of classes and personal training sessions you can schedule. 

5. Figure Out Digital Fitness

Digital fitness has been all the rage since the start of the pandemic. There are several ways you can incorporate virtual fitness to boost revenue. You can upload a series of home exercise videos available to members for a subscription fee. Arrange video call-based sessions for those who prefer live classes taught by instructors. 

Social media platforms, like YouTube and Facebook, are challenging to monetize. But they’re a fantastic way to advertise your gym subtly. Use these platforms to host classes and help your gym cast a wider net for members interested in your fitness business. You can either pre-record courses or use the ‘live’ options on Instagram or Facebook to host in real-time. 

6. Constant Communication

Keep updating your members on the digital and traditional gym facilities available or about to open up. That can boost member retention by up to 66%. The best ways to keep your members updated are by text and email. Send messages to members to update them. Remind your members about any new COVID-related changes or your most recent live stream classes.

Be generous with your words of support. Words of motivation keep clients engaged and excited for their classes. You can send these via SMS, email, push notifications, or Facebook groups. Encourage members and employees to discuss their personal goals, give a tour of their zen planner, share motivational messages, allowing them to form a digital safe space.

7. Introduce New Services 

Minor enhancements will make you look great in a crowd of generic fitness facilities. These could include adding dance lessons, a yoga club, or martial arts training to a daycare center for working parents. Offer specialised fitness options like hiking, which can easily comply with safety guidelines and has high ratings amongst consumers

Consider asking your trainers if they’d be interested in providing fitness lifestyle counseling, nutritional advice, or other similar services to your members that would improve member loyalty and your gym’s reputation. Lifestyle management is in demand in 2021, which means that even at low pricing, these services can add additional revenue streams for your fitness center.

8. Stay Up-to-date With Fitness Trends 

Keep up with fitness trends, whether it’s the newest workout regimen or emerging exercise equipment. Members depend on gym management to keep them informed of the most effective way to reach their goals. Incentivize instructors and gym employees to undertake national or state workshops and discover new opportunities to optimize fitness. 

Encourage trainers to obtain additional training and certification. They’ll be more flexible workers if they’re trained in more aspects of the fitness community, such as CrossFit and barre workouts. That’ll help you provide a range of fitness courses to members, making them choose you over other facilities in their areas. It’ll also help you promote inclusivity within your brand image, especially if your trainers can work with members with special requirements. 

In Summary

These simple techniques will help your gym keep its doors open in 2021, increase the number of clients, and encourage you to look at new ways of engagement. Seamless gym management will help you keep your website updated, schedule clients with ease, communicate with members regularly, and keep money flowing in. It’ll also help you explore new avenues on social media and build a robust online community, translating to a larger membership once the pandemic eventually ends.

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Mehdi Elaichouni
Owner at Carpe Diem BJJ

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