Gym management requires an array of skills. Usually, the main obstacle gym owners have to face iså low attendance, member engagement, and attrition. This year, there’s much more to worry about. With the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to create a well-oiled machine that generates revenue and supports members.
Business owners and personal trainers are running their businesses slightly differently in 2020. While it’s unknown what’s in store for the world, you can prepare for uncertainty with the correct systems in place. From knowing about your finances to being a marketing guru and customer service wizz, you need to manage multiple areas of the business to excel. In this article, we talk about the top tips you need to know about managing your gym business.
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- Coronavirus Pandemic: Re-Evaluate Your Business Model
- 4 Key Parts of Managing a Succesful Gym Business
- 10 Top Tips to Manage Your Fitness Business
Coronavirus Pandemic: Re-Evaluate Your Business Model
To say that COVID-19 has changed the way gyms and fitness studios operate would be a major understatement. The pandemic has severely limited gym operations, forcing many fitness businesses to a digital way of working. Now is the time to critically look at your business model to make sure it’s still working for your business.
So that you can clearly understand if your business model is working for you, it’s a good idea to think about the service you want to provide and the experience you want to create. The likelihood is that you’re already running your gym as a hybrid fitness model. Delivering both in-person and digital services is a good way to safeguard your business against future closures. With coronavirus cases on the rise, a second lockdown is seeming like a much more imminent option in many places around the world.
The Fitness Founders Podcast has an interesting episode on how the fitness industry has changed and how businesses need to learn to go hybrid or get left behind. The episode talks about the need to have both a digital and in-studio fitness experience.
4 Key Parts of Managing a Succesful Gym Business
When managing a successful fitness business, you have to wear many hats. There’s a lot to think about. While it’s challenging and hard work, it does offer a unique set of rewards. Whether you’re starting a new business or looking to expand your business with a second location, here are four key areas of managing a successful gym.
The member experience is so much more than what happens at your physical location. It’s the experience of every touchpoint from start to finish. It’s visiting your website, speaking to a team member on Facebook messenger, and streaming their first class. Successful gyms create unique member experiences. They do this by having a full understanding of their identity and what they represent, they build relationships, and they create a strong community that people love to experience.
Financial management plays a big role in the success of your business. Although your building or managing a business that supports your members, you need to generate revenue. To provide the level of service your members expect and the type of service you’re proud of, you need to make sure that your finances add up. When it comes to your finances, it’s a good idea to hire the right team or people to manage this area to keep on on top of member payments, payroll, rent, and any other important costs.
Great company culture is so important in the fitness center environment. You create the culture and your management team lead by example. Your team culture becomes your fitness culture. A positive working environment with happy and engaged employees will result in positive member interaction and motivated workers. Show your team how much you appreciate them and make sure they feel heard. A happy workplace with a great team culture will set the foundation for fantastic member engagement and experience.
Member Engagement and Retention
Keeping members engaged and motivated is a big part of your retention strategy. Your fitness culture, community, and member experience will all play a role in member engagement. Whether your members are online or in-person, you will need to manage communication and engagement in a way that drives value and ensures members don’t leave you for a competitor.
10 Top Tips to Manage Your Fitness Business
Managing a successful fitness business involves juggling multiple elements and processes. By streamlining your management procedures and fully utilizing all tools at your disposal, you can manage your time and business in the most efficient way possible. Here are 10 top management tips for your gym.
1. Use Gym Management Software
If you want to operate efficiently, you need to find software that streamlines every part of your business. Management software is non-negotiable. Without a platform, you will spend a lot more time tracking billing and gym memberships.
Your management software also helps to boost the member experience by allowing your members to access all the information they need. Whether it’s the ability to pay their membership through your platform or sign up for your latest workout stream.
2. Have a Consistent Marketing Strategy
Your business model will set the foundation for your marketing strategy. When attracting members to your fitness club or digital fitness platform, you need to be consistent in your marketing. Think about your ideal members and where they hang out. Arguably, one of the most effective places to market your services is social media.
By using a combination of organic content and paid advertising, you can reach your target market. Make sure that your messaging continues to align with your brand and who you are. The Fitness Business Podcast delves into the topic of marketing even further with its episode on rebuilding your sales and marketing in 2021. Alan Leach, CEO, and director of sales and marketing of West Wood Club in Dublin talks about the marketing message for the upcoming year and the changes that are happening.
3. Streamline Your Management Processes
Your management process and procedures are key to running a successful and profitable business. How you onboard new clients and hire and fire employees are all part of your management processes. It’s how you manage daily member interaction. The precise processes will depend on your business and the type of services you offer.
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To start streamlining your management processes, it’s a good idea to define what procedures you have. It’s important that when you onboard new members of staff, that it’s done in the same way each time. That way, every person receives the same information and understands your process. It’s about creating clear expectations from the beginning and build a strong brand image.
4. Be Adaptable With Your Business Model
If 2020 has taught us one thing it’s that we need to be adaptable. You can see this in the businesses that went from closing their doors back in March to hopping on social media for live streams to developing a fully-fledged digital fitness platform.
The key takeaway is that what works now might not work in six months’ time. This means you need to be ready to change and adapt your business model. It’s that level of flexibility and adaptability that will give you the opportunity to beat out the competition. The Fit Pro Business Podcast talks about this from an interesting viewpoint in a quick episode. They talk about learning from your mistakes, taking ownership, and making a business plan to keep growing.
5. Hire Great People
Hire great people who share your passion. Your people will be the first line of contact and they will be the face of your business and brand. When hiring new employees, think about culture fit with both your employees and members. With a solid hiring process in place, you should be able to find the right candidate for the position.
As your health club or studio grows into both a digital and in-person business, it’s important to think about the qualities and skills potential employees will need. For example, a fitness instructor might be a rockstar in a studio group class, but not have the skills to keep a live stream home audience engaged and motivated for the whole workout. Virtual personal training sessions are different from in-person training and require different skills, so this is something to consider.
6. Offer Exception Customer Service
A major part of managing a fitness business is providing exceptional customer service. As a gym, your business revolves around members and offering a service that drives value and supports customers. Your customer service is at the heart of member acquisition and retention.
Gym members that are satisfied and experience great customer experience will automatically come back again and again. They will also be much more likely to tell their friends and family how great you are. Gym owners understand the importance of a unique customer experience and continuously adding value for their members.
7. Keep Track of Everything
From membership payments and billing to your sales and marketing strategy, keep track of everything. Whether it’s your accounts or employee payroll, there’s a lot of information and figures to keep track of. The best way to stay on top of all of this is by keeping track of everything. Management software can help you to automate processes so that it’s easier to track information without having to input data manually.
As with any business, you need a good understanding of money when managing a gym. Your finances are a key part of your success and generating revenue. The Fitness Business Podcast has a great episode on financial planning to boost your profits.
8. Build a Community
Focus on building more than a business; build a community. Your fitness community will form a large part of why members stay with you. When you create a positive and supportive fitness community, you help members feel a sense of belonging. As much as you can nurture positive relationships between your employees and members, a community helps to develop positive relationships between members.
Often, members tend to motivate each other and enjoy working out in a community environment. This means that building a community will help improve results, which helps improve member retention and acquisition. You can nurture both an online and offline fitness community by using social media, online member portals, and ongoing communication.
9. Encourage Organic Referrals
When your members are happy with your services, they are more likely to talk about your brand with their friends and family. Try to encourage organic referrals so that it’s still a natural conversation or referral.
You can encourage referrals by setting up a referral program. Offer current members something of value in return for a referral. The likelihood is that they will refer you to someone who they think will enjoy your services. This is a useful way to target your ideal audience in an organic and friendly way.
10. Bring Out the Best in Your Employees
You can hire incredible talent in your business. But you still need to lead them to be the best they can be. It’s your responsibility to bring out the best in your employees so that they continue to represent your brand in a good light.
Great managers listen and communicate with respect. They build trust with employees and recognize that they need to affirm good work and show appreciation. Your entire business model needs great people to provide the level of service and value you want. Creating a positive work environment is key to bringing out the best in your employees.
By adapting your business model to what works for you and your business, you can take the steps necessary to prepare yourself for the future. Managing a fitness business is tough, so it’s a good idea to utilize as many tools as you need to use your time efficiently. By streamlining your management processes, building a fitness community, and delivering excellent customer service, you can turn your gym into a well-oiled machine that your members love.