Starting up a gym or fitness studio can be a really exciting experience: creating a brand, choosing a location, purchasing equipment and meeting new people. That said, there can be days where it’s down right not what you expected. Who knew there’d be so much admin involved on a day to day basis?
Fortunately, there are tonnes of processes you can automate through your gym management software that’ll help you work smarter, save time and let you focus on what you do best. As Paul from Origin Fitness told us in our recent blog post ‘‘3 things you must do before opening your gym doors”, if you get the right system and structures in place from day one, you can make your life a hell of alot easier in the long run.
Check out our pick of the top 5 automations that can help you spend your precious time wisely.
1. Online & Mobile Booking
Let’s start with the basics! Letting your members self service through online and mobile channels is the perfect way to take away the pain of managing bookings day in, day out. Instead of members calling up, emailing or even messaging you enquiring about a class our course booking, all your members have to do is simply sign in to their account and book and pay for your services through your Website Booking Portal or App.
If you don’t have a website, the same booking functionality could be applied to your Facebook page, depending on the gym management software provider you are working with. Think of all the new business you can create by having a presence on all of these different channels? You can create booking opportunities from the palm of your members hand. Not to mention the other automations that can be put into place once this is setup!
2. Class Pack Tracking & Check in
When you have the right software system in place, you can let your members check-in to your facility through an in-app barcode or key tag via a scanner. Not only will this help you to free your time from the front desk, but it also helps your members to get to class quicker.
If the member is on a class package, they can check how many class credits they have left when they scan in through their in-app barcode. This information can then be stored in an individual member profile on your backend admin dashboard, helping you keep better track of your members. The best part? You don’t even have to lift a finger.
3. Cancellations & Waiting List
You may think “why would I make it easy for my members to cancel a class? I want them to attend!” But in reality, when you make it difficult for your members to cancel their booking, they won’t cancel. Instead, they just won’t show up. Leaving you with lost revenue that could have been prevented. When you make it easy for members to cancel, they are more likely to do so instead of simply not showing up. Once you have a strategy in place to refill that spot, cancellations can be easily managed.
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This is where an automated waiting list can come into play, helping you to refill class spaces automatically. Once your class hits booking capacity, your gym management software will enable your waiting list. As soon as a member cancels their booking, depending on the unique rules you set for your studio, a member will automatically be notified and booked in for that class, so you can avoid the last minute booking cancellation panic.
Did a client walk out after class before you had the chance to have that ‘overdue membership fee conversation’. Your members are only human. From time to time, their membership renewal payment may slip their mind. One way you can start getting paid on time is by setting up your loyal members on recurring payment plans.
A recurring payment is an automatic payment to your gym or studio that continuously repeats after a time period set by you, for example monthly, bimonthly or quarterly. The first payment is authorised by the member via a debit card, credit card or bank account and the payment is repeated thereon.
Here at Glofox, we integrate with Stripe for payments. If a member’s payment fails with Stripe, they will attempt to take the payment three more times after the initial fail (you can choose how many days should be left between each attempt). Not only is this a convenience for your busy members who may just have been waiting on a late pay cheque, but it will reduce your need to chase members for payments. You also have the option to automatically cancel the member’s subscription after a third failed attempt, or simply list the member as ‘unpaid’ and try again next month.
5.In-app Reminders & Notifications
There are five words that can break any gym or studio owners heart after carefully crafting an email newsletter. “I didn’t get the message”. They did. They just didn’t open it. As we discussed in the blog ‘driving member value through push notifications’, 77% of your members aren’t opening your emails. And so, if you plan on retaining members in the long run, you need to adapt to the one channel that can really tackle this issue: Mobile.
When you have a mobile app on your member’s phone, you have a direct way to target your customers with messages. You can’t get much closer than their very home screen! By setting up automated booking confirmations, pre class reminders, and membership renewal reminders, everyone stays in the know.
And notifications aren’t just for your members! With Glofox, you can set up email notifications to admin accounts under various circumstances. For example, you may wish admin accounts to be notified when a member books a particular class, course or appointment. You can also set up notifications for failed payments, upcoming membership renewals or payments due, to name a few.