A big part of owning and operating a fitness health club is managing many business activities and your member contacts.
The more efficient you can operate all your business, employment, and member activities and contacts, the less time you need to spend with administrative tasks and more time providing value to your members.
Technology in the form of fitness health club management software can help you do this tremendously.
The number of activities that go into running a successful fitness health club are many and diverse. You deal with memberships, class schedules, private personal training schedules, customer service, retail sales, inventory, credit card processing, payroll, employee management and more.
The problem with many fitness center software programs
Many fitness center software programs merely offers solutions for a small set of business activities. For example, there is a lot of scheduling software out there – but that’s all it does – it schedules. Likewise, there is a ton of e-commerce software available – but it only offers defined e-commerce services.
What you end up with is a jumble of software applications that aren’t integrated to work as one integrated software solution to manage your business.
An alternative is getting health club management software that is an all-in-one business management solution so many of your business activities are integrated seamlessly in one software program.
The ultimate feature set to have in any health club software includes the following:
Swipe Card Technology
Members can self check-in or hand a swipe membership card to your staff who enters you members into the system.
Web-based. This means you access the entire software service on the Internet. It’s also known as “cloud computing”. You don’t have to host or download the software. This is by far my preferred type of software.
You can access your entire fitness center software program anywhere you have access to the Internet.
All members’ (and prospective members’) data is stored in a central database you can access through the Internet. From this member data you can launch your marketing campaigns, send appointment reminders, payment reminders, offer deals, etc.
The great aspect of one central database for your members is you don’t have to juggle multiple lists. You can take care of all your member management in one central database location.
You need to be able to easily load your class schedules on your internet. The schedules are revised in the scheduling software – not your website. Your website simply pulls the info from the scheduling software. No more having to have your webmaster update your schedules.
Members have the ability to self-book personal training appointments online (and pay online as well).
Automatic e-mail and text messages can be sent to scheduling members (cut down on no-shows).
Manage your employee schedules in the same scheduling software (different schedule of course). This includes personal trainers, sales persons, reception, and class instructors.
Retail Sales and Credit Card Integration
Most gyms earn more money with a retail shop. After all, you have traffic, you might as well offer items they want.
Get software that makes it easy to integrate your sales and includes credit card processing capabilities on the computer system. This makes inventory management and financial reporting very easy.
Moreover, you want to be able to easily track which members buy certain items. This is excellent information to have when it’s automatically generated.
A must-have is the ability to sell retail on your website. Why not generate more profits from your already built website?
This is one of the finest (yet often disregarded) features you need. From your member and prospective member database, you can launch customized e-mail and text messaging marketing campaigns.
E-mail marketing is so powerful, yet far too often under-used or ignored. Arguably, the biggest asset of your fitness center is your membership list. If you aren’t integrating e-mail marketing, you are missing out.
Employee and Payroll Management
Get software that also integrate employee and payroll management including employee time-keeping online.
The right software can track all the different pay rates, including commissions, flat rate teaching fees, hourly rates, etc.
Sell Memberships and Gift Cards Online with E-commerce
Give people the option to simply buy a membership from your website.
Or, create membership packages.
Or, offer gift cards (perfect for attracting new members).
Or, offer referral incentive gifts.