A growing number of health clubs are now tech-ready, but better understanding the cost-saving benefits behind scheduling, management and membership solution software can inspire facility operators to take action.
In Club Industry’s latest webinar, “Leveraging Technology to Increase Operational Efficiency and Your Health Club's Bottom Line,” presenter Bryant Strozinsky, director of operations at EZFacility, which sponsored the webinar, explained how club operators can actually decrease their acquisition expenses through technology.
Leading club operators can spend a median of $118.65 in sales and marketing costs per new membership account, Stronzinsky said, quoting a recent IHRSA industry survey.
This raises a critical question: How can one cut costs while effectively attracting new leads?
Stronzinsky suggested three steps:
- Automate lead communications.
- Digitally publish customized forms, waivers, payment information and program summaries on your website.
- Invest in your website.
- Consider your club’s SEO ranking.
- Are your website and CRM software integrated?
- Allow your trainers to manage their own rosters and team payments online.
- Push smart online advertising.
- Send e-mail campaigns to customized client lists.
- Ensure your advertisements are popping up for people who have already searched for your club.
Using automation can decrease employee costs, Stronzinsky said, noting that minimum wage in New York state is $13 per hour, which equals $27,000 over the course of a 52-week calendar year. Although $200 per month ($2,400 per year) for an all-in-one software solution can seem steep, it should be thought of as affordable overhead compared to an employee's salary.
“You can save time, and you can become more efficient,” Stronzinsky said. “A great facility management software acts as an additional set of hands or even an additional set of two hands. So in the grand scheme, the $200 per month on average you would spend [on software] is a huge savings.”
It's crucial that your club's offerings are mobile-compatible, Strozinsky said. The average person spends more than three hours daily on a mobile device, and 85 percent of mobile users are more at ease with a digital app than a mobile website. Having a reliable mobile app can also lead to other conveniences such as Apple Pay connectivity.