CONTENT BROUGHT TO YOU BY: Twin Oaks Software
It’s that time: The fourth quarter and the end of the year are approaching. Test your facility now, and determine if all points of revenue generation are being maximized and managed. Start by breaking it down to four key areas:
- Recurring monthly dues line management
- Online joining for prospects and member updating capabilities
- Personal and group training revenue and session tracking
- All other miscellaneous potential profit generators
For all of these, your club management software can and should be a remarkable, usable tool to provide key information, assuming it has the capabilities to manage, track and report on all accounts receivable. To help you determine whether it is, answer yes or no to the questions after each of these areas of your business.
- Are 70 percent or more of members being put on monthly billing?
- Are the paid-in-full members being renewed at a 40 percent or higher rate?
- Is an annual fee being automatically processed for each member?
- Are additional monthly fees being generated for items like: towel service, lockers, tanning, PT packages, childcare, charity donations, rate guarantees, door access or even site reciprocity privileges?
- Is group revenue coming in from local companies, community service organizations or even local teams?
If you answered "no" to any of the above, you could have the potential to create additional income. The most successful clubs put 70 percent or more of their members on billing because, in most markets, and providing your EFT processor is reliable, you will make 20 to 30 percent more income per member for no more effort. Industry statistics show that most members on monthly billing stay for 18 to 22 months. Doing this ensures recurring revenue to cover fixed expenses, as well as grows the value of the business and provides a track record of income. This is important to show banks if and when needed for resale purposes or for new capital financing.
- Is your website integrated with your club software to allow prospects to join?
- Can members update billing information and pay balances online?
- Is purchasing PT packages, or class sign up, even gift certificates, available?
- Can you, login from anywhere, and see results and statistics for Online sales?
- Can your trainers see their appointments and upcoming schedule?
If you answered "no" to any of the above, consider speaking with your CMS provider to learn how to take advantage of all these amazing features and typically for only the cost of hosting the site. Monthly fees should be minimal.
Personal and group training income:
- Are you allowing for packages to recur automatically via EFT?
- Is there flexibility with trainer payment options, i.e. a percentage, flat rate or a class rate?
- Can the reports tie out perfectly with the revenue, sessions purchased and redeemed, and outstanding open liability?
Depending on your particular facility, all of the above can help grow this aspect of revenue and maintain favorable retention rates—not to mention satisfied members possibly referring other potential members.
Lastly, there are numerous other miscellaneous, creative ways to generate income. Ask yourself or consider the following all while making sure your software is assisting you with management and proper tracking ability:
- Is the option there to allow for house prepaid or EFT accounts for beverage sales or other inventory items?
- Is email marketing or social media part of your mix to attract new faces?
- Could a member referral program, like $5 off per month, be a benefit?
- Is mail-merge functionality, and/or email communication, being used internally to follow up on delinquent accounts? Or can your CMS company provide this service for you at no cost?
Consider all factors when doing an annual business evaluation—a report card of sorts. Talk with your CMS account rep, attend one of their training seminars, run some reports you’ve never looked at before and try to see the information generated from a new angle. Club sales analysis information and an overall profile of the member data should be periodically reviewed, discussed and compared against prior years or current budgets.
Carole Oat was a club owner and operator with Healthtrax for 15 years. She was involved with seven large, multi-purpose locations and now is the national sales manager and a key club consultant for Twin Oaks Software. Oat has been publishing solution-based articles for the fitness industry since 2004. She can be reached at 860-829-6000 x281 or firstname.lastname@example.org.