CONTENT BROUGHT TO YOU BY: ABC Financial
There is nothing like the personal touch when it comes to managing a business—especially health clubs. A smiling face at the reception counter, a knowledgeable trainer and clean facilities are often the main things people note when discussing with friends their choice of workout venue. Management likely works to make each of these personal touches appear effortless. Although returning members maintain your business, referrals are what build your legacy.
If you are still relying on a basic check-in system without any additional features, you may be losing business. A strong software system can do a vast amount of work for you in retaining members, building new client relationships, organizing your club's schedule, managing commissions for trainers, maintaining digital documents in an electronic folder and more.
The latest updates for club management software provide many significant features: member check-in, online registration for new members, online class sign-up, point-of-sale functionality combined with integrated merchant services, software backup and free updates, inventory management, a calendar, electronic agreements and waivers, employee management and the ability to upgrade and downgrade memberships.
How does this benefit the gym owner and help grow your business? When a new member joins your club online and signs up for a class, the only thing left for your employees to do would be to provide your new member with a key fob for check-in, give them a tour and answer any additional questions they might have. All documents have been signed online and are now safely stored in your software. Your members were able to join a class online, and their spot is guaranteed—ensuring their trip to the gym is not wasted. This has saved your members time and shows that the club wants to be considerate of their schedule. A happy member is a referring member.
Providing your members the ability to access their account through a member portal is another part of good club management software. Add-on services such as tanning, kids' summer club, swimming classes and spa services are purchases that can be made from the comforts of home anytime of the day or night. Self-service not only frees up your staff but also provides your members the flexibility to make purchases remotely.
Point-of-sale utilizing cards on file also is necessary in a gym setting. With smartphones and car keys, it is hard to remember and too bulky to bring a credit card into the facility to purchase water, the cute new T-shirt in the pro shop or the protein shake mix that is on sale. Sure, they say they will get it tomorrow … if they remember to bring their credit card with them. It is amazing how happy you can make your members when you tell them they do not need to remember because you have their card on file in a safe and secure environment.
Inventory management is crucial to ensuring all revenue streams are profitable. Providing high-quality supplements, drinks and items with your club's logo are wonderful profit centers to drive additional revenue to your gym. Maintaining and managing inventory may be challenging, especially in a multi-location facility. With club management software's inventory management, you can easily see which items are the most popular as well as set an alert to re-order when inventory gets too low.
Keeping track of inventory items is not the only thing a club operator needs to watch. Employees need to be monitored as well. If your club operates 24 hours a day, you may not see many of your staff, especially the night shift. The employee-management feature of club management software enables you to see exactly when your employees are working and when you might be over- or under-staffed. The ability to have an employee clock in and out of departments, which may have different pay scales, can prove to be invaluable. Often, a person can be used at the front desk and in the kids' club area. Each job and position may pay differently, and the salary may pull from different departments. What a time saver to have a system that does it all for you.
A good reporting feature in club management software is a must. As a club owner, you have many things happening at once, and it is hard to keep up with all of it. With a good reporting system, you can keep up with prospects and leads, new members and who was referred by whom. By being able to pinpoint who is a great referring member, you can reward them and show them how much you appreciate their efforts.
You and your employees' personalities and customer service skills may be the first thing clients think of, but stable and comprehensive club management software will enable everyone to do what they do best. You can be assured the calendar, member maintenance and billing organization are taken care of appropriately, and your business can grow and thrive. Your members and employees will thank you.
Jennifer Hutchinson is the marketing manager at ABC Financial, a software and payment processing company for the health and fitness industry. ABC Financial has become the choice of more than 4,900 health clubs throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. For more information, go to www.abcfinancial.com or call (800) 551-9733.