More and more business owners are turning to software solutions to help them manage and run their fitness facilities.
They’re doing so to create a better experience not only for themselves and their staff but even more importantly, the members of their gym.
If you are thinking about investing in software for your facility, you might have some questions like ‘what is a gym management system?’ and ‘how exactly can it help?’
In this article, we will be providing insight into the many functions of this unique software, as well as how best to choose the right system for your business.
What is a Gym Management System and How do I Choose One?
A gym management system is basically software that is designed to seamlessly integrate all aspects of your business, allowing you to more easily and efficiently run your facility.
Which software you choose will ultimately depend on the specific needs of your business. Each software offers different functionalities, some of which are more basic — allowing for check-ins and member management — while others offer more advanced options, helpful for marketing your gym, and more.
What Can a Gym Management System Do
Depending on the gym management software that you choose for your business, there are several features that you can expect to come with it, even when purchasing a more basic plan.
- Membership management
- Check-in and visit tracking
- Paperless sign ups
- Email and SMS communications
Other features that are less common but extremely helpful to have in a management system are 24/7 gym access, integrated billing, and online bookings or sign ups via your website or dedicated mobile app. These are key features if you’re looking to streamline your business, get more members and overall boost the member experience and profitability.
Who Can Use a Gym Management System
A gym management system will obviously be used by you — the owner — as well as your front desk staff.
Another thing to keep in mind, though, is that this system is often what clients use to view your online schedule, sign up for classes, pay for their memberships, and more. It is also what your trainers will use to organize their training sessions with clients.
In a way, your gym management system will be the face of your facility, and for this reason, it’s important to make sure it looks professional and works flawlessly.
What Makes a Good Gym Management System?
There are markers of a high-quality gym management system that you should be on the lookout for when deciding which gym management system is best for you.
Full business integration
Simply put, integration is the process of linking the many systems and technology you use to run your gym, so they seamlessly flow together. This includes the automation of any possible processes, like billing, emails, etc.
A good gym management system will allow for the integration of almost every area of your business and can reduce admin errors, improve customer experience and simplify many areas of your business.
Another big benefit of integration in your business is less time spent behind the desk doing admin work and fixing mistakes. This not only frees up your schedule — especially if you often find yourself playing the role of front desk staff — but can also help you cut down on staffing costs.
It also allows you to more easily scale your business since almost every aspect of your business will be exponentially more hands-off.
Ease of use
Having gym software with all the bells and whistles is only worth it if you actually understand how to use it. Finding a software solution that is user-friendly — think the old blackberry phones vs. new iPhones — will help you and your staff make the most of the unique features that your gym software offers.
Another thing to keep in mind is that your clients will also be interacting with this software. As much as you want to find something that works well for you, you need to ensure it is also easy for your customers to use.
Viewing an online class schedule shouldn’t require several hoops for members to leap through, the option to pay for classes online using a credit card should always be available, and an app which clients can use to manage their profile and class schedule is a big plus.
Possibility to personalize
Any good gym management system should include the features that allow you to track and group segmented audiences based on their activities, habits and preferences. This feature makes creating unique gym offerings for both new members as well as pre-existing clientele a whole lot easier.
Having up-to-date offerings can get members using multiple amenities around your gym, and when created correctly can even draw in new potential members.
Separating out your membership into segmented audiences will ensure that the right offers are making it to the most relevant members without them getting spammed with irrelevant e-mail content — we all know what a turn-off spam email is.
The right gym software will provide you with multiple options to help you manage this aspect of your business.
Some of the possibilities are adding unique questions to sign-up forms to figure out member preferences early on, as well as tracking analytics to identify the patterns and preferences of your members to use these as methods for grouping. Not all gym systems have this capability, so it’s a key thing to look out for.
Getting a gym management system should be thought of like an investment, but unlike a stock or new property, these can repay you in many different ways.
While there is a monthly fee, there’s often other costs such as time and effort required to setup and train staff on how to use, as well as any hardware required for access control. But, if you find the right provider, these should pale in comparison to the rewards gained through implementing the system.
Things such as
- Reduced admin costs,
- Longer opening hours, increased opportunity for servicing more members
- More leads converted into members
- A greater member experience, leading to increased satisfaction and word of mouth
- Longer lifetime of memberships
- More bookings for PTs and classes attended
- Less staff hours wasted, more effective use of human resources
- More happy staff, improving member experience further
- A more accurate picture of club performance and opportunities for growth
The point being, these systems are highly integral to daily operations and even just one of these benefits can easily outweigh your investment.
Hopefully, this article has helped to provide some insight for anyone wondering what is a gym management system, and what you should be looking out for when trying to decide on new gym management software.
Making these decisions can feel overwhelming, especially after learning about all the benefits that come with purchasing a high-quality system — things like business integration, a members’ app, and personalization options.
To save you time and money, and make your job as a gym owner that much easier, take the time to figure out the exact needs of your business. Then do your due diligence in finding a software solution that is the right fit for your business.