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Ollie Bailey

Ollie founded Gymcatch in 2015 with the aim of making participation in fitness easier for all.  As founder, Ollie served as CEO since Gymcatch’s inception. He’s currently focused on growing the platform through strategic partnerships, corporate development and growing the team. Prior to founding Gymcatch, Ollie spent 10 years at Barclays, latterly as a Director covering the TMT sector. He gained an MBA with Honours from the University of Chicago in 2013 and higher class honours in Philosophy and International Relations from the University of Bristol. Outside of the office, Ollie enjoys travelling, playing and watching cricket and spending time with his young family.  He supports a number of charities focused on increasing physical participation.

How to become a group exercise instructor

By Fitness business management archives and news

If you are passionate about fitness and teaching then you may be considering how to become a group exercise instructor. The rise of popularity in group fitness continues to grow, attracting over 4.7 million people per year in the UK alone. This surge has resulted in cast changes in the industry and the way group exercise classes are delivered. 

Today, there is a demand for versatile group classes as well as talented and passionate instructors. If you are considering how to become a group exercise instructor, now is the ideal time to begin your journey, it is the ideal time to begin your professional journey.

In this article, we will unpack the steps you can  take to build a successful career as a group exercise instructor.

What is a group exercise instructor?

As the name suggests, a group fitness instructor refers to a fitness professional who leads a group exercise class. This kind of class can fall into a variety of categories, from yoga and boxing to spinning and Crossfit training. This kind of career has gained popularity throughout the years, from aerobics classes of the 80s to Zumba classes today. 

With group classes consistently growing and leaving rooms for innovation, the career of a group fitness instructor has never been more viable. However in order to be successful as a group exercise instructor, in an industry that can quickly become oversaturated, it is important to create a class dynamic that helps you stand out from the rest. 

In order to stand out in this competitive industry, group exercise instructors need to elevate their teachings by infusing genuine passion and energy into their classes. A dynamic and enthusiastic presence can significantly enhance the overall experience for participants, motivating them to return and of course, attracting new members. Instructors should also focus on creating a positive and inclusive atmosphere, where everyone feels encouraged and valued.

Effective communication is key when it comes to being a group exercise instructor and instructors should use their voice confidently, providing clear instructions while also offering words of encouragement. Building a connection with participants by learning their names and acknowledging their progress fosters a sense of community and loyalty which cultivates an ever-growing class community.

But passion and communication aside, group exercise instructors need to have skill and recognise their responsibilities in group settings. 

Group exercise instructor skills and responsibilities

In order to be a successful group exercise instructor, it is important to nurture diverse skills in order to lead engaging and effective classes:

  • Communication: As stated previously, effective communication is key in this kind of environment as instructors must convey clear instructions, motivate participants, and create a positive atmosphere. The ability to articulate cues and provide feedback ensures participants understand and execute exercises correctly, reducing the risk of injury and enhancing the overall fitness experience.
  • Choreography: Instructors need to design well-structured and dynamic routines that cater to various fitness levels. Seamless transitions and a variety of movements keep participants motivated and challenged. A balance between creativity and practicality ensures that routines are both enjoyable and effective in achieving fitness goals.
  • Adaptability: Being able to adapt is important, as classes may include participants with different fitness levels, abilities, and preferences. With this in mind, instructors must be able to modify exercises on the spot to accommodate diverse needs while maintaining the overall class flow. Flexibility in adapting to unexpected situations or changes in class dynamics contributes to a positive participant experience and nurtures trust in a group setting.
  • Leadership Skills: Leadership is important in order to create a cohesive and motivating group dynamic. Instructors should exude confidence, inspire trust, and establish a sense of community within the class. This involves learning participants’ names, acknowledging their progress, and fostering a supportive environment. Strong leadership is also evident in the ability to handle challenges gracefully and maintain composure under pressure.

A successful group exercise instructor possesses excellent communication, choreography, adaptability, and leadership skills. These skills, combined with effective class structuring and the creation of an energetic atmosphere, contribute to a fulfilling and motivating experience for participants.

Qualifications for being a group exercise instructor

Becoming a group exercise instructor doesn’t just require skill – it requires a combination of academic qualifications, relevant certifications, and specialised training in fitness formats. 

Academic qualifications often include a degree in a related field such as Exercise Science, Kinesiology, or Physical Education. These foundational studies provide a theoretical understanding of anatomy, physiology, and exercise principles, forming the basis for effective instruction.

Certifications play a pivotal role in establishing an instructor’s credibility and ensuring they possess the necessary knowledge and skills. Widely recognised certifications from organisations like the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), and the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) are highly valued in the fitness industry. These certifications typically involve rigorous training and examinations, covering topics such as exercise physiology, program design, and safety considerations.

Specialised training in fitness formats is crucial for instructors to lead diverse classes successfully. Different formats, such as dance-based workouts, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), or mind-body exercises like yoga, demand specific expertise. Instructors often pursue additional certifications or workshops in these specialised areas to deepen their understanding and refine their teaching techniques. For instance, a group exercise instructor aiming to teach a cycling class might pursue certification specifically tailored to indoor cycling.

Continual professional development is essential and instructors should always stay up to date with emerging trends, research, and innovations by participating in workshops, attending conferences, and seeking advanced certifications. This commitment to ongoing education not only enhances an instructor’s expertise but also demonstrates a dedication to providing participants with the latest and most effective fitness experiences.

How to become a group exercise instructor?

Embarking on the journey to become a Group Exercise Instructor involves strategic steps. 

  • Education:

Acquire a relevant degree in fields such as Exercise Science, Kinesiology, or Physical Education. Alternatively, pursue certifications from reputable organisations like ACE, NASM, or AFAA specialising in group fitness instruction.

  • Practical experience:

Participate in various fitness classes and workshops to gain hands-on experience and exposure to different exercise formats.Volunteer to lead small group sessions or assist experienced instructors to enhance practical skills.

  • Securing a job:

Develop a standout resume and portfolio that highlights your educational background, certifications, and practical experience. Make use of fitness job boards, both online and offline, to explore job opportunities. Also make sure to attend industry events and network with professionals to discover potential openings and establish your name in the industry. 

  • Alternative routes into the profession:

Consider apprenticeships or mentorship programs with experienced instructors or fitness facilities to gain specialised training and insights.Engage in community involvement by leading fitness classes at local community centres or organising outdoor sessions to build practical teaching experience.Explore alternative certifications or workshops that focus on specific group exercise formats to diversify your skill set.

  • Continual professional development:

Stay updated on the latest fitness trends, research, and teaching methodologies by attending workshops and conferences.Consider pursuing advanced certifications to enhance your expertise and credibility.

  • Leverage technology

Streamline your classes, communication and teachings through technology. Leveraging Gymcatch technology can be a game-changer for growing your group exercise business by streamlining operations and enhancing the overall participant experience. The platform offers efficient class management tools, allowing you to easily schedule and organise group exercise sessions. This not only simplifies the planning process but also optimises the class timetable, avoiding scheduling conflicts and ensuring a consistent and convenient schedule for participants.

By following these steps and strategies, aspiring group exercise instructors can build a solid foundation, gain practical experience, and navigate various paths to establish a successful and fulfilling career in the dynamic world of group fitness.


In conclusion

Becoming a group exercise instructor is a rewarding journey that requires a combination of passion, skills, and dedication. As the popularity of group fitness continues to rise, there is an increasing demand for versatile and passionate instructors who can create engaging and effective classes. The industry’s evolution has opened up various opportunities, making it an ideal time to embark on a professional journey as a group exercise instructor.

For those aspiring to become group exercise instructors, the journey involves a strategic approach, including obtaining relevant education, gaining practical experience, securing a job, and exploring alternative routes into the profession. Leveraging technology, such as Gymcatch’s fitness management system, further streamlines class management and communication, contributing to the overall growth of the business.

The path to becoming a successful group exercise instructor is multifaceted, requiring a blend of education, experience, and a commitment to ongoing development. With dedication and a passion for fitness, individuals can thrive in this exciting and evolving field, shaping the fitness journeys of countless participants.

How to become a Dance Teacher: an introductory guide

By Fitness business management archives and news

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a dance teacher, this is the ultimate guide. Below, we unpack strategies for building a fulfilling career in the field, and take a look at everything from essential dance teacher qualifications to securing a coveted position and how to use effective networking and a compelling portfolio to grow your business. 

What does it mean to be a Dance Teacher?

A dance teacher serves as a mentor, guide, and inspiration to budding dancers. Their primary responsibility revolves around teaching dance while fostering appreciation and passion for movement and rhythm among students. Beyond imparting technical skills, a dance teacher encourages dedication and inspiration, shaping the next generation of dancers.

The job of a dance instructor is multifaceted. It’s not solely about choreography and counting steps, it’s also about instilling confidence, discipline, and a love for the art form. A good dance teacher should have the ability to teach and nurture skills in others. A dance teacher’s role also extends beyond the confines of a studio as they become mentors who nurture creativity and self-expression.

Essentially, a dance teacher’s impact extends far beyond the steps they teach. They shape futures, build confidence, and nurture a lifelong love for dance in their students, leaving a mark that will last a lifetime. 

If you are interested in building a career as a dance teacher, it is vital to understand the skills and responsibilities associated with this field. 

Dance Teacher skills and responsibilities

So, what makes up a dance teacher’s role?

  • Effective communication skills:

Clear and precise communication is important if you want to build a long lasting and successful career.  The ability to articulate instructions and concepts ensures that students understand and execute dance techniques accurately. This skill involves using language that resonates with students of varying skill levels, ages and backgrounds.

  • Choreography expertise:

A dance teacher must possess a strong grasp of choreography, creating routines that are both technically sound and expressive. A good dance teacher has the ability to create sequences that challenge students while at the same time, allowing them to explore their creativity. This skill involves blending technicality with storytelling, ensuring each dance captivates and entertains audiences and dancers alike. 

  • Creating a nurturing environment:

Nurturing a positive and supportive learning environment is vital. Dance teachers should create spaces where students feel encouraged to take risks and explore their potential. Establishing an atmosphere of respect, collaboration, and encouragement enables students to thrive and develop both technically and artistically.

  • Adaptability in teaching methods:

A professional dance teacher tailors their teaching methods to accommodate diverse learning styles, ages, and abilities. Being flexible in approach ensures that each student receives personalised guidance, maximising their learning experience. Adjusting teaching techniques to suit individual needs fosters an inclusive and effective learning environment.

  • Passion and dedication to dance:

A sincere passion for dance is the core of a dance teacher’s role. This enthusiasm fuels inspiration and motivates students to pursue their passion. A dance teacher’s dedication should go beyond teaching steps; it’s a commitment to nurturing a lifelong love for dance.

Each of these skills and responsibilities contributes significantly to a dance teacher’s effectiveness in guiding and inspiring students on their dance journey.


How to become a Dance Teacher

Embarking on the path to become a dance teacher requires dedication, a structured approach to education, practical experience, and of course, a well-rounded portfolio.

  • Education pathway:

Begin by pursuing formal education in dance or a related field. Enrolling in accredited programs lays a strong foundation for success. These courses or programs take a closer look at dance theory, history, choreography, and teaching methodologies, helping aspiring dance teachers understand what it takes to hold professional classes.

  • Certifications and specialised training:

Acquiring certifications from esteemed institutions like The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) is incredibly beneficial. These certifications validate expertise and adherence to industry standards.

  • Practical experience and apprenticeships:

Gain hands-on experience by engaging in apprenticeships or assisting established dance teachers. Observing classroom dynamics, refining teaching techniques, and understanding diverse student needs contribute significantly to a teacher’s skill set.

  • Building a dance portfolio:

Put together a diverse dance portfolio that showcases proficiency in various styles, choreography, and teaching capabilities. Documenting teaching experiences, performances, and any additional training highlights versatility and builds trust.

  • Continued professional development:

As stated previously, it is important to embrace continuous learning through workshops, seminars, and professional associations. Joining organisations like the Council for Dance Education and Training (CDET) or the National Dance Teachers Association (NDTA) offers access to resources, networking, and support for ongoing development.

  • Networking and job search:

Make sure to network within the dance community, attend events, and seek mentorship opportunities. Networking aids in establishing connections and exploring potential job opportunities within studios, schools, or community centres.

By following this structured pathway and by balancing education, certifications, practical experience, portfolio development, and ongoing growth, individuals are able to lay a solid career foundation.


Qualifications for being a Dance Teacher in the UK

Becoming a proficient dance teacher in the UK entails a blend of formal education, specialised certifications, and ongoing professional development. While there isn’t one defined path, certain qualifications can significantly enhance career prospects in this field.

  • Formal education:

Pursuing a degree in dance or a related field from accredited institutions lays a strong foundation. Programs like Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Dance or Dance Education provide comprehensive knowledge in dance history, technique, choreography, and more. These programs equip aspiring teachers with a solid theoretical base and practical teaching experience.

  • Certifications:

Acquiring certifications from reputable organisations adds credibility. The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) offer certification programs tailored for aspiring dance teachers. Achieving RAD’s Teaching Certificate or ISTD’s Level 4 Certificate in Dance Education showcases proficiency and adherence to industry standards – building trust.

  • Additional training and workshops:

Supplementing formal education with additional training and workshops is also highly beneficial to career longevity. Continuing professional development through workshops, seminars, and masterclasses keeps dance teachers updated with evolving teaching methodologies, new styles, and industry trends. 

  • Teaching experience and apprenticeships:

Gaining practical teaching experience is invaluable. Engaging in apprenticeships or assisting established dance teachers allows aspiring instructors to observe classroom dynamics, refine teaching techniques, and gain hands-on experience in managing student needs.

  • Professional organisations and memberships:

Joining professional associations like the Council for Dance Education and Training (CDET) or the National Dance Teachers Association (NDTA) provides access to resources, networking opportunities, and support for professional growth. 

Navigating the path to becoming a dance teacher involves a combination of academic qualifications, certifications, practical experience, and continuous professional development. Building a foundation through education and training equips aspiring dance teachers with the necessary tools to excel.


Alternative routes to becoming a Dance Teacher

Beyond traditional academic routes there are alternative paths that offer diverse avenues for aspiring dance instructors.

  • Apprenticeships and mentorship:

Engaging in apprenticeships under seasoned instructors or partaking in mentorship programs provides hands-on experience, allowing individuals to learn teaching methodologies and classroom management firsthand.

  • Community involvement and volunteer work:

Active participation in community dance programs, volunteering at local studios, or leading dance workshops can foster practical teaching experiences and cultivate a strong understanding of diverse student needs.

Exploring these alternative routes offers unique opportunities to gain invaluable teaching skills and hands-on experience outside formal education which compliments a well-rounded journey toward becoming a proficient dance teacher.


Securing a job as a Dance Teacher

Entering the field of dance instruction requires strategic job search tactics and a well-prepared approach to stand out in a competitive market.

  • Networking and connections:

Leverage networking within the dance community by attending events, workshops, and seminars. Establishing connections with fellow dancers, instructors, and studio owners can uncover job opportunities and provide valuable insights into the industry.

  • Effective job search strategies:

Make use of online job boards and professional associations in order to explore openings in studios, schools, or community centres. Tailor applications to highlight relevant education, certifications, and teaching experiences that align with the job requirements.

  • Crafting a compelling resume and portfolio:

Prepare a polished resume that emphasises qualifications, certifications, teaching experience, and any specialised training. A concise, well-organised resume that highlights dance teacher qualifications and teaching skills will capture the attention of potential employers. Make sure to also develop a comprehensive dance portfolio that showcases diverse styles, choreography, and teaching abilities. Include videos, choreographic works, certifications, and testimonials that showcase expertise and passion for dance instruction.

  • Showcasing teaching capabilities:

During interviews or auditions, demonstrate effective teaching techniques, communication skills, and passion for dance education. Presenting lesson plans or conducting sample classes can exhibit teaching skill and creativity which leaves a lasting impression on potential employers.

In conclusion

Embarking on a fulfilling career as a dance teacher involves a blend of education, practical experience, and continuous growth. Whether pursuing formal education, gaining certifications, or exploring alternative paths, the journey promises rewards. 

As you take on this path it is important to use technology to further your career and manage your business goals. Gymcatch offers dance teachers seamless tools to organise classes, manage schedules, and handle payments efficiently. It streamlines administrative tasks, empowering instructors to focus on what they love. Contact us today.

How to become a Boxing Coach: an introductory guide

By Fitness business management archives and news

If you are interested in becoming a boxing coach, this guide is for you. Here, we delve into essential skills, qualifications, and pathways to building a solid career. From acquiring boxing coach qualifications to securing coaching positions and exploring alternative routes, we have you covered. 

What does a Boxing Coach do?

A boxing coach plays a pivotal role in shaping aspiring athletes and helping mould them into formidable athletes. Their primary responsibility revolves around training athletes to excel in the challenging world of boxing. Beyond imparting techniques, a boxing coach also serves as a mentor, strategist, and motivator.

At the core, the role of a boxing trainer is multifaceted. It’s not solely about teaching punches and footwork, it’s about instilling discipline, strategy, and mental fortitude. They meticulously craft training regimens that blend physical conditioning, technical skill development, and mental preparation.

Their expertise should also extend beyond the gym. A successful boxing coach should act as a confidant and strategist, putting together game plans tailored to each fighter’s strengths and weaknesses. They provide guidance, analyse opponents, and prepare an athlete mentally for the ring, ensuring they enter each match with both confidence and skill.

Essentially, a boxing coach’s impact goes beyond the wins and losses, it’s about shaping resilient athletes, instilling discipline, and nurturing the mindset for success inside and outside the ring. 

Boxing Coach skills and responsibilities

A proficient boxing coach has a spectrum of skills and responsibilities essential for nurturing champions in the ring.

  • Effective communication skills:

Clear and concise communication lies at the heart of a boxing coach’s abilities. They articulate techniques, strategies, and feedback in a manner that resonates with their athletes. Precise guidance ensures athletes comprehend and execute the nuances of boxing techniques.

  • Fostering a positive training environment:

Creating an environment conducive to growth and development is crucial. Boxing coaches cultivate a space where athletes feel motivated, supported, and driven to push their limits. They instil confidence, provide constructive feedback, and foster a culture of resilience and determination.

  • Strategic planning and analysis:

Beyond physical training, coaches act as strategists, analysing opponents and devising game plans tailored to their athletes’ strengths. They study techniques, tactics, and ring psychology, preparing their athletes comprehensively for each match.

  • Technical expertise and mentorship:

A boxing coach is a mentor, imparting technical expertise while nurturing athletes to become not just skilled boxers but also disciplined individuals. They guide, motivate, and inspire, serving as role models both inside and outside the gym.

Qualifications for being a Boxing Coach

  • Academic Foundations: Pursuing education in sports science, physical education, or boxing-specific programs lays the groundwork. Degrees or certifications from accredited institutions provide a comprehensive understanding of sports theory and practical coaching techniques.
  • Professional Certifications: Obtaining certifications such as the Level 1 or Level 2 coaching certificates in boxing demonstrates adherence to industry standards. These certifications validate expertise and ensure coaches are well-equipped to train aspiring athletes.
  • Continued Training and Development: Supplementing formal education with additional training and workshops enhances coaching capabilities. Participation in seminars, mentorship programs, and practical experiences fortifies a coach’s skill set and knowledge base.
  • Practical Experience: Hands-on training, apprenticing under seasoned coaches, and actively coaching amateur athletes contribute significantly. Practical experience hones coaching skills, refines techniques, and builds credibility in the boxing community.

How to become a Boxing Coach?

Becoming a successful boxing coach involves a strategic approach, blending education, practical experience, and portfolio development.

  • Educational paths:

Begin your path by pursuing educational avenues in sports science, physical education, or specialised boxing programs. Courses tailored to boxing coaching, such as Level 1 or Level 2 coaching certificates, equip individuals with foundational knowledge and coaching techniques.

  • Coaching experience:

Gain hands-on experience by apprenticing under experienced coaches, assisting in training sessions, and actively coaching amateur athletes. Practical exposure sharpens coaching skills, provides valuable insights, and builds credibility in the boxing community.

  • Portfolio development:

Assemble a comprehensive coaching portfolio highlighting certifications, educational qualifications, coaching experiences, and any specialised training. Portfolios showcasing coaching techniques, strategies, and success stories serve as tangible evidence of coaching prowess.

The educational path begins with pursuits in sports science, physical education, or specialised boxing programs, laying the groundwork for coaching proficiency. Hands-on experience, gained through apprenticeships and active coaching, refines skills and earns credibility within the boxing community. These foundational steps pave the way toward a rewarding career in boxing coaching, where dedication, expertise, and a comprehensive portfolio become the cornerstones of success.

Alternative routes to becoming a Boxing Coach

  • Apprenticeships and Mentorship: Engaging in apprenticeships under seasoned boxing coaches or participating in mentorship programs offers invaluable hands-on experience and insight into coaching methodologies.
  • Community Involvement and Volunteering: Active participation in community boxing programs, volunteering at local clubs, or leading boxing workshops nurtures practical coaching experiences and a deeper understanding of diverse boxer needs.

Exploring alternative routes to becoming a boxing coach provides unconventional yet valuable opportunities to acquire crucial coaching skills, hands-on experience, and establish oneself in the competitive field of boxing coaching.

Where can I coach Boxing?

Take a look at some of the opportunities that await aspiring boxing coaches and have the power to shape talent and nurture the sport’s growth. 

  • Fitness Centers: Many fitness centres incorporate boxing programs, offering opportunities to coach boxing as part of a broader fitness regimen.
  • Boxing Gyms: Specialised boxing gyms are ideal settings to coach, providing access to dedicated boxing facilities and a community of boxing enthusiasts.
  • Community Programs: Engage in community-based programs, volunteering or coaching at local clubs, schools, or community centres, fostering boxing talent and promoting the sport.
  • Schools and Academies: Some schools offer boxing programs as part of their sports curriculum, providing avenues for coaching young athletes and fostering their interest in boxing.

Exploring these varied opportunities offers aspiring boxing coaches a spectrum of opportunities to impart knowledge, hone coaching skills, and contribute to the growth of boxing talent.

Securing a coaching position

Landing a coaching position in boxing necessitates strategic job search tactics and a well-crafted approach.

  • Effective job search strategies:

Leverage online job platforms, boxing-specific job boards, and professional networks to explore coaching opportunities. Tailor applications to highlight relevant boxing coach qualifications and experiences aligned with the job requirements.

  • Networking in the Boxing Community:

Engage actively within the boxing community, attend events, seminars, or coaching workshops. Networking with fellow coaches, athletes, or gym owners can unveil unadvertised job openings and provide valuable industry insights.

  • Crafting a compelling coaching resume:

Prepare a polished coaching resume highlighting boxing coach certifications, coaching experiences, educational qualifications, and any specialised training. Emphasise coaching techniques, successful programs, and mentoring achievements to stand out.

These three steps should guide you on the right path for launching your career and building the boxing empire of your dreams. 

In conclusion

From honing coaching skills to exploring diverse opportunities, the path to success as a boxing coach demands dedication. 

Gymcatch is an innovative platform that streamlines boxing class organisation and schedule management, empowering boxing coaches to focus on their passion – training athletes. Learn more about how Gymcatch can help you on your journey to success

Contact us today for more information about our software.

Effortless Kids Class Booking with Gymcatch

By Fitness business management archives and news

Streamline Activities for Your Kids Class

Elevate your kids’ health classes with our intuitive kids class booking software. Gymcatch ensures a hassle-free experience for both instructors, parents and kids, simplifying administrative tasks while enhancing the overall engagement for the little ones.

Our user-friendly kids class booking software is designed to lighten the load of managing schedules, bookings, payments, and client interactions. With Gymcatch, you can bid farewell to the complexities of manual systems and enjoy a simple and streamlined approach that allows you to focus on creating dynamic and enjoyable classes for kids.

When you sign up with Gymcatch, parents or guardians can easily reserve class spots for their children using mobile apps available on iOS or Android, through our website, or seamlessly integrated into your own site. This streamlined system covers waitlist management, reminders, and offers flexible booking choices, ensuring a hassle-free experience for parents when enrolling their little ones.

Experience the ease and efficiency of our kids class booking software, where managing classes becomes as enjoyable as teaching them. Simplify your workflow, enhance children’s experiences, and create a space where healthy activity for kids is accessible and enjoyable.


Secure and Stress-Free Booking

Create a hassle-free booking experience for your kids’ health classes with our reliable kids class booking software. Our platform ensures a secure and seamless process, allowing parents to book with confidence.

Our intuitive software ensures a hassle-free booking process, accessible via our dedicated apps or seamlessly integrated into your website. Gymcatch eliminates concerns about waitlists or convoluted procedures, providing a simple solution for parents to easily enrol their children.

With a strong focus on security measures, we’ve crafted a platform that ensures the safety of every booking. Parents can trust that their children’s activities are managed securely, enhancing their confidence in choosing your classes.

Experience a worry-free booking journey with our kids class booking software, where security and simplicity go hand in hand. Streamline your bookings, reassure parents, and create an environment where kids’ activities are both secure and enjoyable.


Manage Multiple Parents and Kids with Gymcatch

Gymcatch revolutionises the realm of kids’ health classes by offering seamless management for fitness instructors and business owners dealing with multiple participants, specifically, parents or guardians booking activities for their kids. Our platform simplifies touchpoints by streamlining bookings, payments, and schedules.

For fitness instructors or business owners, handling a myriad of parents booking sessions for their kids can be overwhelming. Gymcatch provides a user-friendly interface that allows instructors to effortlessly manage multiple participants and streamline the entire booking process. 

Our software ensures that each booking is efficiently tracked, payments are seamlessly processed, and schedules are meticulously organised. This translates to reduced administrative burden, enabling instructors to focus more on what they do best – delivering exceptional classes and experiences for the little ones.

The benefits extend beyond convenience. For fitness instructors, it means a hassle-free management experience, allowing them to concentrate entirely on creating impactful and inclusive active sessions for kids.. This heightened level of engagement leads to increased satisfaction among young participants and their parents, ultimately strengthening the business’s reputation and credibility.

By leveraging Gymcatch’s capabilities as a kids class booking software, instructors and business owners alike can be empowered to elevate their activity offerings. The platform’s seamless management of multiple parents and kids optimises operations, enriches experiences, and fosters a thriving business environment centred around delivering top-notch healthy activity experiences for the younger generation.


Tailored Solutions for Parents

Gymcatch understands the importance of ease and personalisation when it comes to kids activity class booking software, and our platform provides a user-friendly interface, simplifying scheduling. Gymcatch’s intuitive design ensures a smooth booking journey, allowing parents to effortlessly oversee and manage their child’s activities within the available classes or sessions provided by the instructor.

Beyond the user-friendly design, Gymcatch fosters a sense of control and efficiency for parents. Our platform allows them to effortlessly oversee and manage their child’s activities in your gym, providing a stress-free experience with just a few clicks. By offering this level of convenience and customisation, Gymcatch elevates the experience for parents, providing a reliable and efficient tool to enrich their child’s activities while simplifying the booking process.

This reliable solution translates into increased satisfaction for parents, fostering a stronger bond between instructors and families. As parents experience a seamless booking process and greater customisation for their children’s activities, they become advocates, spreading positive word-of-mouth about the instructor’s offerings. Ultimately, this positive experience enhances the reputation and credibility, attracting more families seeking personalised and convenient health solutions for their children.


Why Choose Gymcatch for Kids’ Classes

Gymcatch is the unparalleled choice for those seeking an efficient and effective kids’ class booking software. Our platform redefines how families and fitness professionals manage children’s activities, offering a comprehensive solution tailored precisely to their dynamic needs.

At Gymcatch, we’ve tailored a digital suite for efficient management of kids’ health classes. Our strong online presence covers web, iOS, and Android platforms, catering to in-person, livestream, and on-demand sessions. When it comes to payments, Gymcatch smoothly integrates with Stripe, automating receipts and allowing handy ‘pay on the door’ options for hassle-free client transactions.

Managing drop-ins and multi-buys is a breeze with Gymcatch. We offer flexible ticket pricing and multi-purchase capabilities, optimising attendance and revenue generation for your kids’ activity programs.

Our payment structures are diverse, ranging from pay-as-you-go models to memberships and free trials, all easily accommodated through Gymcatch, ensuring customisable terms that suit various client preferences.

Gymcatch seamlessly blends with websites and social media platforms like Facebook, providing direct access to the Gymcatch booking page or embedding the booking process into your existing websites.

Empowering business owners is at the core of Gymcatch. Our robust analytics and reporting tools enable you to track crucial data, bookings, purchases, attendance, and instructor performance – all of which facilitates informed decision-making and drives business growth.

Marketing for yoga teachers

By Fitness business management archives and news, Fitness marketing and social archives and news

In a world where wellness and self-care are becoming increasingly essential, the demand for yoga teachers has soared. However, standing out as a yoga instructor requires more than just exceptional teaching skills and a stand-out presence. To truly thrive in this competitive landscape, yoga teachers must embrace the power of marketing. A solid marketing strategy can elevate your visibility, connect you with the right audience, and ultimately lead to a flourishing yoga business. 


In this article, we will take a closer look at marketing for yoga teachers, and explore the importance of niche identification, providing valuable insights for effective yoga marketing strategies.

How to market yoga classes


Yoga, with its profound physical and mental benefits, has captured the hearts of millions. However, without a well-defined yoga marketing strategy, your expertise may remain hidden from those who need it most. Marketing is the bridge that connects your passion with your target audience, allowing you to establish a strong presence and make a meaningful impact.


The yoga community is diverse, with various styles and preferences. Identifying your niche is crucial for effective marketing. A niche narrows down your focus and helps you tailor your offerings to a specific group of individuals who resonate with your teachings. Are you drawn to gentle, restorative yoga? Or perhaps you’re more aligned with power yoga that challenges the body? Consider your own strengths and passions, and then envision the type of students you wish to attract.

Effective yoga marketing strategies and tips for yoga teachers

Once you’ve identified your niche, it’s time to develop a yoga marketing strategy that aligns with your core goals. Here are some strategies that can help you stand out and connect with your target audience.


1. Google and social media paid ads 

Paid advertising can give your yoga business an immediate boost in visibility. Platforms like Google Ads and social media (such as Instagram and Facebook) allow you to create targeted ads that reach potential students based on their interests, location, and online behavior. Use visually appealing images or videos that capture the essence of your teaching style to draw viewers in.

2. Google My Business profile

A Google My Business profile is a valuable digital marketing tool, especially for local businesses like yoga studios and instructors. It provides essential information to potential students, such as your location, contact details, and reviews. Keeping your profile updated and engaging can help you rank higher in local searches, making it easier for nearby individuals to find you.


3. Setting up a website and performing SEO

A professional website acts as your digital storefront. It’s where potential students can learn more about your background, classes, and philosophy. Implementing search engine optimization (SEO) techniques ensures that your website appears in search engine results when someone looks for yoga classes in your area. Use relevant keywords and create high-quality, informative content that showcases your expertise.

4. Content marketing (Creating a blog and publishing guest posts)

Content marketing establishes your authority in the yoga world and provides value to your audience. Start a blog on your website where you share tips, insights, and reflections related to yoga and wellness. Also consider reaching out to other wellness websites for guest posting opportunities. This expands your reach and introduces your teachings to new audiences.


5. Setting up email marketing (Including a website newsletter)

Email marketing remains a powerful tool for nurturing relationships with your audience. Offer a valuable lead magnet, such as a free yoga sequence video or an e-book on mindfulness, in exchange for email subscriptions. Send regular newsletters with updates on your classes, insightful articles, and special promotions. Personalize your emails to create a sense of connection.


Growing your yoga business and retaining customers

Consistency is key in marketing for yoga teachers. Establishing a strong online presence and consistently delivering value to your audience will help you build trust and credibility over time. As you implement these strategies, you’ll likely see an increase in student engagement, class attendance, and overall business growth. 


By staying true to your niche and continuously refining your marketing efforts, you can attract a loyal community of yoga enthusiasts who resonate with your unique style. Digital marketing aside, it is also vital you have a streamlined booking system that aligns with your digital presence and is able to track your success, and retain customer loyalty. This is where Gymcatch comes in.


Nurturing growth through effective marketing

In the world of yoga teaching, the ability to positively impact lives is a privilege. However, without a well-crafted marketing strategy and seamless booking practices, your teachings might remain confined to a limited audience. By identifying your niche, embracing various marketing channels, embracing technology and maintaining consistency, you can expand your reach and build your business successfully.


How Gymcatch can help

Gymcatch is a comprehensive booking and management platform designed to empower fitness instructors, including yoga instructors, by seamlessly facilitating class scheduling, payments, client management, and even integrating livestream and on-demand content.


  • Digital marketing alignment: Through Gymcatch, you are able to effortlessly manage and share links for in-person, livestream and on-demand content, creating a digital realm where convenience and growth converge. Seamlessly integrate with platforms like Zoom to streamline the generation, sharing, and updating of meetings in one centralised space. This comprehensive digital offering empowers you, your team, clients, and prospects to access in-person, livestream, and on-demand sessions across various platforms, including web, iOS, and Android. Gymcatch not only enables enhanced customer relationship management but also provides the flexibility to embed the booking process directly into your existing website, ensuring a cohesive digital presence that resonates with your yoga community.
  • Streamlined management: Gymcatch’s yoga booking software allows you to effortlessly manage your class schedules, bookings, and payments. This frees up your time and energy, enabling you to focus on what you do best: guiding your students toward well-being.
  • Personalized offerings: With Gymcatch’s courses and blocks feature, you can offer students the opportunity to commit to a series of classes. This encourages consistent attendance and provides a deeper connection to your teachings.
  • Enhanced client engagement: Gymcatch’s client management tools enable you to understand your students better, tailoring your offerings to their preferences and needs. This fosters a sense of community and loyalty among your student base.
  • Flexible payment options: Gymcatch’s secure payment system accommodates various payment models, allowing you to offer single classes, packages, or block bookings, all while ensuring a seamless payment experience for your students.


Gymcatch’s yoga booking software opens doors to new possibilities, allowing you to reach more students, offer personalized experiences, and strengthen your yoga community. Your dedication to guiding others toward wellness deserves a partner that shares your passion and supports your growth.

How to manage booking availability and cancellations

By Fitness business management archives and news, Fitness industry archives and news, Fitness marketing and social archives and news

Between now and the end of the year we’re going to take a look at 5 areas to help you Get 2023 ready.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin or Twitter to be sure you don’t miss our follow-up posts.

In our third blog post in the series, we looked at how pricing tactics and how to think about using incentives to increase sign-ups, improve customer retention and motivate referrals.  In this post, we build on that topic to think about operational efficiency and specifically what booking availability and cancellation policy tactics you can employ to boost efficiency and revenue.

Manage when booking opens

Many businesses create, and publish their schedule and create a simple structure whereby anyone can book in immediately, right up to the start time of a session.  Whilst this may be fine if capacity isn’t a constraint, we think it’s still a good idea to consider a more refined policy because of the messaging it can send your customer base…

For example, if you note that bookings for a session open X amount of time before it starts (e.g. 1 week), then you can create (whether it exists or not) a sense of demand/urgency for people to book their space because they may fear on missing out otherwise, as they know others are going to be looking out to grab it.  This additionally prevents customers from booking too far into the future, decreasing availability when there’s a reasonable chance their plans may yet change and be unable to fulfil the booking.

Manage when booking closes

Perhaps less obvious is the idea to set when booking closes for a session past the start time of a session. How many times has someone turned up last minute, or a customer brought someone new for an intro session where admin is done in a hurry?  By closing bookings for a session at a set time after the session finishes you can enable anyone that turned up late or failed to book on to still participate and yet still go back and pay what they owed whilst keeping your and their booking records up to date.

If you record your sessions and want to have a timetabled set of pre-records for sessions (rather than just keeping it in a static on-demand library), this tactic can also be really handy for securing some extra revenue, allowing customers to book the session/pre-record long after it’s finished.

Manage prioritised access

You can also consider whether you want to give certain customers priority access to being able to book before others.

This can be a great way to reward customers for making a purchase.  For example, perhaps a benefit of booking a course/block is that you’ll get a priority buying period on the next course/block that’s released.  This can create good ongoing commitment with an incentive to maintain their spot based on knowledge may not be able to get it back if they don’t recommit.  By making that repeat buying decision, it can also reinforce a feeling of accountability and desire to attend, something that in our experience can naturally wain with standard recurring memberships.

Another option with this feature would be to offer certain sessions as ‘Member’ only, creating further value differentiation as against pay-as-you-go or shorter-term commitment packages.

Enable digital payments

If you’re reading this post, it’s perhaps unlikely that this isn’t taken for granted, but we think it’s worth noting nonetheless!

Some businesses decide to take bookings without enabling any payments, saving some transaction fees in the process.  Whilst this can work ok for some, and indeed Gymcatch can support this too, our experience is that this often proves a false economy.  Remember this gives people that cancel free access to your sessions and the potential to cost you both the money they would have spent, but also the money that someone else who could have booked the space would spend.

You’ll also have to spend time checking bank accounts against attendance and chasing for payment where necessary.  Assuming your time is limited, you should put a cost to this activity in a week – in our experience, even something at less than minimum wage more than pays for the related transaction costs (and in Gymcatch’s case, the software costs too!).

Sensible wait lists

Ensuring you use a waitlist strategy that maximises revenue for your business is important. Historic first-in-line methods can prove counter-productive, as they entail that those who were on them have had the most time to make other plans.  Indeed, the time it takes those on them to confirm or reject the take-up of their place further reduces the time others have to reply.  Far more efficient is to release any spare spaces on an equitable first come first served basis.

Use reminders and calendar sync

Reminders can be a double-edged sword – for some, if they’ve made a booking and it’s on their calendar, a reminder is an unwelcome interruption.  That said, they can be helpful if your client base are busy and decided to disable that setting/haven’t put it in their calendars and we’d always offer a customer the ability to configure their notification settings, so in moderation, they can certainly be value add.

Set a cancellation policy

Setting a policy is a delicate balance between ensuring you give your customers an incentive to book early / flexibility in case their plans change and the fact that you’re running a business and need the certainty of revenue and attendance to successfully deliver your services.

Our data supports the view that offering some flexibility for customers is a good idea and, indeed, now the market norm.  We’d strongly recommend enabling a swap should be the means of ‘refund’ rather than cash. This ensures you don’t miss out on the revenue whilst giving your customers some additional flexibility.

Clearly stating the cancellation policy at booking is evidently a good idea, and ensures any disputes or issues are kept to an absolute minimum.

In terms of what timeframe you’d allow a credit back/swap to a different session, factors such as what number of attendees makes a session profitable, the notice period you think alternative customers would need to be able to fill the space and a headline assessment of your ideal customer’s typical schedule all feed into this equation.

Generally, we see 3 hours – 24 hours before a start time as the norm but do remember you can set different policies for different sessions if you wish.  For example, perhaps you might be more generous with your 5-6:30 pm sessions than in-school/middle-of-the-day sessions because you recognise that work/traffic variables may be more of a worry for your target customers.

In our experience, as long as you build some flexibility into your model and clearly communicate the policy, customers are thankful for whatever you choose so be sure to think carefully about your policy and ensure you don’t encourage behaviour that ultimately costs you money.

With your operating tactics optimised in our next blog post in the Get 2023 ready series, we’ll consider when and how you’re going to promote your business. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin or Twitter to see when it drops in the coming week!

Ollie is the founder of Gymcatch, a booking and customer management software company. Visit for pricing information.

What incentives should you offer to your customers?

By Fitness business management archives and news, Fitness industry archives and news, Fitness marketing and social archives and news

Between now and the end of the year we’re going to take a look at 5 areas to help you Get 2023 ready.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin or Twitter to be sure you don’t miss our follow-up posts.

In our second blog post in the series, we looked at how to set a pricing strategy.  In this post, we build on that topic to think about pricing tactics and what incentives you may consider both to bring in new customers but also to increase spending and retention from your existing ones.

Broadly these incentives fall into three types:

  • Incentives to try/join
  • Incentives to commit
  • Incentives to refer

Incentives to try/join

These incentives are well-known and would include ‘First class free’, ‘First month free’ or ‘Free PT consultation’ etc.

When thinking about these types of incentives it helps to think about three questions.

First, consider how long is needed to determine whether they’ll benefit from your services.  This also, of course, should take into account how long you’re asking your customer to commit. For example, if you’re requiring a yearly contract you may want to give a potential customer longer to decide than if you are offering pay-as-you-go classes.

Secondly, consider how long you think a customer needs to become an engaged customer. How long do they need to build a routine or habit that ensures you’ve converted them?

Thirdly, consider the cost to you of the offer.  Can you afford a strong take-up of the incentive?  The cost to set up and administer the offer should also be factored in.

It is also worth noting, that if you don’t feel a free or longer free period is justified, a discount can work just as well for many, especially in relation to more expensive services.  This approach can also place a higher perceived value on quality and demand which for less price-sensitive buyers may be desirable.

Incentives to commit

These incentives are more business model considerations and would include decisions around whether to offer memberships, courses/blocks and class packs etc.

The consideration here is how much you want to require or even incentivise a bigger upfront commitment as against short-run or even per-session payments.  For many smoothing and visibility of future income is desirable, but in an age where customers increasingly value flexibility, this can be a difficult balance to strike.

For some businesses with high demand or waitlists, the right decision here will be to not incentivise commitment at all, but rather just enable a regular full-priced (e.g. membership, or course/block) for customer convenience of buying or securing a space.

A second option where demand is strong or artificially creates that view is to incentivise commitment based on the access.  For example, you could give members or course buyers priority access to sessions, or an existing course buyer priority over a space on the next.  This can create an incentive to commit without costing you anything.

Where offering a price incentive to commit is desirable, matching that to your customers’ cash flow and own schedule is a good idea.  For example, if your customers generally have children, would it be a better fit to offer term-time blocks rather than year round memberships?  Or perhaps if you want to keep a premium pay-as-you-go pricing model just offering a small discount on class packs that expire based on a date from purchase may make more sense than a discounted membership.

Incentives to refer

Finally, we consider incentives you may wish to offer to customers or local partners for referring new customers.  These are often more costly than standalone free trial products, as it generally makes sense to also include your standard offer for the new customer.

Examples might be a free class pass when you bring a friend, a month’s free membership for a successful sign-up, a gift card on success or even straight cash.  Generally, it makes most financial sense to offer incentives where you can absorb your margin as part of the cost (i.e. it’s not an additional hard cash outgoing), but this of course is only the case if the incentive proves sufficiently motivating as against offering something more tangible like a gift card or cash.

Given their additional cost, we’d recommend carefully considering when and for how long these types of incentives are used, as well as meticulously tracking how successful they are.  The one big advantage they have is that it’s very likely that your existing customer base has good access to potential customers with a similar demographic and set of needs/preferences.  As such, whilst these incentives cost more, there’s every chance they’ll convert well and, indeed, may be less costly than other more outward-facing marketing initiatives.

Thinking more widely than your existing customer base for referrals can also be beneficial.  Perhaps there are local businesses with a large employee base, a service provider or even a coffee house/restaurant that has a client base that would match up well to your services who you could create a more bespoke offer for.  There’s every chance there are businesses that you may even be able to partner with to offer something in return to reduce or even remove the cost entirely.

With your pricing strategy and incentive tactics now thought through, in our next blog post, we’ll move to thinking about operational efficiency strategies, including cancellation policies. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin or Twitter to see when it drops in the coming week!

Ollie is the founder of Gymcatch, a booking and customer management software company. Visit for pricing information.

How to price your fitness services

By Fitness business management archives and news, Fitness industry archives and news, Fitness marketing and social archives and news

How to price your fitness services.  What are your customers willing to pay for your services?  How long and what are they prepared to commit to?

Between now and the end of the year we’re going to take a look at 5 areas to help you Get 2023 ready.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin or Twitter to be sure you don’t miss our follow-up posts.

In our first blog post in the series, we thought about how to define your target customer and how that should inform the services you offer.  In this post, we build on that topic to consider the evergreen topic of pricing. Here we focus on your pricing strategy, and in a follow-up post, we’ll get deeper into specific promotional tactics. 

Be aware of bias

Before we think about your business, it’s worth raising a couple of important human characteristics that invariably influence pricing.  The first is a psychological bias known as ‘loss aversion’.  This bias can unconsciously lead you to under-price your services.  The bias entails that we fear loss more than valuing potential gains, so as applied to pricing, it entails that it’s natural to take what you’ve charged to date, or what the competition charge, as a reference point, fear the worse with regards customers’ propensity to not pay or switch services, and undershoot what you could charge.  i.e. you fear the worse when considering a price change rather than accurately weighing that as against the potential upside.

Secondly, there’s an emotional element to pricing for many. One likely strength of your business is its sense of community and your relationships with your customers.  Many may be considered friends who you socialise with.  This can naturally lead to a desire to please/aversion to confrontation and impact your confidence in making price changes, especially in a scenario where you feel funds are tight.

Of course, both of these natural tendencies exist for a reason, they serve us well in many situations, and ultimately you won’t (nor should you) try to ignore them completely but being aware of them can help in driving a more objective assessment of your businesses’ pricing strategy.

Keeping those tendencies in mind, we move to assess two important inputs to your pricing strategy; your business and your customers.

Your business

As you think about pricing your fitness services, you need to start by ensuring you understand the costs that need to be met by the output of your strategy – i.e. to understand your breakeven point.

Your monthly breakeven point should include your desired base income and all venue and marketing costs.  If you know you’ll be quieter in certain months of the year (and have required outgoings for those months) you should factor this into your thinking for busier periods.  A good exercise during this time is to assess your costs for any efficiencies that can be made. This will help you identify the common costs you can reduce (insert link). This is to say, you’d increase your income target in the busier months to make up for the quieter ones.

A second business-level consideration is cash flow. This is really about the timings for incoming and outgoing cash to your business and ensuring that they are aligned.  Generally, there’s a trade-off between offering longer-term (e.g. monthly memberships, courses/blocks) and shorter-term (e.g. pay as you go, class packs) commitment-based products. 

The former strategy gives greater visibility of revenue but the latter, as it’s normally priced at a premium, would be, all things equal, revenue maximising.  The extent to which you want to smooth cash flow versus relying on regular repetitive purchases feeds into how you price the different products you offer.  Of course, what your customers are able and willing to commit also feeds into this.  Quite often the right answer is a blend, but every business is different and should think through the value to them of each.

Your customers

With your breakeven point and cash flow needs to be established, we’d recommend experimenting with different pricing and customer purchasing numbers on paper or a basic spreadsheet.  From this, you can begin to get a feel for what range of pricing and demand meets your breakeven point and generate some ideas from which to evolve your thinking.

You can now look at your pricing ideas from your customers’ (and target customers’) perspective.  Assessing willingness to pay is difficult but using your customer profile from our first post in the series and reviewing, if applicable, how customer retention changed after a previous price change will all feed into your overall conclusion.  Trying to place them (generalised) on a 1-10 sensitivity scale may help.  If you think they are highly sensitive then you may also want to consider what the local competition is doing and pay some attention to that. This is not to say you match or undercut, more just be sure that the value you offer can be clearly communicated in comparison.

Once you’ve formed a view on price sensitivity you can overlay that against your range of high-low pricing and product commitment (long v short-term options) models to conclude what makes sense for your business.

Track and review

As you launch your new strategy, be sure to regularly review how it’s performing and consider whether the assumptions you’ve made throughout this process are holding true.

Having followed a logical process, you should feel confident in the strategy and launch.  That said, as the above has revealed, determining a sound pricing structure requires you to make reasonable assumptions across often inferred preferences, so ultimately you can’t be 100% certain on how a new offering or changes will land.  As such, how you communicate price changes is also important – our 5th blog post in this series will come back to the subject of messaging.  So, as you launch, stay close to your customers as you launch it and watch for feedback. 

‘Watch’ is the right word, because stated versus revealed preferences can be very different here.  For example, I might indicate that I’m upset about a price rise, but if I still pay/keep coming there’s perhaps a reality that I can’t be that upset about it.  Indeed, it may be that you’d weigh that type of feedback from customers more than others.

With your base pricing strategy now established, we’ll build on these considerations in our next post and look at how you can evolve your pricing tactics to add incentives for current and target customers.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin or Twitter to see when it drops in the coming week!

Ollie is the founder of Gymcatch, a booking and customer management software company. Visit for pricing information.

For more information on Gymcatch personal training booking software and how it can help your business get in touch to book a demo or start a free trial.

How to define your target customer

By Fitness business management archives and news, Gym and studios, HIIT and group, Pilates, Yoga

Who are you targeting as new customers? What do they want from their fitness provider?

Between now and the end of the year we’re going to take a look at 5 areas to help you Get 2023 ready.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin or Twitter to be sure you don’t miss our follow-up posts.

In the first post of our series, we look at why it’s important to define your target customer and how to do it.

As you plan for 2023 it’s a good idea to take a step back and think about your perfect customer.  Your customer profile informs everything at your business; what products/packages you offer, your pricing and marketing strategy.  We’ll explore those wider theme’s later in this series, but let’s first think about how to build that profile.

The best place to start is by interviewing, or at least thinking about, a selection of your customers that you’d consider ‘ideal’. How you conduct your research is up to you, you could use a free online survey tool, paper questionnaires or even just write down based on your personal knowledge (we know many instructors know their customer base very well!).

Below we explain the four most important factors to consider when building your ideal customer profile.

  1. Demographics

These are personal pieces of information that describe who we are as individuals and include age range, sex, income range, education, and family status. 

  1. Attitudes

These are lifestyle considerations and focus on what habits they follow, and what goals and pain points they have.  What values and interests do they have?

  1. Actions

This is about behaviour.  Consider how, when and what products those customers buy and potentially ask what they’d like to see added.

  1. Location

With the shift towards working from home, this consideration is particularly relevant.  Consider where your perfect customer is based at different times of the day.

With those questions answered, you can build something like this below (not that it needs to be made pretty!)

From here you can do two things:

  • Review your service and product offering in light of attitudes and location
  • Think about where to find new customers

Reviewing your service offering

Whilst there’s every chance that your current services meet your target customers’ attitudes and location you should take the opportunity to review this regularly. Asking yourself a few simple questions can help:

  • Do all of the services you’ve offered in the past still make sense?
  • Do the buying habits (what’s bought and when) reveal anything about what you should increase or decrease?
  • Do your services accurately map to what your customers state they want?
  • Are there any additions that would better fit or complement their revealed preferences?
  • Do the times of day you offer your services fit their routines?
  • Is there a better or additional location you could use that would better fit their routines?

Think about where to find new customers

With your customer profile built you can now begin to think about marketing tactics:

  • Who would they trust for health/fitness advice or recommendations?
  • Where (digitally / in-person) do they hang out?
  • How best to leverage customer referrals?
  • Are there any local/corporate business opportunities to access them?

This may take some time, and some further research so begins to build that understanding in the next couple of weeks as we review the other building blocks of your business. Making notes on your phone, or having a pad with you to jot ideas down as they come to you is also a good idea.

With your ideal customer profile built and service offering reviewed in our second blog post we’ll move on to consider pricing.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin or Twitter to see when it drops in the coming week!

5 key considerations for managing block bookings or courses

By Dance, Fitness business management archives and news, Fitness industry archives and news, Gym and studios, Pilates, Yoga

In this blog, we consider when to sell sessions in courses or blocks, how best to maximise their operational efficiency, and block-to-block customer retention.

Are courses or blocks right for your customer?

A common theme in our business management content is to start with your customer.  We make no apologies for this, when thinking about your business model you should always start with an assessment of your customer or target customer.

When reviewing whether a course/block of sessions is right for your customers it helps to consider a few headline questions:

  • Do you assess your client’s progress frequently or set short-term milestones?
  • Is there a scheduling reason that courses/blocks may suit your customer better than other models (i.e. pay-as-you-go/memberships)? For example, are you targeting parents that have more availability during school term time?  Or kids where it’s often vice versa?
  • Can your customers afford larger one-offs, or twice over-term payments?
  • Would a perceived lack of flexibility in scheduling put them off?
  • What, if any, service would customers want when you’re not running courses?

When considering these questions, it is perhaps not surprising that many of our business customers who operate this model do so because:

  • They focus on parents as a demographic, effectively dove-tailing with school terms
  • The structure is particularly popular with Pilates and yoga modalities
  • Other programs where clear end results over a period are a focus often use them, with many personal trainers offering either 1-2-1 or small group training courses/blocks.

Your decision-making process can, of course, also be supported by considering whether alternative business models would work better:

  • In instances where courses/blocks make the most sense, it’s often the case that a membership model might be perceived by your customers as too long-term, or a waste of money (as regular commitments mean it wouldn’t get used for much of the year)
  • Whilst pay-as-you-go can supplement course income, running that by itself may also be seen as lacking a desired certainty of attendance for customers and, indeed, income for you as the business owner.  

How to think about retention

A reason we often hear for using memberships over courses is that the former encourages greater retention, as it doesn’t require a regular review / re-purchase. With this, it’s assumed that by surfacing the buying decision regularly you can increase the chances for the customer to cancel/not re-buy.

In our experience, and based on the data we see, this is not a valid assumption, and we believe it rests on some antiquated thinking.  Whilst memberships are absolutely a great model for many businesses, having a recurring, ongoing, payment does not in itself increase customer retention.  Customers are now, perhaps more so than ever, very aware of their outgoings and rights with regards to cancellation.  Just because a payment is automated does not mean that it is unknown or unnoticed.

In our experience, when businesses build a course-centric customer base the ongoing requirement to commit to the next course/block serves to increase retention.  This is because it introduces a ‘fear of missing out’.  This is to say that customers can be made aware that spaces are limited, the course is popular, and if they don’t recommit then they may lose their space with no guarantee they’ll get it back.  This in turn increases their propensity to turn up to sessions and make use of their allocated space.  It therefore actually serves to have a positive impact on accountability, far more so than with a membership where the available sessions are entirely optional/bookable.

In addition, you can increase the ‘fear of missing out’ by layering extra privileges on buyers of your past course/blocks.  For instance, you could offer a priority purchasing window for your next course/block that’s only accessible to those that bought the previous one.  This adds immediacy to the buying decision and, again, drives repeated attendance and accountability which will assist in retention (our industry-leading Priority Access feature can help here).

How to handle swaps and drop-ins?

One understandable gripe we repeatedly hear on our consults is the time it takes many to administer week-to-week swaps when courses/blocks are running.  Illness, transport, childcare, and holidays are common themes that can cause customers to miss scheduled sessions and want to swap into different courses/blocks’ weekly sessions.

Whatever you decide to set for your cancellation policy for sessions, if you’re offering a swap/credit, the process needs to be easy and manageable.  Ensure you find a system (e.g. Gymcatch) that can handle the customer canceling and rebooking of their spot (where there’s availability) across courses/blocks without having to contact you.

With regards to drop-ins, these can be a nice way to both enable swaps, but also boost income if your course isn’t full.  The main thing here is to ensure that you’re not opening up too many spots too early (i.e. too far before their start time).  It’s important to remember that for every drop-in you sell, that reduces your total course capacity (until that session is complete) by one.  So drop-ins at premium pricing are really best used either when they’re made available close to the start date of the session, or if there’s considerable excess capacity in the course.

What to do outside of course term time?

Where courses/blocks are run across school terms, we see two approaches to non-term time.  One approach is to leave the calendar clear.  This can give customers a break, and the flexibility to manage childcare without feeling like they’re missing out or, guilt for non-attendance.  This can also give the business owner some valuable time to refocus on pre-marketing the next courses/blocks and general admin that’s difficult to do during the period of delivery.  If you hire space and variable business costs, it can also mean that you don’t necessarily continue to incur in-term overheads.

The second option we see deployed successfully is for a more flexible set-up over the period.  This might be where you allow only pay as you go, or class pack / bundle-bought sessions.  This can be a great way to boost non-term time income and gives those that want to maintain their routine the ability to do so, all without in any way prejudicing those that can’t.

How to launch or migrate to a new booking system?

If your booking system doesn’t allow for all of the above, then there’s potentially a decision to be made to migrate to one that does.

If you are moving from pen and paper, then planning a launch in between courses/blocks is no doubt a good strategy and can ensure everything kicks off with minimum disruption.  If you’re not digitally confident look for 1-2-1 onboarding as part of the offer.  At Gymcatch, we pride ourselves on ensuring that all customers receive the onboarding support they need.

If you are migrating from a system that doesn’t provide these solutions, or that you’re over-paying for, then thinking about the following can be helpful:

  • When are you going to switch?  Again, in between courses/blocks can make a lot of sense, but equally the system may be able to import/add customers to existing courses/blocks, which may make for a gradual switchover while you’re still seeing customers regularly face-to-face to smooth the inevitable (if hopefully infrequent) questions that come up.
  • Can you import customer data and create their accounts for them?
  • Is it easy for customers to claim their accounts?

We hope you found the post useful.  If you would like to speak about the above and discuss your online booking software and your fitness bootcamp booking software needs, please book a free consultation here or if you’d like to give Gymcatch a go for free for 1 month, please get started here.