Skip to main content
Category

Fitness business management archives and news

ASFA® and Gymcatch announce strategic partnership

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

The American Sports and Fitness Association® is pleased to announce its new partnership with Gymcatch. By providing great value booking and customer management software for fitness and wellness businesses from $10 per month, ASFA® recognizes Gymcatch’s commitment to making participation easier for all.

As a leading Personal Trainer & Fitness Certification provider, ASFA® recognizes and appreciates the need for companies like Gymcatch who create easy-to-use, affordable tools that help our customers manage their businesses, enabling them to do more of what they do best: bring exercise to their community.  We are delighted to offer our community 20% off their first 12 months on the service with code ASFA20. You can find out more about the service and register here.

Additionally, we are excited to proudly display Gymcatch’s logo on ASFA’s Partner Page with other leaders in the industry such as MyCPR NOW™ – the leading online CPR and First Aid Certification provider, Human Kinetics – the leader in fitness texts and manuals provider, Berxi – a Berkshire Hathaway company and more than 100 gym chains and fitness institutions.

 

Image for What's important in your cancellation policy?

What’s important in your cancellation policy?

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

If you have been receiving too many ‘I’m sorry I won’t be able to make it today at the very last minute, is time to set a cancellation policy and start protecting your income. Make this task item number one on your to-do list and keep on reading.

“There’s nothing worse than a cancellation” is a phrase we hear quite often at Gymcatch. Although it’s not quite true. Worse than cancellations are last-minute cancellations, and worse still, a no-show.

We’ve all been in that situation where you have prepared for a training session or class and a client cancels at the very last minute. Handling late cancellations and no-shows can be very difficult for your business, eat away precious income and waste the opportunity to get a new face or different client into the session.

Cancellations and no-shows are out of your control but they are bad for business and bad for morale.   What you can do is two things:

1) encourage responsible behaviour of your client base so to minimise cancellations, maximise the notice they give you when they cancel and eradicate no-shows in all  but extreme cases; and

2) mitigate the financial risk of cancellations.

There is a stack of evidence and proven processes which tells us that you can stop cancellations blighting your business. You don’t need to accept a high drop out rate and you shouldn’t.

Take payment at the point of booking

Cancellation rates at businesses where the client pays at the point of booking are 40% lower than at businesses which operate a pay-on-the-door model.

It’s just a fact of human psychology that once a client has paid for something they are far less likely to not show up or cancel it. Some businesses don’t like taking online payments either for reasons of not wanting to pay the card fees or because of additional admin. All the data points to that being a false economy. What you lose in card fees you’ll make back several-fold in reduced and non-refunded, cancellations.

This helps both sides of the cancellation risk: taking payment in advance reduces the number of cancellations and having the client’s money puts you in control of whether your policies allow a refund in the circumstances.

Do I need to let clients cancel at all?

A cancellation is always better than a no-show (because you’ve got a chance of filling the space). Not giving a client the means of cancelling doesn’t stop them from cancelling, it just means they don’t turn up and you won’t know about it in advance.

This is where having a booking software that automates tasks for you, such as booking confirmation messages and reminders, can be very useful and help reduce your no-shows as well as save you time. If you take a proactive approach, you will help minimize no-shows.


Automation of waitlists and refunds

While you can reduce the number of no-shows and cancellations they can’t be eradicated. But encouraging clients to act responsibly and follow a clear process if they need to cancel maximises the chance of you not being out of pocket.

Making it simple to cancel (and receive a refund if it is due) incentivises clients to do this and give you maximum notice.

And for clients who want to take a cancelled space, an instant waitlist which converts to bookings and that is easy to use saves you the bother of phoning round to try and fill a spot.

Do I need a cancellation policy?

Yes, you do. Every business should have a cancellation policy that sets the boundaries of its services. You don’t need to be a lawyer or to copy someone else’s policy. It just needs to very simply and in plain language set the rules that clients need to know when they book.

With this clear, no-surprises, approach a cancellation policy’s role goes beyond protecting your income and also protects your relationship with your client as it stipulates how you work and what your working boundaries are. Most client-provider relationships that break down, do so because of a lack of communication.

Don’t be afraid of making the terms onerous. Strict cancellation policies will encourage good clients to book rather than put them off because it places real value on the place – it demonstrates scarcity and that the client is buying something in demand.

Setting the tone at the very start, for example at sign-up stage will help bring more commitment from the client too. This doesn’t mean that you can’t use your discretion when a client comes to you with some particularly difficult circumstances – you’ve always got that option.

What should I include in a cancellation policy?

  1. Contact information
    How to contact you or your gym or studio. If your client needs to contact you to cancel a session make sure you tell them the process for that. Do you want them to contact you directly, if so how. Or do they need to cancel their booking on your booking system?
  2. Cancellation without penalty?
    Are you going to allow clients to cancel and provide them with a refund, provided they give you sufficient notice?
    Not all businesses do this. Some say that once you’ve booked there are no refunds. Others will always provide a refund no matter when the cancellation comes in. Most businesses fall somewhere in the middle.The whole point of this is to maximise your chance of selling the space that the client is cancelling. If you’re a business with packed waitlists and are regularly over-subscribed and your services are easy to participate in at short notice you can afford to allow cancellations until relatively late. E.g. 48 or 24 hours before the start time.If your session is harder to fill, you don’t have a regular waitlist, or the class is difficult to participate in at short notice then you will probably want the place on sale for longer. E.g. 1 week.We find that cancellation policies which allow refunds up until a few hours before the class start time are counter-productive and see low levels of client uptake on the newly available and more frequent cancellations.at least 24 or 48 hours before. Some will even charge a penalty fee if the 24- or 48-hour timeframe has been breached. If your client has adhered to the timeframe, however, you can give them the option to book into the next session.
  3. Cash refunds or credit
    It’s important to state in your cancellation policy whether you will issue a monetary refund, allow to reschedule or even include a penalty fee.  Offering a refund in the form of a credit to book another session will usually be the better option.  It cheats the revenue in the business, is lighter on admin and acts as a better tool for retention.
  4. Agreement
    When a client makes a booking you’re entering a contract with them so you need to know that you’ve got their agreement. Make sure they read and understood both your cancellation and refund policies. Having your clients tick or sign in the agreement will save any misunderstandings as they’re in clear knowledge of how you operate.

Gymcatch helps you minimise the number of cancellations. Our booking and management system lets you set your cancellation policy to suit your business needs. You can choose to automatically credit customers with a class package that lets them book a replacement class if they give you enough notice. And although cancellations are inevitable and when this happens, our waitlist feature set allows you to fill up the cancelled space fast.

 

 

 

Image for How to raise your prices blog post

How to communicate your price increase to your customers

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

Raising the prices of services can be daunting. We worry that we might lose clients on price, that we make them angry, upset and disappointed at us. We also feel a duty of care toward clients and don’t want to raise prices when we might know they are already struggling. Sometimes, we can even question whether our services are worth the extra cost.

These are completely normal emotions and entirely empathetic response to a difficult situation.

But, and it is a big but, you are almost certainly going to have to raise your prices.

If you have been postponing it for a while, now is a good time to get into action and do it in the best way possible for you and your clients. So, take a deep breath, and let’s dive into the key steps to take to make the transition easier for you, and for your clients.

By how much do you need to increase your classes, and in what timeframe?

Has inflation already started to bite you and by how much? Add up the additional costs that you now incur. That’s the minimum amount you need to make up by increasing your prices just to keep your take-home revenue the same. So, if your bills have done up by £100 / month and your monthly revenue is £1000 / month, you need to raise your prices by 10%.

You might decide actually that you can make some efficiency savings in your business which save £50 a month so you can actually raise prices by 5%.  But the thing to watch out for is that inflation doesn’t stay still. Inflation might add another £50 to your overheads in 6 months’ time and now there’s no more efficiency savings to make so you need to raise your prices again.

And here is your first choice which is do you raise your prices in a big chunk in one go to future-proof your pricing and keep your prices flat for a decent amount of time? Or do you raise prices incrementally through the year a little at a time?

The answer is probably that if you sell in long-term increments (annual memberships for example) you will need to raise your prices in one big jump now. Whereas if you sell more on a pay-as-you-go, or in weekly or monthly increments, you have far more flexibility to increase prices gradually.

 1. Communicate your price increase

Raising your prices without giving much warning and without clarity can cause unnecessary friction. The key is to communicate any changes to your customers effectively and allow for some time to adjust to the changes. People will understand you have to put prices up but for them, it’s just another increase so however understanding it’s not what they want to hear. Be as transparent as possible and provide them with a timeline that gives them plenty of time. If it’s practical, let them know individually or in small groups and in person.

People will appreciate that you’ve spoken to them and not just assumed that the increase will be fine or not care if the increase is too much for them. Once your customers know you can make an announcement but most of your clients will already know and appreciate the advance warning.

 2. Add value, foster loyalty, and build a community spirit

Adding value to your fitness services will aid with customer retention and acquisition. In general, people are willing to pay more if they feel they are getting more value for money. This can be anything form the service you provide, to the speed of your responses, to any free resources you give away, to the private groups you form etc. Adding value can put you in a unique position and help you differentiate from your competitors. At the end of the day, only you know what you do and how you do it, so be brave and consider yourself an expert in the field by driving conversations.

Are there a few little things you can add to your service which don’t cost you much or anything at all, but that your clients will appreciate as their prices go up. Checking in with clients a bit more to make sure they’re enjoying themselves, additional positive feedback, run little competitions and hand out little prizes (just tokens and silly things – not flat-screen TVs). This is all part of creating a mindset with customers that your services aren’t just an expense every week or month. Your services are an essential part of their physical and social routine that is essential for their mental and physical health.  Do everything you can to ensure your service isn’t a nice to have, it’s essential. You may want to read our top 5 tips for creating value for your customers.

 3. Pricing trade-offs

It might be with your business, especially if you’re still seeing a drop in numbers from Covid, that revenue right now is tight. You might therefore want to consider killing two birds with one stone and offering a chance for customers to avoid price increases in return for buying upfront. For example, you could offer a 1 year or 6-month membership where the client pays in full and upfront but at your current price?

Now there’s a trade-off – your profit margin on that customer is less than it would be if they were paying that in instalments at the higher price. But, you’ve got the money in the bank now. If you’ve got clients that fit the profile that can pay upfront, then it might well suit both you and them.

If your customers have been with you for a while, it is likely they can anticipate a price increase. Fitness professionals approaching price raises with attention and communicating the change successfully will likely not risk the customer relationship.

For more information on Gymcatch and how it can help your yogapilatesdance or personal training business. Get in contact to book a demo or start a free month.

Image for Guide to cutting costs not corners blog post

3 step guide to cutting costs for your fitness business

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

As a fitness or wellness professional, you’re probably already feeling the squeeze of rising costs and the impacts this will have on your business. Looking at your financial health and planning for the months ahead will prove an invaluable exercise.

And although there are some critical costs or expenses that can’t be avoided, there are others that can easily be reduced and get you to start saving money, fast.

We wanted to share a guide that might help you save money and get your business into better financial health by cutting common costs or expenses without jeopardizing your business’ potential to grow. This isn’t about cutting corners – this is about making sure that every penny you spend is well spent. Here’s a practical guide to cutting costs and improving business in three As.

1. Audit

What are you spending, on what and why? Are there alternatives to any item of expenditure, are there items that you can eradicate by changing your internal processes?  On revenue, what are your attendance and cancellation rates, and how are your products and services performing?

Write down every process or cost associated with your business. Don’t restrict yourself to the obvious things. This is every expense, policy process. Think about cancellation policies, waitlist, communications, marketing, the operations of your business, the time you spend on different elements, your training and development. This is a deep dive into everything in your professional life.

Break down every detail of your business, no matter how small or no matter how long that expense has been in your business. Take nothing for granted and don’t pass off small costs. The accumulation of marginal gains goes straight to your bottom line.

2. Analyse

What are the little changes you can make to improve your profitability? These might all be small changes individually, but when you add them up, they can really make a difference.

The SCAMPER method will help you find the best and most innovative solution. SCAMPER is the acronym for (substitute, combine, adapt, modify, put, eliminate and reverse) and encourages you to improve existing processes.

Take your list of expenses and process and say for each of those and apply the SCAMPER options to each of them. Is there a substitute, can you adapt or modify it?

Is there something you use but you could use something less expensive? Do you use something which doesn’t actually pay for itself? Are you doing work that you could push back on your clients?

This table gives you an example of how to analyse the operations of your business:

3. Action

Now that you have worked out what savings you can make, is time to get stuck in with planning and work out how you will operationally manage your business so that your costs remain low, you reinvest where you need to, and simultaneously your efficiency runs high.

See this as a new opportunity to reinvent some of the things you do and bring added value to your customers. By connecting with your most loyal customers, they will be feeding you tons of great insight. Use this information to improve the way you communicate with your audience to truly connect with them and grow your community. Adding value will help you figure your niche and stay one step ahead of everyone else.

 

These are our top 5 tips for creating value for your customers:

  1. Make it easy for your customers to book and pay. Everyone dislikes a painful buying experience. Make this easy for them, and yourself and automate this. They will love getting notified and being able to have control over their class or appointment booking schedule.
  2. Leverage the power of customer testimonials. Make sure you reward your loyal few and fill their inboxes with discount codes and other incentives they can use to encourage them to invite friends and family.
  3. Make sure your customers hear from you, and often. Staying top of mind is an artform and you want to make sure your name pops to mind even at the dinner party. Give them access to free resources such as healthy tips guides, helpful facts and reminders, or an inspirational story.
  4. Create a VIP room. You can use Facebook to bring your most loyal customers together in a place where they can feel inspired and motivated, and hear the most up to date news from you. Add them to a priority list in your booking system too so that they get access to booking ahead of anyone else and can secure their spot!
  5. Do what you love. When you do the things you love you become more productive and motivated. Automating and delegating some of the boring admin tasks with software will enable you to do more of what you love and gain more time to engage more with your customers.

 

Once you have audited your expenses or costs and know the actions you need to take to make some savings, you’ll want to make sure your booking and customer management software is affordable and easy to use for you and your customers. That’s where Gymcatch can help you, get in contact with us today.

How to become a dance instructor

By Dance, Fitness business management archives and news

It’s International Dance Day today and what a better way to celebrate than sharing some of my top tips on how to make the jump from dance enthusiast to dance fitness instructor.

Moving towards a new career or class concept armed with rhythm and a desire to make people feel amazing, can seem like a dream come true for many. It was for me over 10 years ago now, when I turned my dancing career into fitness and took the giant leap to become qualified and gain a few group instructor licences under my belt. The journey has come with some challenges, like for most, but I have managed to overcome these and gone onto launch my own business and support hundreds of group instructors with their fitness business.

Here I would like to share my top 5 tips on how to get started with becoming a dance fitness instructor.

1. Find your vibe

There are so many different styles of dance and dance fitness as well as a whole host of teaching methods. If you have a passion for a certain style of dance or music then this will start to pave the way towards a certain brand or creating your own class around a specific theme.

There really is something for everyone in dance fitness – for instructors and participants, which is GREAT because we are all so different with what we love and are truly passionate about helping people stay active.

2. Connect with your clients and potential clients

It might sound basic, but what is your market really looking for? This will help shape how you construct your class if you are going freestyle. If they are after something upbeat with a higher intensity then that will let you know what bpm or movement patterns you might look at. Do they already have experience in dancing? Could this be the first fitness dance class they have ever done? Then that will change what you might add in too. The same goes for branded concepts. Choose something that fits you AND your target market will make it a lot easier to sell as well as to connect with.

3. Make sure you have the right qualifications

Ensure that whatever qualifications you have extend to the concept you wish to cover. The first port of call for someone with no fitness or dance background would be to look at a group exercise qualification. Being qualified in the style of class you want to teach will also help you to pick up cover work at a gym or studio which will help you hit the ground running.

4 Reach out to local instructors

If you are looking to teach but you have no experience, why not attend a variety of classes whilst you work out what it is you truly love. Let the instructor know that you’re intending to train up and they will no doubt be able to point you in the direction of other places to go locally or centres to reach out to that might need extra cover.

5. Think outside of the box

If you’re looking for cover work, then sure, it makes sense to offer a class that’s popular in your local area. But if it’s your own class that you’re looking for, perhaps it would be better to stand out in a busy market than offer the same style or concept. There is something magical about not being afraid to be yourself and teaching a class that makes you feel confident and your clients will feel exactly the same when they connect with you.

If you decide to start a career as a dance instructor, you may want to consider investing in fitness management software like Gymcatch to help you manage your schedule, clients and payments.

Image for Handling late cancellations for your fitness business blog post

Handling late cancellations for your fitness business

By Fitness business management archives and news, Gym and studios

Throughout my many years managing big-box health clubs and consulting with other fitness businesses of all types, the issue of how to effectively handle cancellations was always top of mind.

Cancellations can be a major hindrance to any fitness business.  The amount of lost revenue that adds up if you’re not properly protected can reach staggering numbers.

But the issue with how to handle cancellations can go deeper than just the loss of revenue.  How you approach the conversation with your members or clients is one of the most critical, yet sensitive topics to have.  So in essence, this isn’t just an accounting issue, it’s also deeply rooted in customer service and speaks to you, your culture, and how you run your business effectively.

How many times has this happened to you… You get up at 5am, throw on some clothes, and get to work just in time for your 6am client. You might arrive a few minutes early and get the chance to check your email when low and behold, at 5:40am there’s an email from your 6am client stating they had to cancel. Great way to start of the day, huh?

This is why it’s critical that you protect yourself and your business with a policy that works. Now depending on what type of business you run and whether it’s a class setting, SGT, one on one training, there can be a lot of variations.  For training clients, typically what I’ve seen work best is a 24-hour cancellation policy – sent from the client to the studio owner, gym owner, or trainer, etc…IN WRITING. Anything less than 24 hours they get charged, simple and straightforward.

For class settings, this can vary widely.  Some businesses provide a window of being able to cancel anywhere from 4 hours up to 10 hours before class without penalty.  If the participant of the class goes past that time frame, I’ve seen a small penalty assessed (anywhere from $5-$20) depending on where you’re located and what is the norm.  Additionally, if it goes past the allowed cancellation time many fitness businesses employ a strict “no-show” policy where the participant is billed $15-$30 (sometimes more).

There are many variations of these policies, but it’s critically important to have one in place. Do not fall victim to the “nice guy” mentality when a client might try and guilt trip you out of charging them.

To go one step further, I did a lot of research through our member base here at the  Fitness Business Association (FBA) and spoke with numerous types of fitness businesses and below are four ways to handle the conversation with clients or class participants.

Make sure, as a business owner yourself, you implement these strategies asap.

  1. “It’s all about setting up expectations from the start. It’s on the bottom of every email I send underneath my signature. If there’s no confusion about the policy, they won’t question it.”
  2. “I say that this policy is in place ‘to protect my time and our instructors’ time’. The most important thing to say though is that judging cancellations on a case-by-case basis would be completely unprofessional and compromise our integrity. Otherwise, your clients will think you will make a special exception for them because their situation is special.”
  3. “Here is a rough outline of what I say to clients. Sometimes I soften it up if I’m talking to clients I know well…As you know, we have a 24-hour cancellation policy here for all training sessions so you will be charged for the session you missed today. I set time aside and prepare for each appointment I have and I’m only paid for the appointments that I complete, so, this policy is in place to protect my time. Judging cancellations on a case-by-case basis would be completely unprofessional so I apply the policy uniformly and fairy to all my clients. I’m sure you can understand how important this is in terms of protecting my professional integrity.”
  4. “In an attempt to be as understanding and flexible as possible, I always allow my clients to make up this session within the week that they canceled if there is a time that works conveniently for both our schedules. So let me know if and when you would be free to make it up. Thanks for your understanding”

As you can see from the above examples, it’s a sensitive topic that should be handled with care.  The last thing you want is to make your client feel embarrassed at any point in time.  You never want these types of conversations to happen in public and should always be handled privately.

Remember, whether you’re training in your home, at a studio or gym, if you run your own studio, gym, or club – you are a business and you need to protect your business.  It’s never too late to integrate one of these policies into your business.

 

Image for How to thrive as a personal trainer blog post

How to thrive as a personal trainer: What’s your niche?

By Fitness business management archives and news, Gym and studios

How do you ensure your job as a personal trainer is benefitting your clients and is highly rewarding for you, too? Here, FitPro, the largest organisation in the UK for fitness professionals, dives deep into how you can thrive – and not just survive – as a personal trainer.

Personal training is a career of early starts and late finishes. Let’s face it: it’s not just a job, it’s a lifestyle. It’s not unheard of for 50 hours spent at the gym to translate into 25 hours of actual personal training – there are often gaps between clients, even if you’re a whizz with the scheduling.

However, a savvy personal trainer will use this time well, getting the admin and client programming done and performing their own workouts. After all, personal training is a strenuous business. PTs must be robust and comfortable being on their feet all day, providing demonstrations of technique, which requires a lot of practice. Not to mention being sociable and energetic all day!

To be a successful personal trainer, you need to gain the right qualifications. Most courses begin with a Gym Instructor (Level 2) qualification, which gives you the basics, before moving on to the Personal Trainer (Level 3) qualification to upgrade your knowledge and coaching skills so you can work with people on a one-to-one basis. There are also specialist qualifications, some of which we will mention here. You also need to be insured, which is a legal requirement for a personal trainer.

So, let’s discover which type of personal trainer you are and how you can thrive in your chosen specialism.

There are many niches to explore as a personal trainer. If you can discern early on what type of coach you’d like to be – for example, working with special populations, athletes or aspiring beach bodies – you can concentrate on building a strong business model with specific skillsets gained through qualifications, plus a solid understanding of the area you’d like to work in. Let’s take a look at a few of those areas here and how you can thrive in them:

1. Special populations

Special populations are diverse. You may choose to work with pre- or postnatal women to facilitate a healthy birth, pregnancy and start to motherhood, or you may work with children to encourage a lifelong love of exercise. Perhaps providing disabled people with training opportunities that support a healthy life is what moves you, or you may choose to work with the ageing population, helping elderly people to enjoy activity in their later years and reap the benefits it brings. Alternatively, you may wish to support those who have been ill or injured, working on a referral basis with other professionals to help clients return to doing things they enjoy. Each avenue offers unique challenges for you.

To thrive as a special population’s personal trainer, you should:

  • meet your client where they are – at their current level of ability – while planning progressive, smart training programmes to aid their development
  • build trust – being patient, a great communicator and having the ability to inspire will help you to build trust with your client
  • know your onions when it comes to your client’s specialist area. Do your homework – but don’t overstep the mark. Refer back to other professionals if you need to
  • build a support network around yourself – having other health professionals you trust and can refer out to gives your client a wider scope of treatments and solutions.

Useful qualifications for a personal trainer working with special populations include Level 3 Exercise Referral; FAI; ViPR Active Ageing; ViPR Kids; and Pre- and Postnatal.

2. Sports specific

Whether you work with elite, semi-professional or recreational athletes, as a sports-specific PT you will be tasked with finding the margins that help make the difference between winning and losing. You’ll need to work well with other team members, such as coaches, managers and physios, to collectively create the ultimate grounding for success.

To thrive as a sports-specific PT, you should:

  • support your client to fulfil their athletic potential, strengthening movement patterns and energy systems that are particular to the sport and athlete
  • be able to work in conjunction with other professionals to create a team around the athlete
  • perform a lot of research into the specific sport you will be coaching athletes for, along with its movement and energy requirements
  • remain up to date with the latest scientific research
  • learn the skill of planning training blocks to work with the sporting calendar and competition needs
  • build trust and rapport with your athlete to create a successful programme.

Useful qualifications for a sports-specific personal trainer include strength and conditioning courses; Olympic weightlifting courses; and SAQ courses.

3. Body transformation

The primary goal of a body transformation PT is to help their clients look better. However, achieving aesthetic goals also increases people’s confidence, self-esteem and self-worth, as well as improves fitness and health. Achieving a weight-loss goal may also help a client to feel mentally stronger and improve classic health markers, such as the risk of heart problems and diabetes.

Once clients achieve their targets, body transformation coaches can progress their clients’ achievements further, for example, building and sculpting muscle or reducing body fat.

To thrive as a body transformation PT, you should:

  • understand muscle anatomy, and how to isolate and train target groups in a variety of different ways
  • understand metabolism and how to provide clients with the best nutrition plans to achieve the transformation
  • help and support clients to change their behaviours so they can make long-term, sustainable changes
  • be brilliant at motivation, to enable clients to remain engaged with their programme
  • be able to market yourself in a visual way to demonstrate the outcomes your programmes can achieve.

Useful qualifications for a body transformation PT include nutrition courses; behaviour change courses; and weight management courses.

4. Health and performance

Working as a health and performance personal trainer is great for those who want to help improve their clients’ health and fitness, feel stronger and fitter, move better and enjoy a more active lifestyle (often without pain or discomfort) – from playing with the grandkids to getting outside for long hikes and everything in between. Health and performance PTs will also work with clients who are recovering from injury or illness and feel they need some extra help to get them to where they want to be.

To thrive as a health and performance PT, you should:

  • understand human movement and, therefore, be able to identify and address movements and systems that require improving
  • be able to progress and regress exercises in creative ways to suit the needs of each individual client – one size does not fit all – finding bespoke ways to help clients overcome their barriers with confidence
  • bring a fun element to your functional training
  • be able to communicate with clients honestly and clearly, explaining the complexities of the human body in a way a client can understand.

Useful qualifications for an HPC include Biomechanics Method; Pain-Free Movement Specialist; ViPR LMT1 and 2.

Whatever your choice of specialism as a PT, it’s important to keep moving forward, adding to your skillset and reviewing your knowledge. Read more about FitPro’s courses here.

 

 

 

 

Personal trainer

Switching to Gymcatch: some answers to common questions

By Fitness business management archives and news

Switching to Gymcatch is super easy for both; you and your customers. We have helped many fitness professionals make the switch with ease so that they can do more of what they love. Here are some of the most common questions we get asked. 

I don’t want to pay for two systems at once. When do I start paying?

Gymcatch is free for the first month so you have a full month to transition from your old system. If you need longer to transition, just speak to our team who will be able to help you. We don’t want you to be paying until you’re ready!

Is it easy to move my clients over to switch?

Yes we make it easy for you to import your client base, to create accounts for your clients and for clients to create their own accounts and find you on Gymcatch.  Switching to Gymatch is super easy, there are step by step guides for whichever route you want to use.

Do you have support?

Yes we have live support during office hours and you can book an appointment with our team at any time.

If clients have pre-paid on my old system, can this be reflected in Gymcatch?

Yes, if you have clients who have bought memberships or blocks (or any other product) from you, you can add the equivalent product to their account on Gymcatch. Then when they log in, they’ll see that service there.

How long does it take to set up my Gymcatch account?

Setting up on Gymcatch can take as little as few minutes depending on how the complexity of your business model. If you have a busy schedule and lots of different pricing structures it will take a little longer but even the most complex businesses should be up and running in an hour or so. And if there’s anything you’re struggling with we have set guides for all our features, and a support team ready to take your questions.

How can Gymcatch do what I need for so much less than my old system?

We’ve got a different business model to many of our competitors. We’re priced so that basically any independent fitness and wellness business can afford to use us. So we cost between £10 and £24 / month with no additional costs.

We would rather have more customers paying less whereas more expensive systems concentrate on serving a smaller number of businesses who can pay more.

We don’t compromise on core functionality though. So you get native mobile apps and all the core features an independent fitness and wellness business needs.

But what we don’t offer are features that only a small percentage of our customers will use. But for the core features for you and your clients that has everything you need – we’ve got it covered.

So our pricing isn’t a catch with either an inferior service or hidden charges down the road, we just want to keep our prices low and serve a bigger part of the industry.

What if I decide Gymcatch isn’t for me?

First of all we’d recommend giving it time. We don’t necessarily do everything exactly as you are used to and exactly like your previous system does. Sometimes we find that clients don’t realise just how much functionality Gymcatch has when they can’t see it straight away. So check our feature demos and with our support team who can help.

If after all, though, you decided Gymcatch isn’t the right fit for you, then you can cancel any time. There’s no tie-in or minimum contract left.

Ready to switch? Let us help you run your business! Gymcatch is free for the first month so you can test all its features and functionality. Start saving time, money and increase your revenue!

 

In-person fitness class

How to price your in-person fitness classes

By Fitness business management archives and news, HIIT and group

Pricing your in-person fitness classes is probably one of the most difficult decisions you have had to make for your business. Here, personal trainer, Anna Martin shares her top tips on setting your prices right.

Know your area and your target market
Every area has a price ceiling. This is going to differ depending on where you are and your local demographics. So it’s important to benchmark your price against other local fitness providers. The closer the service the better the comparison.

For example, while you can compare the price of small group training at a gym to the price of a dance fitness class, you have acknowledged that it’s a different experience and market and the client’s willingness to pay will differ. It’s important to understand what’s driving fitness consumers’ decisions to buy your services.

Most of us want to charge a fair price: provide a great service that offers the client value, but which also makes us feel valued, appreciated, and attributing a price to your own effort, skills and experience.

Within reason, price is not among the primary factors when clients are buying fitness. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that as long as you’re cheap, you’ll get full classes.

Value your skills, education and experience
If you’ve been teaching for a while, you have accumulated a set of skills. Those skills are a combination of the education earned as well as the experience you’ve gained from all the days in the trenches helping different bodies stay fit and well.

This should be considered when setting up your prices. Just because someone locally is charging less than you, don’t feel you need to price match. If you’re offering something better, charge more!

Likewise, if you are supplying quality equipment to do the class you should charge for that (and make sure your clients know they are getting the best kit). Similarly, if you are providing a service that is capacity-constrained, and therefore are restricted on numbers, that will probably also mean that you will need to increase the class price.

Don’t be embarrassed at increasing your pricing for your fitness classes. You’re not ripping-off customers: if you’re providing a quality product your client base will have no problem paying a proper price for it.

Keep a close eye on your overheads
Work out what you need to make from that class in order to make it worth you doing it (after all you have bills to pay too) and then calculate any per head or per hour cost that you may need to charge in order to make it profitable.

Include all your overheads too. Your travel, your admin time, your client support outside of the class, marketing, insurance, licenses etc.: it’s not just the hire of the venue and the time spent at the front of the class which your clients need to pay for.

One of the worst things you can do is to go in too low because you’re scared to ask for more. It breeds resentment and it’s also self-defeating. And that is the LAST emotion you want to have walking into a room full of people who are there waiting for you to bring the magic.

Your prices will go up, this is a fact of life. You can’t make yourself immune from inflation.

From experience, most price increases in group exercise happen when we need to, not because we would like to. It is unlikely that your price increase isn’t fair, one of the few drawbacks in this industry is that we tend to undersell ourselves when we should value ourselves more.

Increasing your prices is just a matter of good communication. Let them know face to face that it’s going to happen and then email them, giving them plenty of notice (as in weeks or even 1-2 months rather than days). But don’t make a big deal of it.

Make sure everyone knows in a thorough way, let them know when the prices will increase and to what, then move on. What you don’t want or need is spending months or weeks talking about your prices.

It’s a distraction and it’s boring and it’s not what your clients are paying for. You might lose the odd client. But it’s far better to lose the odd client at your new price than hang on to those clients charging an unsustainable amount.

Keep things simple
A common mistake that fitness instructors make is to create overly complicated pricing structures, often to try and be all things to all people. This is often self-defeating.

While lots of us are creatures of habit and show a bit of reluctance to change, you should not tie yourself to running your business in a way you don’t want to, just because you are worried about changing things up for certain clients.

Communicate clearly, explain why you need to change the way you run your business and your clients will understand and change. Spare yourself, bespoke pricing, making bookings for people, bank transfers etc. Advertise a fair, simple, and transparent price structure and ask clients to get onboard.

If you don’t give them a choice they will. If you are timid and do give them a choice, people will instinctively want to stick to what they know. That’s not because the way they do it is better, it’s just because it’s what they are used to and they don’t like change!

Lastly, now that you have worked out the right pricing for your fitness classes is time to think about your lead generation strategy and how to get more customers through the door.

For more information on Gymcatch and how it can help your yogapilatesdance or personal training business. Get in contact to book a demo or start a free month.

On-Demand fitness library

How to create an on-demand fitness library

By Fitness business management archives and news

Have you been considering creating an online fitness library? You probably have lots of questions about where to start, what software to use, how to price your videos, and how to sell them.

We asked Anna Martin, Personal Trainer and owner at AMF World to give us the inside knowledge on how to create inspiring video content to grow your business.
 
1.      Stay tuned to your audience
The first port of call is to listen to your audience. Find out what people actually want and why they want to get it from you. Ask your target audience about class styles, how they want to access it alongside ideal workout duration times workouts to be, how they want the workouts to be delivered and what other information they would want alongside those workouts to make it super effective. Remember your clients want to be told what to do and on what day so point them to the right place in your library As a business owner, the more information and feedback you can receive from your client, the easier it becomes to guide them to the right content in your library.

2.      Consider your business goals and how On-Demand fits in
Is this something you want to use in conjunction with live or streamed classes? Is this a completely stand-alone product reaching a different market? Are you making it for a specific business client? What your goals are for this product will dictate how you decide to put it together. If you want it to work in conjunction with something you are already doing, then you need to work out how this integrates and interacts with what you are doing.

For example, are these On-Demand workouts going to be completely different to what you have on your timetable? Or are they designed to be there for those that couldn’t make it to the live classes?  Once you have worked out what the purpose of your On-Demand section is, it will be much easier to form a vision of how you want it to look.

3.      Finding the right video solution
Not every fitness professional has a natural aptitude or inclination to digitise their services, the majority would much rather be focusing on running classes and sessions over getting to grips with a new piece of business software. If even the mere thought of introducing tech to your business leaves you in a cold sweat, the chances are you need a simple solution or someone to do it for you. An easy-to-use and affordable platform such as Gymcatch enables fitness professionals to package and sell their products online.

This could be a collection of videos stored on something like YouTube, Facebook Groups or Vimeo platform, then offering the service through your website might be preferable. Check out Wix and V-Healthy for video solutions but there are many more ways of doing it.

4. Monetising from your fitness video content
Are you planning to charge a monthly or weekly subscription? Or are you going to charge per video or per series of videos? This will be impacted by the areas we have talked about in the points above. How will you collect payment? Do you have software that can handle recurring payments, or would it be easier to charge one collection at a time? Charging per project or per video may take the pressure off in terms of content creation but a subscription may give you a more reliable sideline.

Check out the point below before you make a decision. Obviously, we are not all providing our fitness expertise and content for people out of the goodness of our hearts so working out how you are going to charge for your services is important. Many fitness professionals charge weekly or monthly subscriptions whilst many others charge per video or per bundle of videos. Whilst charging per project can take the pressure away from the content creation side, a subscription service ensures a more reliable revenue stream.

4.      Distributing your video content
If you provide a subscription, what’s your release schedule going to be like? If you say you’re going to release videos every month or week then you have to release those videos if people are already paying for them upfront. From experience, I would always start on the lower side so you’re underselling what you will do and exceeding clients’ expectations. If you promise to release five new videos a week and then you only manage three a month, people will be disappointed. If you edit your own videos rather than just recording them live and leaving them up, factor in the time it’s going to take to get those done.

The most important thing is that this is a viable source of income or client retention, avoid letting it become a viable source of stress by overestimating what you’re able to achieve – especially if you are a one-man-band. When distributing your content my main piece of advice is to start small, it is more important that your content lands as promised to your paying subscribers rather than omitting or delaying content. If you promise five videos per month and can only provide three then your client base will start asking questions of you. Overpromising on content and time, especially for one-man operations like many in the fitness industry is more likely to generate stress than it is to generate a viable income stream.