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Handling late cancellations for your fitness business

By Fitness business management archives and news, Gym and studios

In the fitness industry, last-minute cancellations are an unfortunate fact of life.  Therefore, it’s important that you not only factor cancellations into your budgeting and planning, but actively take steps to minimise the likelihood of last-minute no-shows.

However, the issue of cancellations delves beyond mere revenue loss. It involves proper communication with your members or clients, making it one of the most crucial yet sensitive aspects to address. At its core, this isn’t just about accounting; it’s also rooted in customer service, reflecting your business culture, values, and operational effectiveness.

We’ve all encountered scenarios like this: Rise at 5 AM, hastily dress, and arrive just in time for a 6 AM client session. As you check your emails a few minutes ahead, you discover an email from your 6 AM client, announcing their cancellation at 5:40 AM. A frustrating start to the day, right?

That’s why safeguarding yourself and your business through a well-defined policy is imperative. Now, depending on your business type—be it classes, semi-private training, or one-on-one sessions—variations in cancellation policies can be substantial. For personal training clients, a 24-hour cancellation notice, transmitted in writing from the client to the studio owner or trainer, often proves effective. Failure to provide a notice within 24 hours results in a charge—simple and direct.

In class settings, the spectrum widens. Some businesses allow cancellations within a window of 4 to 10 hours before the class without penalties. Exceeding this time frame could incur a minor fee ($5-$20), depending on industry norms. If cancellations extend beyond the permissible limit, several fitness enterprises impose a stringent “no-show” policy, billing participants $15-$30, or even more.

Though policies vary, establishing a cancellation policy is vital. Resist the temptation to be overly accommodating, especially when clients attempt to evade charges.

Handling late cancellations for your fitness business

Josh Leve, the founder & CEO of the Fitness Business Association (FBA) and SUCCEED! conducted research within the Fitness Business Association (FBA) member base and engaged with diverse fitness businesses to outline four strategies for discussing cancellations with clients or class participants.

The research concluded that fitness business owners should promptly integrate the below strategies when it comes to cancellation policies:

  • Set clear expectations: Clearly communicate your policy in every email communication, ensuring no ambiguity. By eliminating confusion about the policy, you preempt potential questions or challenges.
  • Emphasize professional integrity: Convey that the cancellation policy protects not only your time but also that of instructors. Stress that subjective judgment on cancellations would compromise professional integrity, promoting consistency.
  • Be transparent in communication: Provide clients with a concise explanation, framed in a courteous tone. Explain that the 24-hour cancellation policy safeguards your time, clarifying that uniform application ensures fairness and professionalism.
  • Provide flexible rescheduling: Display understanding and flexibility by allowing clients to reschedule canceled sessions within the week. This approach showcases client-centricity while maintaining business integrity.These examples reveal the sensitive nature of the topic. The goal is to avoid embarrassing clients and ensure private resolution of cancellation matters. Conversations of this nature should always remain confidential.

Remember, whether you operate from your home, a studio, or a gym, as a business owner, protecting your enterprise is vital. It’s never too late to implement a cancellation policy. If last-minute cancellations plague your business, it’s time to adopt a cancellation policy and safeguard your earnings. 

Cancellation strategies for your fitness business with automation

The truth is, last-minute cancellations and no-shows are the true challenges. These not only impact your revenue but also hinder the opportunity to fill vacant slots with new attendees.

Cancellations and no-shows may be beyond your control, but their effect on your business and morale is undeniable. Two core strategies can help:

  1. Encourage responsible behavior: Guide your clients to adhere to responsible scheduling and timely cancellations, reducing no-shows and cancellations.
  2. Mitigate financial risk: Protect your business from cancellations through upfront payment at booking and a well-structured cancellation policy.

Research demonstrates that businesses adopting upfront payment experience 40% fewer cancellations. Human psychology dictates that once payment is made, commitment increases. Despite potential concerns about card fees or admin tasks, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

Consider automating tasks through booking software to enhance efficiency and reduce no-shows. Embrace proactive measures to diminish no-shows effectively.

Automating waitlists and refunds streamlines the process and promotes responsible behavior. While cancellations can’t be eradicated, clients adhering to a straightforward cancellation process enhance the odds of minimizing financial loss.

A comprehensive cancellation policy is a necessity for any business. Tailor your policy to your business’s nature and location. Ensure clients comprehend your cancellation and refund policies by incorporating them into the sign-up process, fostering understanding and commitment.

In the dynamic landscape of fitness, cancellations are a challenge, but not an insurmountable one. By embracing strategies to incentivize responsible behavior and adopting a robust cancellation policy, you pave the way for a smoother business journey. Don’t be apprehensive about setting firm terms—stringent policies underscore the value of your offerings, making clients appreciate the privilege of participation.

Integrating a cancellation policy is never too late. Streamline your operations and safeguard your business with Gymcatch’s online booking software and management system, customizing cancellation policies to match your business needs. Embrace these strategies, stay proactive, and keep cancellations from dimming your business’s shine.

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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 Gymcatch?

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. Please visit gymcatch.com/pricing for pricing information.

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!

If you want to start saving time, money and increase your revenue check out our fitness and wellness booking software for more information.

 

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 group fitness business software 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 personal training booking 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.

8 client lead generation strategies for fitness professionals

By Fitness business management archives and news

Here are 8 productive channels for generating new client leads. You’ll have a good idea of which are going to work best for you and where to concentrate your efforts.



For all of thee angles remember the three golden rules for engaging new clients.

A. Keep It simple. Make sure everything you communicate is clear and concise.

B. Call to action. Always include a clear call to action in your materials and communication. Tell the client exactly what they need to do next.

C. Track your strategies. Design your outreach in a way that you can track what’s working and what isn’t. This might be asking clients to quote “OFFER A”,“PARTNER B” “REFEREE C” when they respond to one of your offers. However you track results, it’s important you do it so you can avoid spending time on strategies that just don’t work.

  1. Referral scheme

    Your existing clients are your best route to new clients. This will happen organically, people talk about things they like and they want their friends to enjoy things they like with them.

    Your job here is to make it easy for people to bring along a friend and to make the client feel valued for making that recommendation.

  2. Physical Advertising

    Your in-person services are what marketeers call hyper-local. Most people do not travel long distances to attend fitness and wellness. Those services necessarily take place somewhere convenient.

    This makes old fashioned physical advertising a valuable tactic. Posters and fliers in prominent local places with high footfall of people in your demographics. Where do your clients go? Get your marketing materials up there.

    And remember – always give include a call to action: whether that be contact details, the times of your sessions… whatever you want your client to do next. Spell it out and make it easy.

  3. Social marketing

    Social networks are where many of your clients will spend most of their online time. If that’s true for your client base, it’s also where you should be investing sales time. That doesn’t mean you need to have a super-sales-y social profile, nor does it mean you need to think about paid ads. But what it does mean that having an engaging, responsive and vibrant social channels where you interact organically with your client base will be a lead generator in its own right. Having an online marketing strategy will help refine your social media efforts.

  4. Reciprocal marketing

    Are there local businesses who have the same client base as you? Some sort of complementary service? This could be a cafe, salon, bookshop? Can you do a deal with them to promote each other to your client bases. A special stamp card for coffee at the local cafe for your clients? 10% off at the book store for your clients.

    And they can offer some sort of reciprocal deal in their stores to promote your business.

  5. Profile building

    Sometimes when trying to generate leads you’ve got to think laterally. Are there opportunities for you to raise your profile locally? Could you volunteer to do a free session at a care home or a youth club for example? Those markets might not be directly in core market but running those sessions first of all might provide a valuable service to the community, but also if you run those sessions other people might here about it? Staff and residents of the care home and youth workers, parents and teachers of the kids at the youth club will here about you with a very positive image.

  6. Local influencer

    Do you know anyone with a big local influence and following? It could be a local blogger or just someone with a high profile in the community. We’re not talking a TV A-lister, just someone locally with a bit of a footprint. If you can find one why not invite them to a class, or if that’s not a possibility, would they be willing to mention your services to their following.

  7. Intro offers

    People’s buying habits differ. For a lot of people, within reason, price doesn’t really come into play when they are making a buying decision. But for others, particularly when trying something new, there can be reticence about spending money on something they aren’t sure if  they will enjoy.

    For that reason introductory offers are a good idea to make the decision to walk through the door a shot to nothing. In the grand scheme of it it’s also a pretty sound investment for you too. Sure, there will be some clients who come for a discount session or a free session and you won’t see them again. But for a far larger number of clients who may otherwise have not taken the plunge, you’ll have a long-term client.

  8. PR

    Advertising can be expensive but you don’t always need to pay to get into local media. PR is strategy of “selling in” a story to media outlets. If you can come up with something interesting and newsworthy your local media might well be interested in covering it. This needs to be something topical, different, extravagant that will interest the readers of the publication. You won’t get much interest if you ask them to run a story saying that you’re launching a new class on a Monday morning. But you might have more luck if you organised a 24 hour event fundraising for a local charity. 

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

Online marketing tactics for fitness businesses

By Fitness business management archives and news

In the ever-evolving landscape of fitness and wellness, establishing a powerful online marketing presence has gone from an option to a necessity. As digital screens continue to capture more attention, the process of employing strategic online tactics becomes a pivotal aspect of success. In this article, we navigate through a diverse array of online marketing strategies to empower your fitness business.

Steps to successful online marketing for your fitness business

Creating an impactful online marketing presence is vital for fitness and wellness professionals. As digital the fitness industry becomes increasingly digitised, understanding effective online strategies is without parallel.

Today, Google commands a massive online presence, but it’s social media that claims the majority of people’s time. Over 4 billion individuals possess social media accounts, spending an average of 1 hour and 15 minutes online daily. Major platforms such as YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram are facilitating content creation and sharing, opening doors to expansive paid and organic advertising opportunities for brands. Let’s take a closer look.

Building blocks for a successful online fitness business 

A solid marketing foundation hinges on a clear comprehension of your brand identity. Your messaging should encapsulate your values and set you apart within the fitness landscape. Personalization is the key to resonating with your audience, illustrating the tangible benefits your services offer. Authenticity in messaging fosters motivation and shapes purchasing decisions. For example, highlighting that you are a working mom who understands the complexities of fitting exercise around a busy home life, and portraying this messaging to your audience.

  1. Leveraging the power of social proof

Credibility is the foundation of effective marketing, and social proof acts as the anchor. Elevate your messaging with genuine customer testimonials and harness the support of your thriving social media community. Garnering testimonials with proper permissions and encouraging social media follows nurtures engagement, bolstering your reach and reinforcing your reputation.

  1. Mastering Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

A robust search engine presence is non-negotiable in the quest for online discoverability. While constructing a fully optimized website demands effort and time, explore options like an SEO-optimized page furnished by your booking system. Regular content updates and adherence to Google’s ranking criteria amplify your online presence.

  1. Embracing the paid digital advertising

Paid advertising on platforms like Facebook and Google offers a laser-focused avenue to reach your target demographic. Tailoring campaigns based on demographics and interests accelerates visibility. Grasping the fundamentals of campaign management empowers you to execute effective campaigns independently.

  1. Continual strategic testing

Innovation thrives on experimentation. Begin with controlled tests to unearth strategies that resonate with your audience. Data analysis guides refinement, ensuring resources are directed toward tactics yielding optimal outcomes.This may sound complicated, but it could be as simple as taking a look at your social media in-app analytics and figuring out trends.

  1. Expert assistance

For those seeking professional guidance, local marketing agencies provide invaluable support, especially in deciphering intricate technical aspects. Their expertise fine-tunes your marketing strategy, optimizing returns on investment.

Unveiling insights through data

Digital marketing’s chief benefit lies in the wealth of data it offers. Real-time access to your channel’s performance and audience behavior enables precise evaluation of content success. Analyzing this data before constructing your next marketing plan is a prudent approach to refining your strategies.


The power of video marketing

TikTok has exceeded 1 billion users, ranking as the 7th most popular social network in 2021. Facebook and YouTube hold strong positions atop the popularity charts. With over 500 million daily viewers on Facebook and an impressive 84% of individuals affirming their propensity to purchase products or services after watching videos, video marketing emerges as a compelling strategy.

Navigating social commerce

 Modern consumers expect seamless purchasing directly through social media platforms for convenience. Projections indicate US social commerce sales will soar to $80 billion, offering colossal global potential. Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok lead the way with features like browse, discover, and in-app checkout options, capitalizing on this evolving trend.

Unlocking online memberships

Managing diverse customer packages and schedules can be overwhelming. Introducing online membership packages not only saves valuable time but also enhances client retention and virtual engagement. The allure of online memberships extends to enticing new customers and accommodating larger numbers, a challenge in traditional setups. Gymcatch offers insights on creating memberships that resonate.

Fostering micro communities

Gone are the days of sprawling, disengaged online communities. Privacy-conscious social media users seek authentic connections. Skillful community strategies foster loyalty, providing customers with a sense of value and belonging.

Seamless booking management

Having a solid marketing strategy is just the beginning. Your fitness management software should seamlessly handle bookings. This is where Gymcatch steps in, offering a solution to manage appointments efficiently. Reach out to us for seamless integration.

Direct marketing meets digital marketing

While the digital domain is pivotal, traditional marketing methods still wield substantial influence, particularly on a local scale. Engage with local listing magazines, community bulletin boards, and collaborate with neighboring businesses to foster awareness. As post-pandemic shifts redefine work dynamics, this approach aids in connecting with audiences beyond the virtual sphere.

It is also important to forge meaningful bonds with local groups and associations aligned with your fitness ethos. Participation or sponsorship of community events exposes you to potential customers and augments your local visibility. This symbiotic approach nurtures and expands your fitness community.

In summary

As we conclude our “Get 2023 Ready” series, our goal is to equip you with insights that elevate your fitness business. Stay tuned to our social media platforms for more business management content, offers, and news. Uphold your dedication to the fitness journey and uncover the potential of customer management software, such as Gymcatch, to seamlessly streamline your operations.

 

6 fitness business ideas to consider in the New Year

By Fitness business management archives and news

If you are a fitness or wellness professional looking for new business ideas to kick-start the New Year, we have highlighted below the key takeaways from our most recent Facebook Live with Anna Martin, owner of AMF World; and Elle Linton, fitness professional, influencer and blogger.

1. Flex to impress

Flexibility has become part of the norm for businesses operating in periods of disruption. With the help of technology, our businesses are better prepared to adapt to the changing circumstances and needs of our customers, allowing us to go from face-to-face to virtual classes seamlessly.

“It’s important to get to know the ebbs and flows of your customers. Get to know them and understand how things are impacting them,” says Elle Linton.

Taking your fitness business online seems like an obvious choice when it comes to preparing for the future and planning to reach out to a wider audience. Virtual classes are a great way to add extra flexibility to your services and promoting them through your social channels is a natural strategy to consider. Your customers are your ambassadors and will help with sharing the work you do, if they are online, they will amplify your message and give you a big boost.

“Referrals through word of mouth are what keeps us going. You want to be so good that your customers talk about you at the dinner party,” says Anna Martin.

2. Making the hybrid model work

The new post-Covid19 customer is spoilt for choice; with some looking for the convenience virtual classes bring whilst others favour 1-2-1 or small group sessions, or a mixture of all.

Allowing for both can help retain customers and attract new ones.

Virtual fitness classes or sessions are a faster revenue channel too as running costs are lower and you can reach out to more people. Monetising from your workout videos and online content is a great way to increase revenue streams and enhance the services you offer.

“Make use of the quieter times to pre-record as much content as possible. Set aside a couple of days to record and edit your videos,” says Anna Martin.

3. Packaging and pricing your fitness services

Structure your packages in a way that is simple and manageable, for both you and your clients. Offering a membership is a great way to build recurrent revenue and get your clients to stick for longer.

“Don’t give your clients endless choice. They want to be told what they need to do, the easier you present this to them the more engaged they will be,” says Elle Linton. 

If you are considering raising your prices next year, think of the extra value you can add and make this proposition a very attractive one. Undersell your services and you can quickly be missing out in generating income that could have already been there.

4. Find ways to diversify your income

There are many ways to diversify your income as a fitness professional. Affiliations, referrals, merchandise, advertising, content etc are all great ways to generate more income.

“If the pandemic has taught us one thing is not to have all your eggs in one basket, just in case one fails,” says Elle Linton.

Look for opportunities that may enhance your work.

5. Retaining clients is cheaper than acquiring new ones

Focusing your efforts in getting new clients can be taxing and expensive. Instead, why not focus on your existing clients?

‘It’s more financial beneficial to get existing clients to spend more with you,” says Elle Linton.

Returning customers are crucial to a business’ growth. Make them feel special and they are more likely to spend more with you. For example, add rewards to your customer engagement plan to celebrate milestones. These don’t have to be expensive, a social media shoutout is a great low-cost way to do this.

“Create a community online and offline and get them talking. Returning customers are more likely too to bring you new customers,” says Anna Martin.

6. How to share your story

One of the many benefits of social media is that everything is visible. You can now see what the competition are up to in a couple of clicks. It is a great space to have a snoop around and gain ideas for your own business.

“Once you have figured out your voice use social media to amplify it. Use other tech sources too such as Pinterest to get inspiration and figure out how you want to come across” says Elle Linton.

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

How to take payments online for fitness classes

By Fitness business management archives and news

Following the movement restrictions, lockdowns, and social distancing regulations in different parts of the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most businesses are basing their operations online. Fitness service providers are some of the companies that have had to operate online. Online transactions are quite convenient, but only if you have the right tools. Failure to do so could result in the collapse of the business and a lot of losses. For instance, you need a reliable tool for taking payments. Here’s what you need to know to take payments online.

1. Choose a tool that is easy to use

The first factor you should consider when choosing an online payment system is the ease with which both you and your clients can use the tool. Several companies are offering online fitness classes. You want to make sure that your company stands out from the rest and offers different payment options. Clients will always pick a company that provides the most comfortable and secure payment methods. Make sure to make the task easy for both your clients and your employees.

Complicated tools and software may result in a lot of losses both because of poor administration and loss of clients. For instance, Gymcatch’s software gives you access to a simple Stripe integration means. This online payment system allows customers to book and pay for fitness classes easily via debit or credit card.

The amount of time it takes clients to make the payments should also be as minimal as possible since clients tend to get bored and leave lengthy card transactions without achieving their goals. Your goal for your business should be to attract new clients and to maintain the loyalty of those who are already working with you via recurring payments.

2. Simplified billing systems

The billing systems should also be simplified. As a business, you should be able to send statements, track balances, and receive payments within the same methods. Group transactions for families and other companies should also be tracked under the same account. You want a system that allows you to send bills to clients directly from the calendar. It should also allow you to send invoices and statements via email. In other words, you want to accept payments online. It also wouldn’t hurt if you could schedule, bill, and receive payments on a single platform.

3. Make sure clients get their receipts

Receipts are very important because they are a proof of payment. The fact that they are given in different kinds of stores, including supermarkets and retail stores, is proof enough of their importance. Therefore, you don’t want to be the only company that does not provide receipts immediately after payments. A software that gives automatic receipts would be the best option. You also want to make sure that the receipt is not dispensed until the money is received in your bank account. This will help you avoid unnecessary losses.

4. Flexibility

You also want to pick a method of receiving payment that is flexible. For instance, your clients should be able to make payments on any device like computer, iPhone, Android, or Tablet. This will help you attract all kinds of clients hence earn you more money. Also, make sure that the tool is easy to use on whichever device.

5. Global scale

You also want to pick a method of taking payments that can help you work with clients from different parts of the world. This is especially important for an online fitness business because you can accept clients from different parts of the world. A payment processor that can be used by clients from different parts of the world should come with algorithms that can process different currencies and payments made from different parts of the world. This feature will help your business stand out from others in the market.

6. Additional features

Tools for taking payments like Gymcatch software provide a wide variety of features. Using the stripe method, the money is sent directly to your bank account without any deductions like commission and other transaction fees.

Gymcatch also allows you to create blocks and courses of classes that clients can purchase and get booked on the relevant sessions. It also enables you to set time-limited drop-in bookings. This will help you maximise your revenue by automatically switching customers to another available session if they can’t make the class they’re booked into.

You also want software that will help you to create a flexible discount code. Examples of such codes include early bird codes, intro, exclusive and promotional offers. They can be applied to individual sessions, packages, courses, and customers as well. They allow you both control and flexibility with your pricing.

Picking the right software

The tool you use for taking payments is the backbone of your business. The simpler and more efficient the mobile payment tool is, the more successful your business will be, and the more profits you will make as well.

With the Gymcatch group fitness business software, you can create passes, bundles, and free trial classes. Your clients can also pay for the services with customisable terms and conditions. Gymcatch also allows you to cap, place time limits, and allow flexibility and convenience for your clients. If you would like more information on how Gymcatch fitness management software works, feel free to get in contact with us or book a demo online.

7 tips for streaming online fitness classes

By Fitness business management archives and news, Gym and studios

Fitness professionals have had to adapt their businesses to the surge in demand for online fitness classes. Live streaming, for example, has opened up new ways of conducting businesses, from product descriptions to tutorials and exercising. With the current pandemic, fitness studios around the world can reach out to their clientele and deliver useful fitness classes through live streams. However, they need to do several things right to ensure success. Here are a few tips for streaming online fitness classes.

1. Dressing code for live instructors

It is essential that you wear clothing that is branded with yours or your gym colours and logo. It helps with brand awareness, recognition and professionalism. Besides, avoid clothing that blends with the background as most users cannot tell your form, yet it is vital when exercising. Although you are excising, you should look presentable on camera. However, there’s no need to call a professional makeup team, as looks are not the primary focus of the show.

2. Video tips for streaming online fitness classes

Lighting

Lighting affects the quality of your live stream. You need your audience to see every action in HD quality. Otherwise, those good moves will be of no use to them. You can either have natural or artificial lighting. If you have windows, do your performances facing the source of light. Investing in artificial lighting is a must if you streaming a dimly lit room to avoid negative feedback from clients.

Take Care of Acoustic Noise

Ensure that your voice is clear and audible. You can use wireless lapel microphones strapped to your clothing and connecting to your camera or capture device. Ensure that the room doesn’t have too much echo or noise from other areas. If broadcasting from a home environment, it is essential to warn other occupants that you’ll be live streaming so that there is no disturbance. You may also want to mute all participants in the steam so that they’re not interrupting for others.

Keep Your Set Simple

Only keep the items and props that you will require for your exercises in the live stream. This will avoid you having to run out of shot to pick up a piece of equipment which will make you look unorganised and unprofessional. Also you don’t want anything that might distract the attention of your viewers like cars going past the window.

3. What fitness equipment should you use in your live shows?

Where possible, stick to items that your viewers can find at home. Minimal equipment makes your online fitness classes relevant as your viewers can replicate the same at home. However you can add fitness equipment that can be bought with ease but remember to tell them your clients beforehand what they will need for each home workout. Bare in mind fitness equipment is pretty scarce at the moment due to the current climate so it’s good to be flexible with the requirements.

4. What equipment do you need for live shooting?

Fortunately, live streaming doesn’t require expensive equipment to stream high-quality videos. This can be done by the use of the phone or a USB webcam from your living room. There are also cheap handycam brands that you can purchase for live streaming. When using the phone, ensure that it is fully charged. It should also shoot horizontally so that you can have a wide-angle camera. The camera should be placed on a stable location and at an appropriate height to your type of workout without adjustments.

Gymcatch offers various tools that you can use to schedule multiple sessions and deliver virtual classes through platforms such as Zoom. It enables you to share the link to your online fitness classes with ease and interact with the audience that will be following you online. You can also request payments and manage bookings for online classes with ease.

5. Test everything

Do a test run of your live stream before you go official. Running a free trial or a reduced price while informing your customers there could be technical issues. You could also invite friends and family for test class if you don’t want to push your sessions live until everything is running perfectly, bear in mind they can be biased towards you.

6. Ensure that internet connection is stable

It is vital that your videos are smooth and of high quality throughout the entire session. If several devices are sharing the narrow bandwidth, turn off access for any other device that is not directly used in the workout. This is vital to avoid audio cut-outs and video lags.

7. Deliver the live session professionally

At the start of the session, welcome your clients as you would in an in-premise workout session. Tell them how they can contact you and ask whether anyone would be comfortable being called out in the video. Be careful about the music you play in your videos so that you do not use copyrighted material. There are sync licences to help you use a song in your session. However, you can also get royalty-free music on platforms such as Premium Beat and Artlist.io.

Don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the workout experience. If there are glitches (they do happen even with meticulous preparation), do not stress about them; apologise and continue with your workouts. However, be sure to correct them for subsequent online workouts.

Want to find out more how Gymcatch can help you stream your fitness classes online. Feel free to get in contact with us or sign up for a free demo and we’ll get in contact with you.