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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.

 

 

 

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How to create a referral programme

By Dance, Fitness marketing and social archives and news, Gym and studios, HIIT and group, Pilates, Yoga

A referral programme is a very cost-effective and low risk way to reward your loyal customers for recommending new ones. It’s a very powerful marketing tactic to get existing customers to talk about you and help you acquire new ones.

According to a Nielsen report 83% of people trust their friends’ opinions. Although an old cliché, people buy from people, and that’s because there is immediate confidence and credibility to their testimonial. Led by trust, these future customers have the potential to quickly convert.

In summary, these are the key benefits to a referral programme:

  • Turns customers into loyal ones
  • Helps you build on your testimonials
  • Expands your reach and awareness
  • Converts leads into customers faster

If you are now ready to set up your referral programme and are looking for ideas, this blog is for you, and to make it easy we’ve broken it down into a 4 step guide with inspirational ideas you may want to consider.

  1. Set the goal you want to achieve with your referral programme
    Before you get started, decide on what you want to achieve with your programme. You want this to be clear and measurable. Acquiring new customers may not be your goal or what you want by the end of it. Some businesses will be looking at increasing sales or loyalty to get more advocates and improve on retention. Once you have decided on your goal, think about how you will be measuring progress and what are your referral sources.
  2. Decide on your incentive or reward
    The most successful way to get this right is to encourage insight from your customers to determine what incentive or reward will motivate them. Non-cash incentives such as in-store credits or priority access boost customer retention and sales. You don’t want to spend endless hours tracking and calculating incentives manually. Instead automate as much of this work as possible to save yourself valuable time. Choosing a conversion event, for example, the reward is applicable once the customer has booked a class or session with you and made full payment. This will eliminate any doubts and set the boundaries for when claiming a reward.
  3. Decide on your advocates
    The most critical part of the programme is choosing customers that are as passionate as you are about what you do and know your brand. Share your mission with them and draw some parameters. Work out the tags or hashtags and key messages you want them sharing.

    Consider the following:
    Who do you want to target?
    What do you need them to do?
    How can they achieve this?

  4. Promote your referral programme
    Tell your customers about your programme, chances are they aren’t aware and/or need reminding. Your most loyal customers should be your first place to get started. These are people that love your classes or sessions and have probably already advocated your business more than once before. However, make it easy for your customers to share your services and get rewarded. Social media has become a popular channel to share information and get the word out, but it has to be a simple process for both the referrer and referee, or they will lose interest.

A referral programme creates a win-win situation for all. Your existing clients get rewarded, feel valued, and you get quality leads for new customers. The more customers you get to tell their friends about your classes or appointments the more opportunity for new business you create.

Need inspiration?
Take a look at what some brands are doing!

Uber
Uber’s referral programme has 2 parts. Uber gives drivers and riders a unique referral code to share with friends interested in creating a driver or rider account. When a referral is successful a payment reward is made.
In parallel, they run a user referral programme too that works very similarly. When a user shares their code with a friend and that friend signs up they both get their next trip for free.

Dropbox
Dropbox allows you to earn extra free storage space when you invite friends to try it out. Basic accounts get 500 MB per referral and can earn up to 16GB. Plus accounts get 1 GB and earn up to 32 GB per referral.

How do referrals work on Gymcatch?
There are many ways to use Gymcatch’s features to run a successful referral programme and reward your customers. Our Discount Codes bolt-on, for example, allows customers to invite their friends and family at a fixed amount or percentage off. This is great when wanting to encourage loyalty and improve retention.

You can also use bundles and make them available for purchase for a limited time and remove it from sale at the end of the offer period. These are included as part of the base plan and although mean a little more planning are very easy to set up.

Our own referral programme means customers get rewarded with 2 free months and receive a cash reward when referring a new business. The referred business gets an extra free month directly into their account when registering with us.

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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

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

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.

Gym name ideas: The inspiration you need

By Fitness marketing and social archives and news, Gym and studios

The fitness industry is rapidly growing. Therefore, several fitness shops are opening around the country and competing for a similar audience to your gym. You need to differentiate your service from the rest to attract a substantial market base. One of the ways you can do this is by selecting the right name for your gym. Your prospective customers must have heard the name of the gym before they even know what you are offering.

The name also gives the personality and the identity of your brand. This way, you can give your audience a preview of who are and what you do. Unfortunately, coming up with gym names can be challenging. In this article, you are going to learn the importance of a good business name and steps to follow when coming up with creative gym names.

Why should you select the right name?

The name embodies everything about your gym business. It gives your brand the voice, personality, core values and the vision of your gym. The audience is able to tell what you do and how you do it. You can also tell a story of your life with the name.

Grabs attention and enhances recall

A good name captures the attention of your users. Then, it becomes the word that comes to mind when your target audience is looking for quality fitness training.

Influences user perception

You can use your name to influence how the users view your brand. Perception plays a role in the effectiveness of your marketing methods and shapes your branding strategy.

Steps to use when coming up with a name for your gym

As discussed above, the gym name is a vital component of the business as a whole. Below are a few steps on how to generate name ideas for your fitness business.

Know your potential market

You always have the target customers in mind when coming up with a business name. This enables you to get a name that presents the right message about your business. To determine your target market, start your research using demographics such as income, location, gender and level of education. Create a wholesome gym persona of your potential clients.

Check how the competition is doing it

The local competitors are looking at a similar audience as you. Therefore. Some of the ideas that they are implementing can work in your case. Look at their choice of the brand name and ways they engage their audience. Use this to gain insight into your naming. However, do not use a name that is similar to any of the competitors so that you do not end up losing clients to rivals due to the name confusion.

Select your archetype

The archetypes are those characteristics that determine your brand. They are also the models of thinking and long-lasting truths that form part of the brand perception. Popular archetypes include the hero, magician, caregiver, lover and the outlaw. Create a name around any that you pick to bring pout the personality defined by the archetype. Brands like Nike and Gymshark have created names around such models as heroism and magician.

Generate name ideas using online tools

You will find various business name generators on the internet. These free tools will ask for the type of business and come up with tons of names. While these names may not be the most inspirational ones out there, the ideas can give you insights for your brainstorming. The good thing is that these tools are free. You can always play about with various elements to see what names you can get. Then, pick a few names and improve them to create excellent results.

Keep your name simple

Create a simple, straightforward name for your gym. Remember, when it comes to business names, simple ones are the most memorable. You also want a name that your customers can share out with ease. However, being simple does not mean that it should be boring. Always pick a catchy name that shows what your fitness business is all about.

Here are a few examples of simple but effective business names, SoulCycle, Cobody and Bam Bam Boogie. In the above examples, SoulCycle’s main fitness activity is cycling, while Cobody main business is getting fit in a small space. If you are running a business with various services, you do not need to be specific on a particular activity. Instead, you can go for gym name suggestions such as Fit Train, FitPro, Cheetah Gym and Ribbed Lift.

Get a different perspective

You may find it hard to come up with names on your own. In such a case, ask for help from other people. They can inspire you and help you find insights out of the box. On the other hand, if you have gym name ideas and are not sure if they are good, shortlist the best ones and ask for other people’s views on the same. Professionals in the fitness industry are a good point to start.

However, if you would like to try various gym name ideas on a circle that is larger than your immediate one, you may use social testing tools such as SurveyMonkey. With such online tools, you can send your ideas to a small focus group and get detailed feedback. Since the focus group does not know you, they are more likely to give honest feedback.

You can also get prospects from your target audience and ask them a few quests on gym names. Here are examples:

• Is there a memorable gym that you know?
• What does the name remind you?
• What would you expect from gyms with similar names?

Check if you can use the name and domain

It is essential that you check if the name is free or similar businesses are using it. This saves you from unnecessary lawsuits from the use of a registered business name.

On the other hand, you need your domain to look similar to your name. Given that over 65% of your target market are likely to search for a business online, you would want the name that comes to their mind to point to your domain. After securing your domain name, go ahead and create an excellent gym website. Also, consider having a gym management system to meet your customer service expectations.

Examples of excellent gym names

ConBody

ConBody fitness group showcases it offers as activities as prison-style fitness. CossMarte created the company while he was incarcerated. These classes are designed based on workouts that he could complete in his 9″ by 6″ cell. In essence, this business name tells a story of the owner’s life and the kind of fitness styles you would expect from its classes.

Girls Just Wanna Box

A boxer called Kristina Ejem started this company. During her physical training on boxing, she had first-hand experience of how women boxers are disadvantaged in their training. Since there were very few opportunities for women to join boxing, she started a niche in this area. This is when Girls Just Wanna Box was established. From the business name, it offers courses that are specifically designed for women who would like to join boxing. This name provides an excellent example of how one can communicate the product directly to the audience using a name.

Conclusion

The choice of creative gym names affects customer perception, brand marketing strategy, and product positioning. Use the examples and ideas generated in this article to clear a perfect name for your fitness business. A good name is several steps ahead into marketing your gym.

Once you’ve got your gym brand name sorted out you’re going to need gym management software. That’s where Gymcatch can help, book a demo and see what we can do for you.