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Fitness Marketing & Social Archives & News

Fitness Centre Business Plan: Push Your Business To The Next Level

By Fitness Marketing & Social Archives & News

If you are looking for funding for your fitness studio from financial institutions, individual lenders, or established investors, then having a solid business plan is essential. A business plan is a fundamental document that sets out the goals of an organisation, available resources, and how specified objectives should be achieved. The document also highlights various strategies employed to achieve business objectives and the timeline within which they should be met. If you have intentions to push your fitness centre to the next level, you must understand the various components that will define your business plan. This article captures details of everything that you should know when drafting a business plan.

Defining a Business Plan

A business plan is defined as a formal document that acts as the roadmap for an organisation. Fundamentally, a business plan shows how your company operates, its success path, and predictions on the future of the business. In most cases, a business plan will comprise of the following elements:

  • Company description
  • Executive summary
  • Products and services
  • Financing
  • Market analysis
  • Organisational structure and staffing
  • Marketing plan

Benefits of Having a Business Plan for Fitness Studio

Essentially, there is no problem working without a business plan. However, for a fitness studio, with a business plan, you stand an opportunity to leverage the benefits that come with such a plan. Here is an overview of some of the benefits of working with a fitness centre business plan.

1. Awards

While this might not be the most sought-after benefit of a business plan, entrepreneurial awards have become quite popular across the globe. Such awards include investment capital, grants, and mentorships. Whether you are awarded for being the best entrepreneur or the best innovation, you will need a business plan as part of the requirements in the application process.

2. Planning

Having the clarity of ideas for your fitness centre put in writing is one of the key advantages of having a business plan. The plan helps you to understand the scope of operation of your gym as well as knowing the resources and workforce you need to keep your business on the move. This will also help you in your gym brand future expansion plans. You can refer to your written plan each time you want to make progress to your fitness centre.

3. Draft of Ideas

When planning to improve your fitness and gym services, you are likely to have a pool of ideas. This is why you need a business plan, which enables you to have rough drafts of all your ideas under one document. With these rough drafts, you can manage to identify the ideas with the highest likelihood of success.

4. Enhanced Research

A fitness centre business plan outlines the essential factors necessary for the success of the business. These factors include the source of funding, market analysis, resources needed, cost of facilities, and the existing market competitors. A business plan enables you to run effective research on these factors, giving you informed insights on the best approaches to adopt for the success of your fitness centre.

Elements of a Business Plan for Fitness Studio

This guide gives an overview of some of the fundamental features of a business plan.

Company Description

This element of the business plan highlights why you have chosen to be in the business of fitness, and the solutions the company offers to its clients. The company description of your fitness centre will include the organisation’s history, core values, objectives, and strengths. If you are new in the fitness industry, then you might want to address your professional achievements in this section.

Executive Summary

The executive summary is the initial thing that readers of your business plan interact with before perusing through the entire document. An executive summary is basically a brief overview of your fitness centre business plan. It must be brief and concise, outlining a description of your business, market needs for the fitness industry, and how your gym will address those needs. The fitness studio’s mission statement is also highlighted here. When writing this section, you must have the reader in mind. Avoid using fitness jargon here, unless you are giving definitions for used terms.

The essence of the Executive Summary section is to outline every element captured throughout the business plan that will be sufficient to create an appealing first impression. Other elements to indicate in your Executive Summary may include the following:

  • Description of your fitness centre.
  • A brief outline of your company’s history, location, staff, and organisation structure.
  • Fitness services and related products offered by your fitness centre.
  • Financial goals achieved by your business.
  • Financial projections for the next three to five years.
  • Goals that your fitness studio intends to achieve and the resources needed to achieve them.
  • Future growth plans for your business.

Market Analysis

The market analysis section highlights the research of key elements that contribute to the success of your fitness centre. These factors include your competition, market, and industry.

Competition

Your fitness centre operates in an environment controlled by other fitness players. It is essential to highlight who your competitors are and how your business stands out from the competition. How are your products and services different from those offered by your competitors? How do you intend to leverage the predicted growth in the industry against the increasing number of fitness service providers?

Market

This section is also to address the fitness studio’s target market. How will your business meet the needs of the growing demand in the expanding fitness industry? Is your company offering solutions to your local market? If you are using Facebook to market your fitness centre, how are the Facebook Audiences Insights playing along?

Industry

Your business plan must address the industry within which your fitness studio is operating, as well as show demand for your business in line with the industry’s characteristics.

Products and Services

This section of your fitness centre business plan is where you indicate the services and products that your business is selling to its clients. Here you can talk about your membership plans, personal training, yoga training, pilates training sessions, and other gym services. You can also address your courses, packages, and offers.

Financing

The financing section comes towards the end of the business plan. However, if you are looking for funds to start or expand your fitness studio, then this is one of the most critical sections of the document. You will need to capture your documents that show your financial status as a fitness centre, including balance sheets, cash flow statements, income statements, and cost analysis. In this section is where you also address your financial projections for the next three to five years. This section enables financiers to have a snapshot of financial goals that your fitness centre intends to achieve.

Organisational Structure and Workforce

This section shows how people involved in your fitness studio are organised, including shareholders, stakeholders, managers, directors, and the subordinate staff. You will also need to indicate the type of employees your business will be hiring to enhance your expansion and their designated roles towards the success of your fitness studio.

Marketing Plan

This is a critical section. It addresses how you intend to get your brand to the target market. You will be increasing your brand visibility through your marketing plan. The only way customers will come to you is when they know where you are and what you do. In this section, you will indicate all the traditional and modern marketing methods your fitness centre will adopt to reach out to potential customers. Market experts recommend a highlight of the following elements in your market plan:

  1. Product – These are the items your fitness centre sells to its clients, including memberships, classes, personal training sessions, and other courses.
  2. Place – Your business will only attract more customers if more people know where you are situated. This aspect of the marketing plan captures details of the location of your fitness centre. This also involves highlighting how you will create an online presence for your business.
  3. Promotion – You will need various marketing strategies to attract online and physical traffic to your fitness centre. These strategies should be well outlined in your marketing plan.
  4. Price – The cost of the services and products featured in your fitness studio must be clear to your customers. Make your prices available for the various fitness packages in your fitness centre. This is the best way to beat the competition in the industry.

Appendix

This is typically the final section of a business plan. The appendix captures the essential documents and data that support your business plan. Such documents include and are not limited to the following:

  • Permits and lease documents for your fitness centre.
  • Market research reports.
  • Your CVs and resumes, as well as those of your staff and trainers.
  • Credit reports.
  • Business contracts and agreements with your fitness clients or vendors.
  • Licenses that support your fitness business.
  • Contact details for advisors, accountants, attorneys, and other third parties.
  • Graphs, charts, and tables that support information captured in other sections of your fitness centre business plan.
  • Product packaging samples and illustrations of services offered by your fitness studio.

Beat Your Competition

A mix of the right tools and a competitive business plan are key determinants in the success of your fitness centre. If you are looking for the right tools to manage your fitness centre, connect with your customers, and facilitate bookings or payments, then Gymcatch is your ideal partner.

How To Get Personal Training Clients Fast

By Fitness Marketing & Social Archives & News

There is no secret formula for recruiting more personalised training customers for your company, but you might be more successful with a versatile approach. In other terms, a range of techniques is likely to function better than using only a single or two approaches. Here are some ways of how to get personal training clients fast:

1. Have a Positive Attitude

The primary step in attracting more clients to personal training is to develop the right attitude. It might sound cheap, but it is the best method in case you want to make the most of your business!

In case you do not believe us, picture something you want to buy. If you had planned to visit a shop and communicate with a sales consultant who somehow seemed indifferent or hateful, you would feel awkward during the transaction process if you weren’t completely discouraged.

However, in regards to personal training, your customers don’t just buy you a product. They pay to spend some time with somebody who motivates and inspires them and guides them to achieve their fitness objectives.

Meaning that a horrible attitude is likely to cost you your potential customers, rather than postponing some of them. When the competitive market is high because of the large amount of PT out there, you should be at the top of the game!

In any case, working as a private trainer is a career-focused on communication, so you ought to enjoy working together with others. You must be friendly and amicable and do your best to be courteous to potential customers. We are not saying it is easy to smile at work every day, but it will surely assist when it comes to learning how to get more personalized training clients.

Trust is also essential because it looks and stands out authentically. You need to make sure that your facial jargons fit the conversation you have with the gym members, or you risk appearing insincere.

2. Build a Good Rapport

Buying from persons and in a business where you effectively sell ‘yourself’ and your skills, the ability to build a relationship is invaluable.

Building a good relationship as you get closer to a potential customer is a must. Thus hitting them right away with your sales pitch is the wrong way. When enrolling customers from the gymnasium floor, you naturally have to act.

3. Start Blogging and Email Marketing

It’s great to try if you’re a personal trainer looking for more clients to turn to email and content marketing.

It might sound strange if you are not familiar with any of these things or if you use digital media to promote yourself in general, but fear not! It is not as complex as it echoes.

To provide you with a sample of what is meant by email and content marketing, let’s begin with the “content” section. It is also called blogging and it is a very effective (and quite fun) technique to market your services like a PT.

The blog is not only incredibly well designed (beautiful and simple), it is also optimised for search engines. The posts focus on keywords like “lose abdominal fat” and “cure hip, knee, and low back pain” and exciting topics that prospective customers need to hear about.

When it comes to topics to focus your content on, the keywords related to physical fitness are endless. You can combine a good combination of personal training themes with exercise guides etc. to drive traffic (and leads) to your site.

4. Create Your Business Niche

Choosing a speciality is a smart career change in regards to getting clients as a personal trainer.

Think of it this way; For instance, if you’re in search of advice on strength training, you don’t want to train with any personal instructor. You want information from a conditioning and strength coach, who is an expert in his field.

Fortunately for you, a large number of personal training customers are actively seeking expert guidance in their selected training speciality. They are looking for a unique and particular type of coach, that can train them in the preferred direction and give them something that their average private trainer cannot offer.

Choosing a specific target market will not only set you apart from the many personal trainers who qualify every day in the UK (allowing customers to easily find you), it will also be much easier to find customers in your gymnasium.

As soon as you have a specific audience in mind, you know the direction to look. For instance, if you be eligible as a conditioning and strength coach after getting your PT scores, then you know the free weights sector is a nice place to socialise between the sessions.

A target market also enables you to create a client base that matches your existing traits and skills and can offer real value in the sessions. It will help you retain clients since they will not ever tire of the services you offer. Especially, if you are familiar with how to offer them with valued sessions tailored to your training objectives.

There is no intent not to place yourself in a spot where you are one of the few coaches who can assist them in their favourite area of ​​physical activity, as this will do wonders to help you get passionate about your speciality in consistent paying clients.

5. Follow-up with Prospective Clients

Because somebody is genuinely concerned with improving their health doesn’t mean they can’t be diverted from actively reaching this goal. Frequently this has to do with the point that it is hard to acquire the enthusiasm to start (it is something that needs physical action).

In regards to learning how to acquire clients for in-person training, an efficient method is to contact those who have shown some interest in the services you offer. We know this may seem overwhelming, but do not worry; It is a recognised sales method and is used every day by companies around the world. You will probably be amazed at how many people want to know more about how you can assist them and eventually sign up with you!

It is important to remember that tracking does not require direct sales and can be indirect in some circumstances. It is more of a friendly reminder that you are still there in case they want to go ahead and show that you don’t sell much (which is unpleasant in this business).

What assists the follow-up process with prospects is whether your first meeting with them made an attractive, positive, and lasting impression. This means that you have already built up some confidence with them and are much not likely to suspect that you are trying to vend your services.

The way you may follow your clients up is to greet them when they enter the gym or approach them on the gymnasium floor and ask how they are doing. The secret to undertaking this efficiently is to keep things indirect!

All you have to do is consult with them each week and have a natural conversation on how their training is going, etc. So that they are conscious of your existence in the gym and take it into account subconsciously in case they ever choose they need to start the PT sessions.

6. Business Cards

One of the best way to get clients as a personal trainer is the usage of business cards. We recognise what you think, and what other Personal Trainers who have operated in the industry for a while may have said to you.

We are here to inform you that this is not true in case you implement the correct method, and we can say this because we have a lot of experience in this business! We recognise from experience that corporate cards may be a great approach to increase your customer base as a PT, and fortunately, it is not the “spray and prays” method where you randomly deliver them.

7. Write Articles for Exercise Websites or Local Magazines

As a fitness expert, you have a lot of information that customers will find fascinating. Donating articles to fitness websites or local magazines may position you like a true fitness specialist. If you stay in a small city, your local newsprint might even be attracted to writing a “Ask the Fitness Expert” column that answers readers’ questions.

8. Communicate with Customers Through Facebook

The PT Development Center commends Facebook as a means to develop your company. They support writing a simple guide of the day and inviting persons to ask queries about fitness or health.

9. Give a free trial period

Advertise a week-long free trial and ensure those who register, have a wonderful experience. Some individuals may be interested in getting a PT, but they wonder if it’s worth the cost and time. This is the chance for them to test, and also to show your way of helping them.

10. Cultivate a Working Rapport with Health Workers

If clients have wounds or medical problems that require a chiropractor or the attention of a sports physician, connect them with the appropriate expert. Then ask your healthcare provider to help you to come up with an exercise program. This working rapport gives you reliability while assisting to protect the health of the clients.

11. Post Endorsements on Your Site

People looking for a personal trainer want to know the kind of experience others had with your services. If you know that your customers are happy with your services, request them to give a testimonial to put on your site. Such commentaries carry lots of weight.

Finally, these tips will get you on track, however, you can also get great tips from online groups. Consider joining personal fitness forums or fitness groups on LinkedIn so you can discover what techniques have functioned for others. You can expand your customer base with diligent efforts.

Now you’re armed with all this knowledge, don’t forget to check out our easy to use personal trainer management software.

Dance Studio Business Plan: Push Your Business To The Next Level

By Dance, Fitness Marketing & Social Archives & News

Running a dance studio calls for a lot from you. Not only do you need to have a knack for dancing but also for business. Considerable capital is also required as well as a keen attention to detail.

However, the process doesn’t have to be as overwhelming if you reach out to Gymcatch.

Ideas on How to Push your Dance Studio to the Next Level

When running a dance studio, there are many tasks that require your time and effort in order to attain success. They include managing your customer relationships, coordinating payments and billings as well as running custom bookings and register information.

You need to have more than just a passion for dance in order for your business to thrive.

There are some ideas and suggestions that you should keep in mind in order to be a successful dance studio owner. They include the following:

First Become an Apprentice

The surest way of learning how to become an established business owner is by learning the trade through an expert. By observing how the industry works, you’ll be able to observe finer details that you can adopt in your own venture.

Getting such hands-on experience enlightens you on technical aspects that can help grow your business.

It also ensures that you are not completely clueless when you get to run your business. The transition of pushing your business from one level to the next will be much easier.

Create a Name for Yourself

Having a reputation that precedes you really helps in boosting the growth of your dance studio. By occasionally performing in the dance studio, you will prove that you are also a student of the art. Your clients will relate more and notice that you are not just in the business for profit.

Generate Extra Income

You should get out of your comfort zone of only holding dance classes at your studio. How about you organize fun events where new hires get to interact through dance? Getting creative will allow you to generate extra income and grow your business.

Hire Qualified and Trustworthy People

No matter how much you love your studio, it will be difficult for you to perform all the tasks on your own. Hiring people that are nearly as invested as you are in your studio operations will be necessary. Your staff can either make or break your studio which requires you to be careful.

Do Not Forget to Network

Rather than solely spending all your hours in the dance studio, you can go out there and network. By joining groups comprising of other dance studio owners, you will be exposed to many more profitable ideas. It’s also a good way of having people on your speed dial to call on for advice.

How to Develop a Dance Studio Business Plan Designed for Success

Developing a perfect business plan will require you to tap into the knowledge you’ve gathered as an apprentice or observer. A formal business plan of your dance studio will be an important counterpart to your passion for dancing. The scheme of the business plan will involve elements such as:

Vision and Mission Statements

Outlining the core objectives and values of your dance studio set the focus for the entire business plan. Identifying the ‘why’ behind your dance studio helps in keeping you on track with your short-term and long-term goals.

Business Description

The business description expounds on what your dance studio has to offer students and the community at large. The best way to drive the message home is by explaining the qualities that set your dance studio apart from the rest.

Market Survey

You should be well aware of the type of customers your dance studio will serve. Are you targeting couples, adults, teenagers or kids? Extensive research should be done on your target audience. That way, you can develop effective marketing strategies to grow your business.

A well-written business plan will include a competitive analysis of the target market. Which is critical in ensuring your studio stands out from its competitors. Other questions that may assist you in analyzing the target market include:

· How many studios are competing against you for students?

· Which strategies are your competitors successfully implementing?

· Which challenges will you encounter in reaching your target market?

Business Management

A clear layout of the respective authorities in charge of your dance studio is important. Which should preferably be done in a flow chart describing the duties and responsibilities of each employee.

It’s also important to disclose the type of business your dance studio will be. Will it be a partnership, limited liability company (LLC) or another type of business structure? The structure of your business may affect the paperwork you ought to file in registering your business.

Products and Services

You should be able to elaborate on the products and services that your dance studio will offer.

What are the different types of classes that you will offer? Will you host any special events? Be specific about the aspects of your dance studio curriculum.

Budget

Running a dance studio requires you to set aside a certain amount of money to get started and maintain the business.

Consider the various costs that will be involved such as your employees’ payroll and advertising or marketing campaigns.

You will also need to disclose the structure through which you plan to charge your students.

Will there be an annual registration fee on top of what each student pays per class? How much will you charge each ticket for special events that you host?

Marketing Strategy

The marketing strategy outlines how your business will find new customers and increase sales. Potential investors are usually interested in analyzing the marketing strategy of your business.

You can adopt the 4Ps concept which entails your product, promotion, price and place.

When writing the marketing strategy section of your dance studio business plan, you should strive to make it relevant.

There are certain things can help you in developing a plan and breaking down its cost:

· Showing your uniqueness: Through the unique selling proposition (USP) of your business

· Knowing your clients: By conducting a market survey

· Being flexible: Such as using social media to promote your business physical location

· Conducting extensive research: Based on your competitors and industry reports

· Using visual aids: Such as graphs, charts and images

Appendix

The last section of your business plan is the appendix. It convinces the reader of your business plan that you have paid keen attention to your great business idea.

You can include supporting documents such as licenses, contracts, resumes and marketing materials.

Conclusion

Developing a business plan for your dance studio may not be easy. However, the fulfilment that comes with pushing your business to the next level makes all the effort worthwhile.

Managing your dance studio will be much easier with Gymcatch studio management software.

How to appeal to experimental and millenial customers

By Fitness Marketing & Social Archives & News
fitness class software

Carry out a quick analysis of health and fitness industry trends, and you’ll be forgiven for thinking the industry had polarized:

– High volume, low price (HVLP) chain operators continue to grow, making up the largest private segments in US and UK markets.

– At the same time, specialist studios and boutiques with singular specialties such as cycling, small group training, boot camp, pilates, yoga and barre continue to see growth.

– 1 in 5 fitness consumers in the US now have two or more fitness-related memberships.

Changes in taste apart, economists would traditionally explain this away by arguing that in competitive, mature markets, pricing moves ever closer to marginal cost (the amount it actually costs to provide services) and price protection is achieved through differentiation, with niche players catering for smaller, ‘connoisseur’ segments.

This is definitely something we’ve observed, but to ascribe these changes solely to the price sensitivity of the health and fitness consumer is to miss other important underlying drivers.

What this analysis fails to take into account are the rapid proliferation of the hyper-local fitness sessions in parks, town halls and churches, for which there is no overarching data but where anyone can benefit from pilates, yoga, barre, HIIT and bootcamp offerings at a reasonable price. Similarly, those HVLP operators are now putting on ever-expanding class timetables. It looks like the price sensitive buyer is also a ‘connoisseur’!

So what’s going on? We think there’s two things at play here:

1. Advancing preferences and the consumer’s love of choice.

As people become more health conscious and increase both the time and percentage of disposable income they spend on fitness, it makes sense that they will want variety in their exercise methods, both in intensity and experience. This is a sample size of just one, but 10 years ago I went to the gym 3 times a week. I now go to Pilates, HIIT, spin and run twice a week – and this costs me £20 less a month to do so. My grandmother’s generation never went near exercise at a senior age, while my mum goes to Pilates twice a week and plays tennis regularly. I know my story is common.

You don’t have to look very far to see this trend. With increasingly low barriers to enter the sector as an instructor, it’s easy for health and fitness consumers to find and book fitness that was previously unknown to them or out of their price range.

2. The millennials

It’s this segment that’s supercharging the drive for more choice and better fitness experiences. With the generational tendency to prefer experiences above material possessions, the variety of workout, social and community feeling of group exercise have become increasingly important factors in millenial buying decisions.

So, where’s the opportunity?

Some fitness providers will be able to cater for these wider tastes with an ever-expanding array of classes and in-facility experiences. If you can deliver on this, fantastic. It can be difficult to manage when your business goes past a certain size and difficult to justify entailed cost on a smaller scale, but it is possible – and we see a number of operators doing it well.

When you can’t do everything, focusing on where you can meet wider riser demand represents a real opportunity for growth. The willingness to spend on fitness is increasing, and if you can tap into the wider exponential growth then you have far more to benefit from than to lose by overstretching. This may well mean you don’t monopolize your customer’s fitness spend, but accepting that in lieu of greater wider earnings is a preferable alternative.

Meeting this need may require more of an open, tailored, marketing approach and a drop-in, flexible, pricing option if you don’t already have one, but it also represents great opportunity – could you be the HIIT option for a regular pilates goer, or the spin option for the yoga fanatic? We see incredible retention across bookers and see this drive for choice as potential for industry earnings rather than threatening existing spend. As a group instructor or specialist operator, perhaps there are partnerships with other fitness providers you can look at to grow earnings together?

Sources: IHRSA Global Report 2016, Leisure Database: 2016 State of the Industry Report, Changes in the fitness world, Business Insider, June 2016

For more information on Gymcatch group fitness management software, and how it can help with your booking, admin and marketing. Get in contact to book a demo or start a free trial.

Fitness marketing tips: 5 steps to boost your fitness business

By Fitness Business Management Archives & News, Fitness Industry Archives & News, Fitness Marketing & Social Archives & News

Whether a gym, studio, group instructor or personal training business, tried and trusted marketing campaigns can be transformed with digital support. Here we examine 5 well-established campaigns and look at how digital can enhance your marketing returns.


1. Publish your schedule

Ok, so we’ve started with a bit of an obvious one. It’s one thing getting your name out there, but if you don’t tell people what’s on when and make it easy to book, you’re not helping yourself (or your customers).

Knowing that schedules change, we know that this process can be difficult.

Gymcatch helps here by providing one digital source of truth for what’s on when. You can refer people to one web page, or one in-app ‘What’s On’ tab to give them a clear picture of what’s on when. With our unique ‘Appointment Windows’, you can also add one-to-one availability in a flexible way, enabling bookings within a wider time slot rather than having to give a rigid structure that may not work for existing clients or potential customers.


2. Run a referral program

This is a well known strategy, but it is indeed very likely that your best source for new customers are your existing. They’re already buying into your services, so it’s highly likely they know other people with similar backgrounds who would also be interested in what you have to offer.

Nonetheless, referral programs are often poorly advertised and aren’t exactly easy to act upon. If you ask some of your customers, I’m sure they’ll say they’d be willing to recommend your business, but actually getting them to sit down and write that email, send that text or make that phone call is difficult, and you don’t want to be ‘that person’ who keeps asking for something…

The solution here is two-fold. Firstly, keep the referral program front and centre. This can be done easily with posters, emails and verbal reminders. None of this is ‘in your face’ marketing, and it doesn’t put your customers under undue pressure. The second key is to make sure referrals are easy. The best way to do this is to make the referral personally and contextually relevant.

We achieve this within Gymcatch with our prominent session ‘Share’ function, which customers see whilst browsing sessions but also at the completion of a booking. This makes it easy for a potential referee to share specific session details via email, SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter etc. with a personalized message suggesting their friend gets in on the action.


3. Offer a free trial

So you’ve secured your referral, but then how do you make it easy for that person to come for their first session? You don’t want to create any barriers or additional admin for them – any extra effort creates an opportunity for them to give up. Making the booking possible without the customer having to put much effort in is key.

Every business will have their own experience and point of view regarding free trials. Some think one visit is enough, but we’ve seen as high as a five-session free pass to encourage an initial habit formation. It may also be that you want to limit which sessions the free pass can be used for. Whatever your strategy, you need to make it as easy as possible to book.

With Gymcatch, you can create a free pass, assign specific sessions to the pass, and set a time limit on the pass itself. You’ll always have complete visibility of who’s redeemed the pass, so you can give them specific focus and give yourself the best possible chance of converting them into a customer.


4. Group wellness programs

We’ve all read the well trodden marketing campaign targeting local business owners to set up a bespoke wellness programs, whether it’s a discounted membership or a value group/bundle discount for class or one-to-one training.

Whilst certainly worth exploring, once established you’ve still got to find a nudge within the business to get them to take advantage of the scheme. One option is to target businesses where your current customers are working – this way you have an internal advocate ready to go. The downside here is there’s no guarantee the client in question is going to be comfortable with pushing your services internally.

Another option is to try and link a group activity or cause to starting your sessions. Matching up a program to tie in with half marathons, ToughMudder (or similar) or a custom challenge you design with your wellness program is a great idea as it can create an initial buzz and motivation to sign up in the workplace, as well as a communal commitment to training sessions.

Gymcatch can help to enable the program and create the training community. With Gymcatch’s custom packages, you can put the discounted program directly on sale to let employees find, book and pay for the package right away. Alternatively, if you don’t want it shown to your existing customers, you can take payments offline and gift the package to enable bookings into your specific corporate sessions.


5. Host an event

A well established marketing idea that applies just as well to gyms, studios, group and personal training marketing is hosting your own event. Whether this is an anniversary or seasonal party, a BBQ, or anything else – an event is a great opportunity for customers to enjoy a little downtime with their fitness community and invite their friends to tag along, which means potential referrals and customers for you.

This marketing idea neatly applies to all of 1-4 above. Making sure the event is published early and promoted regularly on your booking system is a no-brainer, as is seamlessly enabling any referrals that come out of it.

The Gymcatch event share functionality lets business admins post to the Gymcatch Newsfeed (and to other social networks, as well as email and SMS) to continually promote events to the community. All posts include a push and email notification, so you’ll be able to grab your customer’s attention.

We’re all for the traditional fitness marketing campaigns and ideas – they’re well known about for good reason. We just think that they can be optimized with the right technology, and we built Gymcatch to do just that.

For more information on Gymcatch group fitness management software, and how it can help with your booking, admin and marketing. Get in contact to book a demo or start a free trial.

Best 3 fitness articles to help you grow your fitness business

By Fitness Business Management Archives & News, Fitness Industry Archives & News, Fitness Marketing & Social Archives & News

As we’ve been working on starting our own blog, we’ve been paying attention to fitness articles we’ve bookmarked. Here are three of the favourites we’ve read as we’ve been busy researching and writing.


9 MODELS TO BUILD A PROFITABLE FITNESS BUSINESS

A comprehensive rundown of traditional fitness business models, their pros and cons and how to assess which is right for you – written by Sean Greeley. Whether you’re considering starting a fitness business or looking to add to or change your model, this is a great overview.


CHARGING THE RIGHT FEES FOR YOUR PERSONAL TRAINING SERVICES

This fitness article in The Entrepreneur highlights traits we see in many of our customers. It’s a good analysis of how to think about unit economics and what makes a viable business model.


CHANGES IN THE FITNESS WORLD – BUSINESS INSIDER

We love this fitness article, as it identifies the current consumer drivers of change in the health and fitness industry. Even though it’s now a couple of years old it’s on point. Millennials, with their focus on experiences, are having a real impact in driving class-based activity and increased potential industry earnings.

We hope you enjoyed the above. We certainly did, and look forward to bringing you more business driven fitness articles in the upcoming months.


For more information on Gymcatch group fitness management software, and how it can help with your booking, admin and marketing. Get in contact to book a demo or start a free trial.

personal training session

Why your fitness business should make the switch to digital

By Fitness Business Management Archives & News, Fitness Industry Archives & News, Fitness Marketing & Social Archives & News
fitness business software

In this article, we examine how implementing a digital strategy and the right management software for your fitness business can save you time, improve cash flow and increase revenue.

Creating a digital presence

It’s natural to assume this means a website. A well-designed, mobile-optimized website with clear information, booking options and a strategy to boost SEO can be a great way to generate and convert leads.

Your website and your social channels can be great for your business. If they’re poorly designed or outdated, you can do yourself more harm than good.

If you have a website, this should be viewed as your base. You want to drive people to the website to book new sessions, stay up to date with your business news and read or share interesting articles. This means consistently investing time and/or money into your site to make sure that you are delivering content to your customer.

We’d recommend looking at your website as a progression from a base digital presence that includes a booking and payment system. You should be very aware that your site is not a one-off investment – you still have to drive traffic and keep it current in order for it to be a value add. A Facebook page with a link to a good, fitness-focused booking platform can be a good first step to a full website.

Automate booking processes

Our research shows scheduling issues cause 57% of fitness buyers to renege from their purchase, whether that’s for classes or memberships. Ensuring you’re doing everything you can to provide customers with convenience, flexibility and the information they need and want is key.

Specific features such as automating payment, waitlists, cancellation policies, calendar sync, and reminders can also help you to maximize revenue from existing customers. No-shows are costly, especially at peak times.

Offering improved convenience through app and web booking are also proven techniques for increasing consumer willingness to buy. At Gymcatch, 80%+ of bookings are seen on mobile and over 70% are made outside of normal working hours.

Use packages to increase spend and improve cash flow

Having one set class price or one straight membership price doesn’t increase your customer’s ‘willingness to pay’.

Customers are willing to commit more cash upfront if there’s an incentive to do so. Incentives can come in a price break for bulk buys or a pricing table highlighting the middle option as the best value.

Creating pricing tiers and using block purchasing discounts can incentivise increases and ‘trading-up’ in total spend with your business and drive improved cash-flow through upfront purchases.

Applying deeper discounts to underutilized sessions is also a good strategy and gives you a way of communicating additional value to your customer base.

Keeping track of payment and attendance for these sessions can be seriously time consuming, and many booking systems have nowhere near the functionality needed to help (let alone a consumer-friendly buying mechanism), so be sure to scope implementation thoroughly before introducing this feature.

Keep your customers coming back

This sounds obvious, but churn within the fitness industry is a serious problem. For premises-based businesses, the rate can run as high as 40% per annum. The easiest way to maximize revenue is to plug that leak.

Chances are you got into fitness because you know about fitness, so the game-changers are likely to be the things that you find less natural or especially difficult. You don’t know what you don’t know, right?

Our research shows that only 27% of people who want communications from their fitness provider ever receive any at all. Having fitness business software that gives relevant, up-to-date schedules and information (either automated or otherwise) is important.

Creating a community around your fitness platform by enabling social interaction before and after workouts can also be a great way to create habit-forming behavior. 37% of fitness consumers we surveyed said they find themselves more engaged when there’s a social element to their fitness routine.

Rewarding your customers with unexpected gifts (like a free class, for example) and wider loyalty schemes are also proven techniques to increase retention.

Tap into the power of referrals

After location, referrals are the second most powerful influencer when it comes to fitness consumers buying decisions. Tapping into this is an incredibly effective way of driving new revenue.

This can be difficult though. It’s not easy to remember to ask for a referral, and on top of that it can feel awkward or unprofessional – especially if you’ve asked before.

It’s important, therefore, to look at ways to drive this process naturally. Initiatives such as ‘bring a friend for free’, or referral schemes in which successful referrals bring about prizes (free sessions, etc.) can help to align incentives.

It’s common to look at Facebook check-ins and newsfeed posts to drive this. We find ‘tag a friend who may be interested’ on a post tends to work better than staged check ins or post shares.

Using a fitness booking system that embeds the ability to share sessions across different platforms (email, SMS, own, Facebook, Twitter etc.) is a good strategy as it can create time and location specific context straight away. Check out the full range of features Gymcatch have on offer.

For more information on Gymcatch group fitness management software, and how it can help with your booking, admin and marketing. Get in contact to book a demo or start a free trial.

5 marketing tips for your fitness business

By Fitness Business Management Archives & News, Fitness Industry Archives & News, Fitness Marketing & Social Archives & News
two women training

In this blog post we look at creating a marketing strategy and the place of digital within the mix.

Spend time building a strategy

The best investment you can make in marketing is in the time you spend planning it.

Start off by being clear on what you want to achieve.  Are you focusing on new customers?  Increasing sales to existing customers?  Retaining existing customers?  If you are looking for new customers, who are you targeting?

We’ll deal with retention in a follow-up piece, so let’s focus on new customers.

Key questions here include: Who are your target customers?  Where are they based?  What are they interested in? How old are they and where do they spend their recreational time?  What are their health and fitness goals?  Are they seasonal or all-year round?

The answer to these questions will likely be right in front of you: your existing client base.

Find out what brought those people to you in the first place and not through the door of your competitor across town.  There is no better insight into what will work best, it is immediately available and doesn’t cost a penny.

This research will inform what content you create through the channels we discuss next. Depending on your services and target client, you may find that success stories, wider wellness education and other benefits work well.  Our own research, indicates that simple communication of location, timing of service combined with some level of peer advocacy score well with motivated buyers.


Don’t ignore traditional marketing

When thinking about channels in which to deliver your content, don’t forget traditional local marketing.  With your target customer profile and messaging established, remember that location is the primary driver of fitness purchaser’s choice of provider.

Coffee houses, school networks, business parks and other local small businesses can therefore be great places to leave material or partner to promote your services.  If people do other things locally, it’s likely that they’d do their fitness locally.  Focus on making it easy to discover you.  Let the locals know you’re there.

Marketing materials like cards and posters still work.


3 digital channels

When it comes to digital, for a small fitness business there can be many digital enablers and keeping them all active can be time consuming.  We recommend that you focus on 3 to both ensure you don’t spread yourself too thinly but also to ensure you are constantly testing and iterating.

We lean towards referral marketing tools, Google and Facebook as the areas to look at first.  Referral marketing is powerful, cost-effective and often overlooked, and with 80% of internet traffic driven by Google and Facebook they are simply too important to ignore.

Referral marketing
There are two sides to this. You and your customers.

Our own research and a big body of marketing work shows your existing customers are your very best source for new leads, so be sure to focus on them.

Clearly you can email or text requests and materials they could share.  This can be hard work and, at times, slightly awkward to ask for direct, so thinking about tools you can use (codes, introductory offers, referral schemes) and regularly refer back to in order to build awareness is a good idea.  Asking for shares/tagging friends in Facebook posts can work wonders and cost you nothing.

Other than our own tools (obviously!), we like InviteReferrals and Ambassador as digital options to assist with this.

Google 
Google ad spend can be expensive and really means you need a website.  If looking at this, the first thing to do is to make sure your website has what it needs to convert.  There is no point driving traffic to a site that doesn’t convert clicks into contact.

Boost your Google results organically – better than having to pay for ads, is being found organically from search.  The key to this is that it is a medium to long-term commitment.  So many businesses start with good intentions but, after a couple of months of not seeing results, give up.

Patience is key here: there is no magic bullet.  This is a long-term commitment.  Creating valuable content through blogs, linking via social and ensuring clients use your website regularly can naturally help you to move up the search rankings. Given location is the number one driver of service purchasing, focus on ensuring you rank well for fitness in your area.

When your website was built (and on your admin console if you have a WordPress site) there should also have been initial SEO keywords used and, if you employ an agency, tweaked regularly.  It’s worth checking that this has been done and finding out what they are and how they are being supplemented with your social media and blog posts. Free SEE plug ins, such as Yoast, can really help you with this too.

Facebook
Once you’ve created a Facebook Page, to do Facebook ads it used to be that you needed to get into Facebook Power Editor (requires Chrome browser).

You’ll now see, however, that boosting posts or ads from your business page is possible.  Setting up campaigns, audiences and ad sets in Power Editor is very easy and intuitive.  The audience features is extremely powerful, with a ready ability to define a hyper-local audience with custom interests.

Ensure you’re messaging on the ads is clear and that anyone clicking is really likely to want your service – you most likely don’t want to be paying for clicks that aren’t motivated buyers. You can test whether this is going to work for you with just a few £100 pounds of testing.

If you don’t have access to a graphic designer to make the related images, online marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork can be a good source of cost-effective resource but ensure you spend some time thinking about what you want the add to convey and research ads that work well, and test ideas with existing clients, so that you can provide a detailed brief. Sketch is a great, easy to use graphic design tool which you only need to pay for once if you don’t want the on-going updates.

We’d recommend:

  • Starting small with a defined local geography and low daily budget
  • Testing 3 or 4 different ad variations
  • Then doubling down on what works


Make buying easy

It’s one thing generating leads, but how are you converting them to paid customers?  If you have the scale, can afford it, and have the digital know-how, using tools such as Infusionsoft, Pipedrive or Salesforce to create detailed sales funnels is a great way to nurture and convert leads.

The reality is, most people don’t, nor want the cost.  Making it easy for customers to learn more and buy is, however, something that is in your control.

If you have a website or can create landing pages, ensure that you’re marketing, whether on or off line, is directing people to a place where there’s a logic to the information and a clear call to action – whether that be to fill in a contact form or make a booking.

Don’t forget about the final stage too – giving the customer the convenience they experience when booking a taxi, restaurant or hotel is important in converting a sale, particularly a new one.  This doesn’t necessarily mean you need an expensive website – simplicity and ease of use trumps form and there are now cost effective tools available to take bookings online and on mobile.

Track your results

Whatever marketing activity you run, it’s a good idea to keep a record of how many leads you generate, from where they came and how many convert to paying customers.  Building a timeline of activities and checking back on your website analytics (if set-up) or direct enquiries via email can give you great insight into what works and what doesn’t.

In terms of more complex digital tracking, setting up events and goals in Google Analytics as well as custom links in emails that can be tracked to linked pages is a good idea.  If you have the know-how, Google Tag Manager is a great tool to use, enabling you to add Facebook and other pixels without having to constantly update your website.

Tag Manager can enable your Facebook ads to be reported in your Google Analytics page, which helps in keeping things in one place (!), but Facebook Power Editor will also give you good insight into how any Facebook campaigns are performing.

Marketing needs patience, attention to detail and data.  There is no magic bullet: your strategy and tactics will evolve over time as you learn what works and what doesn’t.

The best marketing is often simple and focused but it’s easy to jump into the tactics before thinking through the why.  Is it worth reviewing your strategy?

For more information on Gymcatch fitness management software and how it can help your yoga, pilates, dance business. Get in contact to book a demo or start a free trial.

What’s driving fitness consumers’ decisions to buy your services?

By Fitness Business Management Archives & News, Fitness Industry Archives & News, Fitness Marketing & Social Archives & News

In this post, we’ll discuss the health and fitness consumer, trends in their buying habits and how the industry can meet them head-on. We surveyed over 400 buyers and prospects and here’s what they told us…

1. Location, location, location

With increasing health and fitness options and improving delivery, consumers are increasingly treating fitness as a commodity. Of course, this is not to say you can’t differentiate in delivery and build strong relationships, but understanding how most buyers initially choose their fitness provider is important to maximizing lead generation.

Our industry research revealed that location was the number one driver for choosing a fitness provider. Conducting a high level analysis of your local community, researching what times to provide sessions for customers, and making your details and schedule easily accessible will be key to your success.

2. Referrals

The second biggest driver in choosing a fitness service is peer recommendation. Ensuring you are enabling referrals (and making them easy to do) is important, both through incentives such as free sessions and with a booking system that readily allows for information to be shared.

3. Convenience

Health and fitness consumers now spend more time on mobile than desktop and are increasingly used to making bookings for services such as taxis, hotels, restaurants and takeaway through via mobile apps. This trend has been growing for some time, and it doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.

Providing the level of convenience consumers experience elsewhere in their lives is important. 27% of our survey participants said they struggle to find important information from their fitness provider, even when looking for it.

4. Social

Our analysis revealed a clear trend towards customers wanting to integrate a social aspect into their fitness regime. In today’s busy yet increasingly health-conscious environment, fitness consumers would like to use their workout as a means to connect with friends, meet new people and maybe even find that special someone:

– 37% are more engaged when they’re able to workout together with friends

– Over 10% are hoping to meet that special person when they workout

– 13% would like to work out but don’t because they don’t want to go alone

Offering and encouraging a way for customers to bring a friend along for a workout, and allowing them to easily refer sessions to friends is therefore important. Delivering non-fitness events for your community is also a good idea.

5. Rewards

Loyalty programs in retail, hospitality and your weekly grocery shop have proved that they can drive increased purchasing frequency and customer retention.

The downside is that creating and managing schemes can be both expensive and time-consuming. Thinking laterally around how you can provide value through discounted packages is one approach. In those instances, try to clearly communicate the saving aspect against the pay-as-you-go alternative. While the up-front payments can be helpful to your cash flow, you don’t want to create a future expectation for deep discounting.

Occasionally, gifting a free session to a loyal or infrequent customer can also have profound effects, with the unexpected nature of the gift generating a deeper psychological impact and overall better relationship between you and your customer.


The bottom line

Location may or may not be in your power to change but what is for certain is that you have the power to influence criteria 2-5. Gymcatch is here to help.


For more information on Gymcatch fitness management software and how it can help your yoga, pilates, dance business. Get in contact to book a demo or start a free trial.

client management software for personal trainers