Skip to main content
Category

Fitness marketing and social archives and news

software for personal trainers

Streamline your personal training bookings with Gymcatch 

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

Streamline your personal training bookings with our intuitive class booking and management software. 

Whether you offer 1:1, 2:1 or small group personal training sessions, Gymcatch ensures a hassle-free experience so that you can say goodbye to the complexities of manual systems and enjoy a simple and streamlined approach to managing schedules, bookings, payments and client interactions, enabling you to do more of what you love!

Over and above everything you’d expect to manage booking and payments, our PT focused features include:

Control visibility of your sessions 

Visibility management on Gymcatch is a great feature for personal trainers, enabling you to set your ‘open sessions’ as public and those for regular clients as private, ensuring you can both take new bookings and ensure clients’ regular spots are protected.  

You also have an automated waitlist feature that is included within our base plan to ensure that, no matter the size of your personal training sessions, you’re giving yourself the best chance to fill the space. 

Run business your way 

Personal trainers need the best of both worlds; a booking system that takes care of automation and recurring clients, whilst also the flexibility to give existing clients the option to book more or new slots. 

We give clients and Admins full control over packages and credit booking, ensuring you can let those that want to book and pay by themselves the freedom to do so, whilst also managing, or part-managing clients that don’t want that responsibility or small admin.

Easily onboard and upsell to customers 

Running a goal orientated course of personal training sessions is a great way to get new starters onboard or even upsell to existing customers. On Gymcatch you can easily create a course for a set number of sessions over a specified period of time and when either you or your customers book onto this course, they’ll automatically be booked onto all of the sessions within it. Saving both yourself and your customers time!

Quickly and tidily schedule your availability 

As a busy personal trainer you’re going to have a lot of identical sessions within your schedule showing your availability, whether that’s to book in with yourself or other trainers at your gym. Not only can you easily create a recurring series of sessions for these availability slots, but you can even use our consolidated sessions feature to group identical sessions each day for a tidier view on your schedule.

 

Experience the ease and efficiency of our personal training booking software, where managing your sessions becomes as fun as teaching them! Simplify your workflow, enhance your customer’s experiences and streamline your processes so that your business can create a community where accessing exercise is easy and enjoyable.

If you’re wanting to streamline your personal training business, then feel free to book a call with one of the team here.

Elevate your business as a yoga teacher

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

Wellness and self-care are an ever increasing part of people’s personal goals and priorities, driving an ever increasing societal interest in yoga.

We understand how challenging it can be to stand out from the crowd as a yoga teacher, so we’re here to help you. In this article we will discuss how to elevate your practices, find balance and embrace the flow of both business and life.

Understand your customer’s schedule and commitment

Defining your ideal customer is so important to ensure that what you’re offering is exactly what your customers have been looking for. Taking the time to ask your customers what they want will help you to determine your schedule, class structure, whether you want to offer 1-2-1 or larger group classes and pricing. This practice of defining your ideal customer will also allow you to discover the average ability level of your customers and plan a class around this with appropriate modifications and adding in your own unique style to stand out from the crowd!

Design your business model accordingly

Once you’ve defined your ideal customer, you can then design your business model accordingly. Knowing whether you should offer a flexible PAYG option, courses that are in line with term time to help with attendance or even memberships for a longer term commitment and automated billing, will help you to not only offer payment options that best suit your customers but also streamline your business. 

Free up time for yourself

As you get busier and busier as a business owner, time becomes an ever increasing commodity. No matter how busy you are, it is important to free up time for yourself to allow space for self-reflection, continued learning and committing to your own self-practice. Providing yourself with this free time is so valuable when it comes to developing and elevating your business. 

Automate your business

Having a booking system that allows you to automate administrative tasks will free up more time to focus on your business model, continued learning and most importantly finding balance as a business owner. 

Effortlessly and cost effectively manage your schedule, bookings, payments and customers with Gymcatch’s booking system which is designed to make life feel easier for you and your clients. Whether you’re offering 1:1 or group practices, pay-as-you-go or block bookings, Gymcatch is here to support you and your business whatever your business model to help you to go with the flow of business and life. 

Regularly review your business

It is important that you take a step back from being in the business to allow you to regularly review your ideal customer, business model and tools that you use to see where they can be improved. Reviewing your business every quarter will allow you to ensure that what you’re offering is exactly what your customers are looking for and that this is as streamlined as it can be, to help you stand out from the crowd.

Gymcatch’s yoga booking software can help you to elevate your business, allowing you to reach more students, offer personalised experiences, and strengthen your yoga community. Your dedication to guiding others toward wellness deserves a partner that shares your passion and supports your growth.

How to make your life easier as a fitness professional

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

Here at Gymcatch we understand that owning your own fitness business can be stressful, adding that with the usual day-to-day life stresses that are outside of our control, can make you feel like you’re just about treading water. That’s why we’re all about making life, especially business, as easy as possible.

In this blog, we discuss how you can automate your business with Gymcatch this year to increase revenue, reduce stress and make life feel that little bit easier.

Payment on booking

Do you ever feel like you’re constantly sending out invoices and chasing payments? Receiving payment on booking avoids the need to keep logging into your accounting software, manually sending out invoices and having that awkward conversation when a customer is late paying. 

Create a Stripe account, connect it to your Gymcatch account and start receiving payment on booking – It’s that easy to start securing revenue, reducing no shows since customers have paid in advance and reducing admin time!

Collect customer information on first booking 

We’ve all been there, manually sending out waivers or questionnaires, waiting for customers to complete them and then having piles of paperwork to store. With Gymcatch, you can enable our participation information bolt-on feature so that customers are asked to complete all the necessary forms before they are able to book and pay for their first class with you and once completed, they are stored on their customer record on your Gymcatch account.

No more chasing customers to complete their forms and no more drowning in paperwork – Win win!

Automated waitlists 

It’s always important to ensure that your classes are fully booked, especially when you’re paying an hourly fee to rent a space to host your class in. Our automated waitlists feature is not only included within our base plan, but also allows you to keep your sessions fully booked without the need to lift a finger.

If a customer cancels their space on a fully booked session, those customers who are on the waitlist will automatically be notified via email that a space has become available and then it’s first come first serve as to who books and pays for this space first.

Cancellation policy & automated refund credits 

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

This is why it is so important to safeguard yourself and your business through a well-defined cancellation policy that your clients understand and have agreed to so that you can avoid situations like this. 

Automating refund credits is also a great way to allow clients to reschedule their sessions if cancelled in line with your cancellation policy and keep the money in the business without you ever having to get involved. Reducing these awkward conversations, reducing admin and reducing stress.

Gymcatch in your pocket

You can automate your business as much as you want to, but there’s always going to be times that you need to have access to your booking software whilst in a coffee shop catching up with a friend. 

You’ve got access to special ‘on-the-go’ features within the Gymcatch iOS and Android apps. You can check the roster, mark customers as paid and attended and stay in touch with attendees all from your phone, allowing you to manage your business no matter where you are. 

 

If you’re ready for business, and life, to feel that little bit easier, then register your Gymcatch business account today!

Image for How to raise your prices blog post

5 ways to share the love on Gymcatch this February

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

February, the official month of love, is a great time to share the love with your customers and other business owners on Gymcatch. Whether you’re rewarding your long standing customers for their commitment, creating a seasonal offer or helping out your friend who has just started their fitness business, we’re here to show you how you can spread the love like confetti!

In this blog, we share 5 ways that you can give back to your customers and friends this February and beyond. 

Refer a friend

A refer a friend scheme is a great way to not only increase revenue and reward existing customers, but to help with increasing exercise participation by getting friends to work out together. 

You can use our discount codes bolt-on feature to create a discount code that your existing customer can pass onto their friend. They would use this code at checkout and upon attending the session, you can then thank your existing customer by gifting them with either a bundle, pass or another discount code that they can use on their next booking with you. 

Priority access 

Nothing will make a customer feel more special than giving them priority access to your sessions. Our priority access feature is a great way to reward long standing customers by allowing them to secure their space on your most popular of classes and best thing yet, this priority access feature is included within our base plan so there’s no excuse not to make your customers feel special. 

Free trials 

Offering a free trial period is a great way to convert possible new customers since you’re reducing those barriers and making it as easy as possible for them to book their first class with you and it shows that you care about them, allowing them to try a class for free and making sure that you two are a good match before committing. 

Every business will configure a free period differently, whether that is offering one or multiple classes. Either way, with Gymcatch, you can create a free pass, assign specific sessions to the pass and set a time limit for it to be used within. You’ll always have complete visibility of who’s redeemed the pass as well, this means that you can give this new customer specific focus and attention when they attend their first class with you, not only making them feel special but also giving you the best chance of converting them into a paying customer. 

Discount codes

Our discount codes bolt-on feature is a quick and easy way to create seasonal offers and even give one-off rewards to customers for their commitment or for reaching specific landmarks within their wellness journey.

You can easily create a discount code on Gymcatch and personalise it to suit your needs, whether that is setting a specific validity period for the code, only allowing the code to be used on specific sessions, limiting the use to specific customers or for a total number of redemptions and even capping the code at one redemption per customer. 

Business referral scheme 

February isn’t just a time of year to reward your customers, you can also share the love with any friends who are just starting their fitness business. 

Our referral scheme allows you to refer a new business to Gymcatch where they will benefit from an additional free month on top of our introductory free trial. As a thank you we will also credit you with two months when they make their first subscription payment. 

All you need to do is simply share your referral URL or unique code and when a new business registers, either via the link or inputting the code at registration, we take care of the rest.

 

If you’re ready to give back to your customers and friends this February and beyond, then get in touch with us so that you can get started with Gymcatch today and we can help you share the love.

Get 2024 ready – Work smarter, save money and grow your business with Gymcatch

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

Post-pandemic there’s been a lot to deal with – changed customer habits, rampant inflation and the resultant cost of living pressures.  For many, it’s been firefighting, but now nearing the New Year it’s a great time to look forward, and reassess your plans, processes and business model to ensure you’re set up for a banner year.

In this blog, we explore how Gymcatch can help – whether you’ve an existing booking system or not.

Save money

Our sector is different.  At the end of the month, what’s left in the bank is invariably our business owner’s salary, so costs matter in a way they don’t for many decision-makers in other industries.

At Gymcatch we’re on a mission to provide industry-specific software at a price that everyone can afford.  We are proud to be the best value offering on the market.  As you review your costs, we suggest:

  • If you have a booking system, check out our pricing page to see how we compare and ask us any questions to see if we can save you money.
  • If you don’t have a system, jot down how much time you spend a week on managing your bookings / chasing payments as well as estimating how much you might lose from missing payments, no shows or refunds (which can all be automated!). Even without the saved lost revenue, if you assign even minimum wage to your time, we’re confident Gymcatch will more than pay for itself.

Review your business model

It’s a great time to review your business model, and think about whether it’s meeting your customers’ needs, maximising your revenue opportunity and, indeed, if your booking system can grow with you.

A few well-known ideas would include:

  • Offering class packs to improve cash flow.
  • Adding courses/blocks to generate new sources of revenue.
  • Add memberships to smooth cash flow and improve retention.

Lesser known, but an increasingly popular trend is to differentiate client packages by providing priority session access. As with live streaming or adding on-demand resources, gating who can see what and when can be a great way to add chargeable value without having to work harder or increase your costs.

Reviewing who and what permissions you give to any team members can also be a super way to save time and delegate some of your day-to-day.

Improve conversions and reduce lost revenue

We know that a good percentage of the industry still operate manually, using email/text and pen and paper (or spreadsheets),  so it’s worth repeating a long held rationale for going digital – if a customer can’t book immediately, or has to wait for a reply, you’re dramatically increasing the chances that they lose the buying intent to commit or arrange something else for the scheduled time.

By adding digital bookings that can be booked at any time of the day and anywhere you increase you can notably increase your conversion rates.  Similarly, it’s important customers can do that easily, but also in the format they’re used to. If customers are used to running their life through apps on their phone, they expect to have the ability to do that with their fitness provider.

Automating wait lists and credit backs in line with your cancellation policy are other ways a quality booking system can help you improve booking conversions and avoid unnecessarily lost revenue.

Make referrals easy

If you’re like us here at Gymcatch, most of your customers come from referrals.  Making it easy for customers to share details about a session and the link to book on makes good business sense – if you don’t have a digital presence, you’re adding extra steps and hassle to a potential referrer.

We’re focused on helping business owners to streamline their workflows, save time and grow their business. Please get in touch via our live chat (icon bottom right) or book a free consultation if you’d like to talk through how we can help.

Marketing for yoga teachers

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

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

 

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

How to market yoga classes

 

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

 

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

Effective yoga marketing strategies and tips for yoga teachers

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

 

1. Google and social media paid ads 

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

2. Google My Business profile

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

 

3. Setting up a website and performing SEO

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Growing your yoga business and retaining customers

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

 

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

 

Nurturing growth through effective marketing

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

 

How Gymcatch can help

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

 

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

 

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

How to manage booking availability and cancellations

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

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

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

Manage when booking opens

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

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

Manage when booking closes

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

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

Manage prioritised access

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

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

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

Enable digital payments

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

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

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

Sensible wait lists

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

Use reminders and calendar sync

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

Set a cancellation policy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What incentives should you offer to your customers?

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

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

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

Broadly these incentives fall into three types:

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

Incentives to try/join

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

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

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

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

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

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

Incentives to commit

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

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

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

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

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

Incentives to refer

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to price your fitness services

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

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

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

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

Be aware of bias

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

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

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

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

Your business

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

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

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

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

Your customers

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

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

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

Track and review

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image for Referrals blog post

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.