Whether you’re a brand new business or well established, you should never underestimate the importance of choosing the right club management system for your health club! With so many health club membership management systems out there to choose from, it can be hard for fitness studio / gym owners to know where to start when trying to pick out the right one for your business.
That’s why we’ve come up with the ultimate 5 step plan to help you make the best possible decision when choosing your fitness club management system.
1. Streamline Processes Before You Start Looking
How do you know what kind of system you need if you don’t already have set procedures in place to run your business? If you don’t have a solid business model with a specific way of doing things, no fitness software platform will help.
Consider your current processes surrounding onboarding new members, membership sign-ups, automated invoicing, real time payment processing and member retention, as well as access control for self check-ins, online bookings, class scheduling or training sessions and attendance tracking. For many fitness businesses, these things are tracked with handwritten or data entry via desktop spreadsheets.
While maintaining and updating all your gym memberships and scheduling details on a spreadsheet works perfectly fine, any new and modern gym shouldn’t rely on such an outdated way to run a business.
So, look at your current business management processes and figure out how they can be adapted to an effective system and come up with a list of features and functionalities you require from your gym management software that need to apply to your business.
2. Identify the Most Important Function the Software Solution Needs to Have
Once you’ve come up with a list of all the features and functions you hope to have in your health club management system, your next step is to prioritise them. While it would be wonderful to fit all your dream functionalities into one system, in reality, it’s pretty unlikely.
After you’ve ordered your list from the most to the least important, you’ll be well equipped to differentiate between similar systems to choose the one that meets your needs most.
3. Understand Your Budget
How much are you willing to pay for your gym software? You need to make sure the new system will be worth the price. Set a budget beforehand on how much you’re willing to spend and stick to it. Even if you find the right system and have to opt for a plan with fewer features than what you were hoping for, remember that as your business grows and you start making more money that you can always upgrade to a plan with all the bells and whistles. Finding a system that can grow with you is key.
On the other hand, if you’re avoiding buying personal training software altogether because of the cost, consider how much money you are losing by not having an efficient system in place – Or how much revenue you could be generating with the extra time an efficient system will provide!
4. Try it Out
So, you’ve narrowed down your options and you’ve found one or more systems that tick the boxes for your business. The next step is to take a free demo of the member management tool to see for yourself what the user interface looks like and how user friendly it is.
Once you’re in the system, play around with it and try out as many features as you can. Try replicating a current process in your business and see how the system performs. You should also try out what it’s like to create a membership, process credit card or debit card payments and set class schedules on the calendar.
Once you start getting the hang of it, ask yourself: Is it easy to use?
You’ll want to consider the member facing features. Are they easy for your members to understand? Will your members be happy with this new experience or is it confusing to them? Your new system should be effortless for employees and members alike.
5. Make a Decision
Go back to the list you created in step 2 and evaluate your options after trying out one or more systems for yourself. Once you’ve narrowed it down to your top choice, before making the final decision, it also pays to watch tutorial videos and read user guide articles. That way you can know and understand the system you’ve chosen inside and out.
Although it will take some time to really get a feel for the system, the extra effort is worth it. After all, this is the system that will be managing your fitness centers – So you want to make sure you are using it to its full potential!
Make sure to take extra care when setting up your system to ensure everything is arranged correctly to suit your business perfectly. As part of the setup process, you will have to enter your vital business data into the system. Keep in mind, however, that garbage in is garbage out – Good data is key!
Put solid naming conventions in place straight away so everyone knows exactly what data is entered and what it means. This includes data for membership, classes, email templates, and anything else everyone needs to access and understand day to day.
Be mindful of the fact that the new system should be set up in a way that’s easy for anyone to use. You should be able to teach someone else how to use the system easily so they can be up and running with it asap.
Try Out Clubworx
If you’re in the market for new club software, it just so happens that we have a pretty great piece of software of our own that’s built to suit many different business types in the fitness industry including Gyms, PT’s, yoga studios, and martial arts studios. Head over to our Gym Software Page to see what your gym management software can do for you, and if we’re lucky enough to be included on your short list – Start your free trial