Top 12 Features To Look For In A Gym Management Software
As a fitness business owner, you know a lot goes into running a successful business. Managing your own fitness business can ultimately be a rewarding experience if done the right way. But it can also become a challenging task if all your time is eaten up by daily operations and administration tasks. You must constantly balance your time and resources in a way that help you focus more on the important areas that grow your business.
So, if you can find a way to streamline your operations, you would be able to save time, resources and reduce the risk of human error. Managing a gym is a fine balancing act between providing a positive member experience, processing payments, and maintaining a safe fitness environment. The ultimate goal is to generate revenue and operate a gym that is profitable.
Fortunately, there is a streamlined way to keep track of everything that goes into running a gym. It’s called a gym management software. While there could be a wide range of features in a gym management software, finding the right software for your business could be difficult. There’s a list of features that you must always consider before choosing yours which we will discuss in the later part of the blog.
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- How gym management software can make all the difference in your gym growth?
- Top 12 features to look for in a gym management software
- Few questions to ask while looking for a gym software provider
How gym management software can make all the difference in your gym growth?
Gone are the days of a slow paper-based system or double data handling (unless you still use a paper-based system. If you do, it's probably best to stop reading and book a demo with our team!). A gym management software is an essential platform that enables you to accomplish managerial tasks that would otherwise be impossible on everyday basis.
The utility of a gym management software lies in its core features namely increasing member engagement, managing staff, creating fitness schedules, processing payments, generating reports, booking classes, maintaining memberships and much more. A good gym management software essentially assists you in fulfilling your growth ambitions by giving you an automated hand that runs in the background of your gym business.
What difference does a gym management software make? Well, like how a great dish is cooked by putting into it a variety of ingredients, similarly the kind of features your gym management software have will make a big impact on how you manage, operate and scale your gym.
What is a gym management software?
Fitness software, often known as gym management software, is a software solution that assists businesses in streamlining, organizing, and running their operations. Gym management software can have a wide range of features, the bulk of them having both an employee and a client-facing portal. Gym managers could use the platform to better manage both their facilities and members.
Simply explained a fitness club management software is a type of software that allows fitness facilities to manage all aspects of their business and run their studio more efficiently. Fitness club management software, fitness software, and fitness membership software are all terms used to describe a gym management software.
Irrespective of the nomenclature, these platforms all have similar features and are used for similar purposes. Fitness owners and operators can use gym software to schedule classes and trainers, keep track of their members, connect with clients, and process payments.
What type of fitness businesses need a software?
While the term "gym" is included in the software category we are talking, the scope is not limited to just gyms. A gym management software is used by a wide range of businesses. When it comes to fitness software requirements, health clubs, boutique fitness studios (including specific disciplines like spin, barre, pilates, yoga, and HIIT), health spas, CrossFit gyms, martial arts studios, fitness centers, personal trainers, and sports performance businesses all come under the same umbrella of a fitness business software.
Who would use a fitness club management software?
All employees of a fitness business could engage with a fitness business software, from gym owners and operators to trainers and front-desk staff. However, how these people use the software will vary depending on their role they have in the fitness business.
The software would allow trainers and instructors to manage their availability, check their timetables, and access member information. The software will also be used by front-desk employees to enroll clients in memberships, plan classes for members, and process payments. The software will be used by owners and operators to view reports, introduce new classes and programs, manage marketing communications, and staff/trainer payroll.
Staff members, on the other hand, aren't the only ones that use a fitness club management software. Members of the fitness facility as well make use of the software. Members can log in to their portals, book classes via app, enroll in memberships, schedule new sessions, and transact retail offerings with the studio via the client facing portal provided by gym management software.
This means that while choosing software, fitness studios must consider not just their internal operations, but also the needs of their customers. Using a gym software that gives a poor user experience may cause a member to be dissatisfied and unhappy.
Top 12 features to look for in a gym management software
Investing in a new gym management system can be unsettling at times. Perhaps you're concerned that a steep learning curve will add to your workload, that your present spreadsheet system will be enough to succeed, or that the software won't perform what you need it to. All of these reasons are totally reasonable, and introducing new software can be a little worrisome at first. However, the advantages of using gym management software greatly exceed the initial newness of adopting to this change.
As a result, we've curated a list of benefits that a fitness club management software must offer in order for you to thrive in the fitness industry. Here are the ten benefits a good gym system software would bring to your gym and impact your growth greatly.
01. Effective membership management
Members make the bread and butter for your gym business. Your fitness club management software should help you manage your members in the best possible way. Members have to be acquired and retained, a good software should help you do both.
A great fitness membership software can automate your marketing outreach and help generate leads for your business. This is how you acquire more members. Moreover keeping a track of those leads and assigning them to your staff is also a useful feature.
As for retaining the existing members, a gym management system can help you engage your clients, let members schedule their classes and give them a complete control over their memberships.
Auto-renewed memberships is a very important revenue stream for fitness clubs, studios and gyms, therefore auto-pay membership feature is a must-have in your fitness membership software. The software should auto-charge a member’s card that they have uploaded online at the time on their renewal date, say the first of every month, or the first of every quarter.
Above all, a good fitness club software should give you complete freedom to create the kind of membership type you want including several different kinds of customizable options like member discounts, retail products, class credits and exclusive member programs.
02. Manage bookings and class schedules
Booking classes and scheduling them is a core feature that a fitness club management software should have. A great software can help you easily schedule your classes, build and post your times tables online and hold special events at your gym.
Gym staff can use the software to keep a track of their schedules and organize their day accordingly. Most importantly it is the members of your gym who can book and schedule the facilities at your gym using either an app or an online web-portal. This eases out things for them and adds value to their experience.
Since gyms have so many different kinds of fitness programs like ongoing classes, private training sessions, six week courses or one day special events, each program that your gym offers will have a different scheduling need. It becomes important for your software to handle each use case with precision so it eases out things both for your staff and your members.
Let’s take the example of personal training sessions that take place at your gym. To create a good PT program your software must make sure that trainers have dedicated time slots that can be blocked out by clients through the app. Your software can also help you set up credit packs that can be used to book open events like classes or appointments, or set up recurring subscriptions which are renewed on monthly basis.
For pre-scheduled programs, say a 4 week course or Tuesday-Thursday classes, your clients would be signing up for the entire program instead of time slots. The payment they would have to make would be either one-time or single session purchases.
All this is the frontend i.e. the client facing part of your business where members book and schedule your services. In the backend though scheduling will work in a different way. A gym management software should be intuitive enough so you can easily do a lot of activities that are required in the usual running of your gym business, say refunding credits or removing someone from a booked class, assign tasks to staff, book a customer to a class, add a customer to waitlist etc.
03. More efficient staff management
Staff is what keeps your business awake and running. A gym software from where staff can manage client attendance, check their schedules and track client information is a must-have.
A great fitness club software also should give your business the power of managing payroll from where one can manage employee timesheets and calculate payroll without any hassles.
Good staff management can help your team be better prepared to do their job. And when they do their job better, it will sooner or later yield great rewards for your gym, be it in the form of happier clients, long term loyalty or more profits.
04. Process & manage global payments
Fitness is becoming increasingly digital. The ability of gym management software to process global payments is useful as you can kick-start your own live fitness programs and video-on-demand training without bounds. With online fitness there’s literally no geographical restrictions and a great software can let you accept payments from all around the globe.
Payment processing in fitness software works very easily. Your members just have to upload their credit card details online and using that they can purchase credits and memberships. The gym business on the other hand can purchase retail products on behalf of the customer, process refunds online, manage transactions and keep a track of all this in easy-to-read reports.
05. Retail & inventory management
Your gym business can become a better brand when you sell custom products like branded t-shirts, sporting wear or in-gym essentials like water, whey protein to your members. It also becomes important to have a stock of these items in your inventory.
Fitness club software can help you sell your products to your clients through an online POS. Moreover an easy inventory management system can help you constantly keep a track of how much stock you have of your retail items.
06. Aligning marketing and sales
When your gym marketing and gym sales are in sync then you can hit growth fast. Aligning them both is possible with a gym software. Capturing leads through your website and then managing them in your business is an art. Handling the entire customer life cycle from acquisition to retention is a process that can be mastered and scaled with the right software. This is done by making sure that your prospects are continuously engaged using emails, SMS and push notifications, all of which helps in converting them into leads and bringing them closer to your business than they were before.
07. Streamline business operations and cut down on admin tasks
In a daily run of your gym business, you are likely to encounter a host of admin tasks which are routine in nature. Although there may be nothing wrong with your current operations, a club management software can always serve as an upgrade. It can help you do more in less time.
Let’s say signing up new members, rescheduling classes, filling out waivers, renewing memberships. These are all operations that are predictable and are bound to happen everyday. A gym software can come in to save the day by completely automating all these tasks. Clients can sign up on their own using an app, they can book private classes, auto-renew memberships and you can easily send out reminders to them to fill out waivers alongside so many other updates that you otherwise would’ve to do manually.
Optimizing your business operations helps you cut down on costs and ensure long term profitability. Because with less admin tasks at hand, you can devote more time to other important tasks that bring in better business returns.
08. Make smarter and informed business decisions
Basing your gym business decisions on concrete data can be the best thing you can do for your fitness business. A gym software that can capture a lot of useful data from the everyday functioning of your business and convert it into ready-to-consume information can be a great asset for your gym.
Real-time metrics and analytics that give you a deeper insight into membership sales, trainer-wise performance, and retail sales can help you unlock more informed decision making for your gym business.
Since the software is integrated with the payments platform, each transaction undertaken by a member adds more data to the system and gives you a better view of how the business is performing in real time.
09. Improve member experience with mobile apps
When your members have a good experience, they stick to your gym for long. Retaining your gym members for long and reducing monthly churn is possible with the help of a custom-built mobile app for your fitness business. These apps give your customers an easy access to class scheduling, VOD, live streaming, payments, buying gym products, checking memberships and much more.
A gym management system should ease out your member’s entire journey from booking a class to paying for it while making it absolutely delightful. Members no longer have to approach the front desk or call your staff to sign up for your gym. The entire process becomes automated and members can simply use a digital waiver instead.
Giving members a control over their gym memberships, payments, bookings and schedule is the go-to-way to win big in this new era of fitness. The app and online member portal should be super easy to use so your members can figure it without sweating too much!
Choosing the wrong gym software however can hurt your business as members will face difficulty in using it on their own. If the membership can not be purchased intuitively and there’s a lot of technological friction then they’ll have to call up your staff member to deal with it which will take up more of your time instead of reducing admin work.
Having a gym management software that works hard for you is important. Bookee app is a new age fitness software starting at just $99. Book your demo and explore now.
10. Engaging your clients the right way
Attracting new clients is first half of the journey, making sure they are continuously engaged and happy is the second part. A great gym software will help you send automated emails to your customers which are driven by specific triggers say when they first sign up for a new class, or when they cancel a their membership.
Your members should be kept updated about their bookings and gym schedules. Here’s where push notifications play a very important role as these notifications can be pushed straight to your customer’s phone screens.
Tracking your clients and the bookings and purchases they make can also be done using a fitness club software. These purchases appear on each client’s profile from where you can explore their entire history very easily.
You can even use customer tags to segment your clients into specific groups say VIPs or extra care, or high-ticket clients and run successful member promotions targeting that particular customer segment.
11. Access to better financial control & insights
Putting all your operations and running them using a single software platform helps you gain access to a lot of important data. The gym management system can use all this data and convert it into useful financial reports with which you can keep a track of all your cash-flows and income sources.
You can attribute the memberships which are most popular and the trainers that are high in demand. A real-time analysis of your gym business finances will help you make ongoing and continuous decisions that directly impact the bottom line.
Revenue reports can help you identify active paying membership and can also help you make decisions as to how you want to price your memberships. If you’re managing multiple locations, the software should give you local as well as multi-level insights into your business.
Some of the useful reports that can help your business would be membership sales, product sales, sales reports, attendance reports, video-on-demand reports, monthly revenue and so on.
Investing in a gym software that gives you better financial control can be one of the most important reasons why it makes sense to go for it. Because at the end of the day money matters and turning over revenue that gives you good profit margin will help you grow your gym business in the longer run.
12. View your business as a whole
Large gym business and fitness studios have multiple departments to manage operations. Information should flow freely across the business, and a great fitness club software should streamline it all in one easy-to-use dashboard.
From this dashboard multiple departments can easily access and view the business as a whole. This is important for businesses that have multiple locations and want to manage them all from one single software. With a good enterprise level software you can manage staff schedules, figure out payrolls, handle multiple class schedule and see top-level financial reports.
Getting into a top-tier overview of your business can help you spot a new growth opportunity, all this with the help of a good gym software.
Few questions to ask while looking for a gym software provider
We are moving towards the end of this insightful article. So far we have provided a detailed picture into what a gym management software is, why is it important and the key features to consider while choosing a software for your business. But there’s one additional thing you must consider apart from features and functionality while choosing a software which is your service provider. You must partner with a business that adds to the growth of your business.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself before choosing your next gym software.
Is the software versatile enough to be configured to your business needs?
This may not be as important if you're just establishing your business or deploying a software for the first time. However, if you've had a gym management software for a while or are switching software providers, you'll need a fitness club software that can adapt to your business model. If you didn’t, it'll feel like you're starting over, and, more significantly, there may be a disconnect between your gym and its clients. We are creatures of habit, and disrupting the routine could result in unexpected churn from your customers.
Migration at bookee is done overnight so you and your clients could just sleep with an outdated software wake up on a new-age gym management software in no time.
Unlike most of the industries, fitness businesses also operate differently and one-size won't fit them all. Everything varies from how they operate to what they offer. Our team knows this well that is why we make sure every fitness business gets what they are looking for at Bookee. We strive to deliver quality member and staff experiences along with meeting the unique needs of your business. Regardless of your business model and operations, bookee app can be configured as per your vision and ideal workflows
Does the provider have an innovative and evolving product?
Today the gym software system you're considering may appear to be a good fit, but what about in a year? Is the software robust enough to grow with your needs?
With the rise of at-home fitness options, wearables innovation, and a shift in consumer habits, the fitness industry has witnessed a lot of change and turbulence since COVID. These factors have altered the way gyms operate, requiring the evolution of software to keep up with changing market trends and demands.
While asking questions from your potential gym software provider, make sure they see where your product is going in the future. You must also know how many features have they released in the last six months and how often they release new features. You must go with a product that matches your product growth and the industry disruptions.
Can the software provider partner with you on your growth goals?
The last thing to consider while choosing the software is that will it help you to grow your business except for its basic utility. Understand the implementation and on-boarding processes and how active is their customer support. Also learn about the software training and feedback channels they have for a long term collaboration of your gym and their software. In addition to the software knowledge, also consider the overall knowledge of your niche. You might choose a gym software that has great features and functionality but you may get stuck when they don't truly understand the goals and challenges of your gym business.
Gym management software: An essential fitness business tool
Gym management software has become a necessity for all fitness studios, gyms, and personal trainers in order to expand and succeed in the long run. Make sure you choose software after a complete in-depth research and make sure that helps you in both the short term and long term.
We understand that trying anything new can feel like it will take up too much of your time or add to your team's workload. However, there's a reason why gym management software is used by so many fitness businesses. If you can find a way to spend less time working in your business and more time working on it, you'll be able to identify and implement change that will yield positive results.
Bookee app’s fitness club management software is a great choice for all sorts of fitness studios. We'd love to share our technical expertise with your business and understand how a gym software can help you can grow, at absolutely no cost.
Book a free demo now.