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We are all presently facing a difficult time concerning the COVID-19 as gym owners, but we need to stand strong, persevere, find the opportunities, grow as a community and as an entrepreneur. If we don’t grab those opportunities and find ways to adapt to the current situation, we won’t be able to survive the crisis. 

That is why we have decided to help our and other gym owners by giving ways to adapt and keep the flow of revenue going even when times are tough. We know that it can be hard when there are a lot of mountains to climb before seeing the light, so that is why we want to help our fitness community in any way possible. We have created a framework that you can download for free that can help obtain a little more revenue during this challenging time. 

Here are 5 simple things you can do to keep your business alive: 

Create a Facebook group 

You should if you don’t already have a Facebook group! This is the essential thing you should have implemented to keep your members motivated. You need to add all your members in this group. This will make them interact with each other and yourself and keep everyone motivated while everyone is home doing social distancing. Anyways social networks are on fire since a lot of people are off school and work and are at home! So don’t worry there will be a lot of communicating, and people will appreciate it!

Keep your members motivated

If you haven’t done so yet, well what are you waiting for! Motivate them by any means you can be creative. Your members are at the core of your business without them you don’t exist. They should be your top priority, because if they aren’t to you then why should they?

Give at-home workouts

Since your members can’t go to the gym because of state or provincial law, that doesn’t mean they can’t or shouldn’t work out anymore. Create and adapt your workouts and provide it to them. Even though your members are at home, they can still keep their exercise routine going. 

A lot of your members don’t know what exercises they can do at home or anywhere. You are the experts, that’s why they initially signed up to your fitness center, so they don’t have to think about what they should be doing as exercise. 

Give weekly goals

To keep your members engaged you will need to set goals because trust me a lot of them will do it for three maybe seven days. Afterwards, they will no longer continue because they will no longer be motivated and they will ask, for you, to stop passing their payments. That either passes weekly, biweekly or monthly. We certainly don’t want that to happen! To keep them motivated set them individual, daily or weekly goals whichever you prefer, but at least set a goal to keep them going.

Ask them how they’re doing

Once in a while have a conversation with each of your members individually. We are all presently social distancing and we don’t know for how long, so create a bond with your members to show them that you care and their well-being. They will think twice before deciding to stop their payments. It won’t be the first thing they will decide to cut to save money. If they know and see that you are doing everything in your power to keep them motivated, trust me they won’t want to let you go!

Your members are the core of your business. You need to do anything and everything in your power to keep them motivated. Without them, you will end up closing your doors. That’s not what anybody wants! Without your members, you won’t achieve greatness. Hold on to that!

If you’re performing all of this already well that’s amazing!

We want to communicate with you a little extra so you can have a little more revenue and remain them motivated. We have produced a framework that you can download for free and implement it in your fitness center. We call this framework the “Equipment rental agreement.” 

Do you maintain equipment that isn’t being used right now that is currently sleeping at your fitness center? 

Well, what are you waiting for? Lease that equipment and get that little extra revenue or offer them the equipment as long as they keep making their payments! To assist you and make your lives easier, we’ve created a rental agreement. You can edit everything that is highlighted in yellow and replace the logo with your own.

All you have to do is fill out the form with the information on what type of equipment will be rented and forward the document by email, Facebook, etc. Once received by your member they will initial and sign the document. You can ask them to leave the form outside the day of the drop-off and ask them to stay inside during the drop off to continue social distancing.

IMPORTANT you must have the agreement form validated by your legal advisor. We are not in any way legal counsels, so we cannot validate the accuracy of this agreement form from a legal point of view. We cannot be held responsible for the validity of this information is used.

Retention

Getting inside the mind of the modern gym-goer can be challenging; customer demands are only increasing, and pressures to provide a seamless, personalized experience are higher than ever. In this article, we are covering why tracking members’ activity is key to increasing your revenue. 

Understanding what your members want is no easy task, so tracking some of their activities can give you important insights into their goals, challenges, likes, and dislikes and help you to understand what they’re looking for in a fitness facility, so you can keep them coming back time and time again. 

With all of the technology available today, the information you need to boost your business is literally at your fingertips. The key is knowing what the numbers mean, and what to do about them. 

We’ll walk you through the data points you should be paying attention to and show you how you can turn that data into dollars. 

Benefits of tracking members’ activity

As a business owner, you need to know your numbers. You’re probably already zeroed in on your revenue and expenses, but if you want to see some serious upward momentum in your earning potential you’ll want to start tracking member activity. 

Building a clientele requires you to foster personal relationships with each individual member. Whether they frequent your facility once a day or once a month, every member wants to feel prioritized and valued. While it’s certainly important to get some face time in with members now and again, as your client base grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to develop those one-on-one relationships. However, it’s still important to ensure you’re regularly collecting feedback, as this will be key to your business’s success. 

The latest customer experience tools keep you connected to your members in a multitude of ways, making it possible to automate the data collection process, get instant feedback from gym members about their experience at your facility, and let you respond to any questions, comments, or concerns. This fosters the creation of a valuable feedback loop between you and your members. By understanding what’s working—and what’s not—you put yourself in a position to take action before it’s too late.

Members’ activity to track

Once you start tracking your customer activity, you’ll want to make sure you know what you’re looking for. The more information you have on hand, the better position you’re in to make informed decisions that will positively impact your business.

  • Acquisition: How did this person come to set foot in your fitness center in the first place? Understanding who your customers are and where they’re coming from can give you valuable insight into your marketing activities, and help you to determine where to boost your efforts. 
  • Classes and personal training services: Tracking the popularity of your classes and PT services will show you where member interest lies, and which offerings are keeping members engaged and helping to grow your business. 
  • Member satisfaction: As a business owner, it’s a great idea to check in regularly with clients and implement a simple feedback system that allows them to rate their experience at your facility. Learn more about what members are enjoying and what could be improved. 
  • Inactivity period: This is one of the most important metrics to track as it tells you when a member might be falling off track. Whether they’re losing motivation, or scoping out a new gym, with this data in hand you’re now in a position to reach out and retain the customer. 

Determine a specific threshold, say 7 days of inactivity, at which point you can set up an automated check-in by text or email to re-engage members who have been inactive for a certain amount of time. 

  • Renewals: You’ll want to keep track of where people are in their membership cycle so that you can actively re-engage them when their membership is up for renewal. If they choose not to renew, this is a valuable opportunity to understand why and what you may be able to do differently next time. 

How tracking members’ activity boosts revenue?

By keeping an eye on your member’s activities, you’ll start to notice patterns, enabling you to make informed decisions to guide your business activities. 

Firstly, solid data gives you feedback about your current marketing activities, how they’re paying off and where you could stand to focus more of your efforts. This helps you to allocate your marketing spend in ways that benefit your business, while reducing your budget in areas that aren’t bringing results.  

Tracking metrics lets you get to know your members on a more personal level, understand their habits, likes, and dislikes. You can use this information to create a tailored member experience for each individual. 

For example, if you notice one of your regular members hasn’t been to the gym in a week, this might be a prime opportunity to send them a check-in text to keep their fitness goals top of mind. Not only might this prompt the member to come in for a workout, effectively re-engaging them as a client, it also shows them that you’re paying attention and you value their presence, helping you to build the foundations of customer loyalty.

It’s this kind of relationship building that keeps members coming back year over year. Increasing your average member length of engagement (LEG) will in turn increase recurring revenue, which is integral to the long-term success of your business. 

How to track members activity?

Tracking member data may seem like a full-time job, but it doesn’t have to be. The key to making tracking manageable is setting up systems through automated dashboards so you can collect, analyze, and start seeing the results of your tracking efforts ASAP. 

First, you’ll want to consider your needs. What metrics are you looking to track, and why? Understanding every business is unique and ready to implement tracking in your facility, but not sure where to start? FLiiP’s automated dashboards are designed for the unique challenges facing today’s gym owners, to track the numbers you need to set you up for success. Book your demo today to learn more.

Gym Software Revenue

An automated follow-up is a pre-written SMS or email that you can send automatically to a lead or existing client to encourage them to take action, whether that’s taking advantage of a free trial, becoming a member, or signing up for a class. In this article, you ‘ll learn how can Gym Owners benefit from automated follow-ups.

“More than 80% of the sales are made between
the 5th and 12th touch
– Grant Cardone

 

The value of automating follow-ups does not end there. Once you’ve converted a lead, you’ll want to continue to nurture the relationship, ensuring your new member remains an engaged part of your community while keeping them up to date on your latest service offerings. 

At FLiiP, we’ve worked with many gym owners to help them set up a strategy for automated follow-ups that’s in line with their business goals, and we’ve seen firsthand the difference it can make. 

By using automated follow-ups the right way, you’ll boost conversions, build customer loyalty, generate a feedback loop to improve your services, and collect reviews that will help you to increase the visibility and credibility of your business. 

1. Convert More Leads to Members

The key to implementing a successful follow-up strategy is to act fast, while you’re still fresh in their mind. A one-minute response time can lead to 391% more conversions. This is why automation is so important. 

Follow-ups can take the form of SMS or emails, and ideally you’ll take advantage of both to create a comprehensive follow-up strategy. 

The following are examples of automated follow-ups that you might consider sending to nurture leads as well as existing customers:

  • Welcome email: an automated email welcoming new members to your gym. This is a great opportunity to introduce yourself, your staff, and inform them about your services.
  • Survey: check in on your lead and see how they are enjoying their experience, specially on the first 90 days of their new journey (On average 50% of new clients are dropping off by the first 90 days of their fitness journey) 
  • Weekly emails: plan a series of emails for each week that promotes different aspects of your service offerings.
  • End of trial survey: at the end of a trial, if they do not sign up for a membership, this is a good opportunity to send another survey to find out what you could have done better. 
  • Reactivation emails: To re-engage inactive customers before it’s too late, for example members who haven’t visited the gym in a while. 

Just because you’re automating your communications, doesn’t mean they should all be identical. As you acquire new leads and members, you should aim to segment the different audiences according to their needs and interests, as well as their stage in the buying cycle.

Doing this will enable you to send more personalized communications, which leads to increased open rates and higher conversions, maximizing your return on investment. The more you can tailor your emails to each individual client, the better. This will help you see success from your automated follow-ups and prevent receivers from feeling like they are being spammed. 

2. Build Customer Relationship 

Don’t spend so much time chasing leads that you forget about your existing clients. Successful gym owners know that acquiring new clients is exciting, but customer retention is the key to building and scaling a business. 

It’s up to five times cheaper to retain your current customers than it is to acquire new ones, and the likelihood of making a sale to an existing customer is 60-70%. Needless to say, building solid relationships with your members is an excellent way to boost your overall revenue and grow your business. 

So, what keeps members happy and coming back?

A lot of this comes down to relationship-building. People can work out anywhere, but offering them a sense of community and belonging keeps them coming back. You want them to feel that they have a unique relationship with you and your staff, and one of the ways you can do this is by sending them personalized follow-up messages tailored to their specific needs, likes, and dislikes. 

3. Use Feedback to Improve Your Customer Experience

Another benefit of automated follow-ups is the opportunity to build a feedback loop between you and your clientele. Feedback from clients can vary widely, but by collecting and analyzing this data it should give you a good idea of what you’re doing right, and where there are improvements to be made.  

This kind of feedback allow you to keep tabs on day-to-day operations at your gym even when you’re not there, giving you a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your customer experience. 

Positive feedback provides you with the reassurance that the efforts you are making to create a positive customer experience are paying off. It can also be very motivating for the rest of your team to receive praise and to know that their work is appreciated, encouraging them to maintain that high standard. 

While no one likes getting negative feedback, it’s bound to happen. When it does, don’t take it personally—embrace it as an opportunity to identify what went wrong and make changes before it has an impact on your customer relationships.

4. Automate Google Reviews to Increase The Visibility of Your Gym

When potential customers are looking for a gym, odds are the first place they will start is by reading reviews. In fact, 63.6% of consumers say they are likely to check Google reviews (through Google Maps and Search) before visiting a business location. 

Improving your SEO is paramount to boosting your online visibility, generate more traffic to your website, and ultimately increase your revenue. While many businesses opt for methods such as blogging and keyword research to improve their ranking, a faster option is by getting as many Google reviews as possible. 

Because people who got great experience often don’t think about leaving a review. Most of the time it’s quite the opposite. Automated follow-ups help you to secure that valuable feedback from clients in a timely manner, while their experience is still fresh in their mind. That’s why we created a feature that automatically redirects your members, who left a 5-stars review in FLiiP, to Google Reviews to spread the word!

How Can a Gym Owner Start Using Automated Follow-Ups?

Automated follow-ups are a key component of your digital marketing strategy, keeping members engaged whether they’re in the gym or not. Focus your attention on building personal relationships with your members and watch your business flourish year after year. 

If you’re ready to see the results automated follow-ups can produce for your gym, we can help. We work with gym owners to create workflows that help them reach their ideal customers. Learn more about automated follow-ups for Gym Owners, book your demo now!

Gym Management Gym Software

With the start of a new year comes an abundance of resolutions, with many people pledging to get back to the gym and reignite their passion for fitness. That “new year, new me” energy can translate to plenty of fresh faces in your gym, which means new opportunities to expand your offerings and enhance your business operations. That’s why, we gathered the 5 fitness trends to follow for gym owners in 2023. If you do it right, you just might convert those newcomers to long-standing clients, the lifeblood of any sustainable business.

The following are five fitness trends to tap into to boost the success of your business and provide next-level service to your clientele. 

1. Encourage The Use of Apps

Fitness trackers are nothing new, but in 2023 they are becoming much more sophisticated, with capabilities ranging from providing Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enhanced feedback on your daily routine, to the early detection of potentially life-threatening health conditions. 

One in five Americans now wears a fitness tracker or smartwatch with health-monitoring capabilities, giving us access to an unprecedented amount of data. Harnessing the power of this technology can help you to boost your membership numbers and increase client retention

Encouraging your personal trainers to integrate this technology in one-on-one sessions or within their group classes is an excellent strategy to help your clients feel more engaged in their workouts. Having access to this data at their fingertips keeps members accountable, which is key to keeping them on track with their fitness goals and boosting membership retention. 

2. Focus on Well-Being And Implementing Long-Term, Sustainable Fitness Solutions

According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), most gyms lose 50% of their new members within 6 months. The key to preventing this is to position physical fitness as one component of a healthy lifestyle, and encourage your members to think about their overall health in the long-term, rather than just the short-term aesthetic benefits of training. 

Physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your long-term health. Daily activity has been shown to reduce the risk of disease, improve brain health, and strengthen bones and muscles.  Not only does exercise boost your physical health, but physical activity has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression

Encourage holistic, long-term health regimes that take into consideration all aspects of health, and educate your members on the importance of sleep and nutrition as an avenue to achieving their fitness goals. This approach benefits your members, encourages them to stay on track and keep renewing their gym membership. 

3. Gym Owners Should Build a Strong Presence on Social Media

A consistent social media presence helps to establish your authority and positions you as an expert in the health and fitness market. Potential members may check out your social channels before ever setting foot in your gym, so consider this your first impression—and make it a good one. 

Your social media presence helps you to attract new customers, get feedback, and build loyalty with your audience, eventually converting them to members. Fostering a strong presence on social media platforms such as TikTok is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to boost your business’s SEO score, engage with your community and build your brand. 

To save time, you’ll want to centralize your communications by connecting your social media platforms so that you can simultaneously post across multiple channels.

4. Leverage Technology to Create Personalized Interactions With Members

At its core, a gym is a community space where people come not only to get fit, but to connect with others and feel a sense of belonging. Creating a personalized experience is key to a successful retention and member engagement strategy, and technology can help you get there. 

According to a study from Precor, member retention starts from the onboarding process. 87% of members who experience a positive onboarding process still remained active after 6 months.

Personalization means shifting away from a transactional mentality to consider the entire member lifecycle. As you collect data and learn more about the choices and habits of your members, you can leverage that data to create digital experiences that are tailored to their individual preferences, for example:

  • Targeted emails
  • Custom video messages
  • Product or service recommendations

Lead generation tools can help you to build and manage your pipeline and create multi-channel campaigns to nurture your leads into customers while keeping your messaging consistent.

5. Create Opportunities For Bonding Outside of The Gym

As social creatures, humans naturally crave a sense of belonging and are more motivated when making progress towards a shared goal. Not only does a strong community result in a pleasant and inviting environment, when you move away from the transactional model of offering a service for money and focus primarily on community building you set yourself up for success. 

Community-building businesses can support superior business models by cashing in on the kind of social capital you can’t pay for, for example: 

  • Enthusiastic members help acquire new members, resulting in lower customer acquisition costs
  • Members feel a sense of loyalty to the community, resulting in increased retention and improved lifetime value
  • Members support one another, resulting in high gross margins due to a lower cost of service

One of the best things you can do to grow your gym’s community is to organize events outside of the gym. This allows your members to come together and connect in ways that aren’t solely fitness related, learn more about each other, and discover other common interests.

Succeeding in the world of fitness is no small feat. In order to set yourself apart from the competition, we encourage you to adopt a customer-centric business model that focuses on your strengths. Thinking long-term is just as important for your business as it is for your health, so prioritizing the connections you build with your members will set you up for success in the long run. 

Ready to tackle 2023 but not sure where to start? Consider investing in tools to help you automate your digital marketing processes and ultimately boost your business. Built by gym owners for gym owners, FliiP understands the challenges and opportunities that this growing market presents. Curious to know more about how technology can ease your management time, book your demo now!

 *Adapted from Harvard Business Review

Gym Management

Have you ever been in a situation where you had no visibility on the profitability of your center? Been there done that 🙋‍♂️.

Profitability is what determines whether your center generates profits (or losses) 

This is one of the most important criteria in assessing the value of your business; For example, for investors (to accelerate your growth), creditors (to finance acquisitions, equipment, purchase of a building), buyers or employees (your exit strategy). 

Until recently, I had to wait for interim financial statements (every 3 months) to know the situation of my center. And even worse, it was often a few months after the end of my fiscal year that I learned whether I was making a profit or a loss. 

The owner’s focus should be on maximizing the cash flow into the business. All efforts should be aligned with this focus. 

The real problem: not having this information in time will stop you from making the right decisions (such as purchasing equipment that will allow you to avoid paying too much tax), but also from correcting the situation or accelerating your marketing budget to improve the growth of your center.

Obviously, with the level of cash flow (the $ amount in your account) in the checking account, it can be relatively easy to see trends. However, with quarterly tax returns, payroll deductions (DAS) the situation can easily become very difficult to understand and also to predict, especially if you don’t have a budget forecast.

To grow your business, you need to have visibility on profitability indicators, as much as possible in the very short term.

Mon objectif: connaître la rentabilité du mois dernier, 15 jours max suivant sa fin.

What can this visibility look like?

Revenues by department* :

  • Functional training: 10 000 $
  • Private or semi-private training: 4 500 $
  • Fitness: 8 500 $
  • Boxing: 6 000 $
  • Yoga: 3 500 $
  • Health Bar (equipments, supplements, etc): 3 000 $

Total sales** : 35 500 $

* Having my revenues divided by department allows me to see how they are really performing. If I simply look at overall profitability, I could easily miss a large loss in one department that would be hidden by a small growth in all other departments. 

** To properly categorize my revenues by department, I use the FLiiP function which allows me to separate my income by department (By General Ledger account, in your settings / payments).

Spending by department* (Rent, salaries, other spending) :

  • Functional training: 7 000 $
  • Private or semi-private training: 2 500 $
  • Fitness: 6 500 $
  • Boxing: 4 000 $
  • Yoga: 4 500 $
  • Health Bar (equipments, supplements, etc): 2 300 $

Total spending** : 26 800 $

* To properly separate my revenues, I not only include salaries by department, but I also separate the Overhead. (Overhead refers to the ongoing costs of running a business, but excludes the direct costs associated with creating a product or service. In the case of a gym, the direct costs are the salaries of the employees who operate the group classes for example).

** To have the best proportion of cost per department, I assign a ratio proportional to the revenues. For example, if the sum of my non-variable expenses (rent, insurance, electricity, internet, telephone) totals $10,000/month and, for example, one department generates 30% of the company’s total revenues, it will therefore assume 30% of the overhead.

In short, a department that generates more revenue will assume more overhead

Profitability by department + total :

  • Functional training: + 3 000 $ (+5%) *
  • Private or semi-private training: + 2 000 $ (+X%) *
  • Fitness: + 2 000 $ (+X%) *
  • Boxing: + 2 000 $ (+X%) *
  • Yoga: – 1 000 $ (-7%) *
  • Health Bar (equipments, supplements, etc): + 700 $ (+X%) *

Total profits/loss: + 9 700 $ (+6%)

* In a perfect world, you have this dashboard built into your accounting solution (XERO for example, my favorite). You will be able to see the variations month after month, for example, +5% compared to last month. 

How can it help me in my daily life?

By knowing how each aspect is performing, I can first investigate the loss or underperformance. Being at a loss, I can try to figure out what caused the loss, then make a quick adjustment. 

For example, reduce my costs: maybe my classes are less busy? I could then readjust the number of classes offered, or plan marketing efforts to increase the number of clients, create introductory offers, etc.

Like mentioned earlier, the owner’s focus should be on what brings the most cash flow into the business. Why? Simply because, this is what allows you to reinvest in equipment, employee conditions (salaries, benefits) or simply to build a war chest for future projects.

What tools and resources do I use to get there?

A cloud accounting software

I suggest working with partners (accounting, bookkeeping) that work with the latest technology: cloud accounting software like QuickBooks, Xero (our favorite), Sage, Freshbooks.

By working with cloud software, you have all the latitude to go and get your reports autonomously, and you also have the advantage of being able to use tools that significantly facilitate and accelerate your time for bookkeeping.

A software that automatically interprets and integrates data

These softwares are able to interpret the amounts, dates, supplier names, and categorize them in your accounting software for you.

You just have to transfer your PDF invoices for example, to an email address. At FLiiP, we work with DEXT. Hubdoc is also excellent.

In short, the use of these 2 softwares allows you:

  • Autonomy and time saving to see the situation of your company;
  • Save a lot of time interpreting and classifying your invoices, but also by automatically linking them with the transactions in your bank account;
  • Avoid lost invoices (allows you to scan via a mobile app for example).

As these softwares are relatively new on the market, many accounting firms do not work with the latest technologies. I, myself, had to change my accounting partner in order to have access to this information.

The action plan to get there:

  1. Ask your partner if it is possible to migrate to a cloud accounting solution. If not, do some research to find an accountant who will work with this type of solution. I often try to have the most fixed costs possible, that’s why I ask for a fixed monthly billing (and not variable, so paid by the hour)
  2. Automate transfer rules (your invoices received by email are automatically transferred to your accounting system via DEXT or Hubdoc, to name a few)
  3. Organize your revenues and expenses by department so that you can follow the monthly progress. Using FLiiP’s General Ledger Account feature, when you export your sales on a monthly basis, you can easily separate sales by department.  
  4. Require monthly bookkeeping (maximum 1 month after the end of the month) so that you always stay up to date and have the information at the right time.  
  5. The last step is to plan your sales objectives and follow them weekly via your FLiiP Dashboard! 

sales-objectives

It took me 8 years to realize how having access to the information quickly that allowed me to make the best decisions at the right time was essential for the optimal growth of my business. 

It’s definitely a big change, one that takes time and sometimes costs a lot. If I had one piece of advice to give to all owners, but also to all entrepreneurs in 2021, it would be to surround yourself with the tools and resources of your generation. Accessible online, anytime, from anywhere!

Revenue

The FLiiP business software is constantly evolving. A brand new feature now allows our clients to easily organize events and workshops. Yoga retreat? Weightlifting competition? Nutrition workshop? Anything is possible 🙂

The “Events and Workshops” feature allows you to manage the organization, promotion and marketing of your events within the software in just a few clicks.

Wondering why you should organize events and workshops in your studio or training center?

Here are our top 3 reasons!

 

Generate new revenue

Whether it’s with your current members or potential new clients, organizing events can create excitement and visibility for your studio or training center. People rarely come to an event alone, so encourage your members to invite their friends, and be ready to reap new revenue in record time!

 

Build customer loyalty

Offer your members a selection of events and workshops that will allow them to get together and deepen their practice. By offering your members preferential rates, you will enhance your relationship with them!

 

Save time and money

Organizing an event takes time out of an already busy day. Fortunately, event coordination and promotion has never been so easy and fast thanks to FLiiP! For example, your members will be able to register and pay for their tickets and even the software, add their guests, all without any manual management on your part.

 

Contact us to learn more about this new feature!

Gym Software

In addition to offering “a workout space to regain control of your health”, the Gym Le Vestiaire – Functional Training is committed to maintaining the community spirit that reigns at its two addresses (Boisbriand and Villeray districts in Montreal). With this mission in mind, Karim, its co-founder, had the idea of organizing Jungle Parties with Emmanuelle, the gym’s co-owner.

Through this interview, you’ll discover the benefits of organizing events at your studio or training center and some ideas to inspire your own events.

 

Would you like to share one of your best practices for engaging your members or boosting the growth of your studio or training center? Write to us at info@myfliip.flywheelstaging.com!

 

Why do you organize events at Gym Le Vestiaire?

Our goal is to allow our members to gather in a safe way. To do so, we have set up an outdoor space where everyone can participate in the events while maintaining social distancing (2 meters apart) and without sharing equipment.

Through these events, we also wanted to rekindle the festive atmosphere that livened up our Gyms before COVID-19.

Finally, the Jungle Parties are a way for us to celebrate our members who are also business owners in different industry sectors.

 

How do you choose the partners you collaborate with for these events?

We most often try to collaborate with local businesses whose owners are members of our gyms. It’s a fun way for us to promote their great businesses and to continue developing strong ties within our community and neighborhood.

At our first Jungle Party, we collaborated with Simon, the owner of Paquebot Coffee and Zab Café Roaster. We celebrated the launch of his new Limo Coffee.

For our second Jungle Party, we worked with Erika, the owner of the cafe Saison Des Pluies, located 2 minutes away from our Villeray location where she is a member. Erika offered lunch boxes during the event.

 

Did the Jungle Parties help you acquire new customers?

These events gave us an opportunity to encourage referrals from gym members. Some guests came with their friends who were members of other gyms in the area. We certainly wouldn’t have had the chance to meet them without our events.

The Jungle Parties are also very beneficial for our Gym’s visibility, since they take place outside, with a nice atmosphere. Some passers-by have come to our Gym a few days later to try it out.

 

How did FLiiP help you save time in organizing events?

The ability to send automated and personalized messages was a huge help for event reminders to members who were registered.

We are now looking forward to testing the new Events and Workshops feature and to saving even more time in organizing our Jungle Parties!

Retention

As a studio or training center owner, you know that keeping track of some of your data is essential to driving the growth of your business. However, it’s not always easy to know which metrics (KPI) to focus on, how to understand cause-and-effect relationships between each of them, how often to analyze them, or when to compare them.

Which metrics are crucial to analyze to take your business to new heights?

1. Comparing your sales and your profitability year-over-year (Sales YoY)

Your revenue is probably the metric you track most regularly, but do you go further than just checking your sales total?

 

If you want to be sure that your growth is on track, you need to compare this amount to previous years*. We don’t recommend simply comparing your revenue to the previous year’s figure, because variations over the course of the year are normal and shouldn’t alarm you. On the other hand, if your revenue differs considerably from the same period of the previous year, you should deepen your analysis to understand where this difference comes from. For example, has your average revenue per member dropped significantly? 

You should also keep an eye on your revenue breakdown by department, as you may have strong growth in your memberships, but see a decrease in your professional service offerings, for example. It is therefore advisable to always analyze growth and profitability by department.

Furthermore, by establishing a growth trend in your revenue, you will be able to forecast your turnover for the next few years, and anticipate the investments and recruitments you need to keep your members happy and loyal.

Finally, we advise you to get into the habit of setting sales objectives at the beginning of each year to challenge yourself and your teams to reach revenue goals. Track your revenue to see whether you’re on target, and don’t hesitate to set up additional actions to boost your revenue if you notice that it is stagnating. Organize a friendly competition, offer a workshop, give your most loyal members a guest pass so they can share their experience with a friend…Get creative with your ideas!

2. Average Revenu Per User (ARPU)

Contrary to what you might think, the number of members in your studio or training center is not a metric that will help you determine whether or not your business is growing. Knowing the average amount spent per member will!

 

ARPU or Average Revenue Per User is a common metric used to monitor and compare your growth and success to your competitors. To calculate your Average Revenue Per User, you must first define a time period on which to base your calculation. ARPU is usually calculated on a monthly basis, so you simply divide your total monthly revenue by the number of members in that same period.

ARPU = Total revenue / Number of customers 

Calculating your ARPU will allow you to compare the value of your new members to the average of your existing members, but also to compare the value of your members for each of the memberships you offer. Your findings will then allow you to determine the entry-level offer to implement to generate maximum revenue, or help you re-evaluate some of your memberships that decrease your overall ARPU. For example, this calculation often reveals that the entry-level subscription should be abandoned because, although it generates a volume of customers, its ARPU well below the average.

In summary, calculating your ARPU will allow you to understand and monitor your company’s financial health.

Note: Calculating your average LEG, “Length of Engagement” will also help you monitor the health of your business. An increasing average LEG is certainly a guarantee of increasing member satisfaction and loyalty, two key elements for your studio’s growth.

3. Churn rate

Dreaded by all businesses operating on a subscription or monthly payment system, customer churn and non-renewal are inevitable. Keeping track of them, and monitoring your churn rate is a must.

 

Here is the formula to quickly calculate your churn rate, knowing that the industry average for studios and training centers is about 30% accumulated over the year:

Churn rate = (Number of members lost / total number of members before losing them) * 100 

So, a training studio with 300 members that loses 7 members in one month would have a churn rate of 2.3% for that month. If this rate remains stable throughout the year, the cumulative churn rate for the year would be 27.6%.

One of your main goals should be to get your churn rate down every month, and stay below the industry average of 30% cumulative per year, or about 2.5% per month. It is important to understand that if your studio or training center runs at 8% churn rate per month all year long, you will have renewed your entire client base in 1 year! This means that your ability to retain your members is weak or non-existent. However, the retention of your ideal customers is one of the key elements that determine the reduction of your costs and the growth of your company. Since acquiring new customers costs on average 5 times more than retaining your existing ones, lowering your churn rate by a few percent every month will have a real impact on your growth (in addition to the satisfaction of making more of your customers happy).

Example 1: A gym with 150 members and a churn rate of 5% + 10 new members per month = 168 customers at the end of the year, or $1600 in ADDITIONAL revenue every month if your monthly ARPU is $89.

Example 2: A gym with 150 members and a churn rate of 8% + 10 new members per month = 134 customers at the end of the year, or $1400 LESS revenue every month if your monthly ARPU is $89.

To reduce your churn rate as much as possible, you need to understand your members’ interests and goals so that you can offer them the maximum value. If you are concerned about your high churn rate, don’t hesitate to send a satisfaction survey to all of your active customers. It is also a good idea to ask members who have just left your training center why they decided to cancel their membership (you are authorized by law to contact them within 24 months of their cancellation).

 

4. Lifetime Value (LTV) et Acquisition Cost (CaC)

LTV is sometimes confused with ARPU. The difference is that LTV is calculated by dividing your ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) by your churn rate.

LTV = ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) / Churn rate 

Your members with the best LTV are those who consume the most of your services (e.g. an annual membership, sessions with a private coach, massage therapy services, and several event participations, for example), for the longest time (note: when the average lifespan of your clients is 2 years, these subscribers have been loyal to you for 3 years or more), or who have subscribed to your most expensive membership. These customers are ambassadors for your company. Don’t hesitate to offer them consistent companionship, invite them to your events and reward them when new members subscribe thanks to their referral.

In summary, calculating LTV allows you to understand and track the total average value of a particular customer. This information allows you to determine how much you are willing to pay to acquire your customers in general, and by channel, without jeopardizing your profitability.

 

Understanding and monitoring your acquisition cost per channel is a powerful lever to make your growth exponential and limit your losses! For example, calculate the CaC and LTV of clients who registered for an event, took advantage of a trial offer or were referred by other members to find out which channel is the most profitable and to implement strategies to accelerate it.


For example, if your acquisition cost is $100 for one of these channels, but the average LTV of your customers is $500, you are winning by $400 ahead (and even more so if you manage to improve the average LTV over time, for example by decreasing your churn rate).
In this example, your LTV/CAC ratio is 5. As a general rule to keep your acquisition model healthy, try to never go below a ratio of 3.

5. Your at-risk members (inactives, non-renewed or dissatisfied)

Your at-risk members are those whose attendance frequency is decreasing (inactive for more than 14 days), those who have not renewed their membership, and those who have left a neutral or negative review of your business on one of your networks or on surveys you sent them.

Note: FLiiP will soon offer surveys to send to your members after each of their experiences in your studio or training center.

Once you identify your at-risk members, we recommend that you schedule a call with a customer success resource.

For example, contact the people who have not been coming to your studio for over 2 weeks to find out why, as there could be many reasons! Once you have gathered your members’ feedback, offer them tailored solutions to make them feel special: for example, a session with a private coach for a loss of motivation.

Remember that retaining your existing members will always cost you less than attracting new ones.

In summary, your goal should be to reduce the number and percentage of your at-risk members as much as possible, and to implement winning strategies to communicate with them before it’s too late.

Keeping an eye on these 5 essential metrics will ensure that you have all the right cards in hand to boost your business growth.

Training center owners who use our complete dashboard have let us know how much of a game-changer it has been for their business! Contact us for a peek at the detailed real-time reports that FLiiP provides owners. We would love to accompany you in your daily business management!

 

*Your comparisons with last year could be distorted because of COVID. We advise you to compare your statistics against 2019.

Gym Management

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Take a proactive approach!

  1. COMMUNICATION APPROACH: be proactive and state the facts
  2. HYGIENE & HEALTH STRATEGY TO IMPLEMENT
  3. ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY
  4. PRIVATE TRAINING SERVICES
  5. TRADITIONAL GROUP & GYM COURSE SERVICES
  6. COMMUNICATION STRATEGY
  7. MONITORING THE EVOLUTION

In every business, the CEO’s role is to establish a strategic plan and be able to anticipate and prepare for potential threats. Whether it is with the potential arrival of new competitors, a change in the market or to ensure that we are well covered in the face of a potential disaster that could jeopardize our organization.

When you look at the Corona virus trend in the media and around the world, you can see that the phenomenon is growing. The most pragmatic will say that there are much more real problems or threats, but in reality what must be taken into account is the interpretation that our customers make of it, the reaction associated with it and the impact it can have on us. The debate is therefore not whether there is really a potential danger for us or our customers, but what is the perception of our customers, its potential impacts and how we should react.

We have all experienced a cold running at the gym, and we know that one of the places that can be favorable to contamination is in sports halls, daycare, crowds/shows, etc. We are already starting to see cancelled events & shows, sports matches given in front of empty amphitheatres, so we should not be surprised to expect to have an impact on our businesses in the field of health and wellness.

In Italy, it was announced this morning that people were allowed to go out to see their doctor, but they prohibited clients from going to practice their yoga. The risk is there for us, the owners. Should we panic, absolutely not. Not knowing how long the virus might last, we better prepare and have a plan of action.

This is why we have planned for you a high-level plan, recommendations that we can possibly define in more detail, for you, as the need arises.

1. COMMUNICATION APPROACH

The first approach to take is to remain calm and not increase the level of alert, but rather to reassure & inform the population as much as possible. We have an audience, it’s up to us to use it wisely.

We therefore advise you to share information, truthful statistics and to inform the population with facts if the need is felt, but also to inform customers about the measures put in place in order to demonstrate your proactive approach on the situation.

The goal is not to trivialize the threat, but to share facts and make it clear that our customers should not panic at this time, as the risk of infection in Canada remains very low.

  • Health Canada estimates that the risk for the population is LOW, except for people over the age of 65, immunocompromised or people with underlying medical conditions.
  • Number of deaths associated with Coronavirus: 3000 / Number of deaths associated with influenza: 20,000.
  • Coronavirus has killed up to 3,000 people so far, while obesity has killed more than 300,000 people a year.

It should be noted that the best you can do is continue to be as active on social media, share relevant content and ensure that your customers do not experience a drop in traffic in your centre. If they see that you are taking a proactive approach to the situation, it will reduce their fear.

2. HYGIENE & HEALTH STRATEGY TO IMPLEMENT

Knowing that the virus can be transmitted by respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, it is essential to implement hygienic procedures before and after each training.

  1. Each client should go through the changing rooms and wash their hands with soap for at least 20 seconds. Also a hand-washing procedure should be there. This should be repeated every time someone sneezes or coughs.
  2. Each client should disinfect all the equipment with which he will be or has been in contact (before and after training) as well as each of the traces of perspiration that he may have left.

* Very important to display this procedure very clearly and precisely as well as to transmit it before and after training by your team of trainers or instructors.

You should therefore immediately make available:

  • Disinfectant / Antiseptic and paper towels available for single use or towels also available for single use for before and after training.
  • Communicate the procedure to your customers.
  • Install posters to remind the procedure on each of the doors and accesses of your centre, as well as in the locker rooms.

3. ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY

One of the approaches you may need to take is to force your customers to stay at home if they have potential signs of contamination:

  • fever
  • cough or breathing difficulties

Your role is not to determine if one of your clients is carrying the virus, but rather to reduce the risk of infections in order to prevent in the interest of all.

Naturally, staying at home when you are sick should not be synonymous with stopping exercising your sport. We recommend that you provide free home workout programs for your customers.

4. PRIVATE TRAINING SERVICES

Although the risk is greatly reduced when you are not surrounded by a crowd, it may very well be that customers choose or see a threat in having to move to your centre.

Our potential solution track: Prepare to travel to offer private training at home to reduce the risk of exposure to your customers. Remember to mention that this is exceptional and will only be done in an emergency.

You could therefore prepare your trainers to plan training sessions with equipment that is easy to transport (elastic, dumbbell, kettlebell, TRX, medical ball, etc.)

Training sessions lasting for example one hour, taking place at home, could be reduced to 40 or 45 minutes in order to make up for the trainer’s travel time.

5. TRADITIONAL GROUP & GYM COURSE SERVICES

The three most interesting options to offer:

  1. Would be to offer group lessons at home. You could therefore prepare body weight training, offered by videoconference. The goal: not to lose contact between the coach and his clients
  2. Reduce the number of places per course so as to always keep a reasonably large distance in order to avoid contact. For example, offering more courses, with fewer people. Besides, you could supervise the training area of each client so as to respect a safe distance for your clients.
    The tools you could use to set up a structure by videoconference:

    • Zoom: Free tool in one-on-one, but paid to get several people simultaneously.
    • Google Hangouts: Free tools offered when you have the Google suite.
    • Anymeeting: Anymeeting is an online video conferencing and screen sharing solution, the free version of which can bring together up to 200 participants (who attend a presentation).
    • Join.me: The advantage of this online screen sharing tool is its ease of use: it is accessible without registration and free of charge, and allows to organize web conferences that can welcome up to 250 participants. The user only has to download an executable file, which allows him to obtain a URL where participants can join the conference.
  3. You could simply record training sessions with your trainers and film them and then make them available online on a private “YouTube” or “vimeo” channel to name only the main ones.

6. COMMUNICATION STRATEGY

Naturally, if we have to limit human contact with our customers, it becomes essential to maintain very close communication with our customers. Nothing better than personalized follow-ups by email, SMS or even via Messenger to ensure that our customers do not lose their good habits during this period.

The idea of creating a private group for your customers on Facebook, if you have not already done so, could certainly be considered.

These are certainly some possible solutions that should be considered. If you ever believe you have other solutions, it would be appropriate to communicate it to us so that we can share it with as many owners as possible.

7. MONITORING THE EVOLUTION

To follow all the news on the evolution of the coronavirus in Canada:

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html

Gym Management