In the age of information and business intelligence, do you fully utilise the data available to you?
Fuelling the engine of your business with key facts, figures and insights pulled from your gym management software is essential if you’re looking to meet the needs of your members, stay ahead of your competitors and optimise your business.
With 84% of all businesses using analytics software to help them make better decisions, it’s proven that actionable data can have a huge impact on the way you manage your business as a whole.
According to the Business Intelligence team at Virtuagym, the 5 most important metrics to measure through gym management software are:
- Retention rate
- Member demographics
- Coaching data
An IHRSA report suggested that the average gym holds a 66% membership retention rate, meaning that 66% of all members stay beyond their initial 12-month contract. As a club owner, you not only need to know how to calculate retention correctly, but you must also know the statistics behind the process.
The highly-dynamic nature of memberships in the fitness industry means that strategic marketing is essential when it comes to enticing new members to join, and convincing existing members to stay.
Gym management software, with an integrated business intelligence module, can lift the lid on how long people are staying at your facility, and why others may be leaving. A powerful digital analytics tool can provide you with a breakdown of who these members are, what memberships they have and provide an indicator of why they left.
It’s predicted that by 2021, 75% of all businesses will invest in analytics software to assist with pricing optimization.
As a business owner, you’ll already be familiar with the importance of keeping track of your finances, but how are you going about this? Are you using old-school spreadsheets to record each and every transaction? Or are you letting a powerful digital platform handle all that for you?
Fig 1: A yearly revenue overview from the Virtuagym Business Intelligence tool.
If you’ve digitized your point of sale system, your finances will already be pumping through the algorithms of your gym management software. Engaging with a business intelligence tool will help you dive beneath the surface of your cash flow.
It’s important to break down revenue streams so that you can see exactly where the money is coming from. Three of the most common categories that revenue divides itself into are:
Everything that has to do with the contracts of your members, whether it’s monthly subscription income, one-off joining fees or annual membership payments.
Retail encompasses the revenue your business generates through merchandising, sales of wearables, gym clothing, and so on.
Personal training sessions
Personal training provides targeted workouts for your members and can generate additional income from members wanting either one to one sessions, or small group training sessions.
Member information can be used for much more than just registering new people in your central management system, they can also offer a unique glimpse into the past, present, and future of your club.
Examining specific details like age, gender and income can help you make decisions that will have a long-term impact on the prosperity of your club. Club Industry reinforces the importance of using member data to identify areas for growth and marketing purposes, but like all business-related matters, it can take time to reap the rewards of this data-driven approach.
Fig 2: Graph showing member age groups
For example, using the data provided in fig. 2 it’s possible to draw a number of conclusions that could help in planning future marketing efforts to increase the amount of members coming (and returning) through your doors. Looking at the graph, it’s clear that the over 65’s group with memberships are much lower compared to the other age groups.
There is much room for growth in the 65+ age group, as more senior citizens consider taking a healthier and more energetic approach to post-retirement life. In terms of marketing strategies, this data can be used to formulate a ‘new member’ offer for anyone over 65, including a free month of membership, reduced subscription fees or free workout classes.
Scheduling classes at off-peak times gives older people an opportunity to enjoy your facilities in a quieter atmosphere, a very attractive prospect for those new to the world of fitness. As an added bonus, you’ll be maximizing your ROI by keeping your gym bustling outside of peak hours.
Gym software, combined with a powerful data analysis tool, can also unlock hidden data produced by your members during their workouts.
When your gym management software is pumped with information from members on the gym floor, like calories burned and kilometres ran, the ability to monitor and gain insights from this data is invaluable. Using coaching data, you can determine who is working with a personal trainer at your facility, and who is not.
The data shown in fig. 3 gives club managers an overview on how to plan their marketing strategies for personal training sessions at their facilities. The chart shows that almost a quarter of all gym members are currently using the services of a personal trainer, while 78% of members train without a coach. With the right marketing strategy, there is a huge opportunity for businesses to tap into this significantly higher pool of members to generate future income. For example, a club manager may opt to employ a monthly discount for training services or free trial sessions to try and encourage members to commit to a personal trainer.
Fig 3, A pie chart showing the breakdown of members using a coach.
Engaging members is an ongoing challenge for any club. With gym management software, an online community is accessible to members, and is a useful way to promote challenges, share updates and generate discussion amongst members. Using the software, you can check the progress of your members’ workouts and set challenges accordingly to keep them motivated.
A digital club community also allows you to communicate with your members in various ways; mass communication, targeted communication (e.g. only members interested in specific classes), or one on one messaging which allows coaches and clients to easily interact with each other and continue to build a relationship outside of your club.
It has become commonplace for gyms to turn to metric-gathering software to make decisions, improve efficiency and ultimately operate as better businesses. Using cloud-based software to experience an ‘always-on’ environment, decision makers are empowered to base important choices on empirical data. Gym management software has streamlined business intelligence and made it more accessible than ever before. Now it is down to business owners to adopt it.