Building a successful gym business takes hard work and grit. You need to have the right partners and processes in place to support your success.

You need to stand out in today’s competitive landscape. Your fitness club must deliver stand out member experiences that keep members coming back. You must attract and keep the right team. You must run your business efficiently and quickly adapt to changing needs.

Every business is different. Yet most successful gyms and fitness clubs have best practices in common. Here’s your checklist to set you up for long-term success.

#1: Best-in-class technology

Choose fast, easy-to-use software

Your business needs to have the right technology in place to support you now and in the future. You need gym management software that’s fast, responsive and easy-to-use. It should give you everything you need to work more efficiently, engage members and grow your business.

Be ready for the future

Successful gym businesses can quickly adapt to new trends and challenges as they emerge. To do that they rely on software that’s built using an API first approach. This gives the flexibility, scalability and ability to act fast.

Seamlessly integrate with market leading technology providers – including Technogym, EGYM, Gympass, FitQuest, and others. Stand out with complete customisation, give your members what they want, and grow your business in new ways.

Rely on exceptional resilience and security

The most successful clubs of all sizes know that they can’t afford to compromise with technology that lacks resilience and risks the security of their business and member data. Rely on a cloud-native and ultramodern solution that delivers exceptional resilience and data security.

Avoid membership payment headaches

To grow and thrive, your fitness club needs to choose a gym management solution with fully embedded membership payments. Automate collections, offer a flexible payments calendar, and reduce admin. Fitness industry leaders rely on a fully managed and personalised payments service that includes management of member payment queries.

#2: Attract & sign-up new members

Online & in-person joining

Once you’ve attracted a prospective new member, they should be able to sign-up for a membership online or in-person. No paperwork, completely digital.

Simple sign-up process

It should be easy for new members to join via their preferred channel. A process with minimal steps should let you gather all the information you need to welcome your new member. Payment details should be verified. All information should be sent straight to your gym management software – with no delays.

#3: Effective onboarding

Personalised onboarding journeys

New members need more than a one-off induction. Successful fitness clubs know this and have effective onboarding processes built around key milestones in a new member’s journey.

Targeted, timely email & text messages

In-person experiences matter for new members. Go beyond with targeted, timely use of email and text messages during the member onboarding process. Your gym management software should let you set up triggers and send personalised email and SMS messages automatically.

#4: Empower members

Self-service options

Successful gym businesses empower their members to manage most aspects of their membership independently. This convenient approach puts your members in control and reduces admin work for your team.

App & online membership management

Give members an app and online portal where they can easily book and manage classes, check-in, interact with other members, schedule training sessions, and more.

Easy access

Each visit matters. Every time a member makes use of their membership, they should be able to check-in and get through any gates/barriers/doors/etc. without hassle.

Successful fitness clubs rely on access control technologies that are integrated with their gym membership software for seamless access every visit.

#5: Strong engagement

Automated, targeted communications

Meaningful interactions with your fitness team go a long way. Research shows that frequent interaction results in more visits and higher renewal rates.

The most successful gyms support their team with regular relevant, personalised email and SMS communications. Your gym management software should make it simple to schedule and automatically send targeted, personalised messages at scale.

Run effective marketing campaigns

To be successful you need the ability to send campaigns built around key calendar events and to meet business objectives – like increasing class numbers or promoting new services.

Use your club management software to segment your members into target groups using demographic and interest-based information. Send personalised, targeted marketing messages to add value for members and grow your business.

#6: Active retention

Regularly identify members at risk of cancelling

The right onboarding process and ongoing engagement strategy will reduce the number of high-risk members who may cancel soon. You still need to review all information available to you in your gym management software and elsewhere to identify high-risk members.

Successful clubs will be looking out for these signs: a member visiting less often, unsubscribing or not opening emails, leaving negative reviews, or having a Direct Debit fail/bounce.

Have a robust re-engagement strategy

Once you’ve identified high-risk members, you need the right re-engagement strategy in place to recover and retain them. Use all channels available to you – email, SMS, telephone, and in-person. Take a personalised, targeted approach to appeal to the specific interests and needs of each member.

#7: Performance management

Get a real-time 360-degree member view

To deliver stand out member experiences, you need to know that you can rely on having access to up-to-date, reliable member information. Your gym management software should help you manage multiple sites with ease and drive member experience improvements using real-time information.

Make better informed decisions

Successful gym businesses understand that staying ahead and growing means making the right decisions fast. Rely on your club management solution to give you the insights you need at all levels of your business via handy dashboards and reports.

Start here to supercharge your success

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Article by Xplor Gym

First published: 02 January 2023

Last updated: 19 February 2024