10 simple tricks that could have saved you hours of time in January

By Parisa Hashempour

Published 23 January 2020

Oh, January – a time of cold nights, new contracts, New Year’s Resolutions and a very busy time for you and your members.

If you’re like most fitness businesses at this time of year, you’ve probably just started recovering from an extremely hectic month. In between managing payments, creating exercise programs, doing admin and trying to engage and retain newcomers, there’s hardly any time left to spend coaching your members.

We’ve rounded up the top ten tips and tricks you should have employed over the January month in order to keep on top of a busy gym or studio.

And remember, it’s not too late to start organizing. Better time management for your gym means more time to spend with members – meaning happier members that bring even more customers through the door.

#1 Delegating your tasks

Don’t try too hard to be a one-person show. Remember that January is a busy time and it’s okay to ask a little more of your staff and colleagues during this period.

Don’t mistake delegation for passing off your work to someone else. Dividing tasks between your team is an effective way to manage your business. Small tasks are great for delegating because while they do not take up much of your time individually, they do take up a huge chunk when added together.

When delegating a task give clear instructions to your team members about what you need to be completed and how. Provide complete resources for them to do the job and make sure they have the skills to get it done.

#2 Digitising your workout plans

Any gym owner and personal trainer know the huge amount of time that goes into organizing bespoke training plans for each one of your members.

When created by hand, you could easily spend hours crafting a single plan for a single member. Rather than agonize over paper plans and then providing handouts for gym-goers, digitize your training programs and save a heap load of time.

training plan coach software

The most effective way to do this is to use an app, which can be accessed from home and within the gym. The app should not only feature training plans for members but also provide instructions on how to do each exercise. This means a faster fitness progression without your constant help.

#3 Using digital contracting

More members mean more contracts. That equates to additional paperwork and time away from the gym floor. If you’re tired of human-errors such as typos, unreadable email addresses or incorrect bank account numbers then it might be time to make the much-needed switch to digital contracting. 

Not only can you rest easy knowing Greta Thunberg would be pleased but you’ll also free up time by simply sending a member sign up form online that members can complete using a computer or phone. Fewer errors in your contracts also means more revenue for your gym (not to mention the costs you’ll save on printing and copying).

#4 Simplifying your payment structure

While we’re on the topic of payments, consider how easy your current payment structure is. Administration is time-consuming so the way you take payments from members should be made as simple as possible.

One impactful way to do this is to use software that automates recurring payment processes. You can use a management tool that will take over invoicing for you. Tools such as the Virtuagym software will allow you to set your preferred billing date and will automatically charge your members. That means less stress for you as you won’t have to chase up unpaid invoices as they are automatically debited from your member’s account. 

#5 Using a class scheduling software

If you’re not already doing this, changing to an online class scheduling software could be set to change your life. We mean it. Allowing your members to access online class booking on a website and app will help you track attendance and revenue, automate booking confirmation and even set reminders.

You can also set your software to display a waiting list so that if members drop out of classes, you know exactly how many people are waiting in line to be a part of the class.

#6 Streamlining your check-in process

If your gym or studio always requires one person to be on hand to check-in members as they enter and exit the gym, then you may be able to save a huge amount of time with an improved check-in process.

Barcode scanners, tourniquet systems or RFID scanners could save you a lot of time and lead to a better allocation of gym staff.

As well as freeing up your precious hours, they could also help you collect more data on your members, which could improve the success of your gym in the long run. Connect a scanner to an app like Virtuagym and you can track and control members’ attendance, gaining deeper insights into your member’s movements.

check-in software inside a gym - Virtuagym

#7 Optimizing sales using a webshop

If you sell products in your gym, you may need a member of staff on hand to assist members with their purchase and put products through a checkout. An easier way to do this is to encourage your clients to buy products online and also via an app. 

Including a webshop in an app that your clients are already using can increase the visibility of the products for sale. This will positively influence your conversion rates too.

You could also use a webshop to promote workout bundles. For example, if you offer 10 Pilates classes for a discounted price, you could allow members to purchase this bundle ahead of time online. This will speed up client registration and has the potential to save you a lot of time.

#8 Offering resources outside of your gym

Gym veterans may have felt a little exasperated at the fitness rush this month. Classes may be overpacked and the gym floor might feel especially busy.

To combat this, you should offer additional resources to members outside of your gym. This means they don’t have to work out with you within the confines of the gym or studio building alone.

Set your member’s challenges or provide an app that allows them to undertake activities outside of the gym. Use a coaching tool that delivers a workout and keeps members engaged while they’re waiting out the busy season.

#9 Tracking your client’s nutrition using an app

Much like an exercise coaching program, keeping on top of your member’s nutrition plans can be extremely time consuming and is an aspect of gym-life that is often neglected by bigger businesses due to time constraints.

But if a client sticks to a nutrition program that delivers fitness results, they will be much happier with their progress, and as such, much more loyal to your business. They’ll also be significantly more likely to recommend your company to a friend, in turn generating leads and sales.

Android food app mockup - Virtuagym

For an example of how a digitized nutrition plan can help your members check out Virtuagym. The Virtuagym app provides your members with an extensive nutrition database so that they can input what they have eaten and track micro and macronutrients. It can be used to create digital food plans and can also be integrated into a wider mobile app that will manage all of your business needs.

#10 Using a central social media management system for marketing

If you are trying to run your business AND market yourself online in order to generate leads, you’re no doubt feeling a little overwhelmed by your workload.

If you’re in a position to hire someone that has the experience to double up as a marketing officer, then this could save you time as you start to grow your business. Otherwise, dishing out various marketing tasks to team members could help you stay on top of this work. You could also sign up to join websites such as Buffer and HootSuite, which can help you manage your social media marketing strategy in one single place.

These sites allow you to upload and schedule content so that you don’t have to keep running back to your phone and computer throughout the course of the day.

Parisa Hashempour

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