When it comes to looking at the market for fitness management software to implement into your facility, it can be like staring across a financial minefield. With so many choices, come so many opportunities to invest in something that isn’t the perfect fit for your business. Software can be tailor made to fit the unique requirements for your business, or come as a complete all-in-one package to cover every aspect.
This guide reveals our 4 top tips for finding the perfect fitness management software for your business so you don’t end up splashing the cash on something you don’t need!
1. Know The Fitness Software Market
The software market is a vibrant one, with a range of platforms and digital solutions all vying for a place as the top dog of the fitness sector. But what kind of software do you want for your business?
This is the technology that makes things tick behind the scenes. Your members won’t interact with or even see this software, but it’s a crucial component in future proofing a business and keeping it operating efficiently. Software in this field covers things like membership management, customer relationship management and process management. All of which combine to create an administrative powerhouse that can handle the demands of running a forward-thinking fitness business.
‘Front of House’ is the customer-facing portion of a software solution. The industry defines this as booking technology, check-in software, scheduling and membership purchase and renewal. Important to note here is that this doesn’t include modules focusing on engagement or other features like workout tracking. Instead, front of house software focuses on making the daily gym routine of your members a seamless, stress-free experience. Sometimes these features are combined into a mobile app.
New technology that has disrupted the fitness software market, engagement-focused solutions are hugely popular. Digital workout plans, fitness tracking, nutrition tracking and social community features all play a part with engagement. This is one of the stand-out attributes of Virtuagym , which is delivered through a branded mobile application.
2. Put the Member First
During the vetting process, it’s important to keep in mind the reason that you’re investing in this app in the first place: your members. Your chosen platform should be one that falls in line with the needs of your members, as well as being powerful enough to handle the demands that come with being a customer-facing solution.
Understanding the fundamental features that members need, and why they need them should be a constant thought throughout the purchasing process.
Members want a mobile app to bring added value to their fitness experience, and not just through a workout planning feature. Instead members want the ability to engage with other gym goers, book classes , make purchases and more, all via the app.
Stacks of paperwork and spreadsheets are well and truly a thing of the past. You members don’t want to be filling in forms, they want instant access to your full service offering, without leaving your app.
3. Don’t Forget About Your Brand
Map Your Customer Journey
A fundamental part of understanding your company is building an image of the journey your customers take on their way to discovering your brand. Through mapping this journey, it’s possible to identify the key moments where your leads turn into paying customers.
Plus, the journey doesn’t end when a lead becomes a member. It continues, stretching towards what makes your brand retain members, or what pushes them away.
Finding these unique milestones can drastically change the specifications of the gym software that is best suited to meet the needs of your business. Whether there is something that your business does particularly well, or an area that needs development, these are both elements that should affect your decision.
What makes you different?
Your business exists because you do something that makes you stand out from the crowd.
Do you offer unique membership packages? Is your mission statement bold and brave? Is your gym eco-friendly? Do you host women-only classes? These are just a handful of the unique selling points that some of our clients tell us they’re proud of.
Whatever makes your business unique, it should play a decisive role in determining what you want to get out of your gym software.
4. See the Bigger Picture
One of the biggest questions you’ll face when it comes to gym software shopping will be: Do you either build your own app or buy a ready-made fitness software solution from a third party?
Building an app can give you an unrivalled level of control over every aspect of your piece of fitness software. From the initial framework right through to the final cosmetic attributes, your business will be able to deliver a member experience that oozes your brand image.
Provide a brief to your chosen developer and discuss the requirements that . You’ll have to consider the initial build costs and tie in the maintenance fees that come with sustaining an app in the long term. On top of that, determine whether you’ll want a multi-platform app to operate on both iOS and Android, because there are individual costs and development times included with both.
Purchasing a ready-made application gives your business peace of mind that you’re investing in fitness software that has been tried, tested and proven to work. Whilst you may not have the grassroots feeling you get with building your own app, investing in a premade solution alleviates a lot of the pain points that come with the build process.
You’ll still pitch your idea, but instead of calculating the development and maintenance fees, you’ll just be negotiating a much smaller subscription fee to your chosen provider. There may be a set up fee involved too, but in the bigger picture this is a minor investment for the stress-free process it involves.