Calculating Member Churn for Your Fitness Business

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Tracking the health of your fitness business starts with monitoring key metrics on a regular basis. One major indicator of your business health is your member churn rate churn or attrition Rate (CR). This number represents the rate of student turnover over a given period of time and can be a way to foresee positive or negative changes in your business’ future . Not sure how to pull this in Zen Planner? That’s what we’re here for.

To calculate your member churn rate, select a specific period (we recommend a month, quarter or year) and divide your “Gross Students Lost” by the number of total students at the beginning of the period. Then multiply by 100 to get the percentage that represents your member churn.

Here’s how you find this information in your Zen Planner database in 3 steps.

Step 1: Find your total members at the beginning of a time period

To find your total number of students at the beginning of a month period, run a new Memberships report (Dashboard >> +New Report >> Memberships), then enter the following criteria:

We highly recommend running this report monthly or quarterly in order to get accurate trends and be able to act on the insights provided.

Mbr. Begin Date // on or before // July 1, 2018 (or first day in the month you’re looking for)

Mbr. End Date // after // July 1, 2018

If you have trial memberships or a trial membership category that you don’t want to include in these numbers because you don’t count these people as members, you can add the criteria:

Membership Label // is not OR not one of // Trial Membership(s)

OR

Membership Category // is not OR not one of // Trial Membership Category(ies)

Next, click “Edit Report Settings” then Format: Totals, and Group by: FullName

To easily access this number later, you can save this report in a new or existing folder with the total number in the name of the file:

member churn report

Member churn report

Looking for software for your fitness business? Check out our Fitness Business Software Checklist!
Step 2: Find your members lost during a time period

To find your members lost during a specific month, run a new Memberships report and enter the following criteria:

Personal Status // is not // Student

Mbr. End Date // is // July

You can exclude your trial memberships again here by entering the following criteria:

Membership Label // is not OR not one of // Trial Membership(s)

OR

Membership Category // is not OR not one of // Trial Membership Category(ies)

Next, click “Edit Report Settings” and choose format “Totals”, then group by: FullName. This will give you a number of total members who have left, rather than total number of memberships.

***A best practice is to run this report on the first day of the month for the previous month in order to get the most accurate numbers for your business.***

For example, running the July Gross Students Lost report on August 1st will give you the most accurate number.

Step 3: Bust out your calculator

To calculate your member churn rate, pull out your handy dandy calculator (AKA your phone).

In my example, I had 35 students on July 1st and  4 people who dropped off during that month. To get my member churn rate I’ll divide 4 by 35, which gives me 0.114 or 11.4%. As you start to track your monthly churn rate, set goals for reducing this percentage and develop strategies to specifically address member retention. Maintaining awareness over this figure will give you more control over your member base, marketing funds, and help develop a plan to increase overall revenue.

In the coming months, we’ll build on this figure to give you more insight into your business.


Looking for software for your fitness business? Check out our Fitness Business Software Checklist!

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natalie smith zen planner

Natalie Smith, Strategic Relationship Manager

Zen Planner

Natalie is a member of the Customer Advocate team at Zen Planner. Previous to working at Zen Planner, she managed a locally owned running store in North Carolina, where she gained her passion for health and fitness, as well as working with small businesses. She has completed numerous marathons and ultra-marathons and is now focusing her efforts on cycling, learning to ski and enjoying all Colorado has to offer. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two dogs, supporting local comedy and finding delicious food and beer around town.

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