Do you remember having to manually roll up your garage door, wind up your alarm clock or get your film developed? Technology makes our life easier. Because of it, we’re more efficient, productive and successful. Sure, you can still find and use a wind up alarm clock. But why would you?
If you’re wondering about the correlation between an alarm clock and your business, here it is. There are similar business efficiencies to be had with automations. Automations will save you time and increase your revenue. In fact, businesses that automate their lead management see a 10% increase in revenue within the first six months. In terms of time, automations will give you a lot more of it so you can focus on coaching, programming and building a strong community.
If you’re new to automations and still trying to do everything yourself, or if you have a few tasks automated but want to work even smarter, check out this list of critical automations for your box.
When someone drops in to try a class but doesn’t sign up for a membership that same day, you need to follow up with them. Likewise, when an athlete cancels their membership because they’re nursing an injury, you need to check in to get them back in the box. You can do these things manually. But you’re busy, and inevitably, some of the leads will fall through the cracks.
Instead, you can maximize your time and let automations do the work for you. With automations, you can create an email that will automatically be sent to prospects that fill out a form. Through emails, you can nurture your leads and turn them into paying members. Once they become a member, the automated emails automatically turn off. (Remember that 10% increase in revenue within six months? By eliminating dropped leads, you’ll grow your business.)
And what about that injured athlete? You can also automate communication to go out to anyone who cancels his or her membership. That way, you’ll stay be top of mind when they’re ready to train again. When it comes to prospect automations like this, you can set them and forget them. Leads will be nurtured, and no one will fall through the cracks because you’re stretched thin.
If the personal touch is more your thing, you can automate task reminders to prompt you to call, text or email the athlete or lead. Automated tasks can also be set to remind a team member to give a little TLC to a new person in class or follow up with them after their first visit.
Billing and Payments
Monthly, you need to collect payments from your athletes. Much like with lead follow-up, you can tackle it manually, but payments will be missed. Affiliate gyms that automate payments collect more money than they did before they automated the process. (This is in addition to the increase in revenue due to better lead management.)
Here’s how it works. When an athlete joins your community, you collect their credit card number and set up a monthly payment date. Then, when the payment date approaches, the following things happen automatically:
- Your athlete will be emailed notifying them of the pending payment, and their credit card will be charged.
- The payment will be processed deposited in your account.
- A receipt will be sent to the athlete.
- The payment will be posted to your athlete’s account so that it shows up when you run a report or look at their account.
If a problem comes up with an athlete’s credit card (ex: expired credit card), you and your athlete will receive a notification before the processing date. That way, you can connect with the athlete and collect a new card.
By automating billing and payments, you ensure the process of paying you is effortless, and you collect all money owed to you. Plus, you’re not running to the bank to deposit cash and checks. This efficiency is good for athlete retention and your bottom line.
You know how you try to remember to follow up with an athlete later but end up forgetting to do it? With automations, you can either pre-set emails to go out as a follow-up or trigger a reminder for you (or a coach) to personally do it.
One of our favorite athlete communication automations helps with retention. You can set it to trigger when an athlete misses a specific number of classes or time in the box. For instance, if your athletes normally come in a few times a week, you can automate an email to be sent if someone doesn’t come into the gym for two weeks. If they still aren’t in by the third week, your automation can trigger you (or a coach) to call them.
Or you can set an automation to alert you and your team as an athlete checks in. This is handy if you want to talk to the athlete about something. Maybe it’s as simple as asking how they did at a weekend’s competition or telling them you’ve missed seeing them around the gym. Or this automation can be used to have a quick chat with an athlete to check in regarding their goals and progress.
As an affiliate gym owner, there are some things you should handle yourself. Financially managing your box, hiring and training coaches and building relationships top that list. But it doesn’t make sense to try and remember to follow up with every lead, or track down, collect and process each individual payment. The most successful box owners automate all these tasks and see a huge time savings and revenue increases.
If you’re evaluating affiliate gym software providers, make sure they have automations, email capabilities and other key marketing tools. To make sure you end up with the tools you need, get your copy of our free checklist, 9 Things Your Affiliate Gym Software Must Have.
Zen Planner is a management and billing software for boutique fitness businesses.
We help gym, school, and studio owners streamline their day-to-day tasks so they can get back to doing what they love — helping their members. Enjoy all the features you need to manage your fitness business, including robust reporting dashboards, automated payment processing, skills and belt tracking, attendance history, and online retail.