Blog

04.02.2016
James Rogers
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So, you're passionate about health and fitness, you have a wealth of knowledge and experience in your particular field and you want to set up your own gym. But how can you make sure you get it right first time? Its no secret that 1 in 3 new businesses fail within 3 years, in this article we talk about the 7 key factors that can alter your pathway on the road to success, having seen countless gyms come and go we've highlighted the areas we feel need the most care and attention when embarking on your new venture. Passion. This is going to be the anchor for you personally and the people you involve in this project. a great product or service that lasts isn't driven by calculations or profit margins, they're driven by focused, determined and passionate people. Conveying this passion to your team is crucial in the overall outcome of the project. Your vision needs to become a part of their day to day thinking so the decisions they make are best suited to the end goal. Passion is also a fantastic motivator, it spreads between people and creates a positive atmosphere about the product which is impossible to fake. from a personal perspective your passion is going to take away the feeling of it being hard work, you're building your dream and that isn't really work.~ Business Plan. Many consider a business plan to be the vehicle to business funding, whilst it plays a role in how potential lenders calculate the risk of investing in your venture the business plan is a tool that should be focused on one thing and one thing only, How to run your business. In short its a plan to discover how can you realistically provide the product or service that you wish to sell. If business planning isn't something you're comfortable with then recruit some help, ideally from a professional consultant or specialist, it could be the investment that makes your idea come to life. Once the business is up and running its important that the plan is still a key factor in how the business is managed day to day, why spend all that time mapping out a system of how to run a successful business and then ignore it when the doors open.~ Targets. Success isn't really something that has a time scale as things can always improve or change but setting the business targets lets you know how well you're doing over time and if the systems and ideas you have in place are effective enough. These targets can be for anything you want to monitor and control. Break these targets down into small, manageable day to day tasks, for example if you want 200 new members during 2016, divide that over the months, then over the weeks and finally into days. focus on the daily figure, its something you and your staff can impact on in real time. then you can set out a plan of how you're going to make sure you achieve that daily target. Targets need to be very clear, dates of completion, what budget you're setting out to allow the targets to be completed, who is responsible for achieving the targets and what the incentives are when the target is reached.~ Delegation. Whilst the idea, the passion and the drive may be pushing you to work every hour the day has to offer, overworked and overstressed minds make bad decisions. Delegating tasks to individuals who you trust and can be held accountable will give you some much needed rest or time to focus on other areas of your life that still need attention. Allowing people to take ownership of tasks or sub projects in the build or development of the business may invite new ideas and opinions that may create a better service for your customers. Make sure the person you choose to take on the given task is capable, understands the end goal and is aware they are accountable for the decisions they make. Keep the business plan fresh in peoples minds! ~ Competition analysis. One of the many keys to growing a business from the ground up is an in depth and exhaustive knowledge of the businesses, the people and the economy that surrounds you. Whilst your project is in the planning stages get to grips with the other fitness facilities within your area, understand what they have to offer, how much they charge and how you can competitively price and sell your business against theirs. Peoples opinions and thoughts are readily shared on social media, keep a keen eye on your competitors Facebook or twitter pages, they often reveal a clubs weakness or shortcomings as people comment directly to the club. Use any resource you can to give you an edge on the competition.~ Marketing. Often a buzzword thrown around business boardrooms, however it plays a vital role in how your club is seen and talked about. Begin early, set about not just creating a logo and a colour scheme but a brand! Being seen as a professional business will reap rewards as people build trust and a sense of loyalty towards your brand. set up a simple, easy to navigate website, link this to social media avenues, Facebook leads the way for businesses. Once these are in place you can begin creating anticipation and buzz by drip feeding information about the business and what it will become. if done correctly you can sign members up long before the doors are even open. Consider things like staff uniforms, membership cards and advertising banners to add depth to your brand, the more people see it, the more they will want to become a part of it. ~ USP. Unique Selling Point, what can your business do that others in your area cannot? This becomes a powerful tool for marketing and sales strategies. It could be something quite obvious I.e. Having the largest quantities of equipment, 24 hour access or the lowest price membership in the area. All these things can be used to your advantage when it comes to promotion of your club.  Your club may be all of these things but focus on the one element that you think will impact your local community the most. This circles back to our point on competitor analysis, in understanding your rivals weaknesses you can play to your strengths. ~With these simple steps you can improve your chances of start up success and set yourself on a path to a sustainable, profitable and enjoyable living. for other ways to improve your club and discover more strategies for growth and development visit www.idcardsupplies.co.uk 
22.01.2016
James Rogers
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"If you keep your eye on the profit you'll skimp on the product, but if you focus on making really great products, the profits will follow" - Steve Jobs    Profit, it's how the world turns, it's how businesses are able to adapt and flourish, a great business will understand how to make the most of their potential by exploring all the avenues and services they can provide to one customer from one source, this works across the board no matter what type of service you offer. But how can you make sure your health club or gym is setting itself up for long term profit? What extra services can your provide that will enhance your members experience as well as attract potential new customers?  Service. a customers experience defines their opinion of your club. that experience may start on the phone, at the reception desk or when you're out promoting your gym in your local area. It's vital that their initial encounter with your business is a good one, good first impressions are a key to a successful client-business relationship. a strong healthy relationship with a customer will mean they are much more likely to trust you, your staff and their opinions. So later down the line for example, when one of your fitness team recommends the new protein powder you have in stock that individual is far more likely to trust the staff member and their recommendation, in turn your chances of making a sale rise substantially. Staff training to keep them focused on delivering great customer service should be a regular event, it will reap rewards as the opinions of your members circulate the local community!  Missed Opportunities. How many times does a member come in to have a look around and never join, how many times does the phone ring and nobody picks it up? I spend a lot of my time on the phone talking to clubs across the UK and the amount of businesses that simply don't pick up the phone astounds me!One of the simplest solutions to that problem is a portable handset phone, they're very cheap, even cheaper when you pick it up and there's a new member talking to you on the other end! make sure a staff member has it on them at all times - problem solved.Following up on prospects is another area where most gyms and health clubs can be guilty of being slack on. Most salesmen and women will tell you that your chances of making a sale only really start becoming realistic on the 3rd to 5th contact with a customer. Perhaps invest in a club management database where you can track your prospects and how often you have been in contact, even send out texts after they've visited your club for a viewing, these little things may be the difference between a member joining your club or another. Additional Spend. Offering your members extra products that your staff can up sell is a brilliant way of generating more revenue. Whether it's food, drink, supplements.. Anything fairly low value that you think you can offer that your customers would benefit from. The simpler ones to introduce are things like a range of pre or post workout nutrition drinks for members, easy for staff to up sell and promote. if your facility has a kitchen maybe open a small cafe with a health concious menu, its adds another level to what your club offers, great for attracting new members and a brilliant feature for your current ones. test the water before diving into a big investment, ask your members what they would prefer to see first and work on delivering that, once that idea is in place and working, move onto the next project.  Building your brand. Brand power is huge, it makes customers feel part of something, and that's very true in the gym and health club market, Giving your club that community feeling is a good place to start, but backing that up with a range of branded goods like t-shirts, hoodies, vests and bags make that feel so much stronger. Now this impacts your business in two ways, firstly you make the margin on the goods you sell to your current members. Secondly people will wear these items whilst they're outside of your business and essentially become free moving marketing boards with your logos on! The more your name and logo gets out there, the more buzz your business creates and the more members it will draw in, more members means more income, more income means more profit! As you can see these points aren't about increasing prices or sharpening up on what you spend, Pricing correctly and shopping around should be done naturally. Adding value to your business will be the way to make sure you create a profitable entity that can stand the test of time.  
How does a club management software package really help run a successful gym? As the modern ways of the world develop around us its critical that businesses whether small or large adapt, making use of the technology that's on offer, technology that's there to make our lives simpler, more efficient, reduce costs and maximise profit.  One fantastic way for a gym or health club owner to really take control of their club is through a purpose built, all inclusive club management system, a system that can handle every aspect of running a gym. From data capture and management to accounting and direct debit handling. Having an all in one system that can handle all elements makes for a cost effective and easy to operate package which can give you the edge in your local market. Would your club benefit from operating a direct debit facility which details can be checked in one simple location? How about having a text message campaign service for current, old and prospective members? Could you use pre-loaded enrolment forms automatically filled and written with terms and conditions for customers to simply sign? All these things and a whole array of other brilliant features can be found in "Club Manager Software"Working closely with ID Card Supplies over several years, the company won the fitness innovation product of the year and are the fastest growing club management package in the UK. Key Features of Club Manager Designed and built by a gym owner Fixed cost, no start up fees, no price hikes Direct debits from the leading suppliers Multi device platform, PC, tablet, smart phone compatible UK Based, UK support channel Full class/bookings schedule Individually branded to your colours and logo Full validation with access control compatibility Complete marketing suite KPI indicators and live charts In built epos system   Simple, secure, access control with Club Manager One of the stand out features that we have developed with club manager over our time together is a smooth and efficient access control platform that makes it easy for businesses to take their security seriously. All too often members go into gyms unchallenged, no matter how well you try and man the reception desks people always slip through the net and that comes at a huge expense to your business. The process we install is simple; swipe, check, validate, Outcome Swipe. A member swipes their designated card through a barcode or magnetic stripe scanner. Check. The members card number is sent via the internet to a club manager server which houses the information of your members Validate. That system verifies the member is registered, account is live, in date and there are no outstanding balances due. Outcome. Club manager sends a signal back to the access control relay with a yes or a no, that decision commands the access control hardware to either stay locked or open. The verification can be displayed on a dedicated screen for your staff to double check identity. This 4 stage process can be used by any business wish a membership based structure. To find out more about how access control can aid in securing your facility please contact us  
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