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How to keep gym members motivated in summer

As a gym owner, you won’t be surprised to see an influx of new membership sign-ups at the beginning of every new year; this is because losing weight is the most popular New Year’s resolution, with getting fit also being relatively high up on the list after getting organised, spending less money, and generally living life to the fullest. (source)

However, most people aim to get fit and lose weight in time for their summer holidays, and although they’ll be very motivated when they first set their resolutions in January, the majority of people have been shown to give up on their goals to get healthier and fitter by around June.

In fact, a poll by Bupa in 2015 also concluded that 63% of people that set New Year’s resolutions failed before they felt they achieved them.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to help keep your gym members engaged and motivated in summer. Here’s how to regain their interest by setting clear goals, providing a varied workout through a range of classes, and offering incentives…

 

Keep members engaged with their goals

As we explained in a previous blog about achieving your fitness goals, resolutions need to be realistic, specific, and measurable in order for them to achievable. For example, people should set a target of losing 5 pounds in 2 months, rather than just aiming to be slimmer in a few months’ time; otherwise it will be very difficult to keep motivated in summer.

However, we all know that setting attainable goals can be tricky to achieve without the right guidance, and your gym’s members will want to enlist the help of your Personal Trainers to do this. Therefore, your focus should be on encouraging your PTs to be friendly and supportive, and ensuring that they’ll provide a personalised service (with specific goals, timelines, and plans) to suit the needs and lifestyles of each individual member.

This not only means determining exactly what they want to achieve, and helping them to set a realistic way of doing this with the right classes and workouts, but also charting their progress. If members can see small, yet frequent changes being made, then they’ll feel like they’ve already achieved something and be more motivated to continue with their goal.

However, another thing you need to take into account is keeping your members motivated after they’ve achieved their main goal. Matt Swierzynski, Personal Trainer at Matt Swaz Fitness, advises: “Re-design their training plan with extra challenges, and make it progressive. You should also celebrate the great progress they have made to date, and plan in rewards for maintaining that. Some examples include buying a new outfit or new training clothing for hitting targets.”

Encourage them to interact with other members

Engaged members are much less likely to quit. If people feel part of the community, then they’re more likely to look forward to seeing their friends, and feel a responsibility to come back and help everyone achieve more and progress.

The most important aspect of this, is to make everyone feel part of the team. Where appropriate, try to roll in some partnered or team exercises, and ensure everyone is supporting everyone else; do this by approaching members of the class as a group, and encouraging them to interact with each other both during and outside of classes. Your fitness trainers should try to get members to learn each other’s names, as well as a bit of information about each other. Get everyone to introduce themselves and share a fun fact when new members join the class.

Encouraging members to create a messaging group (or using Ashbourne Management’s YourApp+ to message other members) is also a good way of boosting communication, as this can be used as a way of planning meetings outside of your gym classes, and sharing any fitness progress they’ve made and are particularly proud of; people will bounce off of other’s success, happiness and motivation, and be inspired to reach their own targets. In fact, as well as encouraging members to share their goals, the class leader could also set group goals for everyone to work towards.

These should take into account the various fitness levels of each member of the class, and be realistic and achievable.

Re-engage members with seasonal classes

As well as not being able to see progress being made, getting bored of their routines is one of the main reasons people stop going to the gym before the summer, and give-up on their fitness goals after just a few weeks or months after signing up for their membership.

To combat this, ensure your gym offers a variety of classes to suit all workout styles and fitness levels, and that their fitness trainers have the skills and qualifications to teach these at a high standard; these should include intensive, sweat-busting workouts, such as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), circuit training, spinning, boxing, kettlebells, MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), and aerobics, as well as lower impact exercises, such as Pilates and yoga.

Another thing to do is to make the most of the warmer weather, and offer seasonal classes; these can include taking classes that use less equipment (such as Pilates, yoga, kettlebells, and aerobics), outside when the weather is suitable, and even introducing new classes that can be done outdoors, such as a run club. Sunlight is an instant mood booster, and being close to nature is proven to boost productivity and motivation.

Offer incentives to members

If a member hasn’t visited your gym for a few months, and you feel they could be at risk of cancelling their membership, then you need to regain their interest by offering the right incentives; especially so close to summer, when many people have given up on their hopes of achieving the ‘perfect’ summer body.

One way you can do this is by offering members the chance to attend a free class of their choice, and making sure that this promotion has to be redeemed within a certain timeframe. However, you should encourage them to choose a class they’ve never tried before; you never know, they may just find that trying a different class or workout style is just what they need to get motivated again!

In a similar vein, your PTs could also run trial sessions for classes; these can be shorter than a regular class would be, though they ensure members have an opportunity to try the workout, as well as find out more about how this particular class can benefit them, and help them to achieve their goals. If a member enjoys the trial class, then it could be just the thing to kickstart their motivation.

Additionally, encouraging members to bring a friend along won’t just increase their desire to go to the gym (as they’ll have someone to track their progress with), but you can also offer incentives for new member referrals. You can do this by granting access to a class for free, or providing a cash reward for each new referral; whichever suits your budget!

Bring the great outdoors, inside

Incorporating real plants into your gym space can have a number of positive effects on your members and overall environment. The guys at Flowers 24 Hours know a thing or two when it comes to flowers and plants: “They don’t just make you feel happier, however; plants can also increase your productivity levels. This is highly beneficial for gymgoers as they’ll be more motivated to attend gym sessions and classes, as well as put more effort into their workouts and get more from them!”. Flowers are commonplace in the office/work environment.

Another advantage of indoor plants is that they improve air quality by reducing mold, dust, and bacteria levels, as well as removing formaldehyde, ammonia, benzene, and other toxins which are present in a number of everyday materials.


Making payment easy – PayPal and SEPA Direct Debit

PayPal_logo

At Ashbourne we make it as easy as possible for people to set up their club membership, with payment taken securely yet flexibly. As part of this, don’t forget that we offer PayPal as an option for the first payment.

By allowing a first month’s membership payment to be taken via PayPal as well as the option of debit/credit card, we are giving people a secure and convenient way to pay. With people’s card details already stored in their PayPal account, signing up via PayPal is fast and efficient.

 

Sepa_direct_debit_logo2And once that first payment has been made, for clubs outside the UK, we offer SEPA Direct Debit as an efficient and fully compliant way of collecting Euro-based direct debits.

Any UK based Direct Debits are collected using the standard Direct Debit structure.

Using our collection service, you therefore get the best of both worlds – a new member can join immediately, using the mechanism of card/PayPal payment for the first month, but then any ongoing membership collection in month 2 and beyond is taken using the most efficient method possible – direct debit.

If you’re not yet offering card/PayPal for first payment and Direct Debit for ongoing membership, then talk to Ashbourne NOW about how to get this set up.

 


13 month membership gains and losses at a glance

See membership gains and losses for 13 months with the newest update to Ashbourne’s reporting system

Being able to see at-a-glance the number of members a club has and crucially, the number of gains and losses each month, is proving to be the most popular graph we make available as part of our reporting system. So we keep refining and developing it in the light of feedback from you, our customers.

The latest version is now available, showing 13 months at a time, therefore allowing a comparison, for example of January this year with January last year. Clear monthly total numbers of the nett gains and losses are now shown for each month and separate graphs are available for Ashbourne-handled members and non-Ashbourne members. Below is an example of how the graph now looks – if you’ve not yet accessed this in the Reports section then please check it out, as it really does give a great snapshot of your recruitment and retention position.

Ashbourne_gains_losses_graph_13months


Setting up contracts out of hours? No problem!

Increasingly, people are signing up for membership at clubs at all times of day or night, 7 days a week. Don’t forget that Ashbourne makes it easy for contracts to be processed and set up straightaway 24/7.

You can of course offer 24 hour sign-up online by adding a personalised version of our sign-up form to your website, see this example:

beefit_screen500

If someone signs up using your online form, you will see this new member appear straightaway in the Membership Validation System (MVS), regardless of what time of day or night that they join.

In addition, if you sign up someone while they are in your club and enter them onto MVS, then there is now a simple drop-down menu allowing you to choose the ‘Monthly payment date’ when Ashbourne will debit your account with the membership payment for that new member. Simple and flexible membership management in action!

Ashbourne_Contract_set-up_page

So, in this 24/7/365 connected World, where you and your members expect instant information, Ashbourne liberates you from ‘office hours’ to process and view new members at ANY time.

Of course, if you DO need to talk to a member of our team, you can do so 08.30-18.00 Monday to Friday on 0871 271 2088.


Completing The Picture

Through the Ashbourne MVS system you can now see, at a glance, which members have recently completed their membership ie are no longer making payments to you.

You are now able to view members who are ‘Complete’ in the last 30 days or in the last 7 days, along with comments as to the nature/reason for the completion of their membership.

Along with already being able to see your new members and which members’ membership is coming up for renewal in the next 7 or 30 days, this ‘Complete’ members segmentation allows you to see a clear picture of gains and losses in membership across your club.

You can then choose how you would like to follow up on these Complete members, as you can send an email or a text direct to them from the report system. It may be you want to thank them for being a member, keeping the door open for them to rejoin in the future.

Completed members 30 days

DD_members_complete_7days

Clear view of gains and losses

We’ve also refined the presentation of the ‘gains and losses chart’ we recently introduced. As you can see in the picture, we’ve turned this into a bar chart, with the totals of your Direct Debit members and your cash members clearly shown each month. This gives you the clearest possible view of your progress in increasing your membership.

Membership gains and losses chart

When you are next logged into the Ashbourne MVS v3 system, make sure that you have installed our latest update in order to use these new facilities.

And if you’re not using these reports or some of the other great facilities available to you as part of the Ashbourne all-inclusive software, and you’d like more information, then contact us via this site or call our team on 0871 271 2088.


Busy LIW for Ashbourne

Well done to the BodyPower team for organising a busy LIW – as far as our experience is concerned, the show DID deliver as many visitors (if not more…) across two days this year than in three days in previous years.

The Ashbourne stand was busy throughout the show, with plenty of existing and potential customers interested in demos of our new services – the Scheduler+ facilities and staff scheduling service; the new features in our EPOS till system and the integrated PAR-Q questionnaire.

We had our biggest stand yet at LIW, right next to the main entrance and to the main presentation theatre. As well as demonstrating our new services, we spoke to dozens of clubs interested in using our services, particularly as we offer a truly comprehensive package that covers the collection and software needs of clubs right across the spectrum, from the smaller start-up gym right up to large leisure centres. Our Ashbourne coasters proved popular – hopefully your morning cuppa is sitting on one right now…

If we spoke to you at the show, we will have already sent you an acknowledgement email and will be in touch soon to follow up on any discussions we had with you at the show.

We’ve already rebooked our stand in the same place for LIW 2016, so if you missed us this year, we look forward to seeing you next year!

Ashbourne LIW 2015

 


Grab your Ashbourne coaster at LIW

This year at LIW, we thought we’d give you info about Ashbourne’s services on something a bit more lasting and useful than a paper leaflet…

So we’ve summarised the breadth of Ashbourne’s services on a durable coaster for you to use on your desk back at your club. Make sure you visit our stand to get yours – Stand D2, the first one on the left as you enter the LIW show in Hall 4. As well as giving you a coaster, we’ll also give you a demo of our new Scheduler+ service + you can see all of great software packages in action on the stand. Plus of course, we’d just like to have a chat and a catch up with you…

We look forward to seeing you at the show.

Ashbourne coaster


Get organised – schedule your business

Get organised – schedule your business

Scheduler+

Ashbourne are launching at LIW 2015 the latest addition to their suite of software for clubs – Scheduler+. Come along to the Ashbourne stand (D2, right by the entrance to the show in Hall 4), to see a demo. Scheduler+ is the complete scheduling tool, allowing you to plan everything from staff rotas to class/court/spa bookings. You can only maximise the resources in your club (staff and facilities) by scheduling all activities efficiently, and Scheduler+ makes this easy PLUS this leads to better customer service in your club.

Scheduler+ is yet another software module from Ashbourne, giving you all the tools you need to run your club efficiently, whatever the size. Grant Harrison says, “A scheduling tool has been the one major gap in our software package, and now we’ve filled it. Scheduler+, like all Ashbourne’s software, is designed to be quick and easy to use, giving you all the features you need without making it over-complicated. Using a simple calendar layout and drag-and-drop entry, you can create a clear matrix of bookings and staff manning levels. Scheduler+ is yet another part of our collection service, fully integrated with the rest of our services. Scheduling systems are usually only available as part of expensive monthly software licences – Scheduler+ now makes efficient scheduling available to clubs of all sizes.”

So, schedule your own visit to the Ashbourne stand and see Scheduler+ in action. For more info see the Scheduler+ page on our website or call us on 0871 271 2088.

Here are examples of how the Scheduler+ screens look in action. The top one shows the ‘Facility’ section – create your own list of facilities (courts, pool, spa, exercise room etc) down the left hand side. This includes the ability to create a hierarchy of facilities ie ‘Sports Hall’ then sub-section for ‘Football/Racquets’ and then a further sub-section for all the Racquets courts, as shown. You then select the day you want to view and drop in bookings, which can be colour-coded according to type. Recurring bookings (same booking on different days) can be done easily. A grey block means that the facility cannot be booked for something else at that particular time.

The ‘Staff’ scheduler has two rows per person, the top row showing their general level of availability on each particular day and then below it their ‘commitments’ are added, so that at a glance any remaining availability is shown. As with Facilities, recurring availability and commitments can be added easily.

Scheduler

Schedule staff

 


Useful extras added to Ashbourne epos+ till system

epos+As part of our continuous improvement to our club software, here are a number of neat improvements to our MVSv3 and our epos+ till system to make it even more effective in your club:

Member sale

 

 

Sales historyUsing the ‘Record Sale for this Member’ button that is now in place, linked to membership verification (swipecard, fingerprint or RFID), you can keep track of each member’s sales history through the till. This facility is now separate from the Expire Members routine, giving far greater flexibility.

You can then see a useful history of their purchases – membership renewals + their spend pattern on drink, supplements etc, allowing you to target special offers or incentives at members, according to their spend pattern.

This can then link into the facility that exists to look at your top members by sales, giving you a list of the people spending the most on particular items.

 

Add a free text reference to a sale

You can now add a complete extra field of info, a ‘Reference’ that can be used for a number of applications.

  • This reference line of text will appear on the till receipt that the customer receives.
  • This description appears in till reports and screens in a ‘Reference’ column.
  • This can have many different applications. For example, if you have issued a discount voucher, you could enter ‘August voucher’ in the reference field when it is redeemed, helping you to track the success of the discount voucher. Or enter ‘Room 10’ to allow you to see all of the catering transactions applying to the use of a particular room in your club.
  • You can also create a dedicated ‘payment type’ button relating to vouchers, see the next point below.

MVS_till_new_payment_optionsTwo extra ‘payment type’ buttons available 

As well as the standard options such as cash/cheque/card/DD, two additional payment types can be added to the till – default versions are set as ‘Voucher’ and ‘Misc’ but these buttons are configurable to suit whatever is required for your business. This gives you the flexibility to accept, for example, a special offer voucher you have created, as payment through the till for goods or services.

As well as showing as buttons on the till, these two new payment types also show on printed receipts and on the Z Read (End of day report).

Lock the membership expiry date for cash members

Memberships paid for by cash are often processed through our till system. As an extra security feature, there is now the ability to lock the expiry date on the system to prevent any fraudulent processing of membership payments. The level of access to change this field can be set at club owner level or whatever is felt to be appropriate.

 

Till system

Add any membership type as a till ‘product’

There is now the flexibility to set up as buttons on the till any membership type you require – you can set the duration of the membership and its description and this then appears as a simple till button. When a membership is sold, whatever end date that applies is automatically calculated and displayed as part of the transaction. See montage here of entry fields for setting up the membership type, and then how buttons appear on the till.

These are all changes that make our epos+ till system more secure yet more flexible, and more able to help you increase the levels of secondary spend in your club.

If you are already a user of MVS or epos+ then it will be updated automatically to reflect these upgrades + any new installations will include these features.


See Ashbourne at LIW 2015

LIW 2015Come along and see Ashbourne at Leisure Industry Week 2015 at the NEC 22-23 September 2015, Hall 4, stand number D2. It’s our biggest and best stand yet, and we’re positioned right by the entrance – when you come in, we’re the FIRST STAND on the left hand side!

Ashbourne are launching at LIW the latest addition to their suite of software for clubs – Scheduler+. Come along to our stand to see a demo. Scheduler+ is the complete scheduling tool, allowing you to plan everything from staff rotas to class/court/spa bookings. You can only maximise the resources in your club (staff and facilities) by scheduling all activities efficiently, and Scheduler+ makes this easy PLUS this leads to better customer service in your club.

 

Scheduler+

Ashbourne servicesScheduler+ is yet another software module from Ashbourne, giving you all the tools you need to run your club efficiently, whatever the size. A scheduling tool has been the one major gap in our software package, and now we’ve filled it. Scheduler+, like all Ashbourne’s software, is designed to be quick and easy to use, giving you all the features you need without making it over-complicated. Using a simple calendar layout and drag-and-drop entry, you can create a clear matrix of bookings and staff manning levels.

Scheduler+ is yet another part of our collection service, fully integrated with the rest of our services. Scheduling systems are usually only available as part of expensive monthly software licences – Scheduler+ now makes efficient scheduling available to clubs of all sizes.

So, schedule your own visit to the Ashbourne stand and see Scheduler+ in action. For more info visit ashbourne-memberships.co.uk or call us on 0871 271 2088. Scheduler+ is part of our complete suite of software solutions, giving you everything you need to run your club efficiently.