Tuesday, 31 December 2019

How to make More from Less as a Personal Trainer

How can a personal trainer make more money while their clients pay less?

It sounds like a conundrum; however, it is possible for you as a personal trainer to take less money from each of your clients, and yet increase your own revenue. Do you know how to make more from less?

You’ll need to understand how the systems at your club work, embrace the technology (that scares some PTs) and put in a little extra time on communication strategies. But it could easily bring in another £24k per annum, so it’s worth it!

Let’s say as a PT you see 5 clients per day, 5 days per week for £50 per 1-hour session (to keep the maths simple). That’s 25 sessions per week, making £1,250 each week, or £5k per month.

Here’s how to make up to another £500 each week. Firstly, you need to find out more about the systems in the gym, work out how to monitor your members performance, and how to send messages to members from those systems.

Monday, 9 December 2019

How to win the January gym battle (and retain your new members)

This is a copy of the retention article from Gym Owner Monthly Magazine November 2019. You can read the original article and the rest of the magazine here.

Everyone knows that January is the best sales month in the fitness industry. Most people also think that the new joiners have stopped visiting by March. As a gym owner, it’s time to help debunk this theory and get your new joiners to stick around in 2020.

New members are looking for a new start in the New Year, perhaps setting resolutions to get fit, shed the extra weight from the end of year eating and drinking excess, and get in shape for that (distant) summer holiday.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

mywellness challenge club: Chase the Turkey

It's time to chase the turkey again this December. If you've not run this challenge before, it's great fun for members and staff alike, gets lots of people talking and running in the gym, and is great for social media and enagement with local businesses. 

The idea is that everyone signs up for a running challenge, one of your instructors or staff is The Turkey, and everyone who runs further than the turkey for the first 14 days of December enters the prize draw to win... a turkey (or equivalent).

If you can get a local butchers shop to donate a turkey, or hamper (in return for some publicity) this makes for a great prize, but a voucher for another local shop, or for a national retailer works too.

We want lots of people to be in the draw at the end of the challenge, so make sure the turkey doesn't run too far or too fast!

Monday, 11 November 2019

Love Your Leavers (Gym Owner Monthly Nov 2019)

This is a copy of the retention article from Gym Owner Monthly Magazine November 2019. You can read the original article and the rest of the magazine here.

Feedback from cancelling members can be the most powerful information that an organisation can get their hands on.

What can you tell me about your leavers? 
“They are moving away?” 
What else do you know about them? 

This is a common conversation I have with gym owners every month.

They say things like, “20% told us they were moving away. We know nothing about the rest” 
This does not mean that most of them are moving away. It means you know nothing about most of your leavers!

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

MAKE A MOVE CHALLENGE - for Technogym UK clubs

For clarity, the MAKE A MOVE CHALLENGE is a Technogym UK challenge, managed by Technogym UK for connected MyWellness clubs in the UK.

We've supported this over the last few years, with tips and advice for UK clubs to get the most from the challenge and to engage, motivate, and retain as many of their members as possible. You can read all the related posts here.

mywellness challenge club - Make a MOVE

"Make a MOVE" is a very popular Technogym UK challenge that pits club teams against each other to collect the most MOVEs. This article talks about the challenge that we're running for some clients, but you can find many more posts about Make a MOVE here on this blog.

Here's a 3 minute video explaining the Why, How and What of Make a MOVE:

Friday, 18 October 2019

Keeping people engaged - eGym article in CIMSPA magazine

Pleased to see some of our research featured in CIMSPA members magazine this month.

A study conducted by an experienced independent retention specialist has highlighted the significant positive impact the eGym training solution has on member usage and member retention.

Monday, 7 October 2019

Onboarding - Leave No Member Behind (Gym Owner Monthly Article Oct 2019)

On-boarding is the most important part of the member journey. If you get it right, your members will stick around longer, saving you time and effort chasing absentees or dealing with cancellations. Although only around 10% of your members will be new at any point in time, it's worth putting in up to 50% of your effort into on-boarding. Try to leave no member behind.

Think about your new members’ first experience. What standards do you have in place to ensure the joining experience is excellent, and how do you measure success? Simple things like a welcome message can give you early engagement insights. A welcome session [aka induction] will help retention. Other good examples of first experiences might include a first group exercise class, body composition analysis, new member challenge, myzone workout, or PT session. Choose 2 or 3 key actions that you will try to get every new member to experience, and then measure engagement.

Click the image below to read the whole article on Gym Owner Monthly...

Friday, 4 October 2019

eGym Roadshows – insightful education workshops across the UK

It was a pleasure to be involved in the eGym insights roadshows in September 2019. We met with eGym clients, prospects and partners up and down the country, and had some great discussions and debates. While the brief was to deliver educational content to “activate your gym for success” we learnt a lot from the delegates too, and from our fellow presenters, of course.

Kerstin Obenauer (eGym Country Director UK) opened each event with introductions and a request for delegates wants and needs for the day. Nearly all attendees were looking for ideas and experience around sales and retention, and of course, several were keen to hear of the latest eGym developments.

Thursday, 19 September 2019

mywellness challenge club - Row the Atlantic/Channel

Obviously, there's a big difference, but the aim is to get as many of your members to aim for a target and row that distance as a club/chain. This is not about competing, but all members and staff coming together as a team to achieve a common goal; the distance. With Sarah Thomas just swimming the Channel 4 times non-stop, this is a good current news story.

October Rowing Challenge

The Atlantic is 4,263km, the English Channel is 34km. Pick Australia to New Zealand, or Sydney to Hobart, Liverpool to Dublin, or any other local strait, and have all your members contribute to the target.

Friday, 16 August 2019

mywellness challenge club - Rugby World Cup Challenge

The Rugby World Cup (RWC) is a good excuse to run a long team challenge. This challenge can get a little complicated, so it’s up to you how far you go with this at your club.

(We're running this for a few clients; if you'd like us to set-up and manage it for you on your mywellness system(s), please email info@ggfit.com)

The basic premise is for members to join a RWC team, and then collect the most MOVEs. Some teams will have more members, so take average MOVEs per member per team.

Monday, 12 August 2019

Why do we still try to get new gym members to swim?

Does your new member process still include reference to swimming? 

(Don’t have a pool? Don’t skip this article, there’s still valuable content, just read down to paragraph 3…)

Many clubs still go overboard trying to get new members to use their pool, selling the benefits on joining, and mentioning it in new member email comms. Sure, the pool has a big cost overhead, but convincing new gym members to swim is a waste of breath or email content 99% of the time. Swimmers do tend to stay longer, but persuading gym users to swim is a thankless task*.

Swimming in Zambia (ZambiaTourism.com)

Friday, 2 August 2019

Why gym rejoiners need an induction

Have you been a member before? The question to a new joiner seems so innocent, but it is potentially opening up a big loophole* to dodge out of one of the cornerstones of member retention…

A couple of new clients this year, when asked about their new member induction** rate quoted “around 80%” (a figure based on feeling, rather than data). They go on, “and we’ll be hard pushed to do any better, because the other 20% are re-joiners”.

Why don’t re-joiners get an induction, we ask? “They already had one”.
This opens up so many questions… When was their last induction (last year, 10 years ago)? How was it? Did they really have one (can you prove it)? And so on.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Parents Sports Day at the Summer Fair

We just ran a parents’ sports day at our PTA summer fair. Originally, this was because there are no Mums' or Dads' races at the kids’ sports day (probably for good reason!), and because it’s a great opportunity to raise money for the PTA.

However, it also brought more people along to the summer fair, got them there earlier in the day (and ensured they were thirsty). In a wider context, the event was great for raising awareness of activity through the school, and creating a lot of fun for the kids.

Monday, 24 June 2019

More Member Feedback - Ex-member feedback 5/5

We’ve talked about joiners and leavers, however, you will have limited numbers on both of these processes, depending on your sales and retention numbers. Your active member database should offer a larger data set, but it’s often your ex-members that can reveal a lot. Whether or not you have asked for feedback as they left, it’s nearly always worth surveying your ex-members – those who left in the last couple of years, say quarterly. Again, ask open questions, find out what they’re up to now, what are their current fitness goals, where they are exercising, how often, and other more general info that shows you’re still interested in them.

What we’ve learned from ex-members’ feedback

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Tour de France - inclusive and engaging mywellness challenge

Here’s one of the challenges we’re running in the mywellness challenge club this July. At first, it seems like a challenge for keen cyclists. But with a couple of simple twists, you can make it appealing to all members who visit your club. 

Le Tour is the biggest bike race in the world, and unless you have no bikes in your facility, you’d be missing a trick not to run a cycling challenge in July. It needs a little extra explanation if you include both twists, but it’s worth the extra interaction with members for the fun factor and social media exposure that you’ll get.

Monday, 17 June 2019

More Member Feedback - Cancellation feedback 4/5

Feedback from cancelling members can be the most powerful information that an organisation can get their hands on. Don’t be like a couple of clubs we know that don’t ask for leaver feedback because it will all be negative, and don’t ignore the negative reviews. You are missing out on all the information that you need to improve your business. 

We are not talking about leave reason here (moving away, anyone?) but genuine user comments about what has led them to choose to cancel. A phone call (if you have the resource) is great from a customer service perspective, and absolutely the best way to try to turn around a cancellation request, but the anonymous (or not) survey where an ex-member or leaver can leave some constructive comments will garner lots more honest opinion.

Monday, 10 June 2019

More Member Feedback - First appointment feedback 3/5

A great place to start collecting member feedback is the first appointment of a new member. Asking what they think or feel after this visit shows you care and gets the new member in the habit of giving feedback. If the first appointment is with an instructor (induction, class, etc) then the instructor should tell the member that they’ll be getting a feedback request and should fill it in. This will boost open, click, and completion rates.

Learnings from new member feedback

Friday, 7 June 2019

Another Amazing Active Uprising in Manchester - 2019

For the second year, the leaders, trailblazers, and influencers in the fitness industry gathered in Manchester for Active Uprising. This is ukactive’s annual conference, bringing together powerful keynotes from inspirational thought leaders, along with business and leadership sessions, ActiveLab, and an awards dinner.

Huw Edwards, acting CEO of ukactive opened with news of the new MoU with Sport England to accelerate the movement towards getting more people more active more often. There are 5 focus areas; digital, inclusion, campaigns (in coordination with providers), infrastructure (public & private), and workforce.

Jack Connors then introduced the 2019 ActiveLab cohort,

Monday, 3 June 2019

How member feedback helps to improve retention – directly & indirectly

Customer feedback is becoming more of a focus for every business and in every industry. The annual survey is so last year, and while Net Promoter Score is still relevant, the score itself is losing value compared to the comments and feedback that customers are supplying through survey tools and also through social media channels.

The feedback itself should be reason enough to seek out member interaction, but there are a bunch of additional benefits that we’ll explore through this series of posts.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

GDPR: one year later – have you filtered out the negative vibes?

It’s one year since the General Data Protection Regulation came into being, and the world doesn’t feel very different from a communication point of view. In the fitness industry, clubs are communicating less with members, and Net Promoter Scores have increased, as many detractors will have opted out of communications.

If you made the mistake of asking your members to opt-in, you may have created a culture of only listening to positive feedback. You’ll likely only be asking your ‘raving fans’ what they think, and getting a false NPS boost.

Positive feedback is fine;

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

mywellness - challenges for June 2019

Members of the GGFit mywellness Challenge Club received this content earlier this week. If you would like regular challenge ideas, a 12-month planner template and example, plus lots of other free content, sign up at ggfit.com/challenge.

Burnie Summers

Burnie (calorie) challenges are always popular; they appeal to a lot of members, and educate too - showing members how many calories they burn on their average workout…

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Data Capture and Follow-up need more improvement - Proinsight Benchmark Report 2019

It’s great to read Proinsight’s latest benchmark report… always eagerly anticipated, and packed full of insights that help us to understand how we can improve sales and retention in the fitness industry.

This year, Proinsight have partnered with our friends at MyCustomerLens; a great introduction at Elevate 2018, even if I do say so myself. This cooperation allows for even more critical feedback analysis.
The scores make interesting reading, but like mystery shopping reports, it’s what’s written between the lines that is most relevant for operators.

The first key takeaway is on the face 2 face score (62%),

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Making a Success of Your Business - the Role of Technology (Elevate Seminar)

Here's a clip of Guy's 10 minute presentation from the Elevate Conference on 8th May 2019.

How to make technology a success in the fitness industry
1. Start with WHY (proof and evidence that tech can engage staff and members)

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Places Locker App (powered by Technogym mywellness cloud) increases visit frequency by over 50%

Study of over 2.4 million visits across a six month period evidence the power of digital solutions

Places Leisure launched the Places Locker app in 2017 – created in partnership with Technogym and powered by mywellness cloud with the mission of creating active places and healthy people with a focus on improved engagement within their 96 centres with gyms.

The Places Locker app allows member to track gym activity, follow guided exercises and designed workouts, track outdoor activity using apps and wearables such as MapMyFitness, Strava, Polar, FitBit, access and book class bookings and access fitness challenges. The members also benefit from a more personalised service from instructors since the insight allows instructors to interact meaningfully and relevantly with each customer.

Friday, 26 April 2019

mywellness - challenges for May 2019

Members of the GGFit mywellness Challenge Club received this content earlier this week. If you would like regular challenge ideas, a 12-month planner template and example, plus lots of other free content, sign up at ggfit.com/challenge.

We’ve got a couple of challenge suggestions for you in May. One is from the calendar and is a stock ‘appeals to all members’ team challenge which will get your instructors really working hard, competing and having fun, and the other is a more specialist, but quick event-based challenge.

We usually only suggest one main challenge a month, and recommend you keep your challenges simple. But this is the challenge club, and we want to give you ideas to try out and feedback on, so we’re throwing caution to the wind! Chronologically the specialist challenge comes first, so if it’s not for you, skip down to the team challenge.

Monday, 15 April 2019

Fourth Elevate Arena Event will be biggest and best

Elevate is the UK’s largest physical activity trade show. Despite only being in it’s fourth year, it is now the go-to event for the UK Fitness Industry. Held at the Excel in London on 8-9 May, the show combines a thought leaders conference, packed seminar streams, exhibition, and great networking opportunities.

There will be over 300 inspirational and expert speakers at the conference, and the exhibition boasts more than 350 exhibitors with 1000+ products. Click the link below to get your free tickets.

 Click here to book your tickets

Here are the seminar sessions we’re looking forward to the most:

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

LetsMove - what's next? Ideas for your April Challenge

LetsMove 2019 has been the most successful Technogym Global Challenge to date. Keep up the momentum at your club with one of these follow-up challenges:

Quick Option: 

Easter Burnie

Type – Calories burned
Winners – Everyone who…

This is a quick challenge that you can run to boost your member’s activity over the Easter period. It’s a great follow-up to LetsMove as anyone can enter and everyone should be able to complete it.

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

LetsMove 2019 Review - Member Engagement key to successful challenge

Let’s Move 2019 has been another massive success for Technogym clubs all over the world. The annual global challenge has become a movement in the fight against inactivity, which now reaches out beyond the club walls.
We’ve interviewed the top 10 UK clubs; read on to learn how they did so well, and to find out how you should be celebrating, and what kind of challenges to do next.

Lets Move For A Better World works like this… Clubs participate by getting their members to pledge to donate their MOVEs to the cause. Each club has a leaderboard of members, there’s also a leaderboard of all the clubs in your country, and finally, a country leaderboard. Technogym provide equipment to winning clubs, which is then donated to a local school or charity. But for most, it’s a fun, way to engage more with members, guests, and the local community, and to promote activity.

Friday, 29 March 2019

Ex-member communications under PECR & GDPR

We're looking at how member communications and processes have changed since the GDPR 'change'.

GDPR and PECR combined (?) should help to focus membership organisations when it comes to ex-member communications. It adds a level of urgency to messaging, as you have a window of, say, 2 years to contact ex-members after they cancel their membership. If there is no interaction over this period, you should stop communication. Looking at this practically, if a member has not re-joined (or interacted*) 2 years after leaving, it’s a good point to stop contacting them, as you’re probably wasting time and energy anyway.

Friday, 22 March 2019

How to handle member comms post GDPR

We have heard a lot of post GDPR change horror stories: some clubs struggle with getting new members to opt-in to communications, others have asked all existing members to opt back into member communications, only to reduce email permission to below 5% of membership. On the plus side, NPS has increased, but it’s now only based on 5% of members (unsurprising, as it’s the really engaged ones!) One mid-sized trust that we spoke to this week lost around 15% of their total members in June 2018 after emailing all members asking them to opt into communications. Of course, sleeping members were reminded that they were still paying, and cancelled their membership.

The General Data Protection Regulation is designed to protect the personal information of individuals and give them more control over their information. It is important to state that GDPR is not designed to hinder business.  Too many clubs are missing out on sending important member communications following advice from GDPR consultants and lawyers. It is typical of the fitness industry to ask for advice, and then follow that advice without thinking of the consequences, rather than challenging or setting out a strategy and then having the GDPR experts check it for issues. GDPR consultants are providing an important service, but their default policy or process will be watertight and restrictive to the business, and frankly, will help neither memberships sales nor retention.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Evidence Concludes: eGym Users Workout More and Stay Longer (Gym Owner Monthly)

A study conducted by an experienced independent retention specialist has highlighted the significant positive impact the eGym training solution has on member usage and member retention. 

Over a period of 3 months, Guy Griffiths, Founder of GGFit, worked in close collaboration with four operators to interrogate the attendance and usage data of more than 10,000 members. Sites selected to participate in the study were: Crook Log Leisure Centre managed by Parkwood Leisure; the Waterfront Leisure Complex, managed by Inverclyde Leisure; King’s School, an independent, dual use school facility and ESPH a private gym and physiotherapy facility.

Friday, 8 March 2019

Fitness industry future tech leaders at ActiveLab 2019 launch event

It was great to be at the launch of ActiveLab 2019 yesterday at Bird and Bird in London.

Having attended the first ActiveLab in 2017, then being involved judging and mentoring the 2018 contingent, it was an honour to be invited to attend the 2019 launch event, to meet the new cohort of start-ups and to network with ukactive and other industry luminaries.

Steve Ward introduced the evening’s line-up, followed by a warm welcome from Emma Green of Bird and Bird. Charles-Emmanuel Nelis from Decathlon spoke about making sport accessible through innovation, digitisation, and coding. Adrian Nash of LifeFitness (formerly Google) concluded the warm-up before a brief panel debate, then we got into the pitches.

Friday, 1 February 2019

Three Quick Retention Tips for ClubRight customers

In the same way that low-cost gyms have transformed the health club marketplace, solutions like ClubRight are helping to modernise the way fitness businesses are run. With their “built for gym owners by gym owners” mantra, we’ve been fans of their under-complicated approach, and ability to adapt to a club’s way of working, rather than the club having to change their operations to fit the software.

More developments are on the way from ClubRight, particularly in the member engagement space. In the meantime, here’s three simple ways you can monitor and improve your member retention with the ClubRight system.

Friday, 25 January 2019

January Gym-bashing backlash!

Liz Terry of Leisure Media has called for the annual gym-bashing to stop. With the rise of social media, constant content and fake news, there seem to be more stories of how evil the fitness industry is, with everyone from the Guardian to the Sunday Times saying how people should do without the gym.

The January rush story is never going to go away, but it’s worth talking about what we can do to combat this bad press. Here’s what we do when talking to friends and family, or taking the battle online…
  • Debunking the myth that everybody joins in January, and is ‘gone’ by March

Friday, 18 January 2019

How do you get people to use the system?

Any system is only as good as the people using it. Data is critical (rubbish in = rubbish out), but the key to success for any system is the operators or users of the system. Here’s how you get people to use a system.

Many systems are purchased as a management decision without need for the users buy-in. A key part of the successful implementation is therefore selling it to the staff who will be operating the system. This is a big part of what I’ve done for a lot of my working life, from banking systems to exercise management systems.