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The economy is still posing challenges for both businesses and consumers — making everyone very budget conscious. Many people have become increasingly conservative in their spending. Now is the time to get creative to expand your revenue.
Many of us prefer to pay for goods or services that we use over time in equal payments, instead of paying a lump sum in advance, or differing amounts each month. Netflix has grown into a $5 billion plus company in just the past 13 years based on this premise. Now it’s time for you to capitalize on this concept for your club.
Create steady, predictable and lower payment offerings for members and potential members on goods for which you normally charge in full at the time of purchase. For example, you may be selling personal training in blocks of visits now, but have you considered offering a set number of monthly training visits for a recurring monthly fee? You can build the training fee into the monthly dues or add a monthly cycle of billing just for this fee. This concept can be used to sell other services and goods that you sell in your club.
Before you begin brainstorming for ideas, be sure you have the right tools in place to track and administrate this. Most club management software systems have the ability to bill for monthly dues on a regular basis; be sure yours also has the ability to cycle additional transactions, properly allocate the revenue and track the visits.
Let’s say you are selling a membership that is $50 a month that includes two personal training visits. You don’t want to manually add the training sessions each month to every eligible member, so you need a system that will do it for you and allocate the revenue to the correct income line.
Benefits of This Model
Makes Buying More Affordable: The traditional model of selling memberships and other services in clubs seems to be changing in the industry as a whole. Monthly membership dues are becoming increasingly attractive to consumers when there is the perception of added value. Breaking up the package cost into regular monthly payments prevents the large fee up front, making it easier for members to buy.
Easy to Administrate: Using a system that automates the additional recurring billing and the allocating of visits each month will eliminate monthly invoices, manual transactions and awarding visits or services.
Predictable Revenues: Easily project your monthly income based on the length of time of each of these contracts. Even with an open-ended contract, you typically require advance cancellation notice, so you can still factor this revenue into your financial projections.
Increase Retention: Maintaining regular revenues streams whether it comes from members or non members is a large part of retention. A non-member may purchase a recurring monthly billing package for personal training only, and never actually purchase a membership. Their visits are their “membership.” By offering a billing method that will automatically charge a member or non-member each month and allocate the visits, you never have to re-sell!
Create Special Offers: Think outside the box. You may charge a bit more for a special membership that includes two or three free guest passes or a monthly massage. As long as you have an automated system to assign the guest passes or the massage, there isn’t additional work on your part. You just create and price the packages appropriately.
Ideas for other recurring billing items: massages, shakes, guest fees, personal training, lockers, towels, childcare, boot camps, lessons — just about anything you currently offer in your club! These can be add-ons to the normal monthly membership dues, or as an additional cycle billing — whichever works best for your customers. In either case, strong club management software will help you manage this process and track your increasing revenues.
Susanne Nauseda has an exercise science degree that she put to use in the industry for 10 years prior to joining Twin Oaks Software, where she has worked for the last 12 years. You can reach her at 866.278.6750 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.