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I see similarities between Darwinism and club management software. Please, before you spit out your coffee, let me explain.
In 1835, when Charles Darwin first arrived in the Galapagos Islands, he was amazed by the pure numbers of strange creatures that inhabited the islands. Today, anyone who is shopping around for health club management software will be equally amazed by the plethora of choices on the market. Some are pretty strange, too.
Back on the islands, Darwin noted how life changes and adapts to the environment, the basic “survival of the fittest.” But it wasn’t until years later that Darwin amended his survival theory by stating, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, but rather, that which is most adaptable to change.”
I argue that club management software has also gone through a similar evolutionary process. Starting out as a simple way to keep track of member’s demographics and membership expiration dates, it was easy to see what company offered the biggest and strongest product. But as clubs’ needs changed and got more intricate and diverse, club management software also needed to adapt with the changing market in an effort to survive.
Think about the white rhino, one of the toughest and fiercest animals on this planet. They are all but extinct. Software is the same: No matter how large the company is — if they don’t adapt, they too will go the way of the white rhino.
Then think on the other end of the spectrum: the lowly cockroach, who despite being small, ugly and easy to kill, will still be scurrying across countertops a million years from now. I claim that “club management software Darwinism” is no different than nature’s Darwinism. The companies that adapt to the changing landscape are the ones who have and will continue to survive.
Today, I see a big evolutionary step forward revolving around a club’s ability to manage both its prospects and members’ interactions internally, using club management software. Of course if the club decides to use a third-party CRM software that is a great option, but if they want to control the process using their own club management software, they should be able to.
Clubs should have a plan and a way of managing and communicating with their prospects, new members and those members who are at risk of quitting. This communications plan is in place for its sales people, front desk people or supervisors to contact each of these groups when necessary.
Talk to your software company today and see what they can do to help you sell more memberships to your prospects. Ask them what they can do to integrate your new members into the club. Lastly, see what your software company can do to help you reach out to members who are at risk of leaving. If they can’t, then maybe your provider is a white rhino.
Eric Claman owned two clubs in Torrington, Connecticut: Pinewoods Health and Racquet Club for 23 years and Energy Fitness for four years, before selling both and accepting a consulting job at Twin Oaks Software Development in 2011. He can be reached at 866.278.6750, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit healthclubsoftware.com.