Would you eat Jell-O with a fork, or hammer a nail with measuring tape? In some cases, you might be doing this in your club. You’re actually attempting to solve problems, but you don’t have the solutions. Maybe it boils down to just not having the right tools for the particular solutions.
Take a look at your club and think about some “re-tooling.” Having the right tools could provide more efficient systems, revenue growth, better expense management and less “work around.” You should always review current systems and tools to make sure they align with the current and future needs of your club.
Let’s review some of the tools you may already have, and those that you might need. Keep in mind that some tools perform more than one task, and others are specialized.
Employee, Payroll and Staff Training
In a competitive club market, your employees are part of the expertise that you provide to potential members, and what makes your current members join and stay at your club. Make sure that you routinely evaluate employees to ensure that any required certifications are kept up to date.
As you think about implementing new business models, or making changes to the future course of the business, you should have a “go-to” tool that could ensure that you have the right people, payroll resources and expertise to make certain changes. Many clubs use payroll/human resource software that will allow them to track specific employee information for this purpose.
Budgeting, Sales Tracking and Margin
Jack Stack wrote the book, “The Great Game of Business.” Within it he talked about how numbers tell a story. Budgeting and projecting are crucial to the success of your business. If you don’t know your current numbers and how they are projecting against your budget and future goals, then you don’t know your story.
For some club owners, trying to track every line item of a budget and club performance can be daunting. There are many critical numbers for any business, and knowing those numbers is a valuable tool. If you are unsure of your numbers, then it might be time to think about minimally working with an accountant or industry consultant. The industry has some extremely talented consultants who will work with you one-on-one to learn your numbers and help you understand and write your story. Use them as a tool.
Club Management Software, Billing and Returns Management
I would consider club management software to be both a specialized and multi-purpose tool. Club management software provides every part of your organization with the tools to track and manage the business. This very often includes billing, returns management, payroll, scheduling, inventory, reporting, marketing and sales, and the list goes on and on.
You should be using every part of the software that you can, and when you find that you aren’t, you should call your provider, who can assist you with aligning your use of the software with your needs and goals. Very often, training from your club management provider is free, and can introduce you to many tools that you might not even know your club management software offers. It typically doesn’t cost you anything to call and ask questions. Be prepared to find that your club might not even be using 50 percent of the capabilities that you have available.
There are many tools available for you in the health club industry. Knowing which ones are right for you might take some investigation. Talk to fellow club owners, consultants, current vendors, attend trade shows and read trade publications. The first step is to recognize what tools you need, and then you can choose wisely!
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 11 years. You can reach her at 866.278.6750 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.