50 Shades of Metrics
Do you know your membership numbers?
Simply having the right people and resources in place is not enough to be successful. Somewhere along the way you have to get intimate with your numbers to evaluate your success against your goals. To do this you need certain metrics.
The numbers always tell a story, and without the proper metrics you won’t have anything to read.
Many of the numbers that you need to evaluate come from your club management software or other tracking methods. Here are a few to consider:
Total Billing Collected/Uncollected: Each month you should generate a list of the members to be billed, which should include the total billing amount, broken down by the type of items billed for. After the billing process is completed, look at how much was uncollected (or returned) and why. By knowing these two numbers you can calculate your return rate. Using the list of returns you can then use follow-up methods to recapture those uncollected dues.
In addition, using an A/R balance and return tracking report will help you stay on top of accumulating member balances. That way you can discover dues that have returned repeatedly and should be cancelled or accelerated. Lastly, your accountant or financial watchdog should be making sure that they reconcile the total deposited and any fees collected.
Cancellations and New Adds: Knowing why you lose members is just as important as knowing how you got them. Not only do you want to know how many members were lost, but why (specifically). The same goes for new members (what is their source?). If your goal is growing your membership, then staying on top of this metric is important so that you can make adjustments.
Most club management software providers have a way to track both the source and the cancel reason. In addition, these reports should also show your dues added and lost. If you are doing marketing or advertising, the new member report is a great way to see if you are getting a positive return on your marketing investment.
Total Renewals/Non Renewals: If you are selling memberships through either billing or prepaid, knowing which ones are not renewing is important. If a member is not renewing then they are a cancel, and that is a member lost.
As a result, be sure to look at a renewal report monthly to make sure you can track this metric, and make sure that new prepaid memberships are not being mixed in with renewals. Breaking down the renewals by short and long term could also help to determine if your membership structure is going to sustain you long term. Many club management renewal reports will break down the amount due for renewals. This will give you an idea of what there is out there to be captured or lost.
Numbers are important to tell the story and determine your success. Determine what your club’s necessary metrics are, and make sure you are tabulating the right information to get them. Lastly, apply the information you get to your business goals. Don’t be afraid to “get to know” your business.
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.