Data gives us the information we need to make informed, educated decisions. Without data, the business choices we make would simply be uneducated guesses hedged on baseless assumptions. Fortunately for us, we live in a world with substantial means for collecting data. And that’s a great thing.
If you really think about it, every single business in the world is data-dependent. Undeniably, the business of fitness is no different. Our industry is the quintessential example of an industry driven by data.
Health club members have a set of data they use to measure the progress of their health: weight loss, BMI, blood pressure and heart rate, to name a few. Equipment providers collect data to find out the most popular fitness machinery, such as how much time people spend on a treadmill, how fast they’re going and the settings they use most. Health club owners use data to measure the value and success of their business, including profit margins, fixed costs, variable costs and profit.
As you can see, our industry is reliant upon data: from gym members to equipment providers down to your finance team.
So how can you use your data to improve your health club business?
- Reduce Attrition: Identify which members visit your facility the least. Did you know that with one interaction, members are 20% more likely to visit? With that knowledge, you can now send those members an email for a free PT session and reel them back in before they leave indefinitely.
- Save Money: Recognize which items sell the least in your café. You’ve only sold one purple Gatorade this year? Get rid of it and order extra of your more popular items. But wait, how do we know which ones are popular? Ahhh, the power of data!
- Increase Sales: We already know that you can pinpoint at-risk members, so of course you can find who your most active members are as well. If Sally visits your gym five times a week, send her an exclusive offer for referring a friend. Now Sally has a gym buddy, and you have one more member!
- Identify Trends: Analyze member activity and assess which times of the month are busiest and which are not. Use this information to implement special offers during less active months and referral offers during busier months.
- Track activity: Who has communicated with the members who have left your facility? Nobody? Well, then we know why they left in the first place! Reverse that trend and increase retention by interacting with your members more often. But without the data, you wouldn’t know why they left in the first place!
Bottom line: Data helps you make informed business decisions that can have a significant impact on the growth and success of your business.
As you can see, data is an extremely powerful tool — and arguably, the most powerful tool a business can have in its arsenal. It is the catalyst to progress and innovation. Understanding the power of it is practical, but collecting it isn’t always as easy.
So, how do you collect data?
There are many tools, but it starts with having the right club management system. Specifically, one with robust reporting functionality. There are not many software providers that offer comprehensive reporting tools, so where should you start?