Does Your Membership Offering Nurture Loyalty

One of the biggest concerns for gyms and leisure centres around the world is customer loyalty. A sharp and sudden drop in membership numbers is common during specific times of the year, such as the New Year when resolutions start to fade and people slowly lose the habits they want to build. It’s a difficult time of year especially for gym and leisure industries because business comes and goes depending on the time of year or the season and it’s important to build your business model around making customers stick.

If you want to inspire loyalty in your services, then it’s important to start building a business model around it. You need to think about things such as who you consider to be your ideal customer or the methods you use in order to reach out to them. What you invest your resources into can also drastically change the way your business works.

Many leisure centres and gyms find that it’s cheaper to keep their members loyal than spending money on finding new ones. This is usually because new members have access to special deals and discounts in order to entice them into joining. However, it’s not common to see those new members stay for longer than their trial or discount period. In fact, after attending your gym or leisure centre for a few days or weeks, they may disappear entirely.

By increasing your retention rates by as little as 5%, you’ll increase your profits a significant amount compared to aiming for new memberships. If your business model focuses on flexible memberships and drawing in customers with no-commitment deals, then you may find more success by offering long-term deals such as a 12-month contract or discounts on longer membership periods.

Since you’ll have fewer people coming and going, you’ll hold onto your loyal customers and this means you’ll spend less on administration fees or maintenance and more time on growing your business. Long-term membership deals also guarantee profits for a longer period of time, reducing the fluctuations in profit that many gyms and leisure centres are subjected to due to the nature of their audience.

Another advantage of focusing on retention is that you’ll have an easier time managing your cash flow, especially if you use Direct Debit to collect payments from your audience. Direct Debit payments are easy to implement and offer a great deal of convenience for your audience as well as your own business. It’s also much cheaper than other methods, and this helps you make room for discounts and loyalty incentives.

So to conclude, if your gym or leisure centre business suffers from seasonal fluctuations in memberships (and thus profit) change your business model to target long-term loyalty, not short-term convenience for your customers.

Outsmart Local Competition With Direct Debit

Gym businesses are constantly battling for the attention of consumers. Their audiences are the same and the services they offer don’t deviate much. After all, all gyms offer similar services so it can be difficult trying to differentiate yourself from the rest of the industry. But as the competition becomes more fierce, it’s a good idea to take a closer look at the money you’re spending in order to drive profits and increase your working capital to help you grow. This is a concern that we see a lot at DFC.


Coping With Competition

One of our clients, Think Fitness, wanted to change the way their business operated three years ago. The fitness industry in Scotland grew exponentially and Think Fitness were faced with competitors who were offering compelling budget services that reeled customers in. With cheaper rates and seemingly similar services, Think Fitness were struggling to stay afloat and were forced to follow their competition’s lead.

As such, they reduced their membership rates and cut down on the number of membership options available. Since this change and moving on to Direct Debit for payments, Think Fitness has seen a staggering 80% growth.

This success was in part due to Think Fitness’s adaptation to the gym industry in Scotland, but also because they added an additional payment method; Direct Debit. Direct Debit comes with many unique benefits that will help your business grow, but one of the most attractive advantages is the cost savings.


Simplifying Your Finances

Direct Debit has been proven to be a far cheaper alternative to other payment methods like cash and credit cards. As such, many organizations take advantage of the lowered cost by offering discounts and loyalty incentives. You’ve probably seen many gym companies offering new membership discounts and offers, but they probably also offer long-term savings to repeat customers.

Although this sounds like a complicated system to implement into a gym business, it’s perfectly possible thanks to Direct Debit’s low-maintenance nature and ease of setup. The less time you spend on managing your financial situation, the more time you can spend actually growing your business by promoting it and offering compelling deals to your audience.

Many Direct Debit services are built with convenience in mind. This is why online debit forms, such as Debit Finance’s FastDD, are accessible at any time of day. This means your customers can use it whenever and wherever they want. The signup process is incredibly fast and it’s convenient for both you and your customer.

One of the most worrying issues for gym companies is the thought of late payments. Unstable income is never desired and every business wants to have a stable income that can be predicted and planned ahead for. Thankfully, Direct Debit helps you stabilize your income so that your financial department has an easier time managing your financial situation.


Take Control of Your Finances

There’s no business in the world that wouldn’t want more control over their financial situation, and this is why we do everything in our power at DFC to give it back to you.

Our payment solutions will give you more say over how you control your cash flow and the tools we offer can help boost your profits much like Think Fitness’s case. We can even take care of your Direct Debits so that you have one less thing to worry about.

Our Fully Managed Service covers everything from billing your gym members to tracking where and how your income arrives. Let us take the task of managing your Direct Debits off your hands so that you can focus more on running, growing and advertising your business.