Many fitness professionals probably got into this industry so they didn’t have to deal much with technology and computers and the like. But, let’s face it, it’s here to stay and we might as well take advantage of it. In this article we will look at four points of technology that can help you in your fitness business.
1. Credit Card Processing – Let’s start here with a payment processor that allows you to take credit cards because nothing happens until you make a sale, right? The 800 pound gorilla is www.authorize.net. It will offer you credibility and confidence in the consumer’s mind. It has relatively low transaction fees. You can use a range of their tools available, but the thing I like most is the ability to use automatic recurring billing (ARB). I suggest charging clients a monthly fee (like a membership) for your training service. Each person is charged automatically on either the first or 15th of the month. This way, you get paid every two weeks and can smooth out your cash flow and make predictions easier.
2. Infusionsoft – Once you’ve sold clients, you’ll need a way to manage them. A great all in one service in which to do this is www.Infusionsoft.com. It combines customer relationship manager (CRM), email marketing, and e-commerce all in one. Best of all, you can automate here too. Specifically your marketing follow up emails and the sales pipeline.
3. Fit Clients – For something that involves your daily operations and programming, I recently came across www.fitclients.com. It is easy to use software that allows you to brand it with your own logo and run contests. It will automatically keep your clients on track to their goals by sending them weekly emails and reports in those most important times; when they are not with you. And you can easily collect testimonials and pictures on their path to their goals.
4. Automated Bookkeeping – If you don’t have a bookkeeper or you’re doing it all yourself, you either need one or you could at least be spending your time better. An excellent low cost system is called www.outright.com. It’s owned by Go Daddy and works like mint.com does for personal finance except this is automated bookkeeping for your small business. Just connect it to your online banking and it will pull in and categorize all of your transactions. It makes it quick and easy to know your profit and loss (P & L) and what you need for taxes is a snap.
There you have it. You have something for sales and marketing, something for operations, and something for your finance. The three major functions of any business. If you’re perceptive, you picked up on the fact that these are all web technologies that are secure and relatively standard in their industries. You also noticed that each one allows you to automate either in whole or in part those major functions of your business. Just imagine if you have most of your sales and marketing automated, your bookkeeping being pulled in automatically, and a system following up with clients keeping them on track when they are not with you. That leaves you free to focus more on what you do best.
Don’t be afraid to adopt new technologies. Use them to your advantage. Most of all, look for ways to systematize and take some of the burden off of you. You’re only one person, you can’t do it all. Let technology work for you and focus on what you do best.
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Chris is nationally certified by National Strength Professionals Association (NSPA) as a Certified Personal Trainer. He attended George Mason University and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from the Health, Fitness, and Recreation Resources Dept. in Fairfax, VA 2000 – 2004.
Chris' combination of B.S. degree, high intensity training CPT certification, and over 5 years of experience managing a training facility, earned him his Master Trainer status.
Chris is also the author of 2 books for the fitness industry: Start, Operate, and Grow Your Personal Training Business and High Intensity Metabolic Training.
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