As a fitness entrepreneur, the less time you spend in the back office, the more time you’ll have to devote to clients and focus on activities that grow your business.
Instead of allowing admin and other menial tasks dominate your schedule, use automation and put them on autopilot.
Here are seven areas of your fitness business which you can start automating right now.
Automation has given way to some powerful all-in-one business management tools in the fitness niche. MindBody and ZenPlanner can help streamline admin tasks and automate other areas of your business, such as client management, the generation of sales reports, tracking new leads, scheduling staff, and marketing. Clinic management platform, JaneApp, is a similar option designed to suit the needs of health and fitness practitioners.
Whether you’re running a gym, launching a dance studio, or starting out as a personal trainer, all-in-one platforms can usually be tailored to suit the individual needs of your fitness business. However, they do come at a price. If your business isn’t quite big enough to justify the ongoing cost of an all-in-one platform, it may be more cost effective for you to pay for a handful of automation tools and services that automate certain areas of your business.
Attracting New Clients
More clients can lead to greater revenue, but attracting them is a full time job in itself. If you or your sales team are struggling to track, maintain, and convert new leads, Gymsales could help. The gym-specific lead management tool features automatic follow-up prompts, the ability to SMS gym incentives to potential customers, and reporting that tracks your sales team’s progress.
Payroll, Workers Compensation, and Health Benefits
Payroll and HR related tasks are huge time thieves. Use Surepayroll to reduce the time you spend managing payroll. Alternatively, Gusto (previously ZenPayroll) can help you set up health benefits, and obtain worker’s compensation, in addition to automating your payroll.
Bonus Guide: How to Classify Your Team – Employee or Contractor
Does it surprise you that small business owners commonly list “bookkeeping” as the task they loathe the most? In business, bookkeeping is one of the inescapable, time-consuming tasks you need to do on a monthly basis in order to file your taxes and comply with the IRS. Thankfully, you don’t need to do it yourself in order to get your books done.
Bench is an online bookkeeping service that pairs you with a dedicated team of professional bookkeepers, and does your books for you. Each month you receive financial reports that give you an immediate overview of your business’s financial health and help you file your taxes – all without the hassle of reconciling your books yourself.
If you’re still manually generating and sending invoices for clients, check out FreshBooks , an easy-to-use cloud accounting platform. In addition to time and expense tracking, the platform is best known for making invoicing easy. Clients can pay for your services online, you can see when your invoices have been viewed, and the app can also be set to automatically invoice and collect payments from your clients on a recurring basis.
While it may be impossible to eliminate the need for email, automation can help cut down the time you spend in your inbox.
Declutter your inbox with Sanebox . The app collects all of your non-urgent emails and sends you a daily or weekly digest. In addition, use Gmail Canned Responses (free), or the automated email options available in ZenPlanner and MindBody, to create triggered emails and automate the task of emailing your clients.
If you travel to client meetings by car, the business mileage you generate can add up to a hefty tax deduction at the end of the year, so use MileIQ to track your mileage. The smartphone app will automate the process and track your mileage far more effectively than guesswork or a basic spreadsheet ever could.
Blogging and Social Media
Personal trainers, yoga instructors, and gyms have all managed to build huge audiences on Instagram. Posting workout videos on YouTube skyrocketed Scott Herman’s career. Crossfit box owners often use Facebook groups to keep in touch with their clients. And blogging gave gym owner Nick Mitchell an international presence.
There’s no denying the fact that social media can have a huge impact on the visibility and success of your fitness business. The only drawback? Creating and posting quality content to each of your profiles on a regular basis is incredibly time consuming.
Batch and automate your social posting with Buffer, HootSuite, or Edgar. If you use wordpress for blogging, CoSchedule can help you stick to a publishing schedule, automate the distribution of your blog posts, and pre-load social content to your business’s social profiles.
If you’re tired of wading through paperwork and receipts whenever a tax deadline rolls around, it’s time to store your records in the cloud. Cloud storage providers Evernote, Dropbox, and Google Drive are easy to use. They also offer free, basic accounts, with the option to upgrade when you need more storage space. If you find yourself uploading receipts and other business records on a daily basis, consider investing in the ScanSnap Evernote Edition Scanner, which scans receipts, statements, photographs, and business cards, and automatically stores them digitally in your Evernote account.
If you’d rather outsource the process entirely, check out Shoeboxed’s Magic Envelope . Simply stuff your receipts into the envelope, send it off, and Shoeboxed will scan, upload, and store your records for you. The service turns your records into data, stores and organizes receipts, files business cards, and can even track mileage. The app can also produce reports (such as an expense report) from your scanned data.
Bonus Guide: Everything in the Cloud: How to Go Paperless, Forever.
Listing your fitness business on Google Business will help potential and returning customers discover your business online. Updating your details in Google Business automatically pushes the information to other platforms across Google, including Google Maps and Google Search. Make sure you include key information, such as your business’s address, website, contact number, and opening hours, along with high quality photos of your location, and a description of your services.
Then, proactively encourage your clients to review your business online; encourage reviews by asking clients in person, or place a ‘Review Me’ button in your email signature or on your websites. The better your business’s star rating is online, the better your chances are of beating out your competition and getting more clients through the door.
Technology still has a way to go before you’ll be able to automate every single task in your gym or fitness business, but it’s getting close. Using the automation tools and services above will help you eliminate a few, or even a handful of the tasks that drain your time, which means you can focus on other important things that will take your fitness business to the next level.