When it comes to running a gym, as much as we’d like to say, ‘build it and they will come’, it’s not necessarily the best approach for long term ROI.
A good and successful gym takes time, effort and engagement and not just from members. The day-to-day running of a gym involves a multitude of tasks including upkeep of equipment, swimming pool maintenance, and the residents, guests or members need help and support. All this as well as the back-office management including adhering to health and safety guidelines.
A lot to think about? Well, having a gym management team in place can prove invaluable and a more cost-effective approach to running a gym. Here are our key points on what to expect from a gym management company.
Ask about ROI
If you’ve installed a gym, or you’re looking to have one built, you are looking to get the best return on your investment. According to a Mintel Report from 2016, the UK gym market is valued at more than £3 billion and experts expect this to treble by 2020. Operating in this growing marketplace, means being smart can boost your ROI. This is where gym management can support and help you achieve that all-important return.
A typical gym management team is made up of managers, fitness instructors, personal trainers, maintenance and service personnel, and they help with all aspects of running a gym; from sorting memberships, running group classes and training programmes, right through to ensuring all your equipment is always working at its best.
A gym manager makes sure all is running smoothly, and that, whatever your sector, albeit residential, hotel or corporate, members continue to be happy with the service and happy to keep using the space.
They also ensure staffing is always seamless, so that classes run on time and on schedule, as well as work with technicians to make sure all equipment is regularly serviced and running well.
Nick Sadler, MD, M8, says: ‘Without a gym manager, the day-to-day running of a gym may have to fall into the remit of somebody within your organisation. This may prove to be an additional task for an employee or at risk of being handed to somebody with minimal experience.
Both options leave you at risk of increased staffing costs and potentially additional costs for faults or membership queries.”
How Will They Market Your Gym?
Regular marketing communications activity will help keep members, or prospective members, in the loop and is also a crucial element to ensuring you get the best from your gym space.
Communicating any class changes, or announcing the addition of new equipment, will be a valuable tool to keep members engaged, and it is a great way to attract more sales conversions.
Membership marketing is great for BTR complexes and even hotel gyms, as they help drive people to the space who may not necessarily use it. Not to mention turning a hotel into a destination and increase guest use of the hotel’s other outlets like the bar and restaurant.
Maintenance and Technical Support
If your gym functions around service charges, then worn down or broken equipment is not really an option. Residents will want, no expect, everything to work well.
This is where gym maintenance specialists and service technicians become invaluable. They help you keep everything running well and ensure any faults are addressed ASAP.
Let’s put this into financial value. If you have a gym with assets worth around £200,000, then an annual maintenance contract could cost around £2,500. In terms of ROI, this is a pretty small price to pay for ensuring your gym lasts longer.
Imagine the cost if you don’t maintain your equipment.
Warranties and Insurance
Gym insurance is vital and non-negotiable. It can be a bit of a minefield to navigate, especially if you’re unsure as to what type of cover you require. There are different insurance policies for staffed and unstaffed gym spaces.
For example, members can’t use the gym unless they have had an induction. This means everybody has to go through this process, otherwise it will affect your insurance.
With a gym management team on board, you can rest easy that all of this is covered correctly. They will best know what is required and how policies work with external providers, such as instructors. They will also understand equipment warranties, which again is vital in ensuring your fitness machines are covered.
We hear a lot of businesses say their warranty covers all they need for their gym equipment, but did you know that it doesn’t include wear and tear? The irony is that if you don’t look after your assets, then your warranty is invalid.
A maintenance contract will protect your gym equipment from this issue as it will ensure parts are replaced, anything worn is updated and generally make sure your warranty works for you.
It also means the buyback value of equipment is a lot higher than if you leave it, so if you are looking to upgrade in the future, then this is really going to help you manage finances more effectively.
Ask for Case Studies
We’ve worked with a range of developers and hotel groups to help run, manage and maintain their gym space. Any good gym management provider should be able to show you their work in action.
For the popular luxury hotel Dormy House, we were involved in the whole process, right from initial design. We also managed and ran the whole gym recruitment process. Once hired, we then trained staff to ensure the space was being run as a high-end gym and make it a cut-above a standard membership gym.
More recently, we installed a gym within a new BTR development from M&G Real Estate, The Forge. We worked with an interior design company to help create an industrial look and feel, as well as provide flooring, mirrors and all cardio equipment and weights.
We are now also tasked with maintaining all the equipment, as well as running inductions for all new members. For M&G, this really takes the pressure off them. They understand that we know how gyms work, what it takes to get a space working at its best and getting you that crucial ROI.
The team at motive8 are experienced in gym management and are able to advise on a range of areas, from gym design and equipment, right through to training fitness staff. To find out more please get in touch by calling 020 8481 9700.