Posted on September 29, 2020 by Gordon Smith
At motive8 a question we are very frequently asked is “What do gym management companies do?”. The question reveals that gym owners are facing challenges in managing the day-to-day running and upkeep of their gyms, whilst at the same time providing the facilities that their users really want as fitness trends change. Gym owners want to ensure that their gyms are well-used and maxed-out at all times. An unused gym is just a drain on financial resources. So let’s look at what gym management companies do in detail, and how 2020 has affected the service.
What do gym management companies do?
In a nutshell, gym management companies provide services including inductions, equipment maintenance, health and safety, lessons and classes, Personal Training (PT) and marketing.
They will provide expert, trained health and fitness staff to provide personal training (PT), fitness classes, tailored workout programmes, swimming lessons and more. Gym management companies provide oversight of the gym facility, ensuring equipment is kept clean, safe and in full working order. They can provide gym inductions to new users, equipment training to both staff and users, understand and convey health and safety protocols and ensure insurance requirements are satisfied. Gym management can include management staff being on-site at all times, or at specific times.
Gym inductions are a key part of gym management and it’s almost always an insurance requirement that all new users are professionally inducted. Talking of insurance, the reality is that gyms need comprehensive insurance and this can be complex to navigate. Gym management experts can help to obtain and comply with insurance.
Gym equipment maintenance
Since equipment is at the heart of most gym experiences, ensuring the equipment is in full working order and is clean and safe is a vital part of gym management.
Nothing is more frustrating to users when the piece of equipment they love to use is broken, with no quick fix. Gym equipment can of course include machines such as cross-trainers, step machines, rowing machines, weight stations, ellipticals, bikes and treadmills. These complex machines include many moving parts and now they are very frequently connected digitally to fitness apps. What’s more they can be used intensively all day, every day.
There’s a lot of potential for wear, tear and breakdown, and that’s why gym management companies are so focused on attaining very low levels of downtime for equipment. Maintaining gym equipment properly is not actually an expense because doing so can actually save you money.
Fitness and wellbeing services
Gym management companies typically provide staff to supply the know-how that the gym owner may lack. These can include personal training (PT), workout programming, specialist injury rehabilitation guidance, swimming lessons and fitness classes.
Going beyond the basics
Other complementary services that are sometimes provided can include beauty and spa experiences, and even sourcing and providing branded products for users to buy.
Marketing and promotion
Another area where professional gym management can help is in the marketing and promotion of the facility. This can include the day-to-day communication with gym users on upcoming new classes and facilities, but also the broader marketing of the facility to prospective new users.
Why are expert staff needed?
Without an external management company on board, gym management must of course fall to a team within your organisation. As management involves many different areas of expertise, your team must have ongoing training. It is usually better value to outsource these complex roles to an organisation who have the ongoing expertise of running many gyms and the capacity to keep staff fully trained and on top of new developments and trends.
How is gym management changing?
There are 10 million gym members in the UK – almost one in six of the entire population is a member of a gym of one kind or another. What’s more there were 3% more fitness facilities in 2019 than in 2018, with somewhere north of 7,000 gym facilities in the UK. That’s a lot of gyms and a lot equipment to look after.
New areas of gym management are opening up all the time because the way people want to use gyms is changing continually.
Alongside the familiar high street gymnasia, new areas of gym development include the hotel sector, new residential properties (including the Build to Rent sector), university gyms and gyms in the expanding senior living sector.
However, 2020 has changed the picture dramatically, with public gym facilities shutting down and only tentatively reopening in late summer with stringent new social distancing measures in place.
The rise of the home gym, however, has been exponential, as well as increases in digital fitness platform subscriptions and app subscriptions. We’re also seeing traditional gyms move many of their activities outdoors.
Now the gyms are opening again, travel restrictions are easing, hotels reopening and universities reconvening, the question of gym management is resurfacing.
Residential gym management
For maximum effect, residential gyms should be planned alongside in line with the rest of the whole development. It’s vital to avoid an underused gym because this simply takes up valuable space that can be used for rental yield. A residential gym should be a very attractive incentive for prospective residents to buy or rent in a development. A well-managed gym can also be a huge incentive for residents to stay put, helping to avoid void periods.
Hotel gym management
In hotels, gyms are often smaller than high-street gyms, but to create the right impressions it’s still vital that hotel gyms are well-managed, safe and that all equipment is working and clean. Gym management can also provide on-site staff to help users and hotel staff to use the equipment and get the most out of it.
Corporate gym management
In corporate gyms, gym management is focused on ensuring health and safety, making sure the gym is well-used and reflects the brand values of the owning company.
As you can see when it comes to gym management there is a lot of variety out there. Most gym maintenance contracts are tailor-made to suit the individual gym owner. It’s fair to say that a managed gym is likely to be far better run, more up to date, have less downtime and keep your gym users happier than managing your gym using your own staff. Ultimately it can also save money.
For more information about our gym management services, please contact us.