Work Less, Grow More: Use Automation to Put Your Fitness Business on Autopilot

FEATURE Expert Advice - Brittany-Tinline.jpgEvery entrepreneur wants to create a profitable business. But instead of working on their businesses, many end up working in it. There’s no shortage of critical, time-consuming back office tasks to be completed: payroll, bookkeeping, recordkeeping… the list goes on. But, these tasks aren’t producing income and, chances are, they’re not why you chose to go into business for yourself. Automation lets you put them on autopilot, getting you back to the clients and activities that will grow your business.

Here are six areas of your fitness business that you can start automating right now.

Day-to-Day Management

Automation has given way to some great all-in-one business management tools in the fitness industry. MindBody is the leading online marketplace for fitness services, letting you pull up a client’s profile to update contact and payment information, renew passes, view all their visits and email receipts. MindBody streamlines administrative tasks and scheduling, while automating the areas of your business that keep you at the front desk.

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. But, 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 can be a full-time job. 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 send SMS gym incentives to potential customers, and reporting that tracks your sales team’s progress.

FitnessTexter is a fitness-specific referral tool that can be used to give members discount passes to easily share with nonmembers.

Payroll, Workers Compensation, and Health Benefits

Payroll and HR related tasks are huge time thieves. Use Gusto to set up health benefits, and obtain worker’s compensation, in addition to automating your payroll.

Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping is an inescapable, time-consuming task that you need to do on a monthly basis in order to properly file your taxes and comply with the IRS in April. But there’s an affordable middle ground between a DIY solution and a CPA: Online bookkeeping services.

Bench is the leading bookkeeping service for fitness retailers and now the largest online bookkeeping service for small businesses in North America. Unlike other bookkeeping solutions, Bench is a do-it-for-you service, pairing simple software with a dedicated team of bookkeepers to get bookkeeping off your plate. Each month you’ll receive accurate financial reports, including a P&L and balance sheet, that give you an immediate overview of your business’s financial health without the hassle of reconciling your books yourself. Franchisees can share their financials with their franchisor through the online dashboard, opening up coaching opportunities on subjects like optimal labor and marketing spend.

On average, Bench saves entrepreneurs 8 hours, or one business day, per month.

Blogging and Social Media

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.

Recordkeeping

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’d rather outsource the process, check out Shoeboxed’s Magic Envelope. 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.

Technology still has a ways to go before you’ll be able to automate every single task in your gym or fitness business, but it’s getting close. Businesses face a lot competition and a roller coaster ride on the path to success. But, it helps when a few processes can pass through automatically, letting you focus on other important things that will take your fitness business to the next level.

Brittany Tinline is the Head of Service Operations at Bench, the leading bookkeeping service for fitness retailers and the largest bookkeeping service in North America for small businesses. There she leads a team of bookkeepers who specialize in preparing historical and monthly financial statements for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Bench exists for fitness professionals and entrepreneurs who know that investing time in their clients and business is more valuable than spending hours behind a desk. Thanks to Bench’s advancements in tech and automation, Bench bookkeepers are able to serve their clients 5x faster.

www.bench.co