Tag Archives: Communication Tools

Increase Revenue From Retail At Your Fitness Studio

18 June 2018 openplay Leave a comment Marketing, Operations

Having a finely displayed range of retail items can add character to your reception, giving it a boutique feel. Your customers should enter your venue and be comforted that you can offer them all they need to attend a class. Retail is not always a success, to begin with. You will need to shop around to find items that match the professionalism and ethos of your brand. If items don’t sell, cut your losses and hold flash sales (an excellent form of event marketing) or sell these items at a highly reduced cost to your staff members. When done right, retail has the potential to massively increase revenue at your fitness studio.

Give customers the Prime service

Amazon Prime has got it sussed when it comes to customer ease. The purchase process is almost completely frictionless, with people now asking Alexa to order the batteries. Whilst it is not yet necessary for you to be integrated with Alexa, you can take Amazonian steps to make it easier for your customers to purchase things. Perhaps they can pre-order a shake through your app, so it is ready and waiting for them when they finish their workout. The whole point of your retail station is that it is more convenient for your customers to purchase from you than to head to a nearby shop or cafe.

Food and Drinks

Obviously selling bottled water is a must for all fitness facilities. Consider switching to an eco-friendly version, such as Aquapax or Voss. When selling a higher end product, you can increase the markup, and people are happier to pay a little more if it is helping the planet. Plus, it shows that your brand cares about the impact it creates. In addition to healthy drinks, why not host a post-workout social on Thursday evenings, even if only once a month around pay-day, and encourage members to mingle over beer and wine.

Collaborate with alternative clothing brands

A lot of studios choose the mainstream brands: Nike, Adidas, Sweaty Betty, Lululemon. With high street shops on every second corner, is there any point in joining them? Your customers know them well and many will walk right by your clothing rail, assuming you are selling the products for a higher price than they could get in a store. You should spend time researching more obscure labels, in any case; these companies will be more excited about the collaboration. Promoting an indie label will prove to your customers that you are “in the know” for all things fitness and have a good eye for up and coming trends.

Forgotten Items

When coming from work or squeezing classes in between daily tasks, it is easy and a nightmare to forget workout gear. Water bottles, leggings, sports bras, are neglected time and again by busy fitness goers only to be sorely missed during an exercise class. In addition to fitness apparel, consider stocking some items that facilitate an easy exit. There is nothing worse than forgetting a spare pair of socks and have to hit the town in a damp pair or worse- sockless. Price the pieces so they are a little more expensive than a high street chain but not so expensive that impulse purchases are out of the question.

Gift Vouchers

Gift vouchers are your finest sales accomplishments. When customers love your brand, they want nothing more than to encourage friends to join them for a fitness class. Sometimes mates are resistant; a gift voucher is the perfect ploy to get them through the door and get them hooked.

Branded items

What better advertising for your brand than to have your customers wear your logo? It’s a bold form of marketing; your customers literally pay to advertise on your behalf. Whether it’s a sports bag, hoodie or reusable water bottle, selling branded items earns you both cash and marketing rewards. The customisation market is rife with companies of questionable quality. Shop around and don’t sell out for a cheap deal unless you want your brand to look cheap. Ordering branded items is a long process if you do it right. Reserve in small batches to determine product quality and then bulk-buy once satisfied.

Luxury Treatments

If you are an upmarket studio consider hiring a hairdresser on Friday and Saturday evenings or a part-time masseuse one or two days a week. If you do not have the space or the clientele for such services, consider partnering with local hair salons, physios, or massage parlours to cross promote your services and provide discounts.

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Reducing Paper at Sports Centres

11 June 2018 openplay Leave a comment Booking System, Marketing, Operations, Technology

Whether it’s the rising threat of global warming, the stress of sorting through mounting documents, or simply a fear of papercuts; in the age of digitisation, paper and printing products are edging towards extinction. People are discovering that printing is an unnecessary expense, with the average small business spending £14K per year, according to research by software developers Reckon. Paper and ink are just the tip of a melting iceberg; hidden beneath the surface are the costs of keeping traditional filing systems, employee time, and machine maintenance.

Switch from paper bookings to online bookings

Paper is fiddly to manage and far from secure. Storing your data through a booking system like OpenPlay means everything is in one place and nothing gets lost. More importantly, no private information can be misappropriated (GDPR alert!). Our venue management software caters to block bookings, recurring payments, voucher codes and lots more. There is no longer a need to scribble or score out mistakes. Quickly alter, cancel, or refund a reservation and issue automatic confirmations to the customer. Unlike manual paper methods, our CRM (customer relationship management) system records your client interactions, so all information is up-to-date, relevant, and personalised. Ditch the Filofax and paper spreadsheets; a quick glance at your OpenPlay dashboard tells you your facility’s usage rates, financial information, and demographic breakdown.

Digital Registers

Digital registers not only reduce your printing needs, but they are kept up-to-date. Any last minute changes to registers are instantly registered in the system, meaning that instructors have an accurate register right up to the moment they begin their class. Bookings are coordinated with registers, so you can sign attendees can sign and out via the OpenPlay app, or instructors can sign them in via the coach app. You can also add notes, such as illnesses or allergies, to a client’s name, so your coaches and staff will be automatically updated.

Read more: Eliminate single-use plastic at your gym

Implement Recycling Bins

Sometimes paper needs to be used. The polar bears will forgive you for the odd printout, but only if you print back to back and only if you recycle. Create a recycling hub behind reception and print out posters to remind employees and guests to recycle… or don’t actually. Scratch that last point.

Other ways you can help the environment…

  • If you sell plastic bottles of water, why not swap to reusable bottles and provide water fountains.
  • Switch from paper towels to hand towels or energy efficient hand dryers.
  • Perhaps instead of music for classes, you can have your coaches sing or beatbox in between instructions.
  • Ban wrapping paper from the company’s Secret Santa; it is never a surprise anyway.
  • Switch off air-conditioning/ heating. Tell clients this aids muscle recovery and hope they don’t know any better.
  • A popular environmental fitness trend straight from LA is to drain your swimming pool of water and hold mock swim classes instead. Students have found that imagining the resistance of the water means that they are not only working their muscles but also exercising their creative minds.

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Sports coaches- Is admin keeping you off the pitch?

9 June 2018 openplay Leave a comment Booking System, Operations, Technology

Most sports coaches enter the profession because they have a passion for the game they play. It is the smell of the grass, the feel of a ball, a glove, a racquet in their hands and the joy of passing on their enthusiasm to fresh faces. Despite this idealistic vision, many find themselves stuck inside beneath a mountain of forms, blurry-eyed from excel spreadsheets, ears ringing from relentless calls. Admin comes with the territory, but not to the extent that the majority of coaches find themselves. You can make just one simple change that eliminates up to 95% of your admin, improves the service you provide, and gets you back onto the pitch.

Switch to an online booking system

Face-to-face and telephone bookings are drawn out, expensive and much less efficient than online reservations. Someone needs to be “on call” or in the office to process bookings. Bookings not only need to be online, but they need to suit both desktop and mobile. At OpenPlay, we provide bespoke booking systems that not only increase your sales and revenue but also a detailed back-end management system featuring a host of time-saving features.

Keep track of payments

The OpenPlay system flags any unpaid invoices, so you can quickly send payment reminders. Customer fees will be processed through payment gateways such as Stripe. We integrate with world-renowned services, which are safe and secure. With less cash on site, the risk of accidental or intentional loss of funds is virtually eradicated. Online payments also sync immediately with your OpenPlay venue management system, so you no longer have to log transactions manually.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

OpenPlay’s CRM system keeps track of your interactions with clients. Each time you converse with a client, you can be confident that your information on them is up-to-date, relevant and tailored specifically to the individual. CRM adds a personal touch that clients love. It makes such a difference when you can recall your last phone call with them and immediately reference their previous queries. It lets customers know that you value them.

The OpenPlay Pocket mobile app

Even with all the technology in the world, you cannot escape admin entirely. With the OpenPlay Pocket mobile app, you can at least take this small bit of work out onto the pitch. Take payments directly through your OpenPlay Pocket mobile app. Manage your coaches and employees via the app and only grant them access to their classes. Each coach receives their own registers, so they can tick off attendees and instantly see any essential health conditions. An important safety feature OpenPlay has devised and implemented is the unique pickup code for children. When parents cannot collect their child, they digitally sign the coach’s app, granting access to another adult.

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Slack – Best Tool For Internal Communications For Sports Providers

19 January 2018 openplay Leave a comment Booking System

 

Only a few years ago, email was the most efficient form of online communication, no matter what the context.  Nowadays, emails swarm our mailboxes like locusts, meaning important messages can get buried underneath automated advertisements, photographs of your nephew’s first solid feed, and the occasional plea from a suspicious royal looking for your bank details.  There is no doubt that email remains the most important service for external business communication, but when it comes to internal work relations, there is a new app picking up email’s slack.

 

Slack is a messaging app that works much like Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger, but whose purpose is limited to communication within a company.   It is an easy and efficient service that streamlines your work updates, scheduling, chats, and disputes.  Messaging can be subdivided into “channels”, which tailor to your company’s needs.  For example you could create channels for “All Coaches”, “All Employees”, “Rota Changes”, and “Training”.  Employees can also create their own private streams to message colleagues individually or as a group.  Anyone set as a “workspace owners”, can access anything posted to a public board or even seemingly private channels.   This feature is only available through the Plus Plan, but it means that anything unrelated to work can be spotted by an employer.  

Many businesses who use the app have completely eliminated internal email, finding Slack encompasses all of its benefits, but with the easier display of a messaging board.  The important thing, if you want to quash unnecessary typing, is to get your entire team on the app.  It is little help if almost everyone uses it, but messages still need to be composed for the one or two who are devoted to email or carrier pigeons.  Slack is used by more than six million people each day, by companies big and small; from Oracle to OpenPlay,  proving that it is a tried and tested system that can work for you too.  

 

If you are a small to medium sized sports centre you can try the app for free.  If you need to crank up the storage and introduce multiple channels, prices rise to £5.25 per active user for a Standard plan or £9.75 per active user for the Plus package.  These are billed monthly.  Visit https://slack.com/ to find out more.

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