There are no shortcuts on the road to success, but there are proven methods that can increase your likelihood of avoiding potholes & detours and at arriving safely (and with some more money in your pocket). I absolutely LOVE conducting experiments in my Gym-Biz Laboratory. Fortunately, some of my experiments succeed (but most fail pretty miserably).
Here is my Top 10 List:
- Auto-Pay with Credit Card with 30 day notice of withdrawal
All students are enrolled in our monthly auto-pay system with a credit card attached to their account. Each month we push the magic button to run tuition. We ask for a 30-day written notice of withdrawal so we have time to fill their spot (or perhaps save them from withdrawing).
- 100% Money Back Guarantee
We ended our Free Trial Program 3 years ago and replaced it with a 100% Money Back Guarantee. This has cut down on our administrative workload, increased revenue by charging for EVERY CLASS (instead of giving away a free class) and actually builds goodwill when we have had to make good on our guarantee (thankfully this is a rare occurrence). As an added bonus, it inspires confidence in our staff and customers that we believe in our program enough to bet tuition on our students happiness.
- Courageous Pricing (Minimum 3% Annual Price Adjustments)
Pricing our services is both an art and a science. Our pricing reflects not just our costs of operating, but also indicates the value WE feel we are delivering. We strive to be the pricing leader in our industry by demonstrating continued reinvestment, learning and innovation.
- Continuous Enrollment
Our sessions never end! We began a year-around schedule and never looked back. A certain times of the year we may need to make minor adjustments and we continue to educate our customers that gymnastics is a year-around sport.
- Online Registration
Just do it! I have yet to hear anyone say they regret letting customers register 24 hours per day.
- No Pay = No Play
This is a tough pill to swallow, at first. We have instituted a zero receivables (no one owes us money) policy 5 years ago. This coincided with our Auto-Pay system. Additionally, we stopped taking checks as well. This reduced our administrative costs and collections. Can you drop your kids at the movies and pay after they enjoy the show?
- Open Book Management with Leadership Staff
Sharing the inner financial workings of your business is an educational endeavor that yields enormous returns. This levels the playing field by informing key leaders on how things are going financially, thus equipping our decision makers with vital information they need to be successful.
- Performance Compensation for staff based upon overall results
We are a team. We are all in this together. If one side of the boat is sinking, we all need to bail. We have made several attempts to break apart our organization into mini-segments and assign percentages of fixed costs – all of which failed. Our team approach is just right and keeps everyone rowing in the same direction.
- Summer “FREEZE”
This is basically a withdrawal form AND a re-enrollment form built into one. We allow members to hold their spot in their class for up to 8 weeks between June-August. The majority of members who freeze their membership do so for 4-6 weeks. We do not charge for the freeze but do begin charging their tuition when their freeze has thawed.
- Weekly Reporting of KPI’s
We report weekly our Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) to our leadership. Measuring our KPI’s weekly provides valuable data our leaders use to manage their programs and evaluate performance. KPI data includes enrollment, instructor hours and class/program efficiency.
- *(Bonus) Only surround yourself with people that have a quality you admire
We spend a lot of time with our fellow staff members. Let’s make the most of that time by picking the very best people to share our days. This is my quick-test to see if we have the right people on our team!