The Best Gym Software | 10 Essential Features

Image displaying gym members using RhinoFit's gym software

3 Rules for choosing the Best Gym Software

Rule #1: Don't go broke chasing rainbows and unicorns

Above all, the best gym software shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. Simple is better… especially if you’re just starting a fitness business. Some of the fancy features can wait.

How much does gym software cost? Costs can range from $25 to over $300 per month! So be careful. Go with a gym management system that is within your budget. The gym software you choose should provide you with the essential tools you need to grow your business… not take you out of business!

Rule #2: Test drive the software before you give it the green light

How do you know if it’s the best software for your business? Be sure to try out a free trial or schedule a software demo so that you can see it in action and make sure the software fits your specific needs. Gym software platforms may have duds, glitches, or bugs. The best gym system will have a 99%+ up time!

Rule #3: Make sure the software can support the weight of your business

The best part of fitness software should make managing your business easier. For instance, does it provide an adequate support team to answer questions? Due to emerging technologies, AI chatbots are becoming more common. With that being said, AI chatbots have limited functions and can often lead to customer frustration. Does the software allow you to scale your business? Does it fit your specific needs? Build a checklist of essential items that you need to help narrow down your options.

10 Features that Every Gym System Needs

Now that the ground rules have been set, let’s jump into the essential features that every gym software system should have! The best gym software will have these 10 key features:

1. Member Management

Keeping track of all your members can be overwhelming for even experienced gym owners. Don’t let your member management become a nightmare! The best fitness software will have an easy-to-use member management portal or app for setting up and managing your members’ profile information. This way you can view and manage a member’s billing information, gym memberships, waivers, attendance, and any other personal preferences all in one spot.

2. Liability Waivers and Agreements

The gym can be a risky place for both new members and seasoned athletes. Therefore, every software system should be able to create and collect legal documentation such as waivers or member agreements. As a result, you can easily store this information in case of an injury or dispute with one of your members. Eliminate the need for digging through old files or piles of paperwork with digital waivers. With digital waivers, members can easily sign them at your gym or at home using any device with an internet connection.

3. Class Management and Booking

Especially in the fitness world, organization and time management is key! If you offer fitness classes or private training sessions, you need a management and booking system. This will allow you to set attendance slots, limit class or appointments by membership type, and prevent over-booking any classes or appointments. Likewise, the software should allow you and your staff to create your own availability each week from a shared calendar. You want as many members as possible to book classes or appointments at your gym. The simpler the booking schedule is, the more people will want to get involved!

4. Automatic Billing and Payments

You can’t run your business without a billing system. Therefore, the best software will have the flexibility to accept any type of credit card or ACH payment! Some of the top gym software companies have multiple options for setting up membership types and billing schedules. Most gyms need a system that accepts recurring membership payments. Check on the payment rates from the payment processor because if you’re not careful, you may be charged 3-4% per transaction!

5. Product Management | POS System

If you’re not selling products at your gym, you’re missing out on potential revenue! The best fitness software systems will have a product store for selling merchandise, supplements, or gear. Bring in more sales by selling products both online and in person. Look for software that includes a point-of-sale integration for accepting contactless payments, which are growing rapidly!

6. Email Communications

Gyms need a way to stay in touch with their members. As you grow your business, email communication becomes a greater need. The best gym software will have easy-to-use email tools to keep your members up to date with class schedules, appointment reminders, and payment notifications. In addition, email templates allow you to send out sales promotions or workout tips to stay engaged with your members. A good email system can be used to build your brand, increase member retention, and to grow your gym. The software should also offer automation tools and integration to other platforms like Mailchimp. Having efficient communication tools is important for both attracting new members and keeping your current members informed.

7. Website Integrations and Design

Website Integrations are a much-needed feature for any gym! With most gym systems, you can connect your Product Store, Calendar, and Membership sections to your website. This feature is perfect for promoting new member sign ups and online product sales. Some of the best software platforms offer gym website templates that have numerous integrations and more! Don’t sell yourself short by picking gym software that doesn’t offer this. Consequently, a dynamic website can easily catch a potential member’s attention! 

8. Workout Tracking and Programming Tools

What is the purpose of setting goals and not tracking your progress? Gyms need ways for trainers and members to track their individual fitness goals and workout results. In fact, this is why most people stay driven to keep attending the gym. The best gym software should have tools for your members to track daily workouts, progressions, and any personal achievements. This will increase motivation and may even result in a bit of healthy competition among members.

9. Gym Check-in and Attendance Tracking

Don’t know how often your members visit your gym? You should! In addition to workout tracking, gym software should also track gym visits, check-ins, and class attendance. This way you can see which members are attending and who might have dropped out. The top software systems will offer 24-hour gym access tracking systems, member bar codes for check-in, and sign-in kiosks.

10. Memberships and Packages

Lastly, gyms need a way to customize membership types and training packages. Do you sell unlimited memberships, training packages, or offer military discounts? Do you offer trial memberships, family discounts, appointment-based memberships, or class-based memberships? The best gym system will support any of these options. As a result, you can focus more of your time and energy with members and let the software do the rest!

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