Using memberships to create reliable income
Whether you offer PT, small group, bootcamps, or classes, you have several options for charging clients. PAYG (where people simply pay for ad hoc sessions), class passes (blocks of set numbers of classes), or memberships.
Monthly memberships is the most cost-effective and streamlined way to make a steady income. So why do many fitness professionals shy away from charging a monthly membership fee?
Give them plenty of notice, and highlight how membership will make their life easier.
Common challenges of charging monthly memberships
- The admin – some fitness business owners might be confused about the best systems or software to sell and manage monthly billing
- Imposter syndrome – making the switch from passes or PAYG to memberships can feel like a significant step for your business
- Worry of losing clients – switching existing clients onto membership fees can raise fears about losing long-term clients
- Knowing what to charge – how should you decide what to charge for memberships if you currently charge PAYG or class passes?
Pros and cons of setting up monthly memberships
Selling monthly memberships is one of those significant business decisions seems daunting, but has far-reaching benefits. When your clients are on a monthly membership, you will be in a better position to forecast your income, make business investments, and take time off.
But there are some potential risks, like losing long-term members. We’ll cover all of these and help you make the switch successfully.
Using memberships and having streamlined admin are effective time savers, but not always a silver bullet for your business. Times can be hard and we've got you covered, check out our blog 10 Ways To Strengthen Your Fitness Business During The Cost Of Living Crisis.
5 ways to make the switch from PAYG and passes to monthly memberships
1. How to price monthly memberships
The main benefit of memberships isn’t making more money per session, it’s having a reliable and predictable monthly income. If you currently charge clients by the session or on short-term bundles, you may be confused about how to price up a membership.
Start by looking at your current prices, and what the average member is paying “per session”. Set your membership prices relative to your current fees so clients don’t feel they’re missing out.
2. Should you offer unlimited membership
It’s a great idea to offer more than one membership format (i.e. 2 classes a week, 4 classes a week). But should you also offer unlimited? If you do, be sure to mitigate the risks. What will you do if unlimited members keep cancelling at the last minute? Or forget to take themselves off the wait list for popular sessions?
3. Overcoming resistance from clients (and yourself)
It’s natural to worry about losing clients when you introduce memberships. Be clear and honest, and invite questions. Show them how a membership payment will make their life easier.
Create appealing membership offers by understanding their current class usage. Help them get used to the new payment and sign up system.
4. Making the case to long-term members
It’s easier to sell memberships to new members than it is to switch existing clients over. Make sure you have created a membership offer that reflects their current class attendance, so you can show them that they’re not losing out.
Give them plenty of notice, and highlight how membership will make their life easier. If their current class pass is due to run out shortly before the membership period kicks in, let them attend for free as a gesture of goodwill.
5. Taking and managing payments
One of the main benefits of memberships for you is creating a hassle-free income. So make sure you have the systems to make life easier. Choose a payment platform that can take payments, manage expired cards, and message clients automatically. Striive does all that and more – take a look at Striive memberships here.
Looking to boost your revenue in other low effort or passive ways? Check out our blog 7 Income Streams That Will Boost Your Profits (Without Burning You Out).
Best software for taking fitness membership payments
No matter how big or small your fitness business, Striive makes it super easy for you to offer a membership system.
Check out Striive memberships to set up an easy rebilling system on a weekly or monthly cycle. Choose when payment is taken and which classes members can attend. Striive will even manage any bounced payments. Set it and forget it with Striive.