Mastering the Seasons: How Independent Gyms Can Use Gym Membership Management Software To Combat Seasonal Member Fluctuation

Mastering the Seasons: How Independent Gyms Can Use Gym Membership Management Software To Combat Seasonal Member Fluctuation

Whether it is the dubious strive to get ‘beach-body ready’ that heralds the end of Spring and the beginning of Summer or the influx of membership at New Year as people try to mitigate the effects of Christmas and Winter, the fitness industry is very familiar with the highly seasonal nature of gym membership and fitness motivation. 

And while the seasons and how people react to them are nothing new, the tools we have to monitor these trends are growing ever-more sophisticated and accessible for independent gym owners. So today we will be looking at both seasonal trends within the fitness industry and how powerful tools such as gym membership management software and their data outputs can be used to grapple with and mitigate these influxes. 

Summer might always follow Spring, but if data can show independent gym and fitness club owners and management just ‘how’ and ‘why’ it affects their members they will be in a much better position for the next year. 

And ultimately that is what we are trying to address today. How to quantify a seasonal problem for the fitness industry and independent gyms into a yearly opportunity. 

The seasons and their respective trends may feel inevitable and insurmountable to some but it is their reliability that can be capitalised upon by prudent and forward-thinking independent gym and fitness club owners. 

So today our focus will be on how gym owners can take steps to ‘master’ the seasonal influx and make the most out of the ebbs and flows, as well as the seasonal surge. 

What will we cover in this article?

(you can also click to skip ahead!)

Learn the strategies for Tackling Gym Seasonality

What is Seasonality in the context of independent Gyms and why does it exist?


Methods and Techniques that independent gyms and fitness clubs can use to compensate and utilise Gym Member Seasonality

What independent gym and fitness club owners should be careful of regarding seasonality

Strategies For Tackling Gym Seasonality

The ‘seasonality’ of gyms can be a double-edged sword. Looked at through the wrong lens, it can be a yearly open-wound. We have heard endless stories of frustration as the influx of members from January and February drop off, followed by another as Summer shifts to Autumn.

But there are, of course, two sides to this. Many industries would kill for a period where there was a mass-influx of customers. And this is how independent gym and fitness club owners must conceptualise these ‘influx’ periods, not as a demoralising inconvenience, but an opportunity to be harnessed. 

We are not saying that it is possible to hold back the tides, of course. Attrition will always occur, but it is about mitigating that attrition and making the most out of the yearly influx of members. Our goal here is to use tried and tested methods and data to mitigate the worst of the attrition and retain as much of the seasonal influx as possible. 

Of course not every independent gym will have a significant seasonal influx for every season, and some independent gyms may have seasonal peaks that are based on factors unique to the area. A common example of this is that an independent gym will be based in an area with a significant student population, meaning that the period between September and May will see the population significantly expand and the demographics will change.

As such, while our examples will focus on the ‘general’ patterns governed by the changing of the calendar seasons, there are many bespoke examples of seasonal influxes and fluctuations that independent gym and fitness club owners can apply these methods towards. 

This guide provides 5 proven strategies to help weather the storm and improve gym retention and profitability.

What Is Seasonality in the context of independent gyms and why does it exist?

The seasonal influx of gym members around the end of winter/beginning of Spring and then Summertime is a cyclical phenomena that occurs due to how the seasons change the priorities of a portion of the population. 

The shift between ‘Winter’ and ‘Spring’, most visible in the public eye with the ‘New Year’s Resolution Rush’ normally focuses on mitigating and combating the weight-gain, fatigue and low-spirits of the winter months. 

With the rise of obesity statistics and consumerist Christmas trends, the New Year Resolution Rush has become an increasingly reliable phenomena for many independent gyms and fitness clubs.

However, these members generally have a fairly short average membership lifetime, with either low morale or easily achieved goals, these members often peel off as quickly as they arrived with many independent gyms finding that the majority are no longer attending by March or even February!

Meanwhile the Summer trend is a little broader and harder to pinpoint, given that it can not only take effect in preparation for Summer, but also that this ‘holiday’ period covers over three months, from around June to early September.

As such, the ‘Summer seasonality’ represents a significant portion of the year for independent gyms and fitness clubs. 

The rationale behind the Summer rush is unsurprising. It usually revolves around losing any excess weight gathered over the Winter and held during the Spring, as well as getting back into shape in time for a beach holiday. If there was any doubt as to the power of this pull, survey respondents have frequently said they are more likely to workout for a holiday than their own wedding! 

As such, this predictable and undeniable cycle presents a challenge for independent gyms to overcome and a great potential for opportunity.

Methods and Techniques that independent gyms and fitness clubs can use to compensate and utilise Gym Member Seasonality

Gym seasonality may seem challenging, but it doesn’t have to be a sisyphean struggle, to be repeated year on year for no gain! You can use several strategies to hedge against the ebbs and flows of customer behaviour and keep your gym business thriving all year round.


1. Create a unique culture and an atmosphere within the gym that members will want to stay a part of:

The unfortunate truth is that if a gym member decides that they do not wish to be a member of that gym anymore, the value proposition that was keeping them there has slipped.

As such, it is important that all independent gym and fitness club owners look into how they can create a unique and compelling fitness facility culture that new members will feel loath to leave. 

If a gym feels ordinary or even disposable, there will be little to stop these seasonal members from walking out the door. They will be confident that they can find something similar next Summer or New Year, and that their fitness will not suffer greatly for the absence of the membership.

It is this apathy that we are trying to combat by creating a culture of excellence in the run-up to the two usual influx periods. Get important repairs and training done in the quieter months such as December. For independent gym’s near academic institutions, sorting these issues out in August are ideal. 

Increasing members aren’t just turning towards independent gym’s for their fitness needs, they want a unique experience and a service that will enhance their life in meaningful ways. 

By offering a compelling working space that offers a tangible sense of community and an aura of excellence, an independent gym is taking a massive step towards not just being a ‘seasonal fad’ for some members. 

2. Discounts on Classes, Personal Trainers, Event Days:

On the other side of the coin, another way to get people to stick around is to incentivise them! If a member just comes to a gym every other day during January and February, interacts with very few people and the independent gym or fitness club essentially ‘leaves them alone’. It will be very, very easy for that person to disconnect with the gym and get rid of their membership come March. 

Apathy begets apathy. Otherwise known as, you get what you put in! 

Which is why we recommend that during these influx months that independent gyms and fitness clubs start laying it on thick with the classes and incentives. 

Whether it is discounts on membership packages, class bundle discounts, introductory offers on personal trainers or special event-invites. Each piece of engagement might help the influx members forge bonds, whether it is with staff or other members, that will make them that much more likely to retain their gym membership thereafter. 

3. Soft-focus on seasonality in marketing during the fluctuation period:

When we say ‘soft-focus’, we just mean to be subtle. Talk about issues that affect members during these influx periods without directly saying ‘Don’t give up!’. It is a hard balancing act, but one that will be noted. 

Not only should this focus be about attracting new members during the influx periods, it should be able to offer positive messaging to try and help retain those members that do signup. 

Create content that will resonate with the challenges that these members are facing at the time. If it is New Year, marketing should focus not only on the desire for self-improvement, but plans for the year or half year. In turn, if it is Summer, it is important to not only push the notion of self-improvement but about sustainable exercise all year around. 

4. Increase focus on Secondary Spending during the influx months:

Stocking key products in the run-up to an influx period could be the difference between retaining members and not. Not only do common secondary spend items at independent gyms constitute a vital support network for members, they also represent an opportunity to link quality products with an independent gym or fitness club.

If members start to incorporate these products into their daily routine, the connection with the independent gym becomes stronger. We find that many gyms just try and batten down the hatches and ride out this period with their usual stock levels. Not only do shortages not leave a good impression, they also deny potentially greater integration between gym and members.

5. Work out what works! Data, Feedback and Customer Retention for independent gyms during the fluctuation months:

Finally, and most importantly, it is about keeping track of what works, what doesn’t and how great an impact these measures are having on the seasonal retention rate of an independent gym or fitness club. 

As we mentioned in the introduction, this will require detailed and powerful membership details not always available with every suite of gym membership management software currently available on the market. 

But for those that do, the potential to understand and eventually master the process of seasonal gym member retention is significant. With the right gym membership management software, independent gyms will be able to keep track of which of their initiatives are working, even being able to break down the trends across the month or even the week the member joined.

When supported by surveys, this data can become truly transformative, allowing independent gyms to cross-reference the trend of member history with their opinions on retention. 

And given that the seasonal cycle will repeat itself, there won’t be long before they can put into practice their feedback for the next year. This can help create a cycle of positive momentum, powered by the seasons themselves, allowing independent gym’s to increase their members (and therefore profit) while minimising attrition.

Not only that, but with the right gym membership management software, these influxes can even be charted and tracked when it comes to potential earnings, members and capacity. This can be invaluable for future planning, allowing the seasonal tide to act as a powerful engine for profit generation and growth within an independent gym. 

The pitfalls, negatives and potential costs of gym member seasonality: What independent gym and fitness club owners should be careful of regarding seasonality

Now that we’ve covered the positives, we will spend the latter part of this article looking at some of the pitfalls that can open up for new independent gym and fitness club owners if gym membership seasonality isn’t appropriately accounted for using the techniques we have looked into above. 

While we have focused on the positives of maintaining momentum and either keeping stable or steadily increasing the flow of members. The opposite is also true. A significant number of members leaving, even as part of a seasonal cycle, can be damaging to morale and of course, damaging to profits. 

Operational Costs Instability

Without proper eyes on membership numbers, there is the potential for a vast amount of inefficiency and waste to occur on the front of operational costs.

Without suitably robust gym membership management software to understand the ebbs and flows of members, gyms risk taking on too many staff, marketing incorrectly and a host of other pitfalls that can arise from not having sufficient eyes on the details of their operation. 

This is where the importance of a reliable gym membership management software package shines through. Even if it takes a few cycles for the retention initiatives to work, the reassurance that knowing how the cycle will most likely play out every year is invaluable to any serious independent gym or fitness club owner!

Unreliable members, unreliable revenue:

Without the ability to chart, track and rely on a stable membership, the dips can become costly. It is a well-known fact in the fitness industry that a relatively small increase in retention can vastly increase profitability. 

As such, independent gym owners who ignore the issue of seasonal dropoff do so at their own peril.

Lost Potential

Independent gym and fitness club owners that don’t take the opportunity to learn from their seasonal cycles are, unfortunately, destined to repeat the worst aspects of them. Not only that, but without the appropriate data capture, the potential for improvement will be squandered year after year.

While this might be imperceptible, when gym owners do this they are essentially borrowing from tomorrow. The deficit will eventually become apparent, and then overwhelming. The value of data outputs powering the decision making of today can’t be overestimated, especially when both the fitness industry and independent gyms and fitness clubs rely so heavily on the seasonal cycle.


And thus ends our brief overview on how independent gyms and fitness clubs can harness the power of the seasonal tides, using the data and experience to create positive momentum that can endure all year around.

If you are an independent gym or fitness club manager or owner who feels that their gym isn’t making the most of their data or their yearly influxes, perhaps the problem lies in your gym membership management software and partnership?

Without quality and meaningful data outputs and the powerful BI technology necessary to interpret them, it can be an uphill battle.

But we here at Ashbourne have over twenty five years of experience in the fitness industry, helping thousands of partner gyms, fitness clubs and more take their operations and profits to the next level. 

And our expertise doesn’t end at data and membership management. Our teams have helped transform the business-as-usual operations of gyms across the country in every arena, whether it is marketing, web-presence, access controls or business development. 

Interested and want to know more? Then please don’t hesitate to contact our demonstration team here today! They are on stand-by, ready to learn about your gym and how Ashbourne Membership Management can help it be in a better position this time next year!

Member of a gym? Simply text "HELP" to 60777 and we'll help you.

Member of a gym? Simply text "HELP" to 60777 and we'll help you.

Member of a gym? Simply text "HELP" to 60777 and we'll help you.

What Is Fitness Class Management Software?

What Is Fitness Class Management Software?

In today’s blog we will be tackling one of the most important technical issues for an independent gym or fitness club to get right. 

Class Management


Or more specifically, Class Management Software. The days of keeping track of classes on a blackboard have passed! (Though you can keep doing it for the retro-aesthetic if you want!) We are looking for a method of fitness class arrangement that can’t be completely disrupted by a board-eraser/rubber. 

Much as with Gym membership management and access controls, the discipline of class management has been revolutionised in the last twenty years. Gone are the reams of paper and notice boards as the sole method of communication. 

Now the market has expanded, there are multiple providers of powerful software that enable an independent gym to organise and maintain a complete class booking system on a significantly reduced budget.

This software empowers gym and fitness club management with fast, reactive, and efficient means to handle bookings, payment, scheduling, rescheduling, and customer service. 

The centralisation of these tasks into a single piece of effortless and intuitive software can help revolutionise the amount of time and energy required to organise multiple classes in an active independent gym or fitness club environment.  

The drain on staff hours that used to come with the endless organising, rescheduling and liaising between instructors and class attendees can now be diminished and made manageable. 

With this in mind, we will be looking at the top features of fitness class management software and why it is a must-have for any independent gym or fitness club, whether they are looking to expand their class offering by freeing up capacity, or cope with their existing class structure that has become too unwieldy. 

Desirable Features

A Unifying Force

Perhaps the most impactful selling point of fitness class management software is how it can act as a central hub. Class management can, with very little warning become a quagmire. It is not uncommon that we hear horror stories from independent gyms and fitness clubs, usually concerning how they needed to reduce the number of classes or the scale due to the flaws in their approach to organising and administering the classes. 

Given that once a class schedule and scheduling system is introduced, it is meant to run constantly and consistently week after week, it is to be expected that even the slightest miscalculation in setup might result in significant inconvenience, either for the staff, the instructors, or the membership themselves.

This is where fitness class management software can set independent gyms and fitness clubs off on the right foot with their class scheduling endeavours.

By unifying every aspect of class management within a professional, tried and tested structure, the chances of these systems spiraling out of control is dramatically reduced.

With all the necessary information not only to hand but easily changed, updated, and amended, the process loses a lot of its inherent risk for spiralling out of control. 

With fitness class management software that allows gym members and staff alike to be reactive and proactive, the pitfalls of class management for independent gyms start to fall away.

Class Booking Applications

Software To Suit Any Independent Gym Or Fitness Club

With our twenty-five years of experience in the fitness industry, we know better than most that every independent gym or fitness club is unique.

This is why we recommend only going for fitness class management software that can provide the necessary flexibility to accommodate a broad range of classes and facilities.

Luckily many pieces of fitness class management software, including our own, are versatile, allowing staff to balance class-subscriptions, packages and bundles, single class payments and recurring payments, as well as discount codes. 

This is vital for ensuring that the payment infrastructure is connected to the fitness class management software and therefore has the flexibility to deal with the preferred method of payment for both the gym and the membership.


Contactless, Online, App-Based, Direct Debits

This brings us to our next interlinked feature which is a must-have for all fitness class management software. 

As touched upon above, the ability to integrate a payment environment safely and securely is a must. 

Ideally, this should go beyond just web-based online payment as well. Post-Covid it is expected that fitness class management software should be able to handle not only app-based payments but also contactless. 

One of the main functions of fitness class management software is to make transactions as smooth and accessible as possible across the potential desires of an independent gym’s membership base! Different members will want to pay in different ways for their classes and the software and its supporting app must be able to facilitate as many as possible.


Software Designed To Suit And Assist Any Instructor

As with members and staff, there is no point in having fitness class management software if it does not exist to aid the instructors.

The most sophisticated piece of software in the world won’t be worth the price point if no one in a gym or fitness club can use it. 

That is why fitness class management software must be usable by all parties, not just staff and the membership of the facility. 

Without this, the risk of further complications and the unnecessary transfer of information between staff and instructors.

This is a factor that often leads to the disintegration or discontinuation of effective class management structure in our experience, so it is important to find an app that removes the incentive by empowering the instructors appropriately. This can be achieved by giving them limited but direct access to the class management software. 

It is every bit as vital that they can manage their clients and class members in an independent but controlled virtual environment. By using fitness class management software that allows for payment, communication, alterations, and information requests, a significant amount of stress, hassle, and time commitment can be eliminated from the process. 

With the right fitness class management software, an independent gym or fitness club management will be able to confidently oversee their class scheduling system while being assured it is still in the hands of their staff and instructors.

A Powerful Retention Tool

Engaging And Communicating With Members

Deeply connected to the previous feature, we also thought it was worth referencing that the features of a truly impact fitness class management software suite will help empower members and aid retention. 

When looking for which fitness class management software to use, it is important to look for features that allow instructors and staff to communicate with the members regarding the classes they have signed up for. 

In our experience, it has been proven time and time again that members who receive bespoke, pertinent communication (not just spam!) about the classes they have signed up to are more likely to attend. 

Sometimes a bespoke message from an instructor or trainer can be all that it takes for an otherwise reluctant member to go to that Friday Barre class. And a member that goes to that class is that much more likely to keep their gym membership! 

It is a simple example but a powerful indication of what we all know communication can do when it comes to that all-important mission of retaining membership numbers.

It is an easy, efficient, and effective way of fostering a sense of belonging and community outside of the four walls of a fitness facility. A class will normally only last 45 minutes to an hour but with the ability for instructors to communicate it is a way to make that class feel like a more tangible part of the members’ life between sessions. 

Virtual Workouts And Fitness App Integration

The dual-rise of Virtual Workouts and Fitness Apps had begun before the Covid-19 pandemic, however, both skyrocketed in popularity as a result of the lockdowns. 

While the popularity of virtual workouts has not maintained their lofty highs from the now surreal lockdown, they are still much more popular than before 2020. 

This trend especially applies to millennials and Gen Z, who, as we have covered in other blogs recently, now make up the vast majority of gym and fitness club members. 

With these two developments in mind, it is no wonder that the desirability of virtual workouts and recorded classes has increased significantly in the last half-decade. 

Much like the communication feature we discussed earlier in this blog, virtual workouts allow for an independent gym or fitness club to project their influence and reach well beyond the four walls of the fitness facility itself.

Virtual engagement is now being seen as a powerful retention tool for the younger generations. They are tools that suit many of the values and capabilities they hold dear, whether it is working from home and then immediately partaking in a virtual workout or relying on their phone as the sole point of virtual interaction with their gym. 

As larger chains start to adopt more and more virtual and fitness app services, independent gyms and fitness clubs mustn’t be left behind in their choice of fitness club management software. 

Data Analytics, BI And Exporting Reports

And here at Ashbourne, we know the importance of software that doesn’t just deal with business-as-Usual but is capable of raising an independent gym or fitness club’s operations to the next level. 

That is why one of the features we advocate for most keenly when it comes to fitness class management software is data. 

While everything we have covered up until this point is necessary, desirable, and important for a modern gym or fitness club looking to get its fitness class scheduling system under control, we don’t believe it is enough. 

As with every aspect of modern gym management software, whether it is membership management, access control, or fitness classes, we believe that that software should be giving the staff and management valuable feedback. 

Whether it is monitoring the correlation between attendance and price-point, the popularity of a certain time slot or class, or simply understanding the total number of members engaging with the fitness class system, a truly powerful piece of fitness class management software should be constantly working for the gym or fitness club. Gathering information that can be easily exported and turned into meaningful, usable data. 

Without this, valuable data such as the preference members have for certain classes, the waxing and waning popularity of classes across the weeks and seasons, and the impact of the peak hours on the class system, all of this gets left on the table, fated to disappear into the void.

Given the cumulative effect that this can have, we believe that analytical reporting features are a must on any piece of fitness class management software. 

As ever in business, it isn’t just what actions are taken, it is what actions are not. Without sophisticated reporting capabilities, data and feedback will be left on the table every week, every month, and every quarter. 

It is these data-driven decisions that can make a profound impact on the course that an independent gym or fitness club’s class offering will take. Without the ability to collect anything other than anecdotal evidence, the inability to react to otherwise obvious patterns is vastly diminished.


We hope this blog has helped impress just how vital fitness class management software can be for an independent gym or fitness club, as well as reinforcing what features can truly make a difference.

It isn’t enough just to purchase any piece of fitness class management software, it is about picking the right one for the right club. 

Here at Ashbourne Membership Management, we believe we have created a complete suite of software that can handle fitness class management as well as elevating a host of other areas vital to the business-as-usual running of a fitness facility.

Whether it is assisting with access controls, BI interfaces or membership and payment, Ashbourne’s software is capable of unifying the key (and often disparate) functions of a gym or fitness club into one environment. 

So whether you are just interested in resolving some troublesome class scheduling issues or want a complete suite and a partnership that will help take your business to the next level, click here to arrange a demo today! 

More to Read...

Get your club in shape.

Want to discover how? Let us show you.

Simply select your preferred timeslot and we’ll be in touch to have a chat about your health club,
the goals you want to achieve, and how our system can help you.

Get your club in shape.

Want to discover how? Let us show you.

Simply select your preferred timeslot and we’ll be in touch to have a chat about your health club, the goals you want to achieve, and how our system can help you.

Get your club in shape.

Want to discover how? Let us show you.

Simply select your preferred timeslot and we’ll be in touch to have a chat about your health club, the goals you want to achieve, and how our system can help you.

Member of a gym? Simply text "HELP" to 60777 and we'll help you.

Member of a gym? Simply text "HELP" to 60777 and we'll help you.

Member of a gym? Simply text "HELP" to 60777 and we'll help you.

Using Gym Attendance Software To Grow Your Business

Using Gym Attendance Software To Grow Your Business


What will we cover in this article?

(you can also click to skip ahead!)


We will define both Gym attendance and the functionality of Gym attendance software.

How can hiring or incentivising influencers to endorse a fitness business boost their digital marketing campaigns?


How Gym attendance software can effortlessly assist in the growth of independent gyms and fitness clubs, no matter the age or size. 

Today, we will be taking an in-depth dive into Gym attendance software. We will begin with an introduction to Gym attendance software where we will define both Gym attendance and the functionality of Gym attendance software. Once we have this framework, we will look into how Gym attendance software can effortlessly assist in the growth of independent gyms and fitness clubs, no matter the age or size. 

 Before we begin, we will outline a few thoughts on what we believe makes for good, effective and powerful Gym attendance software. This is a market with a lot of competition, the number of online gym membership software and gym membership systems have sky-rocketed in the last two decades, a combination of ever-advancing technology and decreased development costs.

As such, it is more important than ever to look at the metrics that define a good piece of gym attendance software and the best gym management software. 

This comes down to a variety of factors, from day to day usability to how well it functions as a gym management access control and, of course, the all important data outputs it is capable of generating.

We will be looking at which ways gym membership software systems can provide powerful insight, data and gym users statistics that have previously been inaccessible to many independent gyms and fitness clubs.

What Is Gym Attendance?

So before we get to the ‘software’ part of Gym Attendance Software, we will first define and explore what ‘Gym Attendance’ means. It is an unassuming term. In an abstract sense, dealing with Gym Attendance feels like it should be easy and intuitive. In a way, haven’t we been dealing with Gym Attendance since the ancient Greeks? 

But since then Gym Attendance, much like nearly everything else, has gotten a little more complicated, specialised and bespoke. Now when we say Gym Attendance, we are talking about a series of processes that affect every member every time they step into your facility.  Gym Attendance, as a concept, is designed to ensure the seamless and secure operation of a gym or fitness club for paying members and the staff, day to day, across every visit. 

With the rise of easily affordable, accessible and maintainable digital and data solutions, this has gone from a fairly primitive if necessary task to one of hitherto unimaginable scope and potential. Much like many aspects of modern life, data has transformed the concept of Gym Attendance for all fitness facilities, whether they are small independent gyms or giant chain fitness clubs. 

And with increased complexity, comes infrastructure, schools of thought, services and all importantly for the topic of today’s blog. Software.

 As the large chains and small independents alike have adopted new methods and changed how we perceive the concept of Gym Attendance, so too has it become necessary to understand just what has changed and what is on offer. With an ever increasing reliance on specialised software packages, digital integration and data-driven systems, now is a perfect time to discover how the latest Gym Attendance Software can redefine a gym’s relationship with the concept of ‘attendance’. 

We will also take a brief look at how different types of independent gyms and fitness clubs can utilise different types of gym management software. Too often it gets overlooked that a 24 hour, 7 days a week fitness facility could benefit from different gym attendance software offering when compared to a small, 9 to 5 club. 

What Is Gym Attendance Software?

So now we understand what the concept of Gym Attendance covers, let us move onto Gym Attendance Software.  

Gym Attendance Software can be used to accomplish and assist with any number of impactful tasks around a gym’s BAU (Business as usual) operations. However for a simple definition, Gym Attendance software exists to enable and streamline the experience of paying members attending a gym or fitness club as well as helping to quantify and utilise the outputs generated from that attendance. It is designed to make life easier for all participants within a gym’s system, be it members, staff or management. 

As technology has gotten more sophisticated and integrated, the remit of Gym Attendance Software has similarly broadened. Now, depending on the software in question, many other pieces of functionality can also be found within a Gym Attendance Software suite. This can include sophisticated data reporting, in-built payment systems and transactional processes, secondary spend, class integration and much much more.

Once these systems moved into a ‘Pay Environment’, it was only a short step into allowing their branching out full on Gym Membership Systems. More and more in recent years we have seen them move away from simply monitoring Gym Attendance and fulfilling a wide-array of roles, including those detailed above. 

 We have reached the point where Gym Attendance/Management Software features have come to include vast swathes of a gym’s functionality in a digital space. This makes the decision on which Gym Attendance Software to use more important than ever, but it also means that the benefits of this software have never been greater if chosen carefully and correctly. 

As the importance of smartphones and digital systems have risen, so too has that of the right Gym Attendance Software package. Without the correct software to utilise our evermore sophisticated technology, some independent gyms and fitness clubs may be left behind! 

Gym Attendance Software: How Does It Work?

Gym Attendance Software, as with many things, has changed significantly in the last twenty years. It has shifted from the domain of niche and unfriendly, disc only software suits into a thriving, client friendly and fully functional digital sector of the fitness industry.

Downloading Gym Attendance Software has been the most popular method of distribution for over a decade now. There has been a clear and dedicated stride towards making these gym membership software systems as lightweight and powerful as possible. No longer do programmes impose themselves upon your systems and hardware, these are designed to be as unobtrusive and helpful as possible. 

The shift in the market has been profound and irreversible. The old models of doing business have slowly disappeared beneath the waves, leaving a new generation of slick, swift digital Gym Attendance Software ready to take its place. Now that it can reasonably be assumed that lightweight technology such as iPads can be utilised by staff, as well as the near monolithic presence of smartphones amongst consumers, there has been a significant shift in the mentality with which gym attendance software is made. 

Now there is no reason that an independent gym or fitness club can’t obtain a sophisticated, powerful gym attendance software suite in the click of a few buttons, or after a few e-mails and a demonstration.

This represents a departure from a time where this was only available to those willing to pay exorbitant licence fees or those buying in bulk.

The market has shifted to become much more client focused, to the benefit of independent gyms and fitness clubs! 

The cost of Gym Attendance Software is now much more reflective of the quality of product you are getting. 

In fact, we are now seeing that gym attendance software is working less and less on the terms of economies of scale, with the cost-benefit to a smaller, independent gym or fitness club being approximate to that of larger clubs or multisite clubs. 

While this may seem like a small and unassuming shift to some, what it represents to independent gyms is the ability to access and justify accessing powerful gym attendance software that would have otherwise not been viable ten, or even five, years ago.  

This has, in large part, been driven by the push away from the static computing that defined so much of the early 2000s. Two dual-revolutions, the cloud revolution and the smartphone (now tellingly just called a phone) revolution have been the bedrock that have enabled this change within the gym attendance software landscape.  

Between the reassurance of knowing that the vast majority of potential gym or fitness club members now have access to the smartphone technology necessary to interface with certain aspects of Gym Attendances Software, the democratisation of powerful, lightweight software due to cloud and online advances and the increased utility and effectiveness of potential verification methods, the circumstances were ideal for the vast leap forward to occur. 

What Are The Benefits Of Gym Attendance Software?

We won’t beat around the bush. Unsurprisingly, the main benefit that Gym Attendance Software can bring to an independent gym or fitness club is…To assist a Gym’s staff and management with the BAU functions of Gym Attendance.

Though as we made clear above, this is far more than just a single, uniform benefit for a gym or fitness facility. 

With that said, over these next sections we will be taking a deeper dive into the different benefits that Gym Attendance Software can bring to an operation of any size, but with specific focus on independent gyms and fitness clubs.

1. Quality of Data Outputs and Data Security: How Gym Attendance Software Can Immediately Improve Data Outputs

Of all the positive attributes historically associated with the fitness industry, data has probably not ranked among the highest.

Horror stories of even relatively large chain gyms and fitness clubs and their malformed data operations used to abound. Let alone for independent gyms and fitness clubs, which would always be more likely to fall onto the side of ‘driven by intuition’ rather than ‘driven by data’.

But time changes us all, and what was once the exception has started to become the rule. Due to the accessibility and affordability of Gym Attendance Software we have already talked about in this blog, those who don’t get with the times now risk being left behind! 

The rise of attendance monitoring software for gyms and fitness clubs has led to a proverbial arms race. Competition fueling innovation.

The result? There are now increasingly sophisticated and powerful gym attendance software products available to even independent gyms and fitness clubs. 

With the rise of better data input, naturally follows better and more reliable outputs which these gyms are using to fuel growth and innovation.

This can create a positive cycle for a gym or fitness club, capturing thousands of data points that were otherwise just flowing into the void every day and utilising them to make a genuine, powerful impact onto the business. 

2. The user experience: how gym attendance software can be used to enhance the user experience at different levels

Given what we have discussed so far in this blog, it is not hard to imagine how Gym Attendance Software could help to improve the user experience. Whether it is by harnessing existing data points, or more effectively capturing and collating member feedback, the best gym attendance softwares will be able to make a meaningful impact on the average gym member’s visit in a very short timeframe. 

 While these improvements should be felt across all demographics of gym membership, there is one demographic that particularly appreciates them.

It is a demographic we have covered frequently and that is only going to get bigger for the foreseeable future. That is, the Millennial and Gen Z demographics.

As we covered elsewhere, this powerful demographic is set to constitute 80% of the gym-going population shortly. As such, it is better to get on their good side and fast! 

The adoption of more data-driven user feedback and user experience improvement measures will be especially appreciated amongst this tech-savvy generation. These are generations some of which have never known life without Pure Gym.

If Independent gyms and fitness clubs wish to appeal to some of the creature comforts they’ve come to expect while appealing to their predisposition for independent and local businesses, Gym Attendance Software is a good place to start cultivating that sleek, data driven culture within even the smallest environment.  

3. Operation integration and security: how gym attendance software can start connecting different aspects of a gym's business-as-usual operations

As with any appropriately powerful piece of software, Gym Attendance Software can be used as a focal point to support greater integration across a gym or fitness club.

This is something we have seen many times before, and it is a story that has been repeated across many industries. A single powerful and impactful piece of software acting as the nexus point of a businesses information flow. 

Within businesses that have not previously had access to this quality or more importantly, unity of information, Gym Attendance Software can act as the seed from which greater unity can grow. 

By allowing practical, usable data from a gym’s membership to emerge, it can be combined with usage data, attendance data and payment metrics to form the basis for a powerful database.

This database can then be used to run reports, perform audits and act as a catalyst for change. When Gym Attendance Software allows an independent gym or fitness club to have eyes everywhere, the era of questions being answered with a ‘we don’t know’ or ‘that information isn’t available’ will be a thing of the past. 

To build on this point, the ability to report on, track and audit the data flow of an independent gym or fitness club will act as another layer of security for all aspects of handling customer data. All reputable Gym Attendance Software companies will put data protection and security as a paramount concern. By integrating gym membership information into their ecosystem, independent gyms and fitness clubs are ensuring that they are receiving a fully compliant service at the same time! 

This will free up valuable extra time and money that may be spent either paying for a consultant or researching and understanding whether the freeform, organic protocols that a gym may have in place are compliant with ever-changing and complex regulations. 

4. Increased revenue: how gym attendance software can help drive primary and secondary spend

Unsurprisingly, the side effect of this enhanced integration and feedback will ultimately result in driving member spending across the gym or fitness club.

This effect will become even more profoundly felt if the gym attendance software in question allows for not only primary payment (Gym Membership fees) but secondary spend (food, drink, supplements, merchandise).

By incorporating all aspects of a gym’s payment environment into a single platform, one that a gym’s membership is already using for membership fees, a significant barrier is removed. Enabling secondary spend within a payment environment that a member has already been integrated into has been shown to boost the sale of secondary items within a gym or fitness club.

And this is really common sense, once the process of paying has been simplified and has been incorporated into a system that the member already uses and trusts to manage their membership, the rest falls into place. 

5. Automation and procedure: how gym attendance software can help define procedure and drive automation

And to save one of the most important til last, the best Gym Attendance Software will be those that save staff or management time and energy.

As we highlighted at the beginning of the blog, when Gym Attendance procedures are not automated at an independent gym or fitness club, they are not only inefficient and time-intensive, but ultimately regressive.

What started off as an ‘easy-fix’ quickly becomes unsustainable and ill-suited. 

 Coming up with procedures and standardisation measures to overcome this can be daunting, especially when there is a gym or fitness club to run. This is why the framework for automation and procedure that gym attendance software can create is truly invaluable. 

By centralising the administration of a Gym’s attendance and membership activities into a single, automated area, vast swathes of time can be saved on everything from payment collection to access administration. 

By reducing the reliance on arcane, bespoke or informal procedures within an independent gym or fitness club, the efficiency that can be recovered from a single Business-As-Usual day can be immense

Reducing the time out of costly payment reconciliation measures and non-payers, all the way to cancelled memberships and new-signups.

It also lessens the need for a single individual to ‘know’ everything about a system, reducing the brain-drain or knowledge-loss if that individual moves on. 

Our Final Thoughts

After that exhaustive list, we hope that even the most ardent fan of ‘intuition’ will concede that there is something to be said for gym attendance software. 

To take us back to the beginning, Gym Attendance Software originally had a very narrow remit. Many were no more advanced than a spreadsheet. But these days have long gone.

With the proliferation of seamless online payment systems and the ease of which these can now be integrated into complex, lightweight software environments, it is no surprise that a minor revolution has occurred over the last decade. 

No longer should independent gyms and fitness clubs be content with just paying for a system that just tracks who has entered or left a gym. 

The goal of the best gym attendance software should be to create a focal, central space that the majority of the gym or fitness club’s business can run through. 

Whether it is booking or paying for classes, changing membership tiers or purchasing gift cards and upgrades, the system a gym decides on should make all of these functions easier to enact from the members side, as well as easier to manage and process from the gym’s perspective. 

Gym Attendance Software in 2023 must be capable of capturing and then filtering strong data inputs and outputs. Working for both the members and the staff on a daily basis to ensure that Business-As-Usual operations are able to continue smoothly and with minimal human oversight. 

And in turn, the report it is able to generate must be easy to understand and full of data that can be used to help improve systems and procedures throughout a gym or fitness club. 

Modern Gym attendance software must be quick and responsive, effortlessly running in the background while ensuring that the relevant staff are never from the information they need to make key decisions and change what is necessary. 

While traditionally the remit of larger clubs, responsive gym attendance software is perfectly suited for the low-to-the-ground, swift and reactive independent gym operation that we’ve seen give such durability and zeal to the industry. 

And of course, it should be a safe and secure partner that independent gyms are able to trust with their financial transactions and that of their customers. 

 Which is why, if you have gotten this far, we recommend looking at our services! Here at Ashbourne Membership Management, we believe we embody the values we have been espousing in our blog! 

With twenty five years of experience in the fitness industry and having helped unlock the potential in hundreds and hundreds of partnerships, we are confident that we can take any independent gym or fitness club’s operations up to the next level!

With our membership management software, gym’s not only receive a premier piece of gym attendance software, but a partner that is willing to work alongside them as they grow. Whether it is streamlining processes and procedures, saving countless staff-hours with cutting edge automation or effortlessly displaying critical data and KPIs with our BI dashboards, we believe Ashbourne Membership Management is in the perfect position to help any independent gym or fitness club grow.

Interested in finding out more? Follow this link to book a demo and learn more about what we can offer your gym today.

More to Read...

Get your club in shape.

Want to discover how? Let us show you.

Simply select your preferred timeslot and we’ll be in touch to have a chat about your health club,
the goals you want to achieve, and how our system can help you.

Get your club in shape.

Want to discover how? Let us show you.

Simply select your preferred timeslot and we’ll be in touch to have a chat about your health club, the goals you want to achieve, and how our system can help you.

Get your club in shape.

Want to discover how? Let us show you.

Simply select your preferred timeslot and we’ll be in touch to have a chat about your health club, the goals you want to achieve, and how our system can help you.

Member of a gym? Simply text "HELP" to 60777 and we'll help you.

Member of a gym? Simply text "HELP" to 60777 and we'll help you.

Member of a gym? Simply text "HELP" to 60777 and we'll help you.

Hot Takes! Never Give Away A Free Pass Again

No More Gym Free Pases


“Never Give Away A Free Pass Again!”


Free passes were a constant issue for us at our test gym “The Fit Club Redditch“,  last year. Members asking if they could ‘bring a mate’, trainers bringing guests and people generally trying their luck. The system we bought in: Pay for your day pass (£7.50), and get the money back when you sign up on a full membership. It’s a fair system, one that staff can easily get behind and it’s easy to administer when you have the right software package to manage it. Here’s how we do it: 


All our implemented ideas (click them to skip ahead)…


Charge them for a pass (and make it expensive!)

Data capture form

Automated follow up

Human follow up pipeline (optional)


Charge them for a pass (and make it expensive!)


To start with we set a price for a day pass that was palatable for our area. At £7.50 it’s our most expensive membership when we look at cost per day. However, the price is for convenience and designed to make our longer term memberships look more attractive.

At this price we rarely get objections, especially when the member is already at our front desk and eager to start their session!


Create your system

A crucial part of the system that we introduced was the use of Ashbourne’s prospect management system. If you are using a different system you may also be able to replicate this. There are three main components to the process we introduced:

Data Capture Form


When a day pass member comes down to the gym on a day pass, they have either already paid online or will do so at our front desk. We created a simple form that captures crucial contact information (name, email, phone). All the visitor needs to do once their payment is confirmed is to fill out their details on the digital form (hosted on a tablet computer at reception).

day pass data capture form


Automated follow up


Once the member has inputted their data into the form, they are automatically added to our lead management platform. We have the system set up so that it waits a day (allows the day pass visitor to enjoy their session before we get in touch), before sending out the first of a series of emails and text messages.

The first email includes a voucher code which, as promised, removes the value of their day pass from the cost of a full membership. Crucially, the system will perform checks to see whether the day pass visitor has signed up. In the case that they have joined, the system will stop pestering them!


Human follow up pipeline (optional)

One additional feature that we have recently set up, is a system for following up with people that go through the entire automated process without ever signing up.

These potential members fall into a ‘deal pipeline’, as imaged below.

Ashbourne CRM pipeline


Here, a member of our team will go through the list of contacts, calling each one up and asking about their session and if they wish to join us. They then simply drag and drop the contact to the relevant column, each of which includes its own automation.

If the contact is placed in the ‘Successfully contacted – Interested’ column, they will automatically then receive an email from us with the link to join.

Provided you provide clear instructions to your team, this process should mean that you never need to give away a free pass again!

It provides a clear and fair incentive to the potential member.

The system also means you can capitalise on every single person using your gym. Not only that, but it also puts you in good stead to convert them into an actual member! 


Want to understand more about your membership?

Ashbourne can help you gain unprecedented insight.


As you can see, we really get stuck into every aspect of helping gyms and clubs succeed. Our success is directly tied to the success of our partnered clubs, so we are always ensuring that we’re at the cutting edge when it comes to helping all of our gyms grow and market themselves effectively.

If you’d like to get in touch about how we can help your club succeed, then you can always book a demo with our sales director, Grant Harrison, who would love to show you how our full club management package can help you improve and grow every aspect of your business.

7 Features A Gym Needs From Membership Management Software

How to keep your members subscribed during lockdown

Gym Membership Management Software

There are 7 key features that are integral to the membership management software required of a modern health and fitness club.

Your members expect a lot from you and you need to be sure that you can deliver those expectations and the service that a modern club member demands.

So before you begin signing up for anything, make sure it has these 7 key features…


Automatic Club Check In And Turnstile

gym turnstile signing in

We’ve already written an in-depth article about the importance of a turnstile system for fitness clubs, but we can offer a quick summation here as it’s first on this list for a reason.

In short, a turnstile is the foundation of how you can begin to automate your gym to not only free up your staff’s time, but also keep your doors open longer and keep track of your members better.

By having a turnstile, it means that someone doesn’t have to be monitoring the doors to check if non-members are trying to get into the gym, freeing up time for your staff to focus on other admin, training members or simply catching up with other tasks.

Secondly, the lack of surveillance and monitoring means that you can keep your gym open longer, which means you can have more members sign up for your gym.

Not everyone is the same and recent studies showed that 20% of Britons go to the gym during night time hours and 25% of Britons complained that they were unable to use equipment they wanted in the gym during peak times.

There’s never been a better reason to appeal to the night owls and offer them unconventional hours to use the gym when it’s quieter, which is completely possible with a turnstile.

And finally, if everyone has to check in through a turnstile, that immediately gives you information on every single member that comes in and out of the gym, giving you an amazing array of data on your members that you’ve never had before. That is the basis of excellent membership management software.


An Online Joining Page

On the subject of automation in your membership management software, let’s turn our gaze to your website.

What may now be a simple online billboard of basic information, can be an amazing way to start getting members to sign up there and then, with the potential for a special promotion to help get them through the door.

A great fitness club membership management software will integrate easily with your existing website to offer a streamlined way for members to sign up, set up a direct debit, make their first payment and head to the gym all within a few minutes.


Online Class Booking

gym class yoga studioWhen it comes to your website being an extension of your gym’s services, let’s not stop at simple payments.

Your modern day members are busy people and the best way to keep busy people engaged is to give them convenience and the ability to plan their day on the go.

An online class booking system as part of your club membership management software is perfect for this as not only does it allow members to book their personalised gym sessions on your site, but it also avoids the nasty surprise of you realising your classes are overbooked at the moment when it’s too late to do anything about it.

A great fitness membership management software allows you to offer online class booking, and even better, it provides you even more of that membership data that allows you to learn about your members.


Your Own Health Club Member’s App

And why stop at just having a website that offers some neat features. A great gym membership management software should also provide your members with their own app, branded with your own club identity, but offering a range of tailor made services.
This application could include:
  • Online class booking
  • Fitness planner and tracker
  • Workout plans
  • Options to upgrade and purchase gym extras
  • Live chat with your gym and club membership management software provider
With this application as part of your fitness club membership management software, you get all the benefits of your own club app for your members, but without the months and high cost of development.


Staff And Facility Scheduling

Your members shouldn’t be the only people to gain from your club membership management software. After all, you still have a fitness club to manage and members are only one part of that. Your staff are a huge part of what makes your gym unique and run like clockwork.

So as part of your gym membership management software, you should also receive scheduling software for your staffs’ rotas, schedules, as well as big news, updates or plans for your facility as a whole, all hosted online so anyone can check it and update it at any time.


Lead And Prospect Management

old man young man exercisingWhen it comes to your membership management software, it’s important not just to manage the members you already have, but the members you have yet to manage.

That was a bit of a tongue twister, but in short, you still need to focus on getting new members in.

That’s why a great health club membership management software will help you track leads and prospects who have shown an interest in your club. Your membership management software will help you take details for any potential members who are interested in your gym and let you stay in touch with them and continue to foster your relationship to convert them into a paying member.

There are many ways to do this, from email marketing, direct mail and social media marketing that your membership management software will be able to keep track of, so you can keep tabs on any potential leads and keep growing your fitness business.


Direct Debits, Payment Collection And Debt Collection

There’s no more important part of a club’s membership management software than your ability to get payments on time, so that your members never have their fitness club service interrupted.

From setting up your direct debits, handling any payment issues and tackling any debt collection issues when they turn up, a great membership management software will allow you to not only keep track of your payments, but gives you a great service as your membership management company continues to handle your payment collection, with friendly, trained and professional staff treating your members with respect and dignity to uphold your club’s reputation


Ashbourne’s Gym Membership Management Software Has All This And More

Now you know what a premium membership management software looks like, it’s now time to meet the provider of it.

At Ashbourne Membership Management, we’ve been handling direct debit collections for gyms and health clubs for over 20 years.

Over our 20 decades of experience, we’ve continued to build and adapt our software and service to the growing demands of an ever changing health and fitness industry.

If you’re interested in improving your club’s offerings and need a world renowned membership management software to handle it all, then get in touch and one of our amazing team will help you discover the perfect product for your health club, leisure centre, gym or studio…whatever you run, we can manage it.

Let Us Help Drive Your Business Forward...

Book your free demo slot and let us show you how
we can help take your gym to the next level.