If you have entrepreneurial goals and a passion for fitness, opening a gym can be a great project. Besides writing a business plan, getting your finances in order, and obtaining a loan, you'll want to look into gym billing software. You must be comfortable using this kind of software, as it will be an invaluable tool in getting a clear picture of your revenue. Here are some questions to ask yourself before purchasing your gym's billing software.
Do You Have a List of Features That You Want?
Obviously, invoice tracking is one the most important features you'll need, as this will document membership fees and make sure the gym is getting paid. But there are so many other features to consider. Billing software can
- Create financial reports, quotes, and estimates
- Send email reminders to members
- Track automatic payments
- Track and automatically order low inventory
- Contain payroll features
- Integrate with business programs, like Microsoft Excel
There are many other features out there, so it's in your best interest to research and compare products. For instance, you may initially think that you don't need to further help with financial reports or estimates. However, consider just how many costs you will have in your first year. You may spend about $20,000 to $50,000 just to obtain the necessary equipment for your gym. And that purchasing price doesn't include the future costs of maintenance. It's vital to have in-depth financial reports for these large costs.
You may not think you don't need to track much inventory except your membership packages. However, don't forget that you will want to track inventory for
- Machine replacement parts
- Restroom paper products
- Janitorial and sanitizing products
- Front desk office supplies
Do You Want a Monthly Subscription or a Permanent Program?
Both options have their pros and cons. If you have the wherewithal, you may want to purchase a permanent program. These programs usually only require an annual fee for software updates. However, they can be pricey if you are just getting started.
If you aren't sure which billing program you'd be happy with, monthly subscriptions are great since you can cancel the subscription easily. However, you do need to be diligent with monthly subscriptions; since this software is run by a third party, you can be hit with automatic charges. You also must be aware of privacy concerns, as a third party will be handling your customer data.
Do You Want Additional Support?
Many companies deploy their software through a cloud or software-as-a-service (SaaS). This means that you can manage your billing application through the internet. Again, while this may raise privacy issues, the main benefit is that you don't have the responsibility of maintaining the application. This on-demand billing software has some distinct advantages if you want additional support.
For example, many software companies will allow you to try their gym billing software through a free demo. Usually you just have to go to the company's home page, fill in some information—like your email or phone number—and request a trial. During this trial period, you may also have access to webinars, FAQs, and in-person training. This support can be invaluable, even if the interface is user friendly.
Lastly, on-demand billing software often has many support avenues online. This means that if you have a problem with your software, you can easily get in touch with a service rep so that you can fix the issue before it affects your business operations.
These are just a few questions to ask yourself before investing in gym billing software. As you can see, there are a lot of factors that come into play when choosing a product, so talk with a software management professional for more information.