How to Increase Your Gross Sales Now

Membership management software sales dashboard

The 27th of March was a good news day for me. One of my General Managers called to inform me that my two Krav Maga schools were ranked #1 and #2 in the Member Solutions President’s Club based on total monthly gross billing totals. While I charge all of my enrollment fees, first month’s dues, and retail through a POS system, my two Krav Maga schools had still managed to climb the Member Solutions President’s Club rankings.

The Entrepreneur’s Club

I respect every instructor, owner, and manager on this list. The moxie it takes to believe you can make a healthy living teaching martial arts is substantial to put it mildly. Everyone on the list has undoubtedly faced obstacles and taken risks, and each of these people has overcome. That’s special.

I still remember the day I decided to sign what seemed to me to be (at the time) an expensive lease in the heart of Houston. I had somehow talked my way through two interviews with the property manager and minority investor of a newly-developed retail property. Terms were agreed upon. I was elated.

The first student I told was a private training client—a family member of a very wealthy and well-to-do Houston dynasty of sorts. I recall vividly what he said. “Don’t do it. You’ll never make it work.”

Thank God I didn’t buckle. In fact, the lease was signed the day the Dow dropped 777+ points. My commercial broker was sitting across from me on a family room chair. The lease lay still on my coffee table. He looked at the television, tuned to CNBC with the Dow in a free-fall. He looked at me and drew a long breath. “You don’t have to do this.”

“Yes, I do.” I replied. I suppose the rest is history. But it’s a history full of my share of close calls and decision points that have obviously propelled my businesses forward. Interestingly, my two schools are vastly different. The first school I opened with my life savings is a mere 2,900 square feet. It’s ranked #2 on the Member Solutions list and grossed more than $100,000 last month. My other school is the largest and largest contiguous Krav Maga school on the planet—boasting over 36,000 square feet of mats, heavy bags, CrossFit equipment, Hammer Strength equipment, and staff offices. This school had considerably more gross revenue than my smaller school, but as you might guess, the cost footprint is higher.

I’m sharing these things for a singular purpose—to reinforce the notion that any school of any size can be a huge success. You can be a huge success.

Optimizing Existing Sales Assets

A friend in the martial arts business called me a few weeks ago. His school was in a slump. The numbers were down across the board. He started by telling me what his new branding and marketing concepts were. I listened.

As I’m familiar with the school, I could speak with some level of understanding. In the end, he asked me for advice. I simply told him that I knew he had a quality program with top-shelf instructors, but I wondered if his sales staff were as accomplished (they are not).

In an ideal world, he’d convert every appointment. To that end, if he increased his closing ratio to 100 percent (for example and to make a point), he’d have to generate one-half the traffic to generate the same amount of monthly revenue—assuming he is converting 50 percent of his leads today. At the very least, he could dramatically increase enrollments and gross cash flow by simply closing at a higher, better rate. That’s job number one.

Job number two is to better work with existing members and new members (during “post close”) to generate more “warm” referral leads.

In summary, if my friend upgraded his sales training and process, he’d likely increase his closing rates by 30 percent while simultaneously increasing his lead stream by 50 percent or more (without ever spending an additional dime on marketing schemes), nearly doubling his revenue.

Prioritize and Preach Your Value Proposition

I earned my MBA in 1997 while working full time. I do have some background that makes the decision process a bit more structured for me. But, the one thing I know more than any other is this: everyone needs a world-class sales presentation and closing process. This is partly a sales training issue and partly a buy-in issue.

Put simply: If you don’t believe what you’re selling is valuable and life changing, no one else will. They certainly won’t pay for it.

The bottom line is your sales staff (this may mean you) must clearly understand the benefits of your martial arts programming and project a level of certainty and excitement about what your program can do for people (vision). This is a value proposition. Do you know yours?

The benefits of a martial arts program vary widely—from traditional martial arts to MMA and fighting, to self-defense programs like Krav Maga. Clearly identify the benefits you offer, and provide a wealth of evidence to back-up your claim.

Far too often, sales people present the view (what you see in the school on tour), not the vision (the short- and long-term benefits of martial arts training). It’s the vision that creates the value for your students. Only after clearly providing a superior value proposition can anyone really ask for the sale with confidence.

Using our sales program, we close just over 80 percent of all in-person leads at my small school with monthly fees ranging from $169–$219 and over 85 percent at my big school with monthly fees ranging from $99–$159. Every agreement has duration of 6–24 months. Absolutely no month-to-month contracts.

Do you want more sales? Implement a solid, well-conceived closing and post-closing sales process that clearly articulates your value proposition today.

Krav Maga Houston’s Chief Instructor, C.J. Kirk, is certified and licensed through the Krav Maga Association of America/Krav Maga Worldwide as a 3rd Dan Black Belt instructor. His two schools, Krav Maga Houston and Krav Maga Houston North, are the only certified and licensed schools in the Houston, TX area. Most recently, C.J. launched Kravology, an online resource for self-defense instructors and enthusiasts. For more Martial Arts and business information, register for the free Kravology weekly newsletter at kravology.com.

The Dos and Don’ts of Business Ethics

Merriam-Webster defines ethics as “the discipline dealing with what is good and bad with moral duty and obligation.” In laymen’s terms, ethics are about doing the right thing when you know nobody is watching.
 

Ethics need to be high on the list of desirable traits demonstrated by your staff.

While all the staff employed at your business should demonstrate ethical behavior, it is most critical for your front-desk and finance personnel. These employees must be trustworthy and held accountable to the high standards that you set for them.

Your front-desk and finance employees have access to your business management software—which contains your members’ names, social security numbers, addresses, signatures, and credit card numbers. In making an unethical choice, they could cause significant damage to a member’s financial situation that also damages your reputation and business.

An ethics-based workplace all starts with you. As an owner or manager, your staff looks up to you as the mentor. Your behavior is what will be repeated by all. But it’s not just your personal conduct that’s important. You need to instill an ethical environment in your workplace. Here are suggested dos and don’ts.

Meeting with Fitness Team Good business ethics

The Dos of Business Ethics:

  • Have staff meetings on a regular basis. Talk about desirable behavior and give examples of unethical behavior. Allow the staff to discuss hypothetical situations in which they must make an ethical choice.
  • Have an open-door policy and seriously consider all comments and complaints from the staff.
  • Mentor your staff on accepting responsibility and not deflecting blame.
  • Make sure there are adequate checks and balances within your finance department.
  • Have clearly defined roles and responsibilities for all staff members.
  • Treat your staff in the same ethical way that you expect them to treat your members.
  • Trust your member’s personal information with Member Solutions. We have been certified as a Level One Service Provider under the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Level One is the highest ranking and carries the most stringent requirements. We set high ethical standards for our employees.
Donts of Business Ethics - Boss Talking to Staff

The Don’ts of Business Ethics:

  • Put undue pressure on the staff. They may bend under the pressure and turn toward unethical behavior to get the results you are demanding.
  • Have a culture of fear or silence.
  • Allow anyone to “pass the buck” or deflect blame for things that are within his or her responsibility.

Displaying ethical behavior will bring your business to new levels. Your staff will be proud to work in such an environment and such pride will be reflected on your members. The respect that your staff has for each other and for the members will be contagious and you will see careers and lives flourish.

5 Spring Cleaning Tips to Accelerate Membership Business Efficiency

Because it’s Spring, many of you are thinking of ways to cut clutter in your homes and businesses. For your Martial Arts or Fitness business, Spring cleaning involves more than just dusting off old filing cabinets. You need to make improvements to your organizational system that will benefit your business all year long.

Here are some quick tips for eliminating clutter and getting your business running efficiently:


1. Put Your Class Schedule Online

Switching to online scheduling will benefit you and your members. Most people would prefer to get information on your classes from their smartphones. Not to mention, you’ll save yourself a bundle in printing, especially if your schedule changes frequently.

So, how do you get your schedule online? The process is actually pretty simple for business owners using our member management software. Member Manager includes a scheduling widget that allows you to publish your events, classes and training schedules directly to your website.

Schedules are easy to keep up to date too. Say you have to add or cancel a class – just go into the software, adjust your schedule and changes made are instantly reflected on your website.

2. Take Your Event Registrations Online

Spring is a great time to host events but is your registration process holding you back from doing more? If you’re juggling paper registration forms, printed liability waivers and permission slips, odds are, you’re wasting time deciphering illegible handwriting on paper forms and re-entering information into spreadsheets. Not to mention, you’re likely missing out on sign-ups for your events by not marketing them online.

Try putting event registration forms online to streamline the process and get the word out quickly about your events. Use an online registration tool like Event Manager to convert your paper form into an online registration page. Capture any information you need through the registration process – age, experience level, t-shirt size, etc. – and view your registration data any time.

3. Turn Older Inventory into Freebies for Event Registrants

Take a look at your inventory to see what hasn’t been moving. Maybe you have leftover T-shirts or another giveaway from a previous marketing campaign or event. To use them up, you can offer these items as free gifts to people who register for your next event.

Everybody likes getting free stuff, and you can use the gift to incentivize early registration. Announcing that you’re giving the freebie to the first (x amount of) sign-ups creates urgency and provides extra motivation to register. Plus, you can get rid of that box of T-shirts you forgot you had.

4. Have Members Sign Contracts with their Finger

Going paperless is a great way to de-clutter. Thanks to a recent enhancement to Member Manager, you can now go paperless with your membership contracts. Simply have your members sign with their finger or stylus on a phone, tablet or other touchscreen device. The completed contract, along with the signature, will be saved to your myVolo account.

5. Take Time to Organize as You Go

Ever find yourself wondering how you got into this mess in the first place? Spring cleaning would be a lot easier if you had a solid organizational system you could use all year.

As entrepreneurs and managers, you need tools to help you run your business efficiently. Our Member Manager software is a great solution for managing all your routine admin tasks from one place. With this one piece of software, you can capture, track and manage leads, send emails and text messages to members to keep them in the know, have members book online in real-time, sell products and services online 24/7 and more. Not to mention, you can also integrate Member Manager with other systems – like our full-service billing and payment process solution.

Now’s the time to simplify, de-clutter and get organized. Once you do, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to run and grow your Martial Arts or Fitness business.

For more information on Member Manager or Event Manager, contact the Training and Support team at 877.600.3811 or support@membersolutions.com.


About the author: Justin Bodamer is the Manager of Implementation & Support for Member Solutions. The Implementation and Support team is dedicated to helping you and your team make the most of your relationship with Member Solutions. You can contact Justin at membersolutions@membersolutions.com.

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Essential Financial Terms Cheat Sheet for Business Owners

Finance Desk with Terms

Every business owner, manager, and director needs to understand the basics of finance in order to be successful. At some point, you will find yourself in a discussion in which certain financial slang will be used and it’s important for you to comprehend the language.

This article will simplify those sometimes puzzling, but need-to-know, financial terms. This will be a good first step in learning the common jargon used and what each term means.

A

Accounts Payable

The monies owed by your company to your vendors and suppliers. Accounts payable arise when you purchase something on credit and receive an invoice from the supplier. Examples would be an invoice for janitorial services or an invoice for one hundred new uniforms that you purchased for resale.

Accounts Receivables

The monies owed to the company by its customers. It’s an asset sometimes referred to as A/R or debtors. Accounts receivables are the result of selling goods or services to a customer on a non-cash (credit) basis in which the customer promises to pay at some point in the future.

Amortization

Spreading the costs of intangible assets over time rather than expensing them all at once. See the definition of intangible assets. Amortization is similar to depreciation which spreads the cost of tangible assets over time.

Assets

Things that the company owns such as cash, fixed assets, inventory, and accounts receivables.

B

Balance Sheet

A financial statement that shows assets, liabilities, and owner’s equity. While a profit and loss (P&L) statement covers a specified period, (usually a month or year), a balance sheet is a statement as of a specific date such as December 31.

C

Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)

The cost associated with the goods sold during a given period.

Current Assets

Cash (and/or assets that are easily converted to cash) within one year of the balance sheet date. Cash, accounts receivables, short-term investments, and inventory are the best examples. Current assets are also known as liquid assets.

Current Liabilities

Liabilities of a company that are to be paid within one year of the balance sheet date. These include such things as accounts payable, wages payable, and loan payments due in the next twelve months.

Current Ratio

One of the measurements of a business’s financial strength. It is calculated as current assets divided by current liabilities. Current ratio is used to measure a company’s ability to pay back its liabilities due in the near future.

D

Depreciation

Allocating the cost of tangible fixed assets over the time period in which they are utilized. For example, you buy exercise equipment for your facility. Rather than expensing the full cost in the year of purchase, you would place them on your balance sheet as fixed assets and depreciate them over a number of years.

E

EBITDA

(pronounced “ee-bit-dah”)

Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization. This is net revenue minus operating expenses. EBITDA is also known as Operating Profit.

F

Fixed Assets

Non-current assets that a company uses to assist in the generation of income. Fixed assets are also known as Property, Plant & Equipment (PP&E). Examples of fixed assets include buildings, real estate, equipment, and furniture. These are tangible assets that benefit the company for periods of time greater than one year and are depreciated over their life.

G

Gross Sales

The total of all sales during a period of time prior to returns, discounts, and allowances.

Goodwill

Goodwill is a type of intangible asset. It only arises when a buyer purchases another business from a seller and the amount paid is greater than the fair market value of the tangible assets purchased. Goodwill is not amortized while other intangible assets are.

I

Intangible Assets

Assets that are not physical in nature. Examples of intangible assets include patents, copyrights, trademarks, customer lists, non-compete agreements, and franchise agreements.

The costs to acquire intangible assets are allocated to expense on the profit and loss (P&L) statement through amortization over the useful life or legal life of the asset, whichever is shorter.

L

Liabilities

Things that the company owes to others such as accounts payables, wages to workers, taxes to government agencies, and loans.

N

Net Assets

Total assets minus liabilities. Net assets is also known as owner’s equity.

Net Income (or Net Profit)

Operating Profit (EBITDA) minus interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.

Net Revenue (or Gross Profit)

Revenue minus the Cost of Goods Sold. An example of this would be when a family of three joins a Martial Arts studio. You sell three uniforms for $50 each and grant a $10 family discount. You bought the uniforms for $25 each. Your gross sales would be $150. Your net sales would be $140. Your cost of goods sold was $75, so that your net revenue is $65.

Net Sales (or Revenue)

Gross sales minus returns, discounts, and allowances.

O

Operating Expenses

The money a company spends in order to operate on a daily basis. Operating expenses may be labeled in categories such as:

  • General & Administrative (G&A): This category includes executive salaries, professional fees, rent, insurance, utilities, legal services, and office supplies.
  • Sales & Marketing (S&M): Costs to acquire your base of customers. Sales and marketing expenses include advertisements and lead generation.
  • Research & Development (R&D): The costs of activities used to develop new products, services, or knowledge. These costs are seen as investments in the future of the company.

Owner’s Equity

The difference between assets and liabilities. On every balance sheet assets equal liabilities plus owner’s equity. Owner’s equity is also known as net assets. It equals the owner’s investment in the business plus retained earnings. The owner’s investment is the net of any money the owner(s) put into or took out of the business. See definition for retained earnings below.

P

P&L

Profit and loss statement or income statement. The profit and loss statement shows the revenue and expenses for a company over a given time period. The time period is typically a month, a quarter, or a year.

R

Retained Earnings

The sum of all profits and losses since the business opened.

W

Working Capital

Working capital is similar to the current ratio as it is a measurement of the liquidity of your business. Working capital is calculated as current assets minus current liabilities. Working capital is measured as a dollar figure, while the current ratio is a percentage.

1 Easy Trick to Increase Your Gym Membership Sales

Man uses membership software reporting and metrics for sales insights

How well do you know your sales team? How well does it handle telephone inquiries? How is it doing with their tours? Are trials converting to new members? If you answered any of these questions without referencing a number or percentage, you’re missing out on one of the easiest ways to increase gym membership sales.

Tracking Sales Performance

Using a few simple sales metrics will help you increase your revenue by determining where your business is strong and where you need to improve. Knowing the numbers will help you:

  • Set goals that motivate team members to reach their potential
  • Use your strengths to drive sales
  • Identify and fix problems in your sales process

Getting Started

The goal is to measure key numbers throughout the sales process. Specifically, you want to track new prospects, tours, trials, and membership sales. Record the data in your fitness club software (or a spreadsheet), where you and your staff can easily review the numbers on a regular basis.

What to Measure
1) Leads

What to Do: Each week, track the number of people who express an interest in your gym. Remember to record the source of the inquiry – your website, email, phone call, Facebook, etc.

Why It’s Important: How many leads you get tells you how well your marketing is working and determines how many opportunities your sales team has to sell memberships.

Tools to Help: Use the Member Manager Lead Activity report to review the new leads you have in a certain period.

2) Lead Follow Up

What to Do: As a group, review the phone calls, emails and other follow-up activities your team does. Try to identify the activities that help drive trials and sales.

Why It’s Important: Inspecting the follow-up process can reveal which activities—or a combination of activities—give you the best results. You may discover that you should adjust your sales process or that your staff needs extra training.

Tools to Help: Optimize your sales process with Member Manager Lead Flows – series of tasks, such as phone calls or automated emails and text messages, which detail your lead follow-up process. Use the Member Manager Follow Ups report to review every time a sales team member has contacted a lead.

3) Tours & Trials

What to Do: Tally the number of tours you give of your facility. If you offer trials, carefully track how many leads take trials.

Why It’s Important: Tours and trials are crucial parts of the decision-making process. If your leads aren’t coming in for visits, there may be a problem with your follow-up process.

Tools to Help: Review the Member Manager Prospect Activity chart to quickly check how many appointments have been set and introductory tours have been completed by your team.

4) New Members

What to Do: Based on your financial goals, set a target for the number of new members you want to have each month and make sure it is well communicated to your team. Compare sales to the number of leads, the amount of follow-up and the number of tours/trials given to get an idea of your overall success.

Why It’s Important: Good sales can be an indicator of the health of your business. On the other hand, if you’re consistently missing your goal, there may be a problem with your strategy. Comparing sales to other metrics can reveal opportunities to improve your marketing, communication, tours, trial offers or membership options.

Tools to Help: Check the Member Manager New Members report to see how many memberships you’ve sold in a period of time. View the Sales And Value chart to quickly find out your revenue by category.

These easy-to-use metrics can help make your sales team more effective and significantly increase your gym membership sales. These numbers will teach you how to maximize your strengths, fine-tune your sales process and motivate your team to go above and beyond expectations.

For more information on Member Manager software, contact the Training and Support team at 877.600.3811 or support@membersolutions.com.

About the author: Justin Bodamer is the Manager of Implementation & Support for Member Solutions. The Implementation and Support team is dedicated to helping you and your team make the most of your relationship with Member Solutions. You can contact Justin at membersolutions@membersolutions.com.

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