You’re a brand-new gym owner with three months under your belt and 50 members on your roster.
You’ve got a space, some equipment, a coach or two and a passion for changing lives. Next step? Gym-management software.
At the 20-member mark, it quickly becomes a waste of your time to work on the honor system. You need a system to check athletes in, make sure they’re on the right plan and ensure billing goes smoothly each month.
You open up Google and search for gym-management platforms—and your jaw hits the floor.
$US150 per month... $200.
Even the bare-bones programs that hardly do more than take up space on your hard drive cost at least $60 a month. But you’re only making $7,000, and with rent, utilities and payroll, there’s not much left over.
$200/month might not seem like a lot as a standalone figure, but “when you’re first starting out, it’s a lot,” said Chris Lomen, owner of Ripple Effect CrossFit in St. Paul, Minnesota.
“That’s at least probably two members’ worth of revenue, and when you only have 30 or so when you start out, that’s huge,” he continued. “It could be the difference between staying open another month or not.”
Pro System Problems
Lomen speaks from experience. Five months after opening his gym, he had approximately 30 members—not enough to justify a couple hundred bucks for software.
Tres Kennedy, owner of CrossFit Wotown in Alabama, felt similarly. Though CrossFit Wotown blew up to 78 members just two months after opening, he found while researching gym-management software that many platforms came with hidden fees in addition to the monthly subscription price, such as set-up costs, support and training charges, third-party subscriptions and overpriced add-ons.
“I'm like, I don't even know how many people are gonna be a part of our gym,” Kennedy said. “That stuff does add up. … That's one membership or that's two memberships that's gonna cover these costs.”
The cost can seem even more excessive if the program doesn’t actually offer the utility that you’re looking for.
Michael Quillen opened Savage Society Gym in Covington, Georgia, in March, 2019. He quit his first gym-management software just six months after opening. Despite its premium rates, the system could not provide Quillen with easy-to-read reporting and analysis.
“I couldn’t forecast what our income was gonna be for the next month,” Quillen said. “I would always have to go down and drill through each member line by line and add them all together to figure out exactly what we were gonna be bringing in on the first of the month.”
Anne Spragins, owner of Do It Right Sport and Fitness in Lancaster, New York, had similar issues with the first software she implemented.
“It wasn’t very user friendly, and people wouldn’t know that their passes expired and stuff like that,” she said. “I was having to redo stuff that was already done or play catch-up because I didn’t realize their passes expired or their memberships expired.”
Enter PushPress Free.
What is PushPress Free?
“Wait,” you might be thinking. “PushPress is a premium gym-management software that costs $139 a month, too.”
True—but PushPress Free doesn’t.
PushPress Free is the latest initiative serving PushPress’ endeavor to help and support small gyms. We are gym owners, too; we understand how tough it can be to get your feet off the ground.
We also know how important the work gym owners do is—and we want to help. That’s why we created PushPress Free, designed especially for gyms billing less than $14,000 per month.
With PushPress Free, you get all of the features of PushPress Pro, minus third-party integrations and add-ons, for free. The only fee you’ll pay is a 1 percent premium on transactions and transaction fees of 1.8 percent (ACH) and 3.9% (credit card). This small fee ensures we can continue to invest in and develop PushPress Free, and is directly tied to your sales—meaning you pay as you grow.
“To know that there wasn't a monthly fee that I had to pay but it was really based off of our gym's success … really took some stress and pressure off so we could focus on other things,” said Kennedy, who has been a PushPress Free user since day one.
“It allows me to focus more on quality and less on quantity,” he said. “I can spend that time working on the retention of the members I do have instead of constantly trying to chase the next dollar.”
It isn’t just the cost that gym owners love about PushPress Free.
Unlike the pro-level software that had Quillen neck deep in spreadsheets, PushPress Free allows him to quickly and easily access his gym’s financials. Every week, Quillen looks his membership count and how many members are enrolled in each of the membership plans he offers. Then he looks ahead to see how much revenue is coming his way next month and does a month-to-month comparison against the previous.
“Honestly, it’s amazing; one click and I can tell you exactly how many members I have on which plans without having to generate a report and export it to Excel,” Quillen said. “And it’s laid out on the screen, easy to see immediately as you click on it. I haven’t seen a better system yet, especially for the cost.”
Transaction fees, he continued, are a small price to pay for the service he’s getting.
“The transaction fees we saw as minimal, because even with the additional transaction fees for PushPress Free, it's at the same level as our transaction fees were for (the previous software),” he said. “We actually sat down and did the math on it ... and we were actually still saving money just on the transaction fees.”
Now, Quillen uses the time he used to spend buried in spreadsheets to build his business.
“It's definitely let me take time away from the back-end stuff to actually creating ads and running ads and trying to actually get more members in,” he said.
PushPress Free is more than just a billing platform, however. The member check-in portals have helped Spragins stay on top of customers whose memberships or punch cards have expired—“you just type in their name and if they don't have an active pass, you can't actually check them in,” she noted—and the store app makes it quick and easy for members to purchase retail items (Quillen also enjoys looking at PushPress Free’s retail revenue reports).
And though priority support is reserved for PushPress Pro clients, PushPress Free members still enjoy quick access to our customer support team.
“I thought maybe we would be treated like a second-class citizen because we were on the free (program), and that has not been the case,” said Kennedy, after utilizing support channels such as intercom, one-on-one onboarding calls and even the PushPress private user’s group on Facebook.
“I never felt like I was a lower-tier customer,” he continued.
Help Us Help You
If you’re a new gym owner with a growing business—or even if you’ve been around a while but are billing less than $14,000 a month—and you want to learn more about joining PushPress Free, click here.
It could save you thousands each year.
“Don’t look at (pro software) as a month-to-month (expense), look at it as your cost over the year,” Quillen advised. “With PushPress Free, we’re literally paying $0 for the year.”
“It’s totally worth the money,” Kennedy agreed.