Growing your membership-based business can be challenging. Seasonal patterns of customer engagement can make cash flow hard to predict and hard to manage. Strong competition can make pricing tricky to master. To help our customers succeed, Company Capital has collected these tips and resources for growing a membership-based business.
The Complete Guide to Setting Up a Membership Model
Wild Apricot, which offers cloud-based membership management system for fitness studios and other businesses, has created a very thorough guide to setting up a membership model.
Topics in the Wild Apricot guide include:
- The 6 Steps to Create a Successful Membership Model
- 7 Benefits of Using A Membership Model
- The Major Downside of Membership Models
Other Useful Blog Posts and Articles
- Membership Pricing Strategies for Fitness Clubs
- 5 Steps to Effective Pricing in Your Fitness Business
- The Six Reasons the Fitness Industry Is Booming
- Health & Fitness Business Marketing Plans
Get Firsthand Insights from a BC-Based Membership Business
Company Capital client Namaskar Yoga Studio is a popular hub in a small tourist community on Vancouver Island, with both locals and visitors attending a wide variety of yoga classes.
However, success for this business did not happen overnight. Owner Shelley D’Amico provides some tips on how to grow a membership-based business, including:
- Building a reliable cash flow throughout the year
- Forging partnerships with other businesses
- Developing a strategy for plans, classes and passes
Educational Resources for Membership-Based Businesses
The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), whose members include health clubs and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs and other membership-based businesses, offers a variety of online resources intended to grow, protect, and promote the health and fitness industry, including:
- Member Retention
- Fitness Programming
- Personal Training
- Wellness & Community Programming
- Sales & Marketing
- Strategy & Finance
The Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FICDN) also provides useful, actionable information for membership-based businesses.
Club Management Software
Membership software provides yoga studios, fitness clubs and other membership organizations with an online platform to provide services to members.
At the very least, the software should allow you to store and update member information, but most platforms also provide automated invoicing and online payments, and the ability to contact customers by email.
Software review site Capterra has ranked some of the best club management software choices according to user reviews and features, including:
ClassPass Online Membership Subscription Service
New membership software provider ClassPass allows users to try different classes and studios using credits they purchase on a monthly plan. While it’s a good way for membership-based businesses to generate revenue, making a profit from these new clients can be a challenge, according to a recent article in the Globe and Mail.
Rules and Regulations for Fitness Studios and Other Membership-Based Businesses
The Government of Canada offers an online business regulations guide that offers information about federal regulations, including:
- Workplace health and safety
- Health regulations
- Trade certification
- Privacy and protection of personal information
Most provinces in Canada have set specific rules and regulations for membership-based businesses such as fitness studios. Ontario has specific guidelines about how to register a yoga studio in that province. Small Business Alberta offers information about business operations, growth and productivity.
The province of BC also provides Guidelines for Personal Service Establishments (PSEs), which includes fitness clubs and other membership-based organizations. Small Business BC offers updates on changes to industry regulations in British Columbia.
Helpful Resources & Small Business Loans
Company Capital has created a small business resource page with advice, support and information for your operation, including small business loans. Topics include:
- Resources for Running Your Business
- Business Plan Templates
- Marketing Resources
- HR Resources for Small Businesses
- Resources for Small Businesses
- Small Business Loans and Financing Options
Do you own a small business in Canada and have questions, tips, or just want to join in the conversation?
Join our Facebook page to connect with our community, and don’t forget to check out success stories from your fellow small businesses in BC, like Namaskar Yoga Studio.
Of course if you have a small established business in Canada and would like to explore how we can help with financing when you most need it, you can easily apply for a small business loan online.