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How to Automate Your Fitness Business

Automating key functions of your fitness business can be a game changer, helping you to grow your gym membership and bolster your bottom line over time. Why? Consistent and frequent communication is one of the keys to building a thriving fitness business.

April 26, 2022

Automating key functions of your fitness business can be a game changer, helping you to grow your gym membership and bolster your bottom line over time.


Consistent and frequent communication is one of the keys to building a thriving fitness business. 

But we all know that owning and operating a gym or personal training business also takes a ton of high-touch, in-person nurturing. The key to juggling all the critical administrative tasks that keep a fitness business on track and still having ample time to invest in relationship building and customer care, is automation. 

It may seem counter-intuitive in such a hands-on industry to focus on software automation, but taking a few core processes from manual to auto-pilot could not only free up more time for customer interactions and strategic management of your business, it could eliminate errors and dramatically increase client recruitment and retention at your fitness studio. 

Here are 8 Key Automations Every Fitness Business Needs to Have:

1) Set Up Self Check-In and Touchless Check-In

If you’re an independent fitness business owner or a personal trainer and either don’t have front desk staff to help with student sign in, or want to create a more hands-off check-in process for your fitness studio, consider allowing your customers to sign themselves in. 

By setting up customer self-sign in stations, you can free up critical time before class and spend your time interacting with your customers in a meaningful way.

Imagine being able to give your full attention to each person attending class, without the stress and hassle of taking payments and juggling entering customer’s names while answering questions and helping newbies. 

By using a tablet or tablets, paired with Punchpass software, you can allow your customers to sign themselves in, complete with:

  • liability waivers
  • alerts about class passes running low
  • ability to pay to renew instantly

Plus, using Punchpass’s QR code feature, your customers can opt for a touchless experience.

They simply scan the code with their smart phone and sign in on their own device.

2) Alert Customers to Pending Pass Expirations

A big component to increasing revenue and retention is to have processes in place that ensure existing customers keep buying passes and coming back for more classes and training sessions.

The right fitness business software will support you in this by allowing you to set up automated emails that alert your customers when their class pass punch count is running low, or their unlimited month is about to expire. 

With Punchpass, you can customize the message that your customers receive. This is an opportunity to put your special touch on the email, thank your customers, let them know how much they mean to you and inspire them to keep coming back for more!

If you ever want to run a promotion giving your customers a discount when they re-new their punch pass, you can set up a discount code in your fitness business software and include it in the alert. To avoid undermining your pricing structure, we recommend setting this up on only on a temporary basis as a short-term offer, or if you are struggling with pass renewals. 

3) Automatically Set Up Class Reservation Reminders

By setting up automatic class reservation reminders you can boost fitness class attendance by reducing no-shows from forgetful or procrastination-prone customers. It also establishes a culture of accountability and reinforces your commitment to high-touch customer care.

Before each class your customer is registered for, they will get an automated reminder from Punchpass. You can customize the message your customers receive.

A great way to keep motivation high is to include some inspirational encouragement to let them know you can’t wait to see them. 

4) Set Up an Automated Waitlist Feature and Alert Your Students When a Spot Opens Up

If a vast majority of your classes are completely booked, that’s awesome news!

Now you can manage the inevitable last-minute cancellations while providing your customers with the extra perk of being alerted when someone else can’t attend. 

Setting up an automated waitlist program reduces lost revenue from last minute cancellations AND keeps your classes running at full capacity.

When you set up this feature in Punchpass, the fitness business software automatically does the following:

  1. adds a waitlist when a fitness class reaches its set limit
  2. emails you to let you know a waitlist has been set up
  3. automatically prompts your customers to add themselves to the waitlist
  4. lets them know that they will get an email when a spot opens up

Easy peasy… It’s all done for you!

5) Add a Personalized Notice when Making Schedule Changes

When you make changes to your group fitness class schedule, such as holiday cancelations or temporary time changes, it’s nice to add a personalized note to let your customers know what’s going on. 

Again, this extra touch is a way to provide excellent customer service at your gym or fitness studio and demonstrate that your care about your customers.

Unexplained class time changes and cancellations can leave your customers feeling confused and unsettled. 

Any time you make a temporary or permanent change to your group fitness class schedule, it’s also a good idea to let your customers know in advance by sending an email, posting alerts on social media, and posting a sign inside your gym or classroom. 

6) Eliminate Paper Liability Waivers

Moving to online, automatic liability waivers is a huge step for your fitness business if you’re still operating with paper and clipboards and trying to find space to store all those new student forms!

Automating this process and getting it online is a way to eliminate the common and costly error of incomplete new student waiver forms.

Any gym owner can attest to the frustration of sitting down to reach out to new sales prospects and finding that the phone or email information was not entered onto the form. 

How do students actually sign their liability waiver?

With an electronic signature field that can be signed using a smart phone or tablet. 

Extra bonus: If a customer places a reservation and does not have the waiver signed, Punchpass will send them a reminder email (about 10 minutes later) recommending that they sign the waiver now and take care of it before class.  

The goal here is to get your customers to review and sign the waiver BEFORE they get to class, saving you tons of time and potential frustration during class sign in.

7) Keep Track of Delinquent Memberships

Fitness businesses can lose tens of thousands of dollars a year in missed membership payments if the studio owner or manager fails to stay on top of delinquent, recurring payments.

Unfortunately, with the prevalence of identity theft and online financial fraud, many of your customers will experience lost or stolen credit cards, or experience financial hardship that leads to insufficient funds or simply not realize their credit card has expired.

There are also the cases where people chose to leave a gym membership bill unpaid.

Manually keeping track of gym memberships is nearly impossible and can be incredibly costly. 

Pulling a weekly or monthly report of delinquent payments should be on every fitness business owner’s to-do list. It can also be a task that’s easily forgotten or put off. 

Punchpass helps make sure you never miss another delinquent account. The software will alert you, the fitness business owner when billing has failed on a recurring membership payment. Punchpass will automatically attempt to collect payment three times. After the last attempt, if payment is not received, your software will email you to alert you to the delinquency. 

8) Get an Alert when a Customer Buys a New Class Pass, but has Unpaid Visits

Another big source of lost revenue for group fitness class instructors and studios is unpaid classes.

It’s also much easier to get a customer caught up on their class payments when they’ve only missed a class or two.

Fitness business software helps you prevent multiple unpaid class visits that you are unaware of until it’s too late.  

With Punchpass, you will know when a student signs in for class without a paid pass. The software will also automatically generate an alert about previous unpaid classes when you sell a customer a new pass or they drop in for a class and have a previous unpaid attendance.