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Managing a club is different from managing other types of businesses. Clubs, such as health clubs and social clubs, maintain closer and longer relationships with their guests, who aren’t occasional paying customers; they’re members of the establishment. As such, it's more efficient to use a software tool that not only supports common business functions, such as point-of-sale transactions, but also functions specific to club management, such as membership management and attendance tracking.
We’ve created this buyers guide to help you choose the right club management software for your business. Here’s what we’ll cover:
Club management software is a tool that helps clubs and associations manage memberships, events, payments, member attendance, and other relevant functions.
You should assess the deployment options available before selecting club management software for your business. Here’s a brief description of the two deployment types:
Cloud-based deployment: Your data is hosted on the vendor’s or third-party servers and you access the solution from a web browser or mobile app. These systems are usually billed on a monthly or annual subscription according to either the number of users or members.
On-premise deployment: You host your data on your own servers, which requires an investment in network equipment and maintenance. With this deployment option, you purchase each user license, and you’ll also need to pay for software updates.
Key questions to ask your vendor before you buy: What is the total cost of ownership for the solution? Will there be additional charges for maintenance and support?
As you shortlist club management software products, you’ll need to know about the common features offered. Those common features include the following.
Member attendance tracking: Track and record member attendance using digital methods such as bar codes, key tags, and digital member IDs. Maintain a log of overall and individual member attendance.
Member attendance tracking in Zen Planner
Staff management: Assign, organize, and manage assignments, timesheets, and schedules of all staff members.
Team management in MINDBODY
Marketing automation: Automate your marketing campaigns, offer discounts and promotions, and integrate offers into the point of sale. Streamline the handling of customer/member data, manage loyalty programs, and send emails and text messages to existing and potential members.
Marketing automation in HubSpot Marketing
Member portal: Allow club members to sign up on the website; add personal information; and book, view, edit, or cancel reservations. The portal also helps with member engagement and retention by letting them share their experiences with other members.
Member portal in EventBank
Payment management: Process and record online and cash payments. Send notifications to members for payments due and recurring payments.
Payment management in GymMaster
Key questions to ask your vendor before you buy: Is there a limit to the number of member profiles that can be managed?
Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context, and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations, obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.