It seems like everybody has such a hectic schedule these days that more and more services have to be offered around-the-clock. Stores, gyms and even fast food restaurants are open 24 hours a day, to cater to the late-night crowds.

Large numbers of people now work nontraditional hours. Shift workers like emergency services workers, doctors and nurses and security staff. Then, of course, along with the blurring of traditional work patterns, there are people who just prefer to be active at night. As a fitness club owner or manager it is very important that you capitalize on this market segment.

Fitness In The 24 Hour EconomyDoor Sign that says "Open 24 Hours"

People who take their health seriously will find the resources they need to stay fit with total determination, wherever and whenever they can. As a proactive fitness center owner, you have to be willing to consider these members, because if they’re not in your gym at 2 A.M., they are in somebody else’s. In which case, it’s your loss.

This expectation has spread across the country. It has long been the norm to expect 24-hour access in large bustling cities like New York or Las Vegas because of their larger populations and reputation for nightlife. However, even small town gym members increasingly expect the same consideration at their local fitness centers.

I’ve found that there’s also a hidden demographic of people who enjoy being able to work out during hours of lower attendance. I’m talking about members who are a bit shy or self conscious because they’re just starting new regimens, or who may be visibly out of shape. These members are attracted by the option of going to a nearly vacant gym in the wee hours of the night, when most people are still sleeping.

If you look at the numbers for your market, you may find that you want to convert your gym to all hours’ access. If you can determine that it’s beneficial to gym goers and you can see that it will easily pay for itself, don’t you owe it to your business and your clients to make the switch?

Looking Out For The Risks

There are some things to watch out for, when you have an unattended, self-service facility. Prudent fitness center owners can take extra precautions to ensure that those members of a crafty mindset don’t exploit the process. By using the right software system to control access and monitor activity you don’t have much increase in overhead costs.

An effective gym membership management system goes beyond member privileges. It should first ensure actual members are the only users taking advantage of the facility. With a 24-hour access design in a members-only business, there is an increased chance of scammers, rightly or wrongly, expecting the regulations to be more lax in later hours of the night or early morning.

These users may try to break the rules by letting friends gain access while they enter the gym themselves. One way that this is done is that the non-members walk in alongside the members without swiping a card. In other cases, members may let friends borrow their cards, providing access to those who have not purchased their own membership.

The Right Gym Management Software System Opens Doors

The most effective response, in both cases, is a gym membership management system with surveillance cameras, used in conjunction with photo IDs to decrease the chances of such dishonesty occurring.

Insight Member Management gives you the system and support you need to leave your gym open all hours with confidence. The added security of Member Picture Integration means that an unattended gym remains under the watchful eye of your management team. You will be able to step back and confidently remain open while keeping your cost of staffing at a minimum.

Utilizing advanced strategies is the best way to keep customers happy and keep up with trends in the fitness industry. If a service or feature is easily found somewhere else, it’s only a matter of time before the consumer becomes aware and jumps ship. For gym owners, converting to 24-hour access is a great way to stay on board and on top of the industry’s growing expectations.

 Over to you…

Have you considered opening your gym to 24/7 access?  Why/why not?

What is preventing you from taking the next step?

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