Limber up your jargon muscles and stretch out your vocal cords! We’re talking gym management and fitness center business vocabulary again! It’s been a while since I wrote about jargon in the gym business. So I think it is time to review some more of the terms that you need to use and know to understand gym professionals, in reference to the business and the activities that support it.
Gym Insight has posted articles written about this before but I think it’s an important topic and there are some terms that need to be added to the original list. There will always be new terms to consider, not just the buzz words that come and go, but terms that are specific to new capabilities and systems.
EPOS – Your gym management system is distinct from the payment processing system, which is known as an electronic point of sale (EPOS) system, the modern cash register. Your gym management system handles all of the functions that are unique to our type of business. The EPOS system handles all of the specialized payment functions, common to any business. You need to know there’s a distinction between the two and how they work together.
Tasks – I have always liked creating lists of tasks that define particular activities. Gym Insight takes this to its logical conclusion and automates the process. So I guess you would say that a task is the basic unit of work. The tasks in Gym Insight are the reminders to take action in response to some event such as upcoming account expiration. The tasks of the system are the job descriptions and functions that your team needs to perform, to run the business. The system breaks them down and provides them to users at the appropriate time to perform.
There are two different types of common gym business models: Front Desk Check-In with a staffed front desk who do checks in with barcode and key tag, 24 Hour Check-In may be staffed during certain hours but can be accessed 24/7 with a door control board and proximity/RFID cards.
Term – In the context of membership contracts the word term might be a little ambiguous. The terms of membership are the points that lay out the structure of your contract but often "term" is used to mean the length of time that the membership is to be in force.
Paid-in-Full option – is when the full term is paid up-front.
Differentiating these from each other is important for financial reasons and can be used as a negotiating point.
There are two main payment types that you will see listed on gym management and EPOS systems, Cash and CC, which is payment by credit card or card on file. You should also be aware of the term ACH, which is Automated Clearing House (another form of electronic networking for processing payments and other types of transactions) and is regulated by the National Automated Clearing House Association.
You need to be alert to changes in status on member accounts. Accounts Delinquent, Cancelled Accounts, Expiring Accounts (Pre-Paid) and Frozen Accounts are enumerated in reports and assigned as tasks to whomever you designate to respond. Your workload goes up and your revenue goes down when these metrics increase.
Dues and Collections – The periodic payments for membership are referred to as dues and when payments are not made in accordance with agreements they are Past Due. That is when they are to be sent on to whomever you delegate to recover delinquent payments.
There are always going to be specialized terms and business jargon that changes with the trends and innovations in the industry. The purpose of having serialized terms is to make it easier to talk intelligently about the subject and make your system run more smoothly. Get familiar with them and try using them in discussions. It won’t just make you sound smarter; you will be able to make your point more clearly and persuasively when you master the vocabulary of the profession.
UK perspective on memberships – includes pay-as-you-go: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/jan/04/buyers-guide-gym-membership
Example of open-ended gym membership defined for Athletico Fitness Centers: https://www.athleticosportsperformance.com/content/?s=553&s2=556&s3=557&p=557&t=Membership