How Delhi-based GymSym is helping fitness clubs multiply their sales numbersAparajita Choudhury
Being in the gym industry for almost a decade, Deepinder Kaur realised that the customer experience at fitness centres has remained the same over the years, equipped with just a manual system to keep track of members, classes and payments.
Many gym owners have had to grapple with this inefficient way of keeping track of the members who step into their centre. Deepinder, therefore, wanted to build a CRM tool customised for gyms and fitness clubs and started working on the idea in September 2015. By December, she completed the market research and in August 2016, the 35-year-old started GymSym, which was built on Salesforce.
“As the gym business grows, so does its complexity. The gym owner quickly discovers that one needs more scalable ways to track members and transactions to stay competitive,” Deepinder explains.
She holds a Masters in Physiotherapy. Before starting GymSym, she was working at a local gym in Delhi as an operations manager. Also, she worked as a physiotherapist consultant.
Doing away with spreadsheets, which often don't give the complete visibility required to drive marketing and customer service efforts, GymSym provides customer data in one place, so that the gym owner has a bird's eye view of how his customer is connecting with his employees and business. It provides insight on what the potential value of a deal is, movements of gym that may be vying for the same customer are and at what stage the deal is.
By leveraging the platform, Deepinder says gym owners will be able to create customisable reports to keep track of the sales team's monthly performance. The mobile app ensures that when sales representatives are out in the field, they find out new information, data and store it. GymSym also helps identify patterns of the customers and redefine the efforts to customise the service.
Deepinder started GymSym with a seed capital of Rs 5 lakh in Delhi. She faced a challenge in engaging with a technology partner well-versed in Salesforce to build GymSym. Finding someone to share and work on his dream was difficult as well. She then on-boarded an engineering student, Harman Singh, who was proficient in Salesforce. He is currently pursuing his engineering in Computer Science at IP University.
How can gyms make money?
Fitness clubs use the GymSym application to increase sales opportunities with members, purchase frequency and average order value.
“By combining intelligent and consistent data entry with research on social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook) a wealth of information is collected for every member and this allows you to offer all kinds of custom discounts, like a 25-percent discount on a member's birthday, for example,” says Deepinder.
With dashboards and automation features, GymSym eliminates the need to manually gather information for reporting purposes. GymSym provides alerts like payment overdue, customer follow-up to notify the staff when some action needs to be taken. By integrating a web portal, GymSym allows customers the ability to quickly access their online membership status and service ticket information.
Deepinder recalls that the first gym became a customer by a recommendation. She gave that gym a month's trial and also application training. The gym was already using a management software, and Deepinder was able to point out the advantages of switching over to GymSym.
“The features like reporting, data security, mobile app were appealing to my first customer,” says Deepinder.
For brand awareness, the startup is running an ad campaign on Facebook, Google and targeting gym owners in the Delhi/NCR region.
GymSym is built on Salesforce.com platform and is offered as platform as a service (PaaS) that allows developers to create multitenant add-on applications. The startup currently is a team of six people servicing gyms in the Delhi/NCR region. Since inception till now, the month-on-month customer acquisition growth is 20 percent. GymSym follows a SaaS revenue model and charge gym on per-user-per-month model at Rs 1,857. At present, GymSym has 10 customers and aims to onboard 150 users and generate a revenue of Rs 36 lakh by October 2017.
The quest to manage the gym efficiently and sustain the monetisation triggered a new niche market altogether that deals in gym management software. A few companies have emerged betting high on the potential of this market. FitnessForce is a web-based CRM software that manages health clubs from anywhere. GYMneshiya provides software solutions to gyms like employee management, fitness planner, task reminder, fitness tools and more.