The relentless release of new business apps, along with a boom in the usage of mobile devices, means you can be more productive while on the go - an essential factor for personal trainers. From accounts and sales to scheduling and project management, small business apps can help your PT business in multiple ways.
The key question is how to determine what is the best personal trainer software for your business. Here’s four tips to help you make the best decision.
Identify your needs
When searching for software, it’s tempting to focus on each application’s features. While differences in feature sets will help you to differentiate one app from the next, it’s better to first determine what you really need.
Start by figuring out what’s important to you. What are your core business needs? Most personal trainers will want:
- Something that works well on their smartphone - most personal trainers are constantly on the move.
- A feature that allows clients to interact and make bookings - this helps build relationships with your clients.
- A useful lead tracking feature that will manage your entire sales process in real time
- Something that allows you to scale your business - as you gain more clients and your PT business grows, you need software that can handle the jump.
- Something that saves you time by automating as many processes as possible, including client payments.
- A feature that allows you to see your earnings at a glance - looking at them on a weekly, monthly or annual basis means you can spot trends
By determining your must-haves before you even start your search for PT business software, you’ll be able to quickly build a list of viable options - and you’ll be able to easily eliminate the ones that don’t measure up.
Don't get hung up on bells and whistles
While many PT business software apps will organise your financial information, you don’t want to pay for features you don’t need or buy software that's difficult to use. When you’re researching your options, you’ll probably come across some apps that are loaded with different capabilities – which will be built in to the price. What you need to do is look at all those features and decide if they’re really necessary, instead of being seduced by the sheer number of them.
In the end, you want something that simplifies and streamlines your business processes, not something that complicates them.
Is it created especially for PT businesses?
The business software you choose should be tailored for the PT industry. In other words, it needs to simplify day-to-day tasks, so that you can focus on helping clients achieve their goals rather than wading through paperwork.
The best way to assess any business management software is to get your hands on it. Most vendors will offer a free trial, demo or tour. While any two PT business apps may have similar features, hands-on usage could reveal that one is easier to use than the other.
As you evaluate each option, consider the following:
- Is it easy to use?
- Does it work as expected or is it buggy?
- Does it tick all your boxes (as above)?
- How secure is the software?
What do other users think?
One of the best ways of evaluating business management software is to read the reviews, on platforms like Capterra, Software Advice, GetApp and Software Pundit. If you’re considering a particular app that’s not specifically tailored for PT businesses, scan the reviews and see if you can find comments from other personal trainers.
If it’s PT focussed, your colleagues in the industry will give you a good idea of several important factors, such as:
- The usefulness of the app’s features and what it’s like to use on a day-to-day basis
- If there’s good support around the software
- The ROI – people who are already using it will give you an idea if it’s good value for money, based on the price
As you read the reviews, you’ll spot patterns around key issues like price, support, efficiencies and ease of use. And of course, if the vendor is someone with a reputation to uphold, there’s a greater likelihood that not only will their software meet your needs, but you’ll get the necessary support when you need it.
As you perform your due diligence in your research, you'll get a better feel for the options that fit your business and those that don't. Make sure you go through each options' list of features, integrations and add-ons to get a clear picture of everything you can do with the platform. If you can keep as much of your business managed in one app as possible, you'll streamline your business processes, stay organised and in touch with your clients, and reduce costs.