As our industry continues to advance, sports and fitness businesses have recognized the value of technology in streamlining their business operations, improving customer experience, and ultimately driving revenue. Not only can technology provide accessible data that informs decision making to grow your bottom line, but it also elevates the user experience that consumers have come to expect across all industries.
At Upper Hand, we believe there’s a better way than the status quo, which is why we are committed to reinventing the way business is done in the sports and fitness industry. We understand the power of technology to drive business growth no matter where your business is at today.
Founder and CEO Kevin MacCauley recently sat down with Jason Scott of Athletic Business to discuss the importance of software in sports and fitness businesses, and how tools like Upper Hand can help minimize the tedious administrative work, allowing businesses to focus on creating value for their clients. Kevin highlights how software can optimize your business operations, increase member satisfaction, and inform smarter business decisions, giving your business the upper hand.
How does an integrated software like Upper Hand add value to your business?
For sports and fitness businesses of all sizes, tools like Upper Hand can untangle the complexities behind running a facility or studio. Fitness studios are a very complex business model, as you are managing your staff and all of the different resources that your business is offering to your clients.
“[Upper Hand] takes the eight to twelve different things you use to run your business, and unifies the experience into one platform, and reduces the number of platforms you have as much as possible.”
This allows business owners to do two things: drive growth and gain access to usable data. First, a unified experience simply makes it easier for your clients to work with you. This leads to positive user experiences, consequently increasing your bottom line. On the business side, the data accessible through an integrated software empowers you to make smarter business decisions.
“As we know, data is the most important thing…understanding analytics is the future. From a business perspective, you can’t do that unless the data is there, and it’s readable and usable.”
How can Upper Hand improve user experience?
Implementing software like Upper Hand simplifies the user experience, from creating easy booking processes to reducing friction during the check-out process.
“Our ability to help customers simplify things like checking out allows them then to focus on the real areas of creating value, creating great workouts, determine where the trends are going, and ultimately doing what you’re great at, why you have a sports facility to begin with. Investing in that side of your business is going to create more value for your customers long term.”
Kevin credits the pandemic with kickstarting the modernization of the sports and fitness industry. From contactless payment options to reserving space in a studio, technology can be utilized throughout the business.
“Our industry is somewhat outdated. I think COVID has really put the spotlight on that. Since we started [Upper Hand] in 2012, we’ve seen a large increase in the merge of fitness and sports.”
Kevin recounts his prior experiences as an athlete and coach, recognizing that there has been a shift from skill development to overall athlete development, merging sports and fitness. In addition to technical skills, an emphasis is placed on improving athlete strength, speed, and stamina. Software solutions like Upper Hand allow you to refocus your time and energy into these areas rather than the administrative tasks of running a business.
How can software make an immediate and significant impact on your business processes?
In an industry that has been relatively slow to adopt technology, many business owners don’t even have a process in place to operate their business and rely on emails, texts, or phone calls to book appointments, communicate with clients, and organize payment logistics. However, especially since COVID, the sports and fitness industry has begun to elevate to meet the needs of the modern-day consumer.
“[If we] turn to ourselves as consumers, going into an Apple store or a Tesla store, everywhere you and I go shop, we would expect a modern experience. It just so happens that in youth sports, for whatever reason, it’s taken forever for people to recognize that, and it has a huge impact on people choosing where to go.”
Sports and fitness business owners turn to Upper Hand to handle rentals, management, resource allocation, and staff. As an integrated software platform, Upper Hand then empowers you to use the data collected through these features to dig deeper into your business and make informed decisions.
“You can look at the data to say ‘which resources are we using? Where do we get the highest bang for our buck? Where are we getting the strongest revenue per square foot within the business? Do we need to adjust within the facility where we aren’t getting any revenue?’ Software like Upper Hand can help put you in a position to start making those decisions that will improve your business for the long haul.”