A new mother’s passion project
In 2001, Lisa Druxman, a new mom in San Diego had a passion for fitness but didn’t want to leave her newborn in the dust. She merged her two loves and shared that passion by leading exercise classes for neighborhood moms.
Now, FIT4MOM is a national franchise with more than 1,400 class locations across the United States. Her passion project grew to include a broad offering of programs for every stage of motherhood—Fit4Baby for those expecting all the way to Body Back for those looking for a workout without their little ones tagging along.
As one of the fastest growing franchises in the United States, FIT4MOM boasts 235 individual franchises in more than 40 states with 20,000 clients—a lot of people and paperwork to manage.
“Being tied to a computer was proving increasingly difficult, archaic, and ultimately too time-consuming.”
Before Front Desk, each FIT4MOM business was chained to a desktop computer. The business management software built for FIT4MOM more than 10 years ago didn’t have the mobile capabilities the FIT4MOM businesses needed and an update didn’t appear to be in the near future.
This is an obvious barrier to success when, as VP of Operations Susan King Glosby explains, “All of our classes are run from a park or a shopping mall, so being able to run a business from anywhere has become increasingly important for both our instructors and our clients. Most FIT4MOM franchise owners expressed the need to be able to run their businesses while picking up the kids from school, taking them to soccer practice, and making dinner.”
This lack of mobile capability also meant that all waivers, payments, and sign-in sheets for tracking attendance and billing were collected on paper. When they got home, rather than being able to spend time with family, franchise owners would have to hide away in their home office for the tedious task of inputting the information into the system. Worse yet, franchise owners who employed additional instructors had to take calls and enter credit card details on a moment’s notice. These details were often written on scraps of paper to be lost and forgotten—not a best business practice!
Franchise owners had a hard time determining how their businesses were doing before the end of the month when they received all of the paper sign-in sheets. The lack of consistent, up-to-date reporting systems for gauging how each franchise was faring strained the corporate side of FIT4MOM, too. Constant feedback about these challenges from individual franchise owners led FIT4MOM to Front Desk.
Their Front Desk
“The franchise owners love being able to track their business in real-time and be both better educated and informed about their business.”
As soon as FIT4MOM started using Front Desk in March 2013, franchise owners were able to take the pulse of their businesses—a previously impossible feat. Now they’re running business more efficiently and from their mobile devices. Susan shared that “Franchise owners have been over the moon about Front Desk. They love being able to track their business in real-time and be both better educated and informed about their business.” The insight the franchisors and franchisees have on their business translates into more knowledgeable decisions that have a positive impact on their bottom lines.
According to Susan, at the time of the Front Desk transition, one franchisee was on the fence about renewing her license. But when corporate unveiled the Front Desk platform to franchisees, she decided to renew on the spot.
“Front Desk has completely revolutionized our business.”
Franchise owners report saving many hours of administration time each week. Kristy Clay, a franchise owner in Arizona, estimates that Front Desk saves an average of 10 hours a week—a significant impact for her and her six employees. That time previously spent on mundane administrative tasks is now put toward enhancing client relationships. Another franchise owner, Tracy Curtis, says, “Since we switched to Front Desk, follow-through by first-time class enrollments has drastically increased. Each instructor is responsible for checking her enrollments prior to class and reaching out to the new participant to make sure she knows where to go, who is teaching, and so on. I think the personal touch goes a long way. Instructors are required to call or email every person, which has become so easy through Front Desk. Front Desk has completely revolutionized our business.”
Not only are the franchisees loving the upgraded client management platform, so are the franchisors. As a corporation, FIT4MOM now has visibility across the entire organization using Front Desk Analytics & Reporting. The Monthly Business Summary, for example, makes quick work of determining the royalties for the franchises. Also, real time data helps corporate know which locations may be struggling and in need of a little extra help to ensure success.