It’s not every day you decide it’s time to change your life. It’s also not all in one day that you see the fruits of such decisions. Lifestyle alteration depends on an individual’s commitment to being uncomfortable. The decision itself does nothing if steps are not taken to see those dreams realized.
Many of us know this song and dance all too well when it applies to weight loss. We realize the desire for change, take introductory steps, buy healthy groceries and maybe get a membership to the fancy fitness club down the street. But without the early mornings on the treadmill, or the sleepy afternoons in Zumba class, there will be no alteration.
Mike Kratochwill is the current owner and business manager of a CrossFit gym, as well as the CEO of sport supplement brand RhinoCo. It’s reasonable to imply Kratochwill has decent experience with the “starter”: the client whose goals are lofty but whose determination resembles the little engine that could.
“I think I can, I think I can,” goes the train, overwhelmingly insecure but overall capable.
“Im seeing a trend toward management systems not being standard 101, but being more consumer-facing, getting a better user experience for the members. Software to succeed needs to live in that world.”
Fitness centers have been experiencing transformations of their own, adopting technology to make the member experience more fluid and intuitive: gym management software. Kratochwill was originally part of helping Reebok CrossFit go global, setting up gyms around the world. He mentions looking into Zen Planner and Front Desk, but ultimately landing on the MINDBODY platform as his recommendation for new CrossFit gym owners.
For his own location, Kratochwill chooses to use a software called Triib, pronounced like Tribe, a gym management solution made by and for those in the CrossFit industry. He cites no specific reason for the change, save the idea that Triib would better benefit his individual efforts.
“I don’t know if there was a time where I felt like I had to [use a new tool],” Kratochwill said. “I was indifferent about the tool I was using.”
Kratochwill works on the back-end of management at his gym. While his designated software has client-facing features, he requires tools to process payroll, manage P&L and other finance information and manage day-to-day membership operations.
“The system we use manages everything from membership tracking, contracts, waiver forms, merchant processing,” Kratochwill said. “I think the membership management system is by far the best tool because it really gives me a good snapshot of who my members are, how many members I have, and managing cashflow.”
All gym managers and owners have a similar goal: to succeed in helping others accomplish theirs. Personally, I’m more likely to show up to a class I’ve scheduled online. I’m more likely to be engaged in a gym whose email marketing tools engage with me during a period of absence. I’m more likely to renew my membership at a gym whose app lets me update outdated credit card information before charging me for a failed payment.
Gym management tools help clients get out of their own way, allowing them to focus on the workouts, the results and the positive changes they’re making. Perhaps this is what makes all the difference between the little engine that could and the little engine that did, or maybe just the little engine that could deadlift.