Boutique fitness instructor management might be more complicated than you think. At zingfit, we like to say our software is the guts behind your brand’s glory. If that’s true, then the heart and soul of your studio has got to be your team of kick-ass instructors. With some boutique fitness brands going as far as paying their instructors $1000/hour to attract top talent. After all, your instructors and trainers are on site every day making sure your customers are staying happy and fit. No doubt, they’re critical to the growth of your business and your brand.
Despite the rewards of having an awesome team, managing a team of instructors can be one of the hardest things about running a boutique gym. Making sure your instructors aren’t meyered down by clunky, administrative workflows is just as important (if not more) for employee retention as paying them top dollar. That’s why we’ve created a full slate of boutique fitness instructor management “must-haves” — To help you save time and keep the heart of your business (your instructors) healthy and happy.
1. Instructor Schedule Builder
You want your instructors’ schedule to be clean, intuitive, and simple on the front-end. But with enough sophistication in the back-end that you can easily manage the dynamic nature of coordinating everyone’s busy lives.
In an ideal world, scheduling your instructors is as simple as the schedule your customers see. Just a series of beautifully branded dates, times, names and classes. But as a studio owner, you need to think about what happens when someone takes a leave of absence or quits unexpectedly. Or how you want to keep your instructors segmented so they don’t have too much access to the scheduler admin. Here are some really cool features we think are essential for your schedule builder:
• The Ability to Easily Duplicate
Instead of building your schedule day-by-day, week-by-week and month-by-month, your instructor schedule management software should be able to duplicate days, weeks, and months as needed so you can schedule months in advance with a few clicks.
• Bulk Updater
In line with easy duplication. Having the ability to remove or change classes in bulk really comes in handy if one of your instructors takes a leave of absence or you have other major schedule changes that affect all future classes.
• Schedule Analyzer
The ability to view instructor schedules in a table instead of a calendar view. This allows you to better organize the data as well as print out your schedule if you want to share hardcopies or just like to do things old school.
• Intranet / Internal-Comms Portal
A place for staff to view their individual schedules. It also functions like a company-wide message board. This allows you to send updates and messages to all staff when they log in. Great for sharing important news, change of schedule or policies, and vital documents or contact info. All in one, cohesive place.
Having an instructor scheduling portal that can inherently assign roles allows you to keep your instructors segmented and managed by an administrator. This means schedule-based payroll is private to each instructor. Plus, having some schedule segregation encourages the use of a front-desk staff member to manage the schedules. So instructors don’t get distracted from their zone of genius by having front-desk work.
2. Automated Instructor Substitution
Sometimes instructors call in sick, or for some reason, they cannot show up to an upcoming class they are assigned to. Having substitute automation built into your instructor management toolkit can save you time and stress.
Rather than scrambling to find a sub, trying to track multiple schedules, emails, and text messages—with automated instructor substitution, you can click a button and automatically alert your instructors. The first to confirm their availability will be automatically added to the schedule. This is a winning feature! Your classes stay booked and your instructors get to pick up extra hours. All without the headache for you.
3. Instructor Profile Management Integrated with Your Website’s Front End
Your customers are coming to classes for more than just a workout. They are coming to connect with themselves, with each other, and, most importantly, with the trainer. It’s important your website and schedule showcase your instructors via profile pages. This allows you to personalize each instructor bio to reflect their personality and tie their profile page to upcoming classes. When you’re looking for the right instructor management tool, having this feature built in allows you to create a seamless instructor browsing experience without any additional development work.
This is so important for customers because it puts a face to the name. Rather than guessing the teaching style of the instructor, any website visitor (a member or not) can research the instructor prior to booking the class. When they find a teacher they’re excited about, you want to enable them to easily book one of their classes without having to navigate back to the schedule.
Here are a few things you can add to your instructor profile pages that customers will love.
– Favorite Spotify playlist
– Favorite quote
– Instagram and Twitter handle
– Inspirations, guilty pleasures
– Class style
– Education and work background
4. Payroll Configuration for Multiple Wage Structures
There are a lot of ways to structure your instructors’ payroll. Choosing the right one for your studio depends primarily on your business model. Since choosing the right business model to maximize profit is such a broad topic, we won’t go into detail about it here. For the purpose of instructor management, we’ll explore how you might want to configure payroll. This is in terms of incentivizing your trainers. Let’s also consider what kind of culture you are trying to cultivate with your instructors’ wages. Here are the three most common payroll options (besides hourly rate) we think should be built into your boutique fitness instructor management software.
Instructors get paid a flat rate for every class. Doing this creates consistency for instructors. But it does not motivate them financially to go above and beyond. Since you are paying them the same whether they have a packed class or four people. This can be beneficial or detrimental for the studio depending how much fluctuation you have in the popularity of different classes.
• Flat-Rate Plus Per-Head Bonus
Instructors are paid a flat rate plus per head amount which can be tiered. For example, you can pay your instructor a base pay of $50. Plus $10 per head for every attendee over the first 20. You can also tier payout for additional attendance. So that attendees 20-25 are worth $10 each. And attendees 25-30 are worth $20 each.
Paying a per-head bonus motivates the instructors to be more creative in the way they build relationships with students and market their own classes. Your instructors are more likely to promote their classes on social media, ask students to refer their friends, and sell more class packs and memberships.
Plus, it’s great for the studio because it incentivizes your instructors to fill that last 10-20% margin of the class which would otherwise remain empty. Even if you make less profit on those extra 10% of attendees, you are still winning 100% more business and nurturing loyal community members in those empty spots than if they remained vacant.
With commissions, you can set a flat-rate or hourly wage and then pay commissions on top of that based on the sale of class packs, memberships and other merchandise. This is a great alternative to paying a per-head bonus because instructors are still incentivized to get more people in the door. While also up-selling more high-margin items like clothing, smoothies or equipment. Your front-desk staff can also receive commissions. Who can draw your customers’ attention to your retail items during check in. (I.e. your apparel rack, smoothie bar, refrigerator full of coconut water, etc.)
When done right, boutique fitness instructor management is complex. That’s why it’s so important to have the right tools and workflows. So you empower your instructors to be happy and successful. Ultimately, it’s about saving you time and money to focus on what matters the most: growing your tribe and changing lives by sharing your passion for wellness.
zingfit’s full slate of boutique fitness instructor management tools includes all these features and more. To learn more about our studio management tools, schedule a demo today. For questions, we would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.