There are tons of next generation apps and websites available to help you stay on top of the demands of owning a business without draining the time you have to actually participate in your business. But with so many options, you can end up investing just as much time selecting a platform, learning how to use it, and on-boarding your staff…only to discover it doesn’t support a feature you desperately need.
To save you time and energy, we compiled this list of the top 11 tech tools for fitness business owners. They’re categorized by key business operations, from accounting and staff management, to cloud storage and personal productivity tools.
1. Business Accounting: QuickBooks
Quickbooks has been the standard bearer of digital bookkeeping for decades, and it’s still one of the most powerful platforms out there. On the QuickBooks Accounting app, you’ll get a business insights dashboard that lets you track cash flow, expenses, and account balances so you can easily see profit and loss reporting to see what you’re making and spending. Paired with the desktop app, Quickbooks has one of the most trusted user interfaces in the game, and it offers useful integrations with other popular business apps and platforms, like Square, Shopify, and TSheets.
Price: Subscribe to a QuickBooks plan that works for your small business, starting at $20/month.
2. Expense Tracking: Expensify
A tenet of fitness business ownership is that you and your employees are often on the go, and you’ll need an easy-to-access system for recording expenses incurred out of the office. Expensify will keep you on the ball and your books balanced. Simply take a photo of the receipt, and Expensify does the rest by transcribing an expense report, submitting it, and reimbursing it according to your customized schedule. You can also sync with popular apps where expenses might go, like Uber or Lyft.
Price: Plans for small businesses start at $4.99/month.
3. Staff Scheduling: Sling
For many fitness businesses, services begin and end with staff scheduling. With Sling you can manage shift- and long-term scheduling, as well as time off. Use the messaging feature to communicate with groups or individual employees; if Jordan has the flu, you can easily get in touch with your other spin instructors to cover his shift. With premium plans you also have access to time sheets, which will help you with payroll, and labor cost monitoring, which will help you stick to your bottom line.
Price: Get a free plan for basic scheduling, or a $4/month Premium plan.
4. Payroll: Gusto
As a small business owner, you likely don’t have the benefit of an HR department to manage payroll and send out checks before payday. That’s where Gusto comes in. With their simple payroll platform, you can onboard unlimited employees, issue 1099s and W-2s, and direct deposit earnings in just a few clicks. A payroll app that keeps your business organized and compliant can be pricey, but you’ll appreciate Gusto for its time-saving features, and your employees are sure to appreciate when they get paid on time.
Pricing: After two months free, the Core plan is $38/month + $6/month per person
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5. Hiring: Proven
Fitness professionals are (literally) movers and shakers, and it might be hard to find and keep the best talent at your business. Maybe you expanded your hours of operation and you need someone energetic — and awake — to lead 6 a.m. HIIT classes. Instead of hopping on every job board, you can you use a complete hiring app like Proven. With it you can easily post your job description to the major job boards (you get to choose), collect applications in one place, communicate with candidates, and find the perfect fitness pro for your studio.
Price: Proven is pay-per-posting: one job posting costs $99, 10 postings cost $59.
6. File Storage and Organization: Google Drive
When you own a fitness business there are lots of documents floating around: everything from partner contracts to class rosters. You need somewhere to store it that’s a bit more accessible than a file cabinet and more secure than a folder on your desktop. Google Drive is the perfect answer. With document management and cloud storage functions rolled into one, you can create and store all of your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in one place. Better yet, you can access it all from all of your devices and easily send and share documents to collaborate with your staff.
Pricing: Get 15 GB of storage for free with a Google account.
7. Supplies: Amazon Prime
A fitness studio sees a lot more wear and tear than the average shopfront, which means you’re probably restocking and replacing equipment, amenities, and supplies quite often. From towels and soap dispensers to mats and reusable water bottles, Amazon Prime is a no-brainer for all of your non-specialty studio needs. With a seemingly infinite range of products and unlimited free shipping, you’re guaranteed to find what you need and have it waiting in two days or fewer. There’s a few added benefits, too, like access to Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Music for front-of-house streaming.
Price: $12.99/month with no contract.
8. Time Management: Todoist
Every business owner has a mile-long to-do list, covering little things like monthly utility payments, to big things, like finding a bigger studio. Most business owners also have a life outside of work, with goals like training for a triathlon or simply remembering to buy milk. With so much on your mind, you need Todoist to collect responsibilities, tasks, and goals, and calmly tick them off them through sensible scheduling, priority management, and reporting.
Price: Get it free or try Premium for $3/month.
9. Research and Reading: Pocket
You’re a fitness business owner, which means you need to stay up to date on the latest trends in health and wellness. With Pocket, you can bookmark articles and webpages to read later across your devices, so you can read that After Class article about ways to succeed as a small business owner on the train ride home tonight. Or a chocolate brownie recipe — whatever suits you.
Price: Free, or go ad-free for $44.99/year.
10. Document Scanning: GeniusScan
While all of these apps are proof that tech is simplifying business for owners, sometimes you need to go proto-digital to get the job done. Many institutions still require hand-signed documents, not to mention those times you’re too inspired to pull out your phone to take a note, so it ends up on a bar napkin. For all of these instances, there’s Genius Scan, whose powerful perspective scanning takes sharp photos of your documents, turns them into PDFs, and lets you move them to your storage server, like Google Drive.
Price: Free, with premium plans available.
11. Fitness and Wellness Aggregator: ClassPass
Get discovered by a global community searching for their next great fitness or wellness experience. Increase monthly revenue, attract new users and optimize your business with access to advanced data and reporting. Learn more about the benefits of becoming a ClassPass partner — click here to join the network.