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Monday
Dec222014

Value Proposition: iGo Figure Software

Like many entrepreneurs, a key driver for club owner Kyle Zagrodzky was frustration— the feeling that something can be done better than it’s currently being done.
 In the mid-1990s, he owned nine fitness centers in Texas, and, after having worked long, hard, and conscientiously to grow his business, he still found himself challenged by member --and money--management issues.

“It may be difficult to believe now. But, back then, many clubs were run with pencil and paper, with member information tracked on index cards kept in a recipe box,” he recalls. “I knew I couldn’t expand further unless I was able to automate club operations.”

His solution, the first version of the iGo Figure Software, introduced 18 years ago, offered automated member management and payment processing in a client-based system. It was quite an innovation for its time.

But, like any software firm that looks to survive long-term, riding the crest of time, iGo Figure, based in Houston, has been obliged—and pleased—to continue innovating. Its more than 80 team members strive endlessly to keep the company on the cutting edge of secure payment processing, club management, and member-retention technology.

One prime and instructive example is the recently released iGo 360, a cloud-based version that allows operators to manage their clubs from anywhere there’s an Internet connection.

“When we were just getting going, the Internet was just getting started. The
 idea of cloud-based applications hadn’t occurred to anyone,” says Zagrodzky. 
“iGo Figure began as a client-based application (i.e., software that resides on a dedicated computer), which, at the time, utilized the best technology available. Payment processing was done using a dial-up modem—that was state-of-the-art.

“Moving to the cloud has helped us set the pace for a software-based, club-management system, and, at the same time, greatly increased our functionality.”

iGo 360, a cloud-based app, boasts several key features that a client-based product simply can’t provide, he points out. The new options include a portal that allows members to access their account to make payments, schedule personal training, etc.; data consolidation, so multi-site owners can easily compare club performance; the ability to track member data and contract status, so the members of one club can be scanned and admitted to a sister facility; and automated marketing for ongoing communication with prospects and members.

Mastering the lessons

Over time, the iGo program has become increasingly robust, including more and more functions. There’s fully integrated payment processing, scheduling, a member portal, member retention—the list goes on and on. But, notes Zagrodzky, “iGo Figure Software training has been designed with simplicity in mind.” So, to help users master the system, the firm offers free online training materials and hands-on, interactive, Web-training sessions, as well as unlimited technical support.

“Our online training materials include manuals and videos that clearly describe every aspect of the program,” he explains. “The modules are broken down into categories for managers, employees, and owners; each includes a test quiz to ensure a person’s understanding of the concept. This is a great feature for clubs that may experience high employee turnover; a new employee can generally learn the software in an hour.”

Complementing the online materials, one of the iGo Figure trainers contacts each new customer to review every aspect of the program, ensuring that the staff knows how to use it.

And iGo Figure’s iCamp YouTube channel offers a wide range of educational and motivating Webinars. Among the many titles: “New Business Strategies, Social Media, and Testimonials”; “Features That ROCK Your Business”; “Member Relationships to Improve Revenue and Defeat Competition”; “Get to Know and Track Your Members”; and “Win Members Back! Cancellation and Lost Sale Analysis.”

Mastering the languages

Ease of use, functionality, innovative features—all of these attributes have helped iGo Figure to fashion a large and deep footprint. Its software, translated into 15 different languages, is now being utilized by thousands of clubs in 74 countries.

However, being “fully internationalized,” Zagrodzky suggests, requires more than competent translation.

“Different countries have different taxing, address-format, and/or payment processing data requirements,” he explains. “iGo Figure Software is designed to address all of these factors. This helps individual club owners in those countries, allowing them to integrate our software easily and seamlessly.

“Another important benefit accrues to multi-site owners or fitness franchisors who want to expand globally,” he continues. “We provide a single platform that allows operators to oversee all of their clubs worldwide. It takes factors such as franchisor standards into account, and provides up-to-the-second data on all club locations. Bottom line,” posits Zagrodzky, “we intend to offer all of the functionality an operator requires to successfully manage their club, at an affordable price––no matter where in the world they are.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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