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The Ins and Outs of ClubReady’s Serious Expansion Strategy 

Any company that’s experienced the growth that ClubReady, LLC, has would be proud to tell its story to the marketplace. Indeed, this club-management software firm, based in St. Louis, MO, has quite a tale to tell. This year, the company has grown its revenue by 50%, expanded its workforce from 64 to 128 employees, and now serves more than 2,000 clients, ranging from small studios to big-box facilities.

The business’ impressive performance is the result of two prescient moves: a focused acquisition and expansion strategy, and the development of a product that integrates club management functions in a unique and efficient way.

And, remarkably, ClubReady has gone from startup to established, from hopeful to successful, in less than 10 years.

The company was founded in 2007 by Brad Denton and Andrew McMaster, and, as was the case with other industry software firms, was based on their personal dissatisfaction with the products that were then available.

“Brad, who owned a personal training studio, met Andrew, and asked him to build out a Web-based software application to meet the needs of a high-end studio,” says Chris Hammond, the company’s vice president of product management. “Fortuitously, ClubReady caught the attention of a very important client—one with over 180 locations and more than 2,000 employees. That client helped us create a corporate/club business model that’s also made us very strong with franchise operations, making it possible for us to acquire customers such as UFC Gym, 9Round, and Club Pilates.”

Ready for Clubs

What, exactly, does ClubReady provide that makes it so appealing?

“ClubReady aims to be a complete software solution for day-to-day gym management,” Hammond says. “It simplifies matters for a facility owner or operator by encompassing everything from member management to electronic agreements, online bookings, mobile applications, and a member-facing wellness portal.”

And, similarly, he points out, “Our Gym HQ service suite delivers a broad range of services—for operations, accounting, payroll processing, customer service, legal assistance, client contract management, and customer relationship management (CRM)—in a single package.

“Essentially,” he says, “for the cost of one front-desk person, club owners have access to what’s basically an outsourced corporate office.”

ClubReady grew steadily for the first few years of its existence, and, in 2014, embarked upon an aggressive expansion program. In May of that year, it acquired the Fit BPO member access and support system from New Evolution Ventures (NeV), the Lafayette, CA–based private equity firm. And earlier this year, it acquired two additional partners, GymHQ, a club-services provider based in Peachtree Corners, GA, and CR Payments, a St. Louis, MO–based credit card processing firm.

Positioning itself for its next wave of growth, ClubReady has completed a Series A investment round with Level Equity, a tech-focused equity firm based in New York City.

Continue reading about ClubReady in the December issue of CBI.

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