As COVID continues to impact sports and fitness businesses across the country, gyms and studios are once again finding themselves navigating unknown territory caused by the pandemic. While COVID-19 has forced nearly all fitness studios and gyms across the U.S. to once again reduce capacity or close their doors in an effort to flatten the curve, it doesn’t mean the businesses have to close – it just means they have to continue to adapt.
Therefore, in the midst of this crisis, fitness studios have a tremendous opportunity to work together with the greater health club industry to help the public—and other businesses—cope with this unprecedented disruption. While many members cannot physically go into the studio, it is still important to support them on a physical level, as sedentary behavior and low levels of physical activity can have negative effects on the health, well-being and quality of life of individuals.
Thankfully, in a world increasingly influenced by technology, fitness studios and franchises can leverage alternative roads to support the community while building revenue outside their traditional memberships and classes.
3 Ways to Sustain Operations as Studio Capacity Reduces
Maximize your social presence
First and foremost, franchises should continue to strengthen their online community and build consumable social media content like healthy lifestyle tips, recipes, techniques and much more. Leverage the LIVE segments to speak directly to the community, potentially hosting Q&As with members, or representatives who can share additional insight into a specific topic.
With so many quarantined at home, especially now that cooler weather won’t allow for outdoor workouts, now is an excellent time to present fun, engaging at-home challenges. These help keep clients motivated when they need it most. Perhaps there are other small businesses, or local media outlets, willing to partner with the studio and share ideas that may benefit the entire community, while promoting the studios’ social channels.
Offer virtual classes
Hundreds of businesses have scheduled streaming workouts, on-demand classes, and free online memberships that will not only keep customers in their workout routine, but also serve as a great opportunity to attract new customers.
Additionally, there are various platforms readily available for franchise businesses that make establishing a virtual presence easy. Within a few weeks a fitness studio could be running Peloton-quality virtual classes with the technology, even with a limited budget.
Rent out equipment
While your doors may be closed, your expenses have not stopped. Instead of letting equipment collect dust, now is the perfect opportunity to rent out equipment to members who may not have access to it at home. Rent out weights, kettlebells, yoga straps, or other transportable equipment for a fee, or position it as an exclusive perk for maintaining a membership. This will serve as an excellent incentive to members, and will allow them to effectively workout in the safety of their own home.
The coronavirus has put an unexpected strain on fitness facilities, many having to close their doors for the time being. It’s essential for franchises and business owners to take this time to explore ways they can prepare for cancellations and closures in the future, while exploring new revenue streams and ways to virtually connect with members and their local community.