As Covid-19 continues to impact the world, fitness club owners are left wondering how to survive. Though the pandemic has not ended, more people are going back to the gym, provided they can do so safely. For fitness club owners, making the right choices now can have a huge impact on how the business survives over the next couple of years and whether it’s able to thrive. The following tips can help fitness club owners learn more about what they can do to ensure their business is as successful as possible, even while the worry of Covid-19 continues.
Marketing is always a concern for business, but right now, it’s even more important. Business owners will want to make sure they increase marketing efforts when possible to reach out to more people who may be interested in the services offered. Right now, gyms and fitness clubs are seeing an increase in subscriptions. Why? Many people began working from home during the pandemic, so they’re leading a more sedentary lifestyle. Now, they want to get back into shape, and going to a gym or fitness club provides that opportunity for them. Fitness club owners can learn more from UpSwell to make sure they’re able to market the business successfully during the pandemic.
Learn What Customers Want
Contact current and previous customers and find out what they’re looking for. Every customer may not be willing to do a survey, but they can still be a great way to get feedback about what’s working and what’s not. What are they worried about? What would make them come in more or encourage them to continue their membership during the future? Do they have any concerns about how the business is operating during the pandemic? Find out if they’d prefer the equipment to be spaced out more, if they’d like more classes with fewer customers to ensure social distancing, or more sanitizing stations throughout the building. With this information in place, it’s possible to make the fitness center more comfortable and inviting for current and future customers and can encourage previous customers to return.
Increase Cleaning and Sanitation
Measures need to be taken to help spread Covid-19 throughout the building. Mask policies in place should be clearly stated and should be followed, no exceptions. Cleaning and sanitation should be done frequently to help minimize the potential for the fitness club to become a place where Covid-19 along with other viruses can spread. On top of this, it’s a good idea to add more hand washing or sanitizing stations, provide materials for customers to use to wipe down equipment before and after use, and other measures as needed to keep the gym a safe place to be. Customers who feel safe and feel like measures have been taken to ensure their safety are more likely to continue their membership.
Add More Group Classes
Group workouts provide fitness instruction, but they do so much more. They also offer a way to connect with others, to have encouragement to continue exercising week after week, and to get a full workout done in a short amount of time. With Covid-19, however, it’s not a good idea to pack the room with as many people as will fit. Social distancing is still crucial to help slow the spread and minimize the potential for anyone to get sick after a workout. The way to do this is to add more classes. This does mean paying more for instructors, but it helps spread out the number of people taking a class so everyone has their own space to work out without fear of becoming ill.
Add Different Group Classes
Along with adding more group classes, now might be a time to look into the different types of classes customers may be interested in trying. New group classes can be added at any time, but by adding them now, it could help increase the number of memberships as people come to try out the new options. Be sure to offer the new classes a few times to get everyone interested and take note of what people like or don’t like about the classes to make easy adjustments in the future.
Add Virtual Options
Not everyone is comfortable going to the gym right now. Those who are trying to be extra cautious because a friend or loved one is at a high risk for complications may want to work out more, but may not want to go to the gym. One way to help them get a workout and increase subscriptions is to add virtual options. Customers can work out from home, following group or one-on-one instruction, so they feel safer. Fitness centers can even sell products that may help with home workouts, such as yoga mats, water bottles, dumbbells, and more.
Have a Plan for Closures
Closures may happen, whether it’s due to lockdowns in the area or an abundance of caution while the building is cleaned and sanitized after a member or employee tests positive. When closures happen, there are a couple of things to do right away.
Know how to contact customers. It’s never a good idea to surprise customers with a note on the door saying the business is closed. Whether it’s through text messages, automated phone calls, or emails, find a way to make sure the customers know the gym will be closed.
Determine how long the closure will last quickly. Customers are going to want to know when the closure will end. While that can’t always be predicted, if there is an end date, communicate that to customers so they know what to expect.
Covid-19 has caused a lot of changes since the pandemic began, and the fitness industry has seen first-hand how hard it can be to survive something like this. However, for fitness club owners, it is possible to not only survive the pandemic, but to thrive as well. Use the tips in this guide to make sure you’re doing as much as possible to make your business more successful and to help ensure your fitness center stays open and ready to help customers reach their fitness goals.