In recent days, our lives have changed more than most of us could ever have imagined. COVID-19 has been a national crisis, keeping people at home and effectively keeping students out of fitness studios. So how do businesses stay afloat in times like these? The experts at fitDEGREE offer their strategies for innovation and communication to help you evolve your business practice in light of current events.
Do your best to avoid freezing or canceling memberships
All small businesses are going to need to maintain cash flow during a crisis, so the first thing to keep in mind is not to cancel or freeze memberships whenever possible. Instead, think about the value you provide to your community. How can you continue to provide that value without them in the studio?
Don’t worry if you’re feeling stumped! The next four tips will give you lots of inspiration that you can start implementing in your business right away to keep your audience engaged and your business profitable during a national crisis.
It’s really easy for people to feel isolated during a crisis, so hitting social media is likely their first and easiest way to connect with the outside world. They’re bored and feeling out of their element, so giving them ways to continue with their fitness routine is a great way to capture their attention. Bringing some value to social media amidst a crisis can really provide your business with a boost.
Showcase what makes your studio unique. This is your chance to highlight your teachers’ amazing personalities and to give prospects a real opportunity to experience your studio and see what they’ve been missing.
You can start with tutorials on how to do certain poses or explain to your audience how they can achieve the perfect boxing stance. What’s most important is that your videos are entertaining and create a real connection with your audience.
You’ll want to track the progress of your social media effort, as well. Check out this article for tips on measuring social media success.
Stream classes online
Most studio management software has integrated with conferencing apps like Zoom so members and prospects alike can sign up for a class at a studio and then take the class from the comfort of their own home.
And while conferencing software like Zoom is a great option, it’s not the only way to go.
Take this opportunity to attract a new audience by streaming some of your classes live on Facebook or Instagram. They can connect with your brand right from their living rooms and it’ll give your studio a chance to build some rapport with the local community in a time when people are hungering for connection and a chance to move their bodies.
ClassPass offers the opportunity to livestream your workouts through the platform, so users can book using credits — more on that here.
Brands that serve your community but don’t provide classes are looking for ways to engage and provide value to their audiences as well. Reach out to your local running store, athleticwear store or juice bar and find smart ways to swap content. This is a great way to create some great brand exposure and build relationships with other companies that have synergy with yours.
You can also take partnering up one step further. Band together with other studios to create fitness content—and then give all the members access for free. This library of workouts will add some serious value to each individual community as they try to keep their wellness activities up from home.
We’re all in this together. This is the time to tap into your network of other fitness professionals and spread a little love. Who could you partner with to add some extra value for your community?
Get ahead on your specials
When restrictions relax and the crisis begins to ebb, everyone is going to be eager to get out in the world once again. What will be the reason that they come to your studio? Now is a great time to offer special in-studio rates for when social distancing is over and give your prospects something to look forward to.
A crisis like COVID-19 affects us all, and the impact on small businesses can be especially difficult to mitigate. Getting ahead of the situation and putting strong strategies in place to continue providing service to members and to continue to drive new leads is key. With a little tech-savvy and willingness to take your business online, you can do it!
This post was written by fitDEGREE, the community-driven studio management software empowering owners to get social and drive more foot traffic. You can learn more about how the gym and studio management platform fitDEGREE can help your fitness business at fitDEGREE.com.