Five Tips to CounterPunch with the Times
The last two weeks have marked an uncertain and incredibly scary time for most businesses in our country. We’ve been asked to play a game for which we have no playbook. From closed doors to nervous employees to panicked members, we’re all just trying to do the best we can to make it to the other side of this crisis with our health and the health of our businesses intact.
One thing rings true during this time and all others in our industry—we’re a tough group! Fighting alongside the fitness businesses we support over the last week has been equal parts grueling and inspiring. COVID-19 may have knocked us down, but as companies are proving, it’s not time to count us out. We’ll dust ourselves off, take a deep breath, and when the time is right, we’ll come back swinging. Check out these five tips to stay in the game brought, to you by your fellow fitness business owners.
1. Appeal to your Community
We’ve seen this in motion beyond the fitness industry as local businesses country-wide lean on their core customers to see them through this downturn. They’re making candid asks for direct support, whether that be crowd-funding to help cover employee expenses or pleas for members to continue with monthly payments while doors are closed. Your core customers want to have their favorite places there for them on the other side. One of the biggest strengths of owning a fitness business is your relationship with your members. You may be humbled and pleasantly surprised how much they’ll step up, if you only ask.
2. Embrace Technology
Lack of planning ahead of this crisis hasn’t stopped rapid innovation by numerous brands in the studio space. From Xponential Fitness’s early launch of their Video on Demand platform to Fit Body Boot Camp’s serious use of Facebook Live and their “28 Day Stronger Together at Home Challenge”, we see a quick push to providing content via video. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it just needs to be. When members can’t get to the studio, bring the studio to them!
3. Foster Community
Stir crazy yet? Feeling the cabin fever setting in? So are your members. Studios are social by design, and there is no reason for that to stop just because members can’t see each other and sweat in person! From the virtual workouts mentioned above to hosted webinars on a variety of topics to virtual happy hours, we’re seeing communities pull together via Google hangout, Zoom, or a plethora of other video chat tools.
4. Keep your Team Connected
Video conferencing isn’t just for virtual workouts with members; it’s essential for your team too. It’s easy to feel isolated working from home, and seeing each other goes a long way in fostering connectivity. Have you made the extremely hard decision to furlough your team? Then offering check-ins for your team is even more critical. You want to keep them up-to-speed on the latest information regarding the business and your closure because when the doors reopen, you’ll need to call them back to work immediately.
5. Stay Informed
The federal government is currently working through the details of a package intended to assist impacted employees financially. Details are still unclear, but you should remain vigilant. Your employees will look to you as a source of direction during these tough times. ClubReady is working hard to do our part in this effort and will be hosting a Covid-19 Legal Discussion this Wednesday. Learn more and register here.
Be Ready to Answer the Bell
Stay strong, fitness family! Let’s all do our best to stay healthy and show why our industry is extraordinary. We’re much more than a luxury, the services we provide, and the relationships we foster are essential. Now is the time to be there for each other, our members, our employees, and our communities. It will make us all stronger and healthier on the other side when it comes.
WEBINAR: COVID-19 and The Fitness Industry - A Legal Discussion
These can be confusing times. Join us for a webinar on Mar. 25 at 4pm EDT for some clarity about the current legislative landscape around COVID-19 and other legal considerations that may affect your fitness business.