In Part 3, we're looking at Class Capacity and Class Utilization. A great class schedule is a key to ensuring your clients stay engaged with your classes and your brand!
Your class schedule is an important component to your business and ensuring that your clients can attend your classes is key. Creating a profitable and engaging class schedule takes forethought, effort, and some knowledge of what works for your clients. There are a few things to consider when building a profitable (or as profitable as possible) class schedule during COVID:
- Increased staff time used for cleaning;
- Increased staff time used for check-in and set-up;
- Increased costs for cleaning products and safety protocols; and
- The costs of paying your teachers are the same.
Depending on your region, you may still be subject to studio closure mandates or to regulation on the capacity of your classes due to COVID. While you want your clients to be safe and healthy, it is still difficult to plan a class schedule that is profitable when you're only able to have 10% of your capacity in your studio. Let's face it, you're likely running at a lower capacity than you were pre-COVID and your hourly staff costs and overhead expenses may be the same. Some studios have opted to continue to offer virtual and/or outdoor classes while they wait for a higher capacity. Others are ready to have their clients back inside their studio and will opt to have lower capacity in the meantime.
There is no "right" answer, however you will want to take into consideration how long you can run at a reduced capacity. We don't know when things will return to normal, so preserving cash might be in your studio's best interest. Whatever you decide for your business, make sure it is a thoughtful and data-driven decision. Use your iKizmet data to help guide you!
What is class utilization? We define Class Utilization simply as the percentage of spots filled for any given class slot. For example, a class that has a capacity of 20 clients with 15 clients who attend has a utilization rate of 75%. The higher the utilization rate, the more successful your class is viewed. However even with a reduced capacity, you can still ensure that your utilization percentage is high.
Don't have iKizmet? To get this number manually, you’ll need to pull Attendance reports from your CRM. To get your utilization rate, you'll need to divide the spots filled for each class by the total available spots for that class. Yes, this can be time-consuming. However once done, you'll have a good idea as to which classes and class time slots are popular.
iKizmet's Utilization Heat Map is the way to visualize your class schedule, celebrate high performing classes, and easily see problematic class slots. iKizmet clients can get a breakdown of the Class Utilization page in this help article. Here, you can see an overview of your entire week of classes, making it easy to see the percentage of attendance across the board.
Key Considerations: Then and Now
Let's face it, the world has changed quite a bit in the past six months. Your business has too. When building your class schedule, there are some constants that still work, such as:
- Using data to help you decide how to stagger your classes and ensure they are as profitable as possible (or as close to profitable as possible).
- Using client feedback -surveys, email questionnaires, social media polls (e.g. Instagram polls), etc.
- Trial and error -while making sure you are keeping a close eye on your results!
What was your utilization rate in the months before COVID? Go through your iKizmet data and see where you stood prior to COVID. This data might provide you with a reasonable framework for which classes and times were popular. However, it's important to keep in mind that your client's schedules may have changed due to working from home (WFH) and distance learning.
Will increasing class times (at reduced capacity) be profitable? If you want to offer more classes so that you can offer time to all your clients, you might need to take a step back. Increasing classes to make up for the slots you are missing due to reduced capacity may not be profitable! Does your staff cost justify offering certain class times & days? You may have to pay the same overhead rates and increased staff costs for cleaning. You'll need to find a healthy balance of offering enough classes safely and efficiently to ensure that your business' health.
After all, you want to preserve cash and keep your business running lean and mean so you can get through this tough season and continue to offer your clients fitness classes that boost their health and wellness. Your ability to survive through these hard times depends on smart decision-making and back those decisions with the data from your business.
Want to hear more? Check out a webinar covering the four most critical fitness measurements to ensure that you are truly surviving.
Get data-driven in your business and make smarter decisions. Set up a demo with iKizmet to learn more!