Shelter-in-place and social distance measures have hit gyms and gyms hard as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. How do fitness facilities – especially small businesses – adapt to avoid closures and serve their customers?
On April 29, ACE gathered 3 industry experts for the live panel " How 3 gyms changed strategies during COVID-19 ." Panelists included Ashley Selman [1
If you haven't already done so, move sessions and training options online. This enables customers to continue training and connect with trainers – and provides companies with a continuous source of income . P Anelists said they had tiered pricing for their customers where live, interactive coaching, and group sessions cost more than their previously recorded workouts. Many gyms and studios also share their training ideas online via social media and emails. To confuse content, consider partnering with other leaders and experts in the community. For example, Dan collaborated with other exercise professionals to host joint webinars for customers. In addition, the team of Dan monitors the customer's virtual participation and the opening rates for emails. If a regular client has not attended virtual sessions and does not open their emails to access recorded workouts, a team member calls the client to check in.
Improving communication with customers and employees
All panelists agreed – communication is of crucial importance during this time. With customers, all experts recommend regular communication to exchange training options to get feedback on existing options and even to exchange information about non-fitness . virtual gatherings. Mike's business regularly hosts happy hour events at Zoom, where participants play games, reconnect, and share stories .
Communicate with employees p Anelists regularly with their teams and share business sales figures, expected next steps for business, and state and financial options of the Federal (e.g. loan options for small businesses for contractors, information on unemployment for employees) . Ashley only holds happy hour for virtual employees to connect with her team, share stories, and remind her team that the leadership has her back ; they are together . Dan agrees – it is difficult for a small company to find qualified employees. It is therefore important to support and keep existing employees . He works with each trainer individually to determine which hours make the most sense, so that he can work as close to normal pay as possible and based on a trainer's availability during that time. For the team of Mike trainers create basic exercise videos [eghowtouseakettlebell Swing ) to earn administration money during reduced customer sessions. These videos were something the studio had been doing for some time, so it's an opportunity to build the studio's online resources while supporting staff .
Preparing for the future with flexibility
With regularly announced updates to the regulations all three panelists emphasized the importance of being flexible in order to adapt quickly to changes and to be prepared for what's to come. S tates begin to reopen the panelists shared the preparations they are making to reopen their studios, including:
- Share all updated Hygiene protocols and new procedures for social distancing with customers so that they are informed and feel safe.
- Revaluate inputs. If you have two entrances, you should close one to better monitor the number of people in the gym, or consider one entrance for a customer type (e.g. customers in semi-private sessions) and use the other entrance for other customers (e.g. general gym users).
- Use a staggered planning system so that there are not too many trainers and clients in the room at the same time. Some gyms may add extra buffer time between time slots so customers who come and go don't have close contact.
- Space equipment or developing a system in which individuals can use machines while s up to social distancing. For example, Mike's team tapes training areas with a 10 foot square (19659004) where customers need to stay on the court during their training. a ll Devices must be cleaned thoroughly before they are moved to another empty square.
- Provide facial masks for customers. Ashley's team created fabric masks with their logo.
- Add new sanitary stations.
- Consider not using specific equipment or machines such as: B. rowing machines that allow air to circulate when used.
- Limit or delay personal classes in large groups.
- Be open to adjustments to procedures and practices as new information comes out and learn what works best for your customers.
Note – ACE shares the above precautions for informational purposes only. They do not reflect a formal ACE confirmation.
Join the conversation
Connect with us on social media to join the discussion and connect with other professionals:
Founder and owner of Evolution Trainers and Thrive Studio Coaching
Ashley Selman MA, CSCS, is the founder of Evolution Trainers, a seven-figure personal training and wellness studio. The company works with a world-class team of more than 40 leading health and fitness professionals. She also owns Thrive Studio Coaching, a consulting firm that helps studio owners build exceptionally profitable studios while still having time to live outside of business. Ashley is known for her commitment to a "balanced" entrepreneurial life and she coaches others to achieve this by using her strengths, mastering her schedules and building strong teams. Ashley's passion is to help studio owners across the country build successful and thriving businesses through their mastermind group for studio owners and their coaching programs. She is an educational consultant for IDEA, a member of the IDEA Club and Studio Advisory Committee, and speaks at many of the industry's leading events across the country.
Owner, San Diego Premier Training and Director of Education for Exercise Etc.
Mike Deibler is the owner of San Diego Premier Training, a personal training studio in North County San Diego. Mike has worked in the fitness industry as a fitness professional, business owner, and educator for over 15 years. In addition to owning a training company, he is director of education for exercise etc., instructor at Functional Movement Systems, additional faculty at Miramar College and a subject expected at ACE.
owner, Kutting Edge Fitness
Dan Kleckner is the owner of Kutting Edge Fitness in Kirkland, Washington and Issaquah, Washington. He has been working in the health and fitness sector for 15 years and has a B.S. in Applied Health Sciences at Montana Tech University, where he was also a university athlete. Dan is a certified exercise physiologist at the American College of Sports Medicine and Level 2 Golf Fitness Professional at the Titleist Performance Institute. He has been coached by some of the country's top golf fitness and fitness business professionals, including Thomas Plummer, Rick Mayo, Frank Nash and Jason Glass. He now looks after several start-up gym owners himself. Dan is a respected international speaker and is recognized as an expert in business with start-up gyms, improving strength for golf and other rotational sports, and training in small groups.