The spread of COVID-19 has disrupted numerous industries across the globe, and as we all know, the fitness industry is being hit hard by its effect. It’s an unprecedented situation in the modern world and can often lead us to feel like there is nothing we can do. In this spirit, we compiled a list of actions you can directly take now to help both your members and your club’s staff.
For Your Members
1.) Let them know what you’re doing
Email inboxes full of special messages from companies outlining exactly how they’re addressing COVID-19 has become a bit of a punchline online. It can seem like customers don’t especially care how your business is responding, but remember there’s a big difference between receiving an email from a business you made a single one-time purchase from three years ago and a business you are actively paying a membership fee to each month. Sending your members an email updating them on your club’s status and how you will handle the coming weeks of the pandemic is a great way to reassure members who are currently debating if they really need to hang on to a gym membership with everything else going on.
2.) Extended Memberships
Eventually, things will return to normalcy and it’ll be time to reopen your doors. The current goal should be to retain as many of your current members as you can, so when you do reopen, you have a full gym floor. Extending the length of memberships to reflect the time lost during closures is one strategy to acknowledge your members’ inability to use your services. It shows you’re proactively working to ease their frustration and rewards them for sticking with your club through these uncertain times.
3.) Provide Nutritional Tips
Social distancing is leading to a lot more home-cooked meals. Help your members maintain a healthy diet by offering nutritional tips and recipes via email and social media platforms. This is a great way to keep demonstrating the value of your club for members even when they aren’t psychically visiting the facility. Grocery stores are seeing incredibly high demand so some ingredients are going out of stock. If possible, stick to simple recipes with widely available ingredients.
4.) Invite Members to Share Their From-Home Workouts
When your fitness club is open, it’s a community. Keep it that way online by inviting members to share their from-home workouts and experiences on your social media platforms. This is an effective method to continue building your club’s community and also to give your members a social outlet. It’s easy to feel isolated right now, so encourage members to share and connect!
For Your Team
1.) Follow Local and State Announcements
Your top priority for your staff is to make sure they’re healthy and safe. The best way to do that is by following all local and state regulations. This is a fluid situation that requires staying current and responsive to public health ordinances and best practices. An added benefit to keeping up with governmental updates and listening to experts is that you can filter out the misleading or incorrect information cycling through social media and other media outlets.
2.) Prepare a Closure and Reopening Checklist
If your city or county hasn’t yet faced mandatory closures of non-essential businesses, now is a great time to prepare for the possibility it could happen in the coming weeks. Creating a closure checklist ensures you and your staff can effectively but quickly close up the club when the time comes. Likewise, a reopening checklist helps you ramp back up operations in as little time as possible. It also ensures no critical task is left unfinished as you welcome back your members.
3.) Check-In with Your Building’s Landlord
Now’s a great time to reach out to the property owner(s) of your building to see how they are addressing the COVID-19 outbreak. While there’s no guarantee your building’s landlord will offer a pause or reduction of your lease, it’s still important to start a dialogue with them now. This is an unprecedented situation, leading to a lot of cooperation amongst businesses. We all have a common goal to help each other and our business weather the pandemic.
4.) Run Virtual Training
You’ve probably already considered the possibility of virtual training as a way to continue offering value to your members. Your members look to you to help guide their fitness journey and virtual training is an excellent way to keep doing just that. But keep in mind, virtual training is also a huge benefit to your trainers. It’s an opportunity for them to keep doing what they love and keep earning commission. You’ve built a great team, now more than ever, your members need their expertise to continue feeling upbeat, confident, and healthy.
Looking for more resources? Visit the Club OS Resources page for more blogs and e-books with helpful information.