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Podcast Episode 5: Navigating the COVID-19 Crisis with Vicki Brick

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As the COVID-19 crisis continues, health club operators across the U.S. are seeking answers surrounding how to successfully navigate through the next few months.

In episode #05 of the Club Solutions Magazine, host Rachel Zabonick-Chonko spoke with Vicki Brick, the CEO of Brick Bodies, on how her organization is being impacted, how they’re using this time strategically, the importance of strong leadership, and more. 

Show Notes

  • Since closing in mid-March, Brick explained they initially focused on three areas:
    1. People. This included communicating well and retaining full-time staff, as they’ll need them as soon as the clubs can re-open.
    2. Leases. The Brick Bodies team got in touch with all landlords and they were able to get deferred rent during this time.
    3. Applying for relief, such as PPP.
  • Now they’re shifting focus to strategic planning, i.e. doing deep dives, brainstorming, leadership development, thinking ahead to when they can re-open.
  • “We’re taking the time to invest and develop our team,” said Brick.
  • Brick Bodies has scheduled twice-a-week Zoom workouts with the leadership team. “That has been really fun to get everyone on Zoom,” said Brick. “We have everyone on camera so we can see their faces and interact with everyone.” This also gives them a reason to work out and disconnect from their phones/desks; and connect with each other.
  • Brick Bodies is continuing to dive into the virtual training realm, starting with virtual personal and team training, and will soon launch a virtual Group X studio.
  • When implementing virtual programming, look at your full strategy and try to have everything connected as much as possible. Look at the entire member journey as you’re launching these programs, from how it works on your site, to what link you use, do you want a call to action, etc.?
  • According to Brick, social media will provide an opportunity to connect and engage with members and prospective customers. It opens up the marketplace where you’re not just targeting the members within your four walls, you’re able to have a wider reach. “It’s really exciting,” said Brick. “There are no limits. Social media is a global network. It’s time for us to start thinking of ourselves as global players.”
  • Brick stressed the importance of overcommunicating with team members. “We want to get as many touchpoints as possible,” she said. “The more you can communicate with your team, regardless if they remain on payroll or not, the more they’ll remain connected with you and the better relationship they’ll have with you.”
  • “It’s really important during this time to lean on your peers,” said Brick. “Who can you reach out to in the industry? Because we’re all going through this together.”
  • Brick said club operators should lead from the front, set the example and provide a sense of calm for their teams.
  • Brick is personally trying to be outside and stay active as much as she can during this time.

Be sure to subscribe to the Club Solutions Magazine podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud.

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Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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