How Clubs Can Come Out Stronger on the Other Side of COVID-19
The fitness industry is in a strange spot, caught between a global pandemic, the need to support members and keep businesses running, public health and safety restrictions, and varying reopening phases. To many, it might feel a bit like a Jenga tower 13 moves in: shaky and uncertain with everyone around the table asking themselves, “How is this going to go? And what should my next move be?”
While it may feel uncertain, there is a path forward — one that clubs and fitness businesses can take to not only keep their businesses afloat during this time of uncertainty, but make them strong and resilient for years to come. And it starts with accepting a “new normal.”
Embrace a New Consumer Perspective
As isolation measures are lifted, clubs can expect to see a slow trickle of members returning to their old fitness routines. However, it isn’t likely to be all at once, nor is it likely that every member will return. According to research done in April 2020, 21% of American respondents said they wouldn’t be comfortable returning to the gym for at least six months. As the virus has dragged on, this timeline has stretched with it.
This doesn’t mean consumers have given up on making fitness a part of their lives. It means while they were stuck at home, consumers’ eyes were opened to all the things they can be doing in their own space and on their own time to stay active, eat well and build good habits.
Consumers have turned to mobile apps, live Zoom classes and Instagram Live workouts to break the quarantine slump and, as a result, kickstarted a new era in fitness where a healthy lifestyle or exercise routine can exist beyond the gym doors.
Ride the Digital Fitness Wave
The solution is clear. To support and engage their members now, through the transition period and in the future, clubs need to get into the digital fitness game.
That means adopting technology and apps that allow clubs to add digital services to their roster, including online personal training, on-demand video workouts, digital challenges, live-streamed classes and more.
Invest in Tomorrow
It’s not enough to simply adopt these digital services as a temporary solution. As clubs integrate online and remote options, they should do so with the view that these technologies are an investment in their continued business resilience and growth.
With technology in place, clubs can take a hybrid approach to their services moving forward, offering some services in-person and some online. This allows for a broader and more flexible range of services than in-person options alone, opening doors to new markets and creating opportunities to engage with members who were previously priced out of additional services, whose schedules didn’t align with what was being offered, or who simply didn’t feel comfortable participating in-person.
While remote options will provide the immediate benefit of chauffeuring fitness clubs through COVID-19, when the pandemic ends, those same options will create profitable revenue streams for years to come.
The pandemic has left a permanent mark on how the fitness industry does business, but it doesn’t mean the industry can’t embrace the change and come out stronger for it on the other side.
Trainerize is a client engagement mobile app and software platform that allows fitness clubs and businesses to expand their reach beyond their physical spaces, better connect with members, build meaningful relationships and digitize the training experience. For more information, or to start a 30-day free trial, visit Trainerize’s website at trainerize.com.