Recouping Revenue: Q&A with JoAnna Masloski
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to negatively impact clubs nationwide, operators are seeking strategies for recouping revenue and generating profit.
Here, JoAnna Masloski, the chief operating office of Wellbridge — which boasts 19 owned and managed clubs nationwide — shares promising profit centers and revenue advice.
What have been the most promising profit centers and strategies for recouping revenue for the Wellbridge family of clubs?
Pre-COVID, that encompassed personal training, tennis leagues and clinics, and youth sports such as swim teams, basketball, tennis, etc.
Post-COVID, that now encompasses:
- Pop-up classes — things people can do immediately and don’t have to make a long commitment to.
- Swim teams — parents have been willing to bring kids to participate at any time, so we can spread out the teams a bit better.
- Our Academy program — for those on virtual or hybrid learning we are offering “supported education” and then play time upon completion of their work.
A note on virtual:
- As did most people, we quickly pivoted to virtual and our members were appreciative for whatever trusted sources we have offered, such as Les Mills On-Demand, Myzone, videos with our own instructors, etc. However, in being back open and in the clubs, they have spoken with their engagement that they want our instructors — even if not specifically at their home club.
- They are also enjoying our virtual wellness series that is about lifestyle and health topics — versus about fitness — that is offered by one person nationally at least twice a month and is currently free to our members.
How have you been recouping revenue from COVID-19 shutdowns?
We are able to look at some program results year-to-date and see them close to their original budgets, and in a few cases exceeding. Those are tennis and children’s programs. Because of that we are extending some of those “seasons” because people aren’t back into normal school routines yet anyway, or because they don’t have school to go to. We are hopeful that basketball can be larger than it has in years past as a result.
One other element there is that we are weighing is the opportunity to allow non-members into these programs, which we haven’t before. The concern there is there could be a larger problem with COVID slip ups, so we are weighing the potential for the revenue and exposure with if we can control that group to be COVID safe.
What advice would you give to other club operators for recouping revenue during and after the pandemic?
Continue to challenge yourself on reconsidering the change in the market — schools, sports, traffic patterns, etc. — to ensure you are providing what the community needs and wants now, versus what you have been providing for years past.
Reimagine how you use your club’s space:
- Example 1: a group fitness studio may now be a personal studio (we call this studio one) where someone can work out without a mask during this time.
- Example 2: even if you have never had kids in your club, maybe some of your areas could be small classrooms where you invite an outside source to “rent” for their classes.
- Urban clubs may consider spaces for people to “rent” office spots. Many urban workers want to get out of the house to do their work. Your club may have some perfect spots for them to rent space.
Don’t spend too much time planning three or more months out.
Have “trigger” events and a plan based on that, i.e. if a vaccine is offered or mask protocols change. Try to predict a few things you would change right away if that situation happened.