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Second Shutdown Steps for Health Club Owners

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Ben Ludwig shares four second shutdown steps fitness business owners should take to lockdown proof their business and still take care of members.

“Did you see the new mandate for our state? Are we going back into a second shutdown? What should we do to prepare?”

As a fitness business consultant, I have been asked questions like this hundreds of times in the last few months. And here is the kicker – as a fitness business owner, I am sure you are getting pretty tired of hearing “it depends.”

Below are four second shutdown steps all fitness business owners should take to lockdown-proof their business – not just in case of a second shutdown – but to truly take care of members.

1. Challenge Members Individually

Humans love connection, and automation can only help you with connecting to members to a certain degree. Decreasing attrition happens when you intentionally connect with them, shutdown or not. Your members want to know that you not only know their name, but also that you want them to be a part of what you are doing.

Depending on how large your member base is, you may not be able to catch every person after class and ask them personally to be a part of your challenge. In these cases, set out a plan for your team to split up your member base and individually call every member and ask them to be a part of the challenge. Your percent of members taking part will shoot through the roof. 

2. Spice Up the Relationship

Most fitness businesses know running periodical challenges are a great way to get members to recommit to their goals and to your gym or studio, but why do they tend to lose their luster over time? Just like a romantic relationship – because you are doing the same things over and over again and it’s starting to get boring. Even a challenge can get mundane if you don’t spice things up. Have fun with your blueprint, find ways to make it creative, and ask your members to help you come up with ideas if you get stuck. Your members will see the effort you put into these challenges and will buy in even more to your business when they are helping create the experience they are part of. 

3. Have a Plan Ready for Overcoming Virtual Objections

Your sales process is a huge factor in whether or not you will be prepared for tighter restrictions, second shutdown steps, or even helping prospects navigate the landscape of what is right for them to begin with. A great sales process can mitigate so much hesitancy with your new prospects no matter the state of your area.

Practice with your team, anyone who handles sales conversations, so they will be prepared for objections that typically come about when they happen. For example, if a prospect asks why virtual pricing is the same as in person pricing, aren’t they experiencing the same workout? The only difference is you are saving them some gas money.

4. Learn to Evolve

The most successful gym owners in the industry were not the ones who had the best camera equipment or the most followers on social media – they were the ones who moved quickly and learned from their mistakes. Being a business owner means you often have to “figure it out” but that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. Finding a business coach or advisor is a great way to help you make objective decisions with your business as well as shorten the learning curve.

Also finding podcasts, articles such as this one, and blogs for gym owners are other great avenues to connect with people like you trying to make it work. Being in business for yourself doesn’t mean you need to be by yourself. Connect with like-minded people and make sure you evolve your business to not only pandemic-proof it, but also to give your customers the experience they are paying for. 

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Ben Ludwig

Ben Ludwig currently serves as the growth pastor for CrosspointNow network of churches across Kansas, acts as the subject matter expert in sales for Fitness Revolution, sits on the advisory board for the International Strength Training Organization and works in a consultant role with the fastest growing fitness franchise in the world, F45 Training, as well as working a hand in many start up businesses including co-owning Beatz Fitness featured on Good Day Kansas. He also contributes regularly to fitness business magazines including Club Solutions, IDEA fitness magazine, Personal Fitness Professional (PFP) and Boutique Fitness Solutions. For more information on Ben’s consulting services, reach out to ben@frnation.com or visit frnation.com.

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