Future Proofing Your Fitness Business During the Time of COVID-19

(Photo by Azmani/iStock/Getty Images Plus.)

In some states, health clubs have been allowed to reopen, but in other states, they remain closed as of May 21. For those of you who have not yet reopened, now is the time to plan your reopening strategy if you haven’t already done so. From fear to uncertainty, the past few months have taken a toll on the fitness industry. It has been interesting to see that even though one of the best ways to fight off sickness is to stay in good health, little attention has been given to the fitness industry during this time, as more attention has been on retail, restaurants and other industries. However, I was pleased to see that health clubs were included in phase one of the federal government’s reopening recommendations.

Following are three strategies to consider when planning for reopening.

Market your cleaning protocols. As fitness gyms and boutiques start to reopen, there is a unique opportunity to spend marketing dollars on your cleaning message. Think about that for a second. When have you ever decided to spend a percentage of your marketing dollars on cleaning? Usually we promote a discount or free trial, but now is the time to build trust with the consumer. If you tell me that your plan is to use electro-static sprayers every hour to clean, then you will win me over as a member. This is the single-most important strategy to bring back your current membership base, as well as acquire new members moving forward.

The other important aspect to this strategy is consistency of your messaging. Strategizing around how and where you will market this message is key. This way you make sure that every consumer is aware of what precautions you are taking when reopening your fitness business. It is also a unique time to look at technology when it comes to cleaning and how that might benefit your gym or studio. Electrostatic sprayers are one innovative way to clean your fitness business. The electrostatic disinfection works like a powder coat paint where it is applied. The charged particles adhere to every surface. This might be the new way forward in the fitness industry and a strategy to game plan around.

Live streaming fitness. Every fitness business is now looking toward live stream workouts as the new normal at least in the short term. In fact, fitness companies are looking at live streaming as being a new revenue platform.

“Live streaming workouts have been around for a while now and is only getting better. In fact, it will significantly add value and scalability to the in-studio experience because you will have the ability to engage people from home first and then drive them into your studio,” said F45 Franchise Sales Executive Jamie Britt. Smart fitness owners understand how to capitalize on this as a new revenue platform. If you do not currently have a live stream platform, there is no better time to start considering launching one as a complement to your in-club experience. You might want to also consider a new organizational position that is responsible for this platform. This is the time to be creative when thinking about reopening strategies. With creativity comes new opportunity.

Hiring great trainers. Unfortunately, not only has the fitness industry taken a big hit but trainers have especially taken a hit. There are a lot of talented trainers out of work now. This presents a great opportunity to hire some great talent. Whether you are a boutique fitness owner or a big box gym, having a great staff of trainers can really help with new member acquisition and retention of existing members. You should consider a job post on multiple platforms to see what interest you get from local trainers. There is also no better time to start interviewing candidates since everyone is at home now. It is also important to look at social media to see what kind of following fitness professionals have. Instagram can really help to scale your business through organic marketing. Concentrate on two aspects when it comes to social media: content  and consistency. Look to see how many posts trainers are posting and whether or not the content is educational. Having a well-rounded bench of talented trainers can really set you up for success as you prepare for a reopen strategy.


Kory Angelin is an award-winning trainer, sales strategist and two-time published author. His industry experience includes partnering with Nike to launch its SPARQ brand, working with a variety of athletes from the NFL and NBA and being featured in "Sports Illustrated," "USA Today," "Training & Conditioning" and "STACK" magazines for his work in the fitness industry. Angelin has been an on-air host on QVC and is a sought-after motivational speaker. He holds a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine and has just launched his second book entitled #Sellout. To listen to Angelin’s podcast or to find out more information, visit www.koryangelin.com.

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