Some say that the fitness industry will never be the same.
Since social distancing procedures have risen, fitness providers have been battling to adjust to new services to avoid loss of revenue.
Small businesses in the industry already operate in a high turnover environment. Staff and clientele come and go. It’s the nature of the fitness model. However, SMEs in the fitness industry do not have the cash balance to compensate for such a crisis. With new trends being introduced, fitness providers must offer their subscribers alternatives to avoid cancellation.
The Concern for Businesses in The Fitness Industry
The pandemic has already taken a toll on the industry. The scale of the damage is still yet to be determined. Depending how long the situation lasts, its uncertain that fitness enthusiasts will return to their usual gym. Fitness habits change, especially when new trends are introduced.
Gyms rely on membership subscriptions as their main revenue stream. Clubs organize their payment schedule for the month based on this reliable income. Membership also opens the door to other sources of revenue. Besides personal training, gyms often offer clinical services as an additional service; meaning health professionals such as chiropractors and physiotherapists are also subject to job losses.
Why People Should People be Encouraged to keep Fit at Home?
Global lockdown procedures could potentially last till the end of the year. Fitness companies will have to offer in home services to stay in business. Here are some reasons why people should be encouraged to start:
Reduce Government Healthcare Costs
Governments have little choice when borrowing a lot of money to cover current issues. Employment insurance and healthcare being the primary expenses. If we all play our part in looking after our physical health, we reduce the risk and number of heart related diseases. This helps keeping healthcare costs lower, allowing the shortage of healthcare professionals to focus on the crisis. It also allows for additional funds to support those who are out of work.
Maintaining Our Mental Health
Cabin fever can start to onset as a result of social isolation. This can lead to feelings of claustrophobia, irritability and frustration. Being in a constant negative state will elevate to more aggressive symptoms of anxiety and depression. Exercise is essential now for maintaining a healthy mind and body. Having good mental health allows us to make positive and critical decisions, especially when adapting to change.
Strengthen our immunity
Staying at home is the best treatment for the spread of the virus. Our next line of defense is our immune system. Fitness improves our circulation and immunity, strengthening how white blood cells and antibodies can fight infection.
How can small businesses in the fitness industry get this message across?
When offering alternative services, members will expect to see the same value for their monthly club subscription. Many fitness companies have turned to offering live classes online. This has become very successful for many small business owners. Gym goers, who enjoy the social aspect of the club, can still receive the same experience online. Accompanied by their personal trainer, they can get the same support and feedback from their instructor.
Social Media Platforms
Social media is a free tool that offers unlimited use. A lot of gyms are adding their members to private groups, offering free videos and forums to keep on track. Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram allow personal trainers to post stories, conducting full virtual sessions. This keeps customers consistently engaged with your brand. Good Housekeeping have listed many fitness competitors offering free virtual classes.
Online Personal Training
Clubs might have several members that are contracted to personal training services. This can also be a very sizeable amount of revenue for the business. More than likely, these members will want to continue their progress with their trainer. When negotiating online personal training, a new rate for both staff and client might be necessary. It might also be wise to offer some complimentary sessions to the member. Transferring all sessions from in-person to online may not be the easiest conversation. There should be a sales back up plan to maintain customer loyalty.
Form Business Partnerships
Companies that sell fitness equipment have seen a rise in sales. Despite gyms being closed, people still respect the opinion of their trainers and instructors. A good idea would be for fitness suppliers and providers to collaborate. Setting up home programs for discounted rates or simply sharing in the profits.
Ben Walker is the owner and personal trainer at London Fitness. He is an experienced entrepreneur in the fitness field in the UK and Canada. Ben continues to be an advocate in helping people stay fit and active. If you have any further questions, please reach out to him today. Twitter @ LondonFitnessUK