The signs are concerning. With his usual ambiguity and lack of clarity, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has this declared that, as of Monday 14 September, gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 6 people. “This applies indoors and outdoors. It also applies to pubs and restaurants. It does not apply to schools or workplaces.”
But how it applies to gyms and fitness studios is (at the time of writing), er, vague.
In the news media, it reads like a bad C-grade film: COVID-19 – The second coming: “This time there will be fines”
Your “most eager” of members won’t give a damn about this. The Facebook rants will be starting up, with cries of “screw them”, and “it’s my life”.
Your “slightly reticent”, but recent returned members will be starting to feel anxious again.
Your “we’re already too nervous to come back” members are stockpiling like the most ardent of ‘preppers’.
Do you have your pivot plan, ready? If not, it’s time to get proactive.
Firstly, stop ranting on Facebook and in the news groups. It’s not a good look and it doesn’t change anything. To your members it could be construed that you don’t care about their well-being, which could permanently hurt your business.
Next, reassure your members and be communicative with them. Reiterate that, as a responsible facility that cares about it’s members, you will be closely reviewing and complying with all legal guidelines. Once you know, tell your members what the impact will be. If there is no change, you should tell them that to, and explain that your existing procedures already comply.
If you were one of the optimistic few that packed-up their webcams, it’s time to get them out and primed once more. There is currently no indication of a return to a full lockdown, but it is always possible. Moreover, your capacity and revenue earning abilities for in-person are, again, being restricted. You need multiple “strings to your bow”.
Use the tools that you have available to you:
- Zoom and MZ-Remote for engaging live sessions. If you are resource constrained, run these in parallel with your in-person sessions
- Use nurture programs to remain engaged with your members. Use different plans for different member groups, to tailor your messaging
- Use the COVID compliance logging functions in Quoox
- Provide on-demand training using XRcize
- Deliver well-being and engaging videos using Fitflix
- Provide value-add materials via documents
Hopefully, over the next few hours/days, things will become more clear and it will be possible for gym owners to assess what impact this may have on their facilities.
The industry immediately finds itself returned to a state of heightened anxiety.
Protect yourself. Protect your business. Protect your members. BE PROACTIVE.
Consider the options open to you, and be prepared to enact them as necessary. The first step is to communicate and reassure your members.
As with round-1, at Quoox we will continue to support our members through these turbulent times. With any luck, and subject to clarification, the impact on the majority of facilities will be relatively limited.