There are approximately 30,500 gyms and health clubs in the United States. In most states, these facilities are starting to reopen and welcome clients after a long shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But are these gyms and health clubs ready to reopen in a way that continues to keep their patrons safe? Whether you operate a large, state-of-the-art gym or a small, simple studio, a successful re-opening will all come down to whether or not you have a plan for how the day-to-day operations of your facility will need to change.
Evaluate Your Membership Structure
Everyone was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Quarantine and the economic implications of the crisis forced many to tighten their purse strings and make tough calls about what they can and cannot afford. Many of your members may have to consider whether a gym or health club membership is still within their budget. To keep them coming in, you may consider changes to your membership and fee structure. Changes may include running a special that discounts the cost of membership for the first few months after reopening, pausing any long-term contracts, offering coupons, or even offering less expensive weekly membership payments.
Keep Your Virtual Workouts Going
Transitioning to a post-pandemic world will happen on your customer’s timeline, not yours. Even though facilities are re-opening, there may be a significant portion of your membership who remain apprehensive about returning to in-person workouts. To keep those members engaged with your business and enrolled in your health club software system, keep those virtual workouts going while leaving the option open for them to come in person when they are ready. At the same time, continue to invest in and utilize other digital tools, including your health club software system.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
As part of your re-opening process, it’s important to be transparent with your current and potential members about the steps you have taken to ensure they will be safe while working out in your facility. Communicate about the protocols you’ve put in place, your cleaning schedule, your social distancing guidelines and even what you will do in the event members of the gym or health club come down with COVID-19.
As part of this communication strategy, it’s important to use multiple channels to ensure the message has reached your members, including social media, email, and even your health club software system.
Ensure Your Staff Is Visible
As your gym or health club reopens, your staff members must be seen often and everywhere by your members. You will want your members to see your staff frequently cleaning equipment, monitoring social distance guidelines and restricted areas, and enforcing rules for class size. At the same time, you will want your staff to be available to answer questions and help navigate the rules and guidelines of your health club or gym.
There is no doubt the pandemic has hit your bottom line. Be sure you have a thorough understanding of the implications, what you can and can’t do and what goals are actually realistic for the year or even coming years.