Fitness Studio Reopening Lessons in 2021.

10 fitness studio reopening lessons from the first lockdown that we really should learn from before coming out of the 2nd lockdown.

Some fitness studios are still closed, some have filed for bankruptcy, and some have actually reopened. Outlined below are lessons that we have learned at konnectme while helping health club facility owners reopen.

Lesson 1. Maximize your memberships upon reopening.

some fitness studio we helped reopen immediately after the government of Canada has lifted restrictions did not have a slowdown of new membership sign up for 2 months.

The sales were very comparable to a January sales traffic. Though some people were still feeling unsafe to go to the gym, we found that many people, such as the “die hard gym enthusiast” were definitely more than happy to join a gym again.

How to capitalize on memberships upon reopening?
1. we had to strategize our advertising to make sure that these “gym enthusiasts” know that we were already opening our doors to the public.

2. The 2nd key was to capitalize on new members by closing down the drop-ins or temporary membership options. We only allowed prospects who were willing to sign up for a term contract to access the gym.

Lesson 2. Double your personal training sales using this strategy.

fitness Marketing Plan
Personal Training

Since many personal trainers were let go from different Fitness studios and that they are considered as “fitness studio enthusiast” they were also itching on working and training again. Personal training sales also did not slow down upon reopening the fitness facilities.

How to capitalize on personal training sales upon reopening?
1. set up re-targeting marketing to past Personal training clients for immediate renewal.
2. Set up internal campaigns to members regarding complimentary jump start work outs.
3. Since there will still be some sort of “uncertainty” in the world’s situation, offer smaller packages instead of big packages to calm the customer’s mind.

Lesson 3. Saving Cancellations

Gym Drip Campaign

We found that around 40% of existing memberships were not comfortable to go back to the fitness studio.
Within those 40%, more than half called to cancel their memberships.

Dealing with people who’s under a contract
The fitness studios that we have worked with found that the being stern about your Cancellations policy works great on keeping your current members. We also found that offering a simple hold on their membership dues will most likely save the cancellation.

Dealing with members who aren’t in a contract
We found that the best way to deal with someone who does not have an ongoing contract is to offer them a free hold on their account and telling them that if they cancel their memberships, they might lose their current rate because prices may change to match the incoming inflation.

Lesson 4: If you are a fitness studio without a database managing software be ready to deal with complaints.

During the lockdown:
Since most Fitness studio’s expenses are supported by recurring payments, smaller community fitness studios owners had some success in staying float during the lockdown by asking their current members for support.

Some fitness studio owners asked their members to not freeze their payments to help with either their operating expenses.

Those fitness studios who do not have a database management software had very little capacity to follow up with members to ask for support, thus causing more stress to their financial and mental well-being.

Most fitness studios who did not bother getting the real phone number, or perhaps email, were very frustrated. Most owners had to email or call every member one by one, just to let them know that they will be freezing their member’s accounts, or that they will be refunding some memberships.

During reopening:
Those fitness studio owners who have a database managing software were able to communicate efficiently to their members, send out blast emails, texts and news to what was going on in their fitness studio.

The biggest lessons learned about communication are:
1. Always asking for phone and email
2. Always register these contacts in a fitness studio software so you can have an efficient communication platform

Most Fitness studios now would agree that having a communication system is very important and consider it as one of their Covid-19 Fitness studio Reopening Lessons.

Although the database management software is a must for fitness studio centers during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is helpful in other ways. It removes the hassles of time-consuming and repetitive administrative tasks.

Lesson 5. Have a COVID-19 waiver for your members and employees.

Gym Covid-19 Liability Waivers

Many Fitness studios and Fitness studios are reopening as the government lifts the lockdown around the world. The Fitness business is confronting restored dangers of obligation emerging from the transmission of covid-19 regarding company actions. Many fitness studios are asking clients to sign a fitness studio covid-19 liability waiver before entering their facility.

We have created a generalized template that you can edit with your club’s logo: download here: Waivers

Lesson 6. There is a huge online opportunity for personal training.

Automated Gym Campaigns

We spoke to a few trainers about Covid-19 Fitness studio Reopening Lessons regarding personal training, and they all had one common answer: they wish they had an online training process.

Konnectme found that some fitness studios had some success in keeping their members by having an online portal on their website to temporarily give out home based training plans. These platforms also served as a portal to do 1 on 1 trainings with a client, giving the fitness studio and personal trainer an opportunity to keep charging sessions while the lockdown was happening.

What was learned is that these fitness studios kept this platform even after reopening to serve clients who do not have “time” to physically go to the fitness studio. Fitness-minded individuals have preferred the trend of at-home fitness to keep up an active and healthy lifestyle during this pandemic period. Interestingly, there is a noticeable increase in investments in the online fitness platform by 30%.

With a digital platform, you have a chance to enjoy a higher growth of the business. However, you have to maintain a balance of traditional and digital fitness centers. Your fitness studio members always desire to continue their pre-outbreak fitness levels. To know the reactions and views of these members, it is better to rely on the online platform.

Lesson 7. A Business Contingency Reserve Fund for your Fitness studio.

Gym Digital Marketing Funding Canada

By no means that konnectme gym digital marketing is a financial advisor, but we find that a fitness studio should have a contingency reserve fund.

A CRF is a fund that’s collected to pay for common expenses that usually occur less often than once a year; or do not usually occur.

Most Fitness studio’s that did not at least put away 10-25% of their profits were deemed to struggle during an emergency. We suggest talking to an accountant or a financial advisor to build you a good financial plan for your business.

Lesson 8. Capacity restrictions.

Since the implementation of social distancing where everyone has to be at least 2 meters away, most Fitness studios had to prepare their fitness facility by doing the following;

1. Adding zones in the fitness studio where only 1 person can be in the zone at a time
2. Close duplicate machines
3. Close every 90 minutes to do a 30-minute sanitation protocol
4. Hire an additional person to make sure social distancing is happening
5. Provide sanitation spray bottles for each member that walks in
6. Have sanitizer available everywhere
7. Stop towel service
8. Close down the lockers
9. Close down every other cardio machine
10. Cut hours for 24-hour fitness studios
11. Limit the outdoor site’s overall capacity to make sure that there is at least a 6-feet gap between members.
12. Face coverings are compulsory for both workers and clients.
13. While any of your clients have refused to put on the mask for some non-medical reasons, you have to stop providing fitness service to that person. You must also prevent his entry to the indoor site
14. Limit the number of tools rented for your fitness studio centers
15. Digital mode needs to be mandatory for reservations, prepayments, and cancelations of fitness studio memberships to avoid physical interactions.

Lesson 9. Consider a booking system or sign-in sheets as part of your Covid-19 Fitness studio Reopening Plan

Since capacity restriction is also based on square footage of the fitness studio, most Fitness studios think that one of their Covid-19 Fitness studio Reopening Lessons are implementing the restriction of 1 person per 200 square feet.

So for example: a 40,000 sqf fitness studio would only have 200 people in the facility at a time.

The fitness studio would then have to choose between 2 of many systems to keep track of people who are in the fitness studio. Where both of them have pros and cons.

The booking system
The booking system would need to use an external booking system to keep track of people coming in.
1. Easier to track capacity
2. Easier to kick people out after the time limit
3. Easier to track people if an outbreak were to happen

1. New members may not have the opportunity to book a time to work out because of regulars. This can cause less new member sign ups.

The wait in line and sign-in sheet method

1. Easier to sign people up since there’s no booking system. This would mean that everyone would have the opportunity to work out if they have time to wait in line.
2. No need to pay for an external booking system
3. Easy to track if there were any outbreak

1. Hard to keep track of capacity
2. Members may get angry if they wait in line for too long

We found that helping Fitness studios set up either systems work, and there is no right or a wrong method.

Lesson 10. Develop a digital marketing strategy now before reopening.

member return tool

One of the biggest point about Fitness Studio Reopening Lessons is that Most Fitness studios had to adapt with the systems mentioned above, and with most Fitness studios that wanted to did not know where to start.

From creating an advertising announcement to the community to let them know that you’re open again, to making sure you finally have a communication system or perhaps, to finally start your marketing right. We are here for you.

When you are ready to have a digital marketing strategy for your fitness studio, schedule a complimentary strategy session with us at www.konnectme.ca/book and we will do a full digital marketing audit for you and suggest strategies that can benefit you. This service is completely complimentary and you can choose to take everything that you have learned from us to your in-house team or let us help you implement the strategies.

At Konnectme Digital Marketing, We aim to help every fitness studio in Canada. Follow our Instagram for more tips!

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