Pandemics place pressure on everyone, and while this pressure can be challenging, it also results in incredible innovation.
The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the fitness industry had a far-reaching effect, due to the industry’s size. In 2018, the fitness industry was worth $94 billion, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. In response to the pandemic, businesses worldwide made use of online tools and new ideas to reach their clients.
So, what can you do to reach new clients and build a community of supportive and passionate people around you?
Pivoting your business means adjusting your own approach and mindset. Any gym owner or dance studio leader can start online classes. Without a pivot in your mindset, however, you’re unlikely to see the possible returns and growth.
A mindset focused on the community around you can set you apart from your competitors. The fitness industry is a competitive one, but this means there are simple ways you can set yourself apart from the others.
There’s no one path for success when running a gym or studio during a pandemic. We can’t give you a set of instructions guaranteeing success, as pivoting during a pandemic requires answers to challenges specific to your business, your location and your community.
But we can help spark inspiration and ideas with these tips for pivoting your gym or studio.
Gyms and some studios have long accepted high turnover rates as part of their business models. But things were changing even before COVID-19. There has been an increasing interest by customers in bespoke training types, which is why specialising your training focus could give you a competitive advantage.
For example, if you’re a personal trainer, you could look at becoming an accredited kettlebell trainer. This is a growing fitness specialisation and can help you find new passionate clients.
See what others are doing to pivot as a form of market research. You’ll quickly identify ways you can set yourself apart. Sign up to their initial sessions and learn how they’re approaching new ways of doing things or just reach out to people for a coffee.
You may be in competition with other gym or studio owners, but you would be surprised how a pandemic can strengthen a sense of community even amongst business owners.
Your clients aren’t interacting with your physical space anymore, so how can you stay in the front of their minds? Social media, newsletters, video content – look for regular ways to reach people with engaging content. This doesn’t have to be short content, either. Podcasts have shown how hungry audiences are for in-depth conversations about every topic under the sun. The fitness industry is a fascinating topic for exploration, so don’t be afraid to be a source for deep-dives into your industry.
Getting a full suite of gym equipment at home is impossible for most. So, how can you help? Can you deliver key equipment to your clients? You might have to absorb some costs, but building up a regular list of clientele may offset this. If you can’t deliver equipment, maybe pivot your training to maximise what people can access at home.
The success of some of our most famous fitness brands doesn’t come down to the training they offer or the gym equipment they possess. It comes down to the people. Keep your community alive and ticking. If your clients feel emotionally invested and a part of a team and community, they’ll stick with you and help make your pivot a success.