How can Gyms stay afloat during COVID-19 Pandemic

Businesses all over the world are affected by COVID-19 pandemic. One industry I am concerned about, is the Fitness Industry as I have been a part of it for the last 20 years. I do not own a gym but I have many good friends and ex-employers who are small to medium to multi-location gym owners, who are and will be hit by this complete lockdown of cities. You can apply all the sales and marketing techniques if your business is underperforming, but it’s completely different when you can’t cater to anyone. You still have to pay the rent, the salaries if you care for your staff, repay the loan if you have one for your business, pay utility bills and many other small expenses which you have to bear even if the shutter is down.

I am no expert in marketing or sales but I do believe everything is figureoutable!

Photo by visuals on Unsplash

These ideas are coming from my admiration for the business owners who started their gym out of true passion of helping others and are not sitting on huge cash reserves.

If you own a gym in a city which is indefinitely under complete lockdown and fits under the below description, please read through,

  1. You are a small to medium size boutique gym like Crossfit Box, Spinning studio, Les mills studio, conventional health club, etc.
  2. You use small to medium size exercise equipments for training your members like;
    1. Dumbbells, Kettlebells, Gymnastics Rings, TRX, Barbells, Plates, WallBalls, Slamballs, etc.
    2. Concept 2 rowers, SkiErg, Bikes, Spinning bikes, etc.
    3. Mobility tools
    4. Any other pieces of equipment or tools that can be easily transported.
  3. You genuinely care for your clients and want to help them stay fit
  4. You do not have multiple revenue streams other than selling memberships

If you resonate with the above descriptions, then I have a few ideas to share which if correctly and responsibly applied, can help you retain if not solidify your rapport with your clients and keep your business afloat during this pandemic.

#1 Rent out your equipment

You have invested in your inventory of equipment which is just sitting there. Make it earn for you! If you are a community-based small to medium size gym and you really know your clients. Come up with a scheme of renting out your equipment.

Few ideas on how to execute –

  1. If you don’t already have a list of inventory then make one, with headings as follows;
    • Name, Total Quantity, Rate to rent / piece / day
    • E.g. – Name – 5 kg Dumbbell, Quantity – 6, Rate to rent / piece / day – $0.50
  2. Offer à la carte equipment selection to rent and/or make preselected kits
  3. Create different kits with preselected items
    • Kit 1 – Jump rope, Kettlebells, Dumbbells, Resistance Bands
    • Kit 2 – Barbells, Plates
    • Kit 3 – Kettlebells, Concept 2 rower

#2 Offer special packages

You can Split your regular gym membership into smaller parts and offer programs based on the kits renting –

  1. Gym membership
    • A smaller fee as a base package
    • Include general bodyweight programming
    • This could be your base package for any member to have access to your programming.
  2. Online one-on-one coaching
    1. Include custom programming based on the pieces of equipment that the member already has or he/she is renting.
    2. Decide on how many live sessions you will be providing if any.
    3. This can be an additional package your members can sign up with.
  3. Online live group coaching
    1. Use services like Zoom video conferencing, Skype, or any other online conferencing application to host live sessions.

#3 Programming

  1. Write programs based on the packages you offer
    • A general bodyweight program to go with your gym membership
    • Targeting large group training
    • Create workouts using programs like mypthub.
  2. Programs based on the equipment kit you created
    • A mix of body weight and the pieces of equipment in a particular kit
    • Smaller groups based on people taking similar kits
  3. Custom one-on-one programs
    • For people who already have some equipment and/or is renting more from your gym

In today’s world, there is no shortage of ways to solve problems, especially with the right technology. Use technology for your benefit. Given below is a list of a few inexpensive applications you can subscribe to or use for free to help you.

Video Conferencing tools to host live workout sessions for your gym members –

  1. Zoom
  2. Skype for Business

Exercise Programming tools and client management

  1. mypthub

My PT Hub is an online web and mobile app, enabling personal trainers, coaches and gym owners to manage their clients by creating customizable training and nutrition programs, whilst tracking their progress and achievements.

Inventory management

  1. Notion

Notion is an all in one workspace to Write, plan, collaborate, and get organized. Notion is all you need — in one tool. However, I must admit that there is a learning curve. If you are someone who is tech-savvy, then this is all you will need but if not then mypthub is your best bet.

If you are a business owner feel free to experiment with these ideas. I would love to hear what you think. Share the strategies you are using during these challenging times for other business owners to try.

You can connect with me either by commenting below or via any of the social media platforms. Links to my profile are in the header of the website.

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