Introducing additional measures to ensure the safety of your staff and members is likely your number one priority right now. But it’s also completely understandable if you are worried about the future of your business.
In this article, we discuss the preventive measures you can take to protect the people at your studio and how you can prepare your business for the coming months in these uncertain times. Planning ahead now means you can improvise, adapt and overcome.
Skip ahead to:
- Glofox Resources to Support Your Business
- Key Things to Know About COVID-19
- Protecting Your Staff and Members
- Protecting Your Business
Glofox Resources to Support Your Business
Whether your studio doors will be open or closed during this period, it is important that you continue to invest in the community you have built.
Glofox Knowledge Base
We are building out COVID-19 specific resources in our Knowledge Base that describe how some of the Glofox features can help you be more flexible and how you can best communicate with your members.
We will be updating these Knowledge Base resources continually.
Thursday 19th March: Protecting your Members and Your Business During COVID-19
On Thursday 19th March, we are running an initial webinar to walk through some best practices for:
- Showing flexibility to your members
- Minimizing churn
- Keeping members engaged
- Encouraging loyalty
Please register through the links below for the time that you can attend.
Key Things to Know About COVID-19
The information in this article does not constitute medical, financial, legal, or other professional advice and is meant solely for informational purposes. For more information on Coronavirus, visit the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease and Prevention.
For more information on flu prevention for businesses, visit these pages via the Centers for Disease and Prevention. You can find further resources from the CDCs Business Pandemic Influenza Checklist and the Interim Guidelines for Employers and Businesses.
Print resources, including information leaflets, are available here via the Centers for Disease and Prevention website, and we recommend using these at your facility to raise awareness.
How COVID-19 is Spread
From what we know so far, like many respiratory illnesses, Coronavirus spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. When these droplets land on surfaces, the disease is easily spread if somebody touches the area and then touches their face, specifically their eyes, nose, or mouth.
Precautions to Take
The WHO recommends keeping a 2 meter distance from anyone who is sick or coughing. Like the flu or the common cold, the infection can also spread through inhalation. Both the CDC and the WHO advise taking the following precautions to prevent COVID-19 from spreading:
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Fitness Industry – A Glofox Report
- Avoid touching the face, particularly eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Regularly wash hands with soap for at least 20 seconds or alcohol-based solutions that contain a minimum of 60% alcohol.
- Cover coughing or sneezing with tissue where possible, or elbow. Not your hand.
- Limit contact with people who are sick, staying home, and self-isolate if you are sick.
Protecting Your Staff and Members
While your gym or studio is cleaned on a regular basis, now is the time to take additional precautionary measures and make sure your staff and members are aware of how they should act to help protect themselves and others around them.
1. Personal Hygiene
Ensure that you have hand sanitizer dispensers located throughout your facility and ask members to sanitize their hands before they enter and as they leave. Include posters and clear signage around the gym encouraging members to use the sanitization stations frequently.
It is vital at this time that members know they must not visit your facility if they are experiencing even mild symptoms of a cold including a cough or a fever.
2. Equipment Hygiene
Encourage members to act with caution when using any equipment. Make disposable disinfectant wipes accessible, especially around any areas with equipment such as dumbbells, mats, and free weights so they can clean everything before and after use. Ensure that there are pedal bins accessible in these areas, to minimize contact and include signs around these areas and throughout your gym including the bathrooms as a reminder.
Your cleaning schedule should reflect these additional measures. Provide any cleaning staff with disposable gloves and ensure that they are regularly disinfecting all equipment and areas, and emptying the bins frequently throughout the day.
3. Minimize Physical Contact
If you are running any group classes, participation should be kept to a minimum so that members can maintain a safe distance from one another. To ensure individuals are not gathering too closely, it is also best to limit changing room access at this time.
Send daily communication to members to remind them of the protocols in place. Whether it’s emails, social media updates, texts or push notifications, consider covering the points below to your members as an example.
- Please come ready to workout without unnecessary items – no gym bag or toiletries.
- To ensure your safety, our showering facilities are no longer accessible. Please only use the changing rooms to wash your hands or use the toilet.
- Do not enter the studio, or a class, without using hand sanitizer.
- Do not touch your face during class and please only use your sweat towel for wiping sweat – not cleaning any equipment.
- Please wipe down all equipment with the disposable disinfectant wipes provided and dispose of them immediately.
- Please respect the social distancing policy – allow a 2 meter distance between yourself, other guests and all employees at all times.
Protecting Your Business
The health and safety of your staff and members is the most important priority right now. However, you also need to take steps to ensure the long term future of your business. This is especially true in the event that your business needs to close its doors for the next few weeks. Here are the three key areas to focus on:
1. Communicate Effectively With Members
Having a strong community among your members is one of the main things that makes a fitness business successful. And now, more than ever, this is vital. As things change quickly from day to day, make sure you are keeping up to date with the latest guidelines from official sources. Communicate to your members as early as possible on how this affects them.
This could be a reduction in classes, attendance per class or the closure of the studio for a period of time. If you haven’t already, create a Whatsapp or Facebook group amongst members to relay the latest information. And remember to keep the tone of voice friendly and positive in these uncertain times.
2. Begin Financially Planning for the Future
At the beginning of every year, it’s important you set out targets in terms of lead generation, member acquisition and member retention. The truth is that these targets will need to be adjusted given the current circumstances. Depending on if you have to reduce class numbers or close completely, you need to be realistic about what it is achievable.
This will also factor in your financial projections for the year. Using the Revenue Report and working with your accountant, assess the losses you may incur in the coming weeks and figure out a way to balance the expenses going out and the possible reduced revenue coming in. Begin thinking about any non-essential expenses you can cut for now to reduce overheads.
3. Form Contingency Plans Now
In the event of a reduced class schedule or complete closure, you need to have a plan. You and your team will have an increased amount of free time and this needs to be used effectively. Begin streaming live workouts in place of regular class time and involve your instructors in the planning, promotion, and delivery of these live classes.
Utilize this time to upskill your members on any aspects of the business they are unfamiliar with, such as your management software or your sales and marketing strategies. Finally, have a plan in place to explore other revenue streams to make up for any potential future losses. A good example is to partner with a local nutritionist to deliver healthy meal recipes to support members with their at home workouts.
There is a lot to take in at this time and knowing where to start can seem overwhelming. Remember that communication in a time of crisis is key. You, your members and your staff all have a responsibility to set and follow guidelines to help ensure safety throughout this time. We recommend sharing this article with your staff and holding a meeting to discuss each section, to ensure everyone is aligned on the next steps and can act together as one team.