One of the biggest concerns fitness owners have when they are not able to run their business, as usual, is how they will make a steady income. If they cannot give in-person classes and offer their normal services, they worry that they will lose customers, and be unable to support their business financially.
We asked several of our partners for their advice on what fitness businesses should or should not do when it comes to making business decisions that will affect their revenue during lockdown. Here's what they had to say:
- Don't change your mode of delivery, sessions times or price point. During the first lockdown fitness businesses that kept everything the same but moved from training clients in their studio to online performed the best in retaining those clients. Those who reduced rates, changed their mode of delivery, and time, actually lost more clients.
- The game of business is played both on offence and defence. If you take revenues as the offence, and expenses as your defence, those that managed their expenses better also did better. It was a real eye-opener to a few on how much money they had been wasting on things they thought were needed but actually were not. Look to cut all unnecessary expenses.
- Moving clients to online sessions but running them at the same as you would in the gym keeps the value high! Coaching is coaching, online or offline, and clients will pay for this. What they won’t justify is paying premium coaching fees and getting a pre-recorded exercise class!
- Helping clients with mindset and nutrition coaching over the lockdown helps with supplement income. You can charge a small add on to current clients for this service and we have seen most are happy to pay.
- Make sure you find out what government support is available. In the UK, getting government support has been super helpful for those with staff and premises (Furlough, Grants, Bounce Back Loans). The support is there to help the economy so make sure you take advantage of it and play your part.
-Nicky Sehgal, owner of the Fitness Business Development Academy
- Whatever you offer, market and sell it to your local audience first. Personal trainers often make the mistake of neglecting their local audience and trying to appeal to the whole world because they created an online service. This turns them into a little fish in a huge ocean of competition. They will end up competing against huge companies that have massive budgets to spend on marketing for the attention of their ideal clients.
- The trainers we work with are optimising their websites locally. That way when a user searches for a trainer in their area, they get all the traffic, more leads and way more clients. There are often more than enough locals that want online personal training so marketing locally makes the trainer a bigger fish in a smaller pond.
-Daniel Salcumbe owner of My Personal Trainer Website
- Make sure your business model is scalable and that you have a solid marketing plan. Our clients simply marketed their services for online coaching and then transitioned those clients back to in-person coaching once lockdown restrictions were lifted.
- Don't try to control things outside forces. You cannot control lockdowns and but you can control the number of enquiries you generate and the sales that you make regardless of if your fitness business is closed due to government legislation or open as normal.
-Ben Davis, owner of Fitness Marketing Agency
While this time can be very challenging, there are many alternative ways to offer your services to your customers and generate revenue for your business at the same time. Psst! Your TeamUp tools can help. Take a look at some of the most popular methods and how you can get started implementing them, too.
Sell and share your on-demand fitness content
One of the benefits of online classes is having a flexible schedule. However, for some fitness customers, it can very be challenging to arrange their at-home schedules with that of the classes. Especially if they are also working from home or have little ones to look after. A helpful solution to ensure you do not lose customers due to being unable to attend classes is to sell and share your class recordings. You can choose to either sell these videos in a prepaid plan, send them to your customers after class, sell them in your store, or share them on third-party platforms.
Your customers will be able to take advantage of your classes, but at a time that works best for them. If a customer still wants extra one on one time to discuss their goals and needs, you can create additional "office hours" and appointments so that your customers can still have some face to face time with you.
How to sell your recorded online content in TeamUp
There are a few different ways to sell or share your pre-recorded online classes in TeamUp. We suggest starting with prepaid plans or post-class notifications.
If you have customers that want access to your classes but cannot attend you can create a prepaid membership plan in your TeamUp account, that can include a number of pre-recorded classes and workouts. Once your customers have purchased the prepaid plan, you can automatically send them a notification from your dashboard with a link to the class recordings via Zoom or link to a Google or Dropbox folder where they can download the videos to their devices. Remember that if you send different or new classes, you need to update the link in the email notification each time.
If you have members that are considering cancelling their memberships because they cannot make it to every class, you can send them recordings of each class in a post-class notification. Your customers can register for a class, and if they are unable to attend at the last minute, they will receive an email with a link to the class recording.
Within TeamUp, you can set this notification to go out after class for anyone who registers and no-shows. (You can also set up a notification to go out to customers who did attend if you would like to give them access to the recordings as well). This way your customers can still get the value of your classes without worrying about whether or not they will make it on time. Remember that if you send these out regularly, you will need to update the link in the notification settings every time you send a new recording.
We created a full guide with more detailed information on how to set up and sell your on-demand content. Check it out, here.
Create discount codes
Discount codes are a great way to attract new customers and keep current members happy. Rather than cutting your prices outright when you change your class offerings, create a discount code that can be used by both new and current members. Discount codes help you as a business continue generating revenue while satisfying a customer need or want for a lower price point. While discount codes are for temporary use, they give new customers an opportunity to experience your services before fully committing to regular priced memberships.
How to offer discount codes in TeamUp
To offer discount codes, you will first need to create a new code in your TeamUp dashboard. Once you have selected to create a new code you can fill in the name and description, what the code is for, the total number of uses, the total number of uses per customer, and either customise or generate a random code. Once you hit save, your code can be found within your dashboard. You can share via referrals, social media, a newsletter, your website, and even in your notifications section of your dashboard.
Offer annual memberships
Ask your customers to pay it forward by purchasing discounted annual memberships in advance. This is a great way to resolve cash flow issues while offering great value to your best customers. Some members actually prefer to pay in advance and not have to worry about monthly payments.
Usually, it's best to limit the number of available discounted memberships to create some scarcity, but you could also email members to ask them if anyone would be interested before sending the details. That keeps it personal and professional.
How to create an annual membership
Creating an annual membership plan is just like creating any other type of membership plan in TeamUp. You can create a single payment prepaid plan and select a price that your customers can pay upfront for the entire year. This will give them access to all of the classes you include in the plan and will guarantee you are paid in advance.
You can select to make the membership visible to all members, business only or hidden. If it's hidden then only people that you share the link with can view and buy the membership. If it's business only then only you can take payment for it and add it to a member's profile.
Sell gift cards for your gym online
Now is the perfect time to create and sell online gift cards to your customer. In your TeamUp store, you can sell any amount of gift cards and price variations ($10, $25, $50, however much you want to set). Once a customer purchases a gift card they will receive an automatic confirmation email of the purchase at your store. You can either ask them to bring the receipt or send them an additional email and share a discount code that they can include with their gift. If you choose to make your gift cards only available on occasion, simply turn off the sale when you would like to remove it from your listed store items.
Market your fitness services and expertise
There are many blog writing and guest post opportunities for fitness owners and experts to share their advice and expertise. Many of these opportunities can be found online after doing a quick search, and some are even paid opportunities. Find the ones that you are the best fit for and inquire with the publications to see if you could provide a guest post for their site. This is a great way to make money on the side while also adding to your professional experience.
Bonus - earn by sharing TeamUp
Whether you have a referral program where your current customers can refer new customers to your gym or studio, or you participate in TeamUp's refer a business program, these are excellent tools to grow your business.
How to create a referral program with TeamUp
By creating your own referral program, every time one of your current customers brings in a new potential customer, they can receive a credit on their account. Not only will your customer benefit from helping grow your business, but you will be able to grow your customer list without actively seeking and targeting new customers on your own.
To earn money directly for your business, you can participate in TeamUp's refer a business promotion. Anytime you refer a fitness business to TeamUp, that business will receive an extended 45-day trial, and you'll receive an £80 gift card when your referred business pays for the first time (after their trial period).
To learn more ways to market your fitness business, check out our marketing tools and resources, here. If you are struggling with pricing and payment plans right now, look at our pricing guide and let us know what we can do to help.
Thanks for reading!