The onset of COVID-19 brought many changes to our everyday lives, forever changing what normal means to us and creating uncertainty for tons of business owners. In the fitness industry, many were forced to re-stance their approach to how we train, turning to virtual training to keep their businesses alive and provide normalcy and hope for their students. But change brings about opportunity. Now that gyms are able to reopen, you may feel the temptation to abandon your virtual workouts. Don’t! It can serve as one of many ways to replenish some of your lost revenue. Not convinced? Read below to find out more reasons why you should continue to offer virtual training.
New Market, New Audience: Tons of Lives Touched
The internet is the gateway to the rest of the world, as most people in today’s age have the internet. This is good news for you because of the wide reach of the worldwide web means that you can use it to market your online classes to anyone and everyone. And there are many people you can reach.
The first people your online trainings will benefit are your members who still don’t feel comfortable coming back to train in-studio right away. Though we’ve been given the all-clear when it comes to ending the stay-at-home orders, many are still uncomfortable and fearful of returning to training to the gym. Offering virtual training allows them to still be a part of your gym family and continue their training without missing a beat. It’s also a great alternative for adults and children who are shy.
Another benefit of continuing to offer virtual trainings is that it’s convenient for those who have busy schedules. It eliminates travel, plus students are able to unwind and workout in the comfort of their home and less likely to make an excuse about why they can’t work out. There are also others who during the 2-to-3-month lockdown, who were introduced to the world of fitness and training by way of a family member. Don’t take away their access to training. By being patient as they gain confidence and advance in their fitness journey, they’ll look to training in person.
And don’t go thinking that because you have a number of people signing up for virtual classes and so many signing up for in-studio classes that they won’t join you. That’s far from the truth. According to an article by Club Solutions, virtual classes lead to live classes. Research shows a 12 percent increase in live class attendance when facilities also offer virtual workouts. The article also points out that group exercisers (meaning people who train in groups) are 26 percent less likely to cancel a membership than gym-only goers; offering hope in the ever-present battle of member retention.
It’s the New Norm
Virtual trainings may have started as a way to keep businesses open and members engaged during the quarantine, but it’s safe to say that it’s here to stay. And we agree. The future of fitness isn’t just local, it’s global. And by not giving your students or potential ones this option, you’re cutting yourself off from a profitable and highly impactful new facet of the industry. You want to stay relevant and competitive, continuing to offer virtual training is the way to go. And if you haven’t begun, what are you waiting for? There’s plenty of untapped types of demographics to explore, like those still looking to discover what they like in fitness and martial arts or those who prefer self-guided training.
Virtual Classes = Additional Revenue
When COVID-19 crashed the 2020 party it negatively impacted your business and decreased your incoming revenue. Try taking advantage of this newly gained service and use your online classes as a way to bring in additional funds and balance out your lost revenue. We suggest not only offering them as a replacement for being in the gym but also being a bonus or add on for the other classes you offer.
And those who developed their own at-home workout routine with your or another gym’s virtual classes will be happy to continue training with you when you begin to charge. Your classes have become crucial to their overall health, and they won’t be eager to give that up. To show your appreciation, offer an incentive or reward for their loyalty, such as offering the class to them at a reduced amount. In fact, some owners are pricing their virtual classes anywhere from 60 to 75 percent less than the cost to train in-person. The reason is, members aren’t getting the full experience of training and they’re not getting to feed off of the atmosphere and energy found in-studio. Online fitness discovery platform Fitternity implemented this price cut and only saw a 20 percent drop in active members using their services.
Reduces the Number of People in Your Gym
With the lift of the stay-at-home order, there’s now the task of finding a way to abide by the guidelines set by the Center for Disease Control and your local government. Social distancing is hard to maintain especially when you’re doing martial arts or workouts that require partners or coaching, but there’s another challenge is brings; finding a way to accommodate every student. Having to limit your class sizes means the potential to lose students, so offering a virtual option to run alongside or even at a different time than your in-studio class can help with retention.
A post-COVID world presents many new challenges for the fitness industry as businesses reopen. But as the dust settles, consider ramping up your virtual training efforts. With our reasons in mind, you’ll be able to restructure your business model and regain revenue before you know it.