4 Ways to Prepare Your Fitness Studio for the New Year
By Denise Prichard
This year certainly presented quite a few challenges for fitness businesses all over the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, many fitness businesses have had to reduce their hours, take their businesses online, or even go through multiple openings and closings to help slow down the spread of the virus.
However, we’re just a few short weeks away from 2021 and the time of year that’s notorious for inspiring folks to make fitness a priority in their lives once again. This time of year spells opportunity for fitness businesses to draw in new clients and reconnect with existing ones—and now is the time to start preparing.
So, how can you make sure your fitness studio is ready for the new year? Here are some tips to make your life easier come January and the rest of the year.
1. Offer in-studio and virtual fitness classes to accommodate everyone
The beginning of 2021 looks different than previous years. Depending on where your studio operates, you may be able to offer in-person classes—or you might be experiencing a mandatory shutdown to help keep your community safe. No matter what your situation is at this time, it may be time to revamp your studio’s schedule.
If you’re open: To handle a potential influx of customers, offer both in-studio and virtual classes to accommodate all your clients. Even though you’re able to offer the in-studio experience, some clients may still feel uncomfortable taking classes inside since COVID-19 is still on the rise. Offering virtual classes can help them feel safe while getting a good workout in and increase your bottom line, too. Another reason to offer virtual classes? Certain regulations have forced fitness studios to limit the amount of people in class at any given time. If a client is unable to sign up for a class before it hits max capacity, they still have the option to take a class virtually.
If you’re closed: Just because your community can’t physically be in your fitness studio, doesn’t mean you can’t offer classes to current and prospective clients. Now’s the time to get creative, expand your virtual offerings, and bring your studio to them. Fortunately, a lot of folks are still working from home and are now able to make class times they weren’t able to before. Try playing around with class times that take place just before the typical workday begins, around lunchtime, and right after the workday ends.
No matter the status of your business, Mindbody’s Virtual Wellness Platform seamlessly supports both live stream and on-demand offerings to keep your community connected. It’s simple, intuitive, and integrated within your software. That way, you can focus less on the details and more on providing an exceptional virtual experience.
2. Equip your studio with a Branded Mobile App
A unique branded mobile app is the perfect way to stay connected with your members—both current and new—wherever they are. A branded app will also help increase brand awareness and build loyalty within your fitness business.
With a branded app, your members can book, pay for, and keep track of classes all on their mobile devices. Plus, your team can send push notifications to highlight deals and events as well as automatic “we miss you” messages and class cancellation notices.
Using Mindbody’s Virtual Wellness Platform to host your on-demand videos? With a branded mobile app, clients can easily access your on-demand workouts whenever and wherever is most convenient.
3. Retain your new customers
Before the rush, set up your automated marketing solution to ensure you retain new customers with ease. Automated marketing allows you to create smart lists that will automatically reach out to customers to convert them, keep them engaged, or win them back, based on whatever criteria you choose. You’ll be able to seamlessly, and personally, engage clients—without ongoing effort on your part.
Worried some customers will drop-off a few months after the new year? No problem. Simply remind clients to book again by sending personalized text messages and emails, taking away all barriers to re-book. You can also use your automated marketing solution to upsell packages and memberships to the right clients at the right time.
Get your automated marketing set up now. Your future self—and customers—will thank you.
4. Optimize your online scheduling
The easier it is for your clients to book their classes, the more likely they are to stick to their resolution of getting fit. With Branded Web widgets, you can utilize your Facebook page and website to embed your class and event schedule. New and loyal clients alike can use this feature to register for classes directly from Facebook or without even leaving your site. Branded Web is included with all Mindbody subscriptions!