How to Manage Your Fitness Studio in the Time of Coronavirus
This information contained herein does not constitute medical, financial, legal, or other professional advice and is meant to be used solely for informational purposes. It does not take into account your specific circumstances and should be not acted on without full understanding of your current situation, future goals and/or objectives by a qualified professional. MINDBODY, Inc. assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.
Whether your business is open or closed, you need a plan in place to keep your staff and clients safe. The following best practices will help you do just that.
If you're open:
Upgrade your cleaning procedures
It’s likely you already prioritize the cleanliness of your fitness studio or gym, but now's the time to take extra precautionary measures to keep your clients healthy and safe from COVID-19.
Keeping your studio or gym squeaky clean is important—especially during a pandemic.
This includes having:
Tissues readily available
Ample hand soap in your restroom
Hand sanitizer throughout your facility
Disposable wipes for both employees and clients to use to wipe down any commonly used surfaces
Signs throughout your facility reminding clients of proper hygiene
After each client, make a point to thoroughly wipe down all equipment used—even if you encourage your clients to do so on their own—and deep clean your facility multiple times daily with an EPA-approved disinfectant.
Switch up your workouts
To follow proper “social distancing,” you’ll need to reduce the number of clients and staff members in your facility to less than ten at any given time. You need to allow for the recommended six feet of social distance between individuals in your gym or studio as well.
For more on the capacity challenge, check out this blog post.
You’ll need to eliminate teamwork and partner-based movements, too. For now, favor exercises that can be performed alone. Avoid having clients use any fitness props for workouts in the meantime, too.
For those concerned who don’t want to leave their homes to take part in your community and get their fitness on, offer live, virtual offerings. Here’s how to start live streaming today.
Prefer more polished footage? Record, edit, and add to Mindbody's video library. Here are a few expert tips for filming pre-recorded workout videos.
Continue to check in with your staff
Encourage any staff members who are sick to stay home. Now’s not the time to chance having a sick instructor or front-desk person in your studio. It's essential to keep your staff healthy.
For those employees who are under the weather, or prefer to stay home to err on the side of caution, have a back-up plan. Consider what they can do from home (i.e., teaching virtual classes, building emails, or scheduling social posts) and make sure you have a well-thought-out instructor substitution process in place.
For those who do clock in, be sure to inform them of your heightened cleaning procedures, social distancing requirements, and modified workouts (remember, no partner-based exercises).
Reiterate how important it is for each employee to:
Wash their hands before and after class
Cough into their arms, rather than out in the open
Avoid hands-on adjustments
Disinfect every piece of equipment used during a workout
To communicate these updates, send regular email communications, host a virtual training, and put up a poster in your staff break room as a continued reminder of your COVID-19 protocols.
Assign a process for your staff to give you updates on their status. A group text, a private staff-only Facebook group, or regular virtual meetings will help keep your team connected from afar.
If you’re closed:
Communication is key.
Make sure you have accurate and up-to-date contact information for all customers. This makes it easier to communicate updates and direction regarding how the virus is impacting your business, including opening hours and the status of your location(s). If you’re a Mindbody customer, it’s easy to schedule closed business days within your software ("Schedule a Closed Business Day” under Manager Tools) that will be displayed on your client-facing schedule.
Use your email platform to send all-studio updates or, if you have a branded mobile app, push notifications to all your clients.
If you rely on a landline phone at your studio, forward those calls to a mobile number as a back-up so you won’t miss them when you're away from your facility.
Also, use your social media pages to give customers updates on your studio, opening hours, and staff. They'll want to know how you’re doing and when they can expect to access your services again.
For more tips on how gyms and fitness studios like yours are handling the COVID-19 pandemic in their communities, check out this blog post.
This is an uncertain time, but an opportunity to come together as a fitness community. Remember that you’re not alone.