How These 3 Fitness Businesses Found Success with Online Classes
The fitness world has changed: gone are the days when you needed to head to a gym or studio to take a class. Virtual classes are here to stay and businesses across the globe are adjusting to meeting clients' needs, online and in person. Take a look at three businesses who adapted to this demand and found success—and their advice to other business owners.
Location: San Luis Obispo, California
Gymnazo, a functional training fitness facility, had already launched online coursework for specific offerings and saw the need to focus on instructing online quickly when the pandemic struck. As class attendance began to dwindle, Gymnazo Co-CEO Paden Hughes realized that something needed to be done.
“We had an email in our clients’ inboxes that showed them how we could migrate their memberships online, continue to support them and deliver the very elements they would be in short supply of: community, structure, and accountability.”
Because of Gymnazo’s quick actions, they were able to convert over 90% of their members to their online classes—and retain their memberships, providing recurring revenue to the gym. As Hughes points out, there’s no reason why other businesses can’t make a successful and revenue-driving jump to online instruction; “There are lonely, anxious members you love who are lost and missing the community you worked for years to build.”
Location: Farnham, UK
Jill Simpson, co-owner of Ebb&Flow, found success with streaming just two live classes a day, set up to match what the studio’s regular operating schedule looked like.
“In our first two days, our community loved it,” Simpson said. “We had 200 sign-ups, and by seven days, it was 400 plus. We’ve had messages from [people in] Singapore, Sydney, and Copenhagen to our accounts and the teachers’ accounts, too—all saying they loved the class or ‘thanks for letting me join.’”
Simpson recommends that business owners look at online streaming as a new business model. While it can run alongside a traditional studio model, owners need to approach it differently. This approach is especially important considering the high likelihood of a virtual drop-in from elsewhere on the globe.
Code 5 Fitness
Location: Sydney, Australia
Code 5 Fitness has three locations across Sydney—but it’s unified all of them with online classes. They launched a new era of Code 5 Fitness online with 300 members joining the online classes.
Code 5’s virtual program still prioritizes the coach-client interaction typical of in-person sessions. Coaches call each member weekly to check in on progress and goal setting. “That's the route that we have pushed on,” says Owner Connor Pettersson. “You’re holding them accountable. They're still going to be getting results.”
And Petterson’s strategy doesn’t end with his current customers—he’s running ads and looking for new members to join the gym, even virtually. “We’ll get leads at a decent value that I can call and sell someone our online package—and then I can build an online program that sits in the background of the gyms.”
Pettersson’s advice to other gym owners is not to be afraid to ask for your clients to join you online. “You're still going to serve them. You have to believe in that service when you go online.”