Your Destination Fit in Helotes, Texas, started small when owner April Leal left a career in accounting to pursue fitness. She began personal training in client homes and teaching outdoor bootcamps, and as her client list grew, she knew the next step would be to grow into her own facility.
Small space with an even closer community
A year and a half passed, and Leal took another leap–this time, opening a 1,000-square-foot facility. It wasn’t long before she expanded into the space next door, all the while, making the most of every inch of the space. She packed thirty to forty people in class, "all on top of each other and sharing equipment,” according to Leal. It’s not surprising she credits her small space for creating such a close-knit community.
Community that carried
When COVID-19 hit, the days of packed, sweaty classes were over at Your Destination Fit. Like thousands of other fitness businesses, Leal was forced to close her gym and create a new, virtual business plan for the weeks ahead.
To keep her clients motivated and engaged from home, she loaned out all her equipment and provided daily live stream workouts. Her community showed up. “We stayed connected, and everyone did amazing."
Managing reduced capacity with technology
When it came time to reopen, though, Leal had to pivot—again. With a small space and limited capacity, creativity was key. So, she created individual workout stations, each with their own squat rack, pull-up bar, bench, barbell, and a set of dumbbells. She transitioned to smaller class sizes and started to use online booking to help manage class capacity, too.
The added benefit of online booking and reduced capacity? Excuses became a thing of the past and clients held themselves accountable for showing up.
“I feel like our members feel more in control because now they can book and they can pencil themselves in,” Leal said. “It's not like ‘Oh, I just got off work and I'm tired. No, it's a meeting with myself and I'm going to show up’.”
While switching to online booking can be an adjustment, it was worth it for Leal and Your Destination Fit customers. According to April, the changes implemented have been wildly successful. “It's actually even better than ever, like ten times better, and our members are ten times happier.”
Integrating video with the in-person experience
While Leal was pleased with the increased customer satisfaction, she knew she could do more to improve her business when reopening by utilising video. She designed a video strategy that would streamline daily in-studio operations and help her customers feel confident in their workouts.
Leal created an on-demand video library where she posts daily explainer videos that walk through Your Destination Fit’s daily workouts. Then, when students arrive, log onto a live stream, or access the 24/7 facility in between classes, they all know exactly what to expect.
“They actually get really excited the night before,” Leal said. “They feel excited to see this is what we're doing.”
On the surface, Leal’s strategy may seem complicated, and like a lot of work. But instead of managing separate systems for online booking and video hosting, she’s doing it all through Mindbody.
“I like that it's very clean, and not hard at all. All our clients have to do is type in their credentials. And then it's just listed right there...that's it.”
Integrated and easy-to-use, Mindbody gives businesses like Your Destination Fit one less thing to worry about during an especially uncertain time. With a partner that "sees the bigger picture like Mindbody”, April and her team can focus less on logistics and more on what’s most important– keeping their community safe, and moving, together.
And if you ask April about her biggest lesson learned from COVID-19, you’ll understand why that means so much: “Community is everything.”