What Is Your Focus

It’s long been said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over yet expecting a different result.

Well friends if you are trying very hard to run your studio or business the way you used to then it’s likely you are feeling out of sorts and like you’re fighting an uphill battle.

The world has changed, and it’s likely we’re not going back to the way it was before… at least not for a long time. 

So as business owners where should we put our focus?

No, we don’t have a crystal ball, but here’s our best “one foot in front of the other” guess of how business will shift in the coming weeks, months and years.

1) The future of fitness is personal – With so many opportunities out there and different virtual platforms available (ones with presumably larger budgets than we have as small studio owners) it is going to be hard to compete in that space… unless you already have a lot of notoriety or you are committed to becoming a full-time marketer to generate leads, prospects and followers.

It is incredibly hard to stand out in the virtual world and you must have massive economies of scale to make your efforts worthwhile. We’re not saying it can’t happen, but just understand that a “virtual” business is its own business model and it’s not just as simple as pivoting to a virtual platform.

We believe the future of fitness is personal (and likely has a virtual component) – one where we as fitness and wellness leaders step up and help people navigate their choices safely and find the program that works for them.

All this choice will lead to client overwhelm and for those who want to save time and avoid the headaches of trying to navigate all their options will turn to trusted professionals to help guide them on their fitness journey.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have studio space available that could more safely be used by individuals and small pods or quaranteams together (rather than large classes)?
  • Can you offer a more personalized approach that you previously did – either via Zoom or FaceTime?
  • Can you be successful with a completely virtual model (i.e. charge enough and reach enough people?) 

How we’re making fitness personal:

At our studio personalization has always been the key to what we do. We provide one-on-one and small group training training. We have decided to shift away from large group training (think large classes) and focus on each individual as much as possible. We think of it kind of like concierge fitness. Each person is unique and we are working to provide wellness solutions that meet each individual’s specific needs. 

We are mostly offering our services via Zoom,  FaceTime or Skype, but because the studio is available we are allowing individuals and small quaranteams to work out together – all with social distancing and masks required. We are not yet technically  open and we will allow one client and one trainer/group to be in the studio at one time.

Additionally we have added "virtual training" to our menu of services, and we will continue to improve it and offer it for the foreseeable future.  

2) Community is Key – After almost 6 months of being closed we really miss seeing people in person…and hugs! Our fitness studio is way more than just a place to work out – it is a place where we celebrate each other, encourage each other, help each other and ultimately do life together. We’re certain your studio is the same!

Going forward we will all need safe ways to connect with each other, and building community is key.

Question to ask yourself:

  • How can you create community for your clients - consistency challenges, virtual badges for participation/completion, small group workouts (safe and socially distanced), virtual classes with a little time for catching up before and after?
  • What makes your wellness community unique? How can you foster community in safe ways? It will probably take a little creativity. 

How we’re building community:

In September we will celebrate 15 years in our studio! Woo to the hoo! We are currently planning a virtual party and/or drive by celebration where we honor clients and celebrate together (yet distanced and apart). We’ll share more details as we get closer to time.

We are also working on some consistency type challenges where clients can help motivate one another and cheer each other on. 

3) Being part of a team matters – Keeping our team connected has been one of our biggest challenges throughout the pandemic. Let’s face it – it’s hard for them to work in a completely new way and it’s hard to stay committed and dedicated when we’re only able to interact through a computer screen.

But teamwork does make the dreamwork. None of us were meant to be in isolation all the time, and having team members who are also on this journey can help make the days a little less monotonous.

Questions to ask yourself: 

  • Are you meeting regularly with your team members? Even just a frequent check in to see how they’re doing and help trouble shoot issues before they escalate?
  • Do your team members know what it takes to be successful in pandemic times? Have you clearly communicated how they should organize their days and how to work efficiently and effectively?

How we’re creating a team culture:

  • Since the pandemic started we have continued to meet virtually as a team each week. This is a time where we can provide support, communicate changes and make sure we’re all on the same page.
  • We recently instituted “mentors” for some of the underperforming trainers on our team. These trainers meet weekly (virtually) with their mentor (a manager) and discuss independent strategies for growth. We have tried this in the past, and we know this strategy works. It helps to have someone to help hold you accountable and provide a new perspective when you get too in your head.   

So, there you have it - our top 3 ways we’re adapting to the shifting tides. Just like you we are literally putting one foot in front of the other and doing our best day to day. We never in a million years imagined a 6-month shutdown and a complete overhaul of our business. But we are leaning into our solid systems and our entrepreneurial mindset to carry us through. We hope you are too!

Stay strong friends! Fitness and wellness matter and it is even more important in these crazy times as we are all struggling mentally, physically and emotionally.  Let's be a beacon of light in the darkness.

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