*Names and circumstances have been modified to protect privacy.
As I write this, we are entering week #3 of self-quarantine for the Coronavirus Pandemic. I live in one of the first states to issue the stay-at-home-mandate, so we are in this for the long-haul.
For our clients who own gyms, yoga studios, clinics, and other in-person businesses, the stay-at-home orders came as a huge blow to their revenue.
One client, in particular, was hit hard early on when three of their members tested positive and they were forced to shut down their facility before a single stay-at-home order had even been issued.
The impending loss of revenue was overwhelming.
They could have stuck their head in the sand and given up, but they didn’t. Within hours of closing their doors, they called us to explain the situation and ask for help knowing that we have extensive experience in setting up online classes.
Having worked with lots of wellness influencers, we know here’s no one-size-fits-all tech solution for everyone. Depending on the type of class, the number of people involved, payment options, etc., the tools will be different for each business. We immediately went to work laying out the options for their new online classes.
Our client had never done any part of their business online and had limited knowledge of how Zoom, Facebook Live, and other video streaming tools even worked. Until that moment, they hadn’t needed to host online classes.
Now, it was mission-critical. They needed a crash course and fast or they would lose their customers, their revenue, and most likely their entire business.
Through a series of phone calls and emails over the next couple of days, we mapped out the best course of action for quickly moving to virtual classes and made sure all of their instructors could manage the technology.
It was messy, a bit of a struggle, and there was a small learning curve for a few of their members. But, here we are over two weeks later and they’ve barely missed a beat.
Their members are now logging in daily to participate in both live and recorded versions of their classes. And the revenue has only taken a small dip, not the complete loss they initially expected before they decided to take action.
The 3 Keys for Survival
1. Ask For Help
In times like these, everyone is willing to help. We’re all in this together. By reaching out, our client was able to make well-informed decisions quickly to stay on their feet.
We highly recommend finding industry-specific groups on Facebook and chat with other business owners to share resources and ideas. We are also here to help. Feel free to contact us.
2. Take Imperfect Action
Our client didn’t have all of the exact things they needed right away. Some of their instructors didn’t have mics. Their homes weren’t set up with perfect lighting and fancy backdrops.
None of that mattered. The goal was to provide online classes to their members so they could keep up with their fitness routines from home. Appearances and “studio-quality” sets were irrelevant. The bottom line was to deliver the service. The other parts could be improved upon later.
Moving a class that is normally held at a gym or any kind of training facility will need to be modified when moving it to an online version. Start with basic moves that don’t require large amounts of space or specific equipment. No one will complain about going back to some basics as long as they get to keep their fitness routine going.
Once you have a few online classes under your belt, look for ways to substitute or adapt your normal routines. Assume that your customers don’t have any equipment at home and look for common household items that can work in a pinch. Again, industry-specific groups can help you come up with new ideas.
Imperfect Action Is The New Done
The bottom line… don’t wait until you have everything lined up and perfect. Start broadcasting right now. It doesn’t matter whether you do live video or you record a session and send everyone a link.
All that matters is that you get your content in the hands of your members before they go looking for someone else to fill their fitness needs.
Your members will remember how you responded to this situation. If you take action and continue to provide in the best way you can, you will be successful no matter how imperfectly you execute your plan. If you decide to do nothing and “wait it out”, you will lose your money and your members to the ones who are taking imperfect action.
If you need help getting your wellness classes online, contact us for more info.