At StrengthPortal we work with multi-location gym chains, single location gyms and personal training studios, and independent personal trainers so we’re exposed to a lot of data on the professional side of the fitness industry. There’s no sugarcoating it, fitness businesses of all sizes are in a tough position right now. The number one goal in 2020 as a fitness business owner is to survive at all costs. We’re seeing every day just how hard our customers are working to get through this and couldn’t be more thankful that we’re supporting them as a revenue-generating software platform when they need it most.
I wanted to share a quick observation from watching fitness businesses of all types adapt to the new world that we’re living in. First, it’s important to say that I’m a big fan of fitness businesses of all sizes. I love that our software platform helps gyms with personal training teams all over the world create a standardized system, collaborate across locations, and scale their training services. I also have a great affinity for small business owners, being the son of one myself. Long-term I think there is plenty of market opportunity for independent personal trainers, boutique gyms and studios, and multi-location gym chains to thrive. Anyhoo, to get to the point, during the Covid-19 pandemic small fitness business owners as a whole are doing better compared to their industry peers. The reason is simple, they can move faster than larger gym chains. When gyms and studios were mandated to close their doors overnight most of our small business customers were able to add new service offerings in a week or less. They moved as fast as possible, didn’t worry about what would happen along the way, and are continually evolving throughout this challenging process. It’s not easy, but they are taking action. In our recent interview with Kelly Taphouse, founder of MOVE Fitness Club in Toronto, she shared some interesting insights as to what this has been like for her:
- “I’m so thankful that we transitioned as quickly as we did because we are doing really well with these virtual fitness classes.”
- “We just got the go ahead for outdoor fitness a week ago so we’ve launched our small group training classes outdoors literally overnight. We’ve got our semi-private training outdoors, we've got one on one private training (which can be co-ed as well) outdoors. It’s just been a lot in a very short amount of time. It’s challenging because you don’t really get a lot of information and you’re moving so quickly.You have to experiment with how to price these programs on the fly, for example.”
- “The silver lining with Covid-19 is that it forced us to ramp up our online business really fast.”
That’s night and day with what larger companies in the fitness industry have been able to do so far and it’s going to pay dividends for Kelly’s business in the long-term. My main point here is that with everything going on I think it’s helpful for small business owners to take a moment to appreciate this huge advantage they have with the nature of their businesses. Being able to move quickly and learn is an incredible strength to have, so use it well. If you’re a member of a larger fitness business company reading this, this is probably a good question to ask amidst all of this, “What is slowing us down as a business? What’s preventing us from making changes as quickly as smaller companies in the industry?” Solving that problem may just be what gets your company to next year so you can get back into the incredible sustained growth period the fitness industry has been experiencing for the last 25 years.
Good luck to all, we’re rooting for you. If you’re in a position to invest into a software platform to manage and scale your personal training services we'd love to talk to you. Click here to schedule a time for a call.
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