The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit yoga and fitness businesses hard. (It was more like a tsunami!)
If your income comes from in-person services like…
- one-to-one sessions
- group classes
- gym or studio memberships
- a mix of the above
…chances are you’re earning much less now than you were this time last year. And, you’re not alone; some fitness markets have seen a drop in revenue of up to 53%.
To make ends meet until we “get back to normal”, you’ve probably spent the last few months using some make-do methods. You know, like:
- Zoom classes.
- IGTV sessions.
- Selling home workout plans.
It’s messy and unpredictable, but you tell yourself it’ll do until you can get back to the gym or studio and start working with clients again. But the truth is that life isn’t ever going back to normal. At least, not until they find a vaccine. In fact, industry research shows that:
- 25% of Americans say they’re never going back to the gym.
- 42% of Americans now prefer their home workout gear to their gym membership.
- Membership costs are going to rise because of new hygiene demands.
Not only that, but The New York Times reports that athletic trainers, physical therapists, and fitness and studio instructors carry a high risk of contracting COVID-19:
And, the worst part of it all?
We’re still in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s an inevitable second wave to come. That means things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.
Which begs the question:
Are you ready for it?
The Problem With Make-Do Methods
Cast your mind back to March 29th. The pandemic had just begun and we were all pretty optimistic about when life would get back to normal.
It made sense to use make-do methods because well…you were just making do. A quick lockdown and then it’d all be over, right?
Oh, how naive we were.
It took months for facilities to reopen with new strict hygiene and distancing standards, as well as lower capacities. A full return to normal still isn’t on the horizon, with many asking: is it actually safe to go back?
Those unpredictable, cobbled-together income streams ended up becoming your main source of income. Which may have left you feeling a little like this:
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but as we enter into the second wave of COVID-19, these income streams are only going to become less reliable. Why?
Because there has been a permanent shift in the fitness industry. Some customers are scared, anxious, and looking for safer ways to achieve their goals. Others have been introduced to a new way of working out that they prefer to their pre-COVID-19 setup.
And, the fitness businesses who want to survive the second wave of COVID-19 will need to adapt to this shift. Let me explain…
How COVID-19 Has Transformed The Fitness Industry
COVID-19 has forced fitness business owners – like you! – to take their offline experience online. That was already a big shift. But the biggest change has been how consumers responded.
- 73% of fitness consumers are using pre-recorded online video to workout
- 85% of fitness consumers participate in at least one live-streamed workout a week
This has led consumers to seek out premium platforms they can reliably turn to get their workouts. Basically, they’re looking for online fitness and yoga studios.
They want a one-stop-shop where they can access…
- pre-recorded videos
- live-streamed sessions
- from their favorite device
- for a flat monthly fee
…and it should feel as accessible as walking into your facility to get their workout in. How do we know? Because we’ve seen a boom in business for all of our customers who offer this.
Fitness businesses that only offered offline services before COVID-19 have pivoted online to great success. And, they’d been able to reach a much wider audience.
Humming Puppy Yoga were forced to take their business online after lockdown measures shut all their studio locations in Syndey, Melbourne, and New York. The result?
It put their business in front of an entirely new international audience, and they began acquiring customers in places like the UK, Hong Kong, and Canada. (You can hear more about their story on this episode of the Video Entrepreneur Podcast.)
But that’s not all they’ve done. They’ve also disaster-proofed their business.
How Having An Online Fitness Studio Disaster-Proofs Your Business
The fitness businesses that pivoted to create their own online yoga studios have put themselves in a great position to succeed when the second wave of COVID-19 comes.
Because they already have an established online platform that’s generating income. It’s always there as an income stream, no matter what happens in the offline world.
Council shuts your location? It’s still there. Spike in cases near your facility? It’s still there. Your clients all spontaneously flee the country and move to Tahiti? It’s still there.
Fitness businesses with an established online location don’t need to scramble to create an income stream when disaster strikes. They can just point their customers online!
We’ve seen this done by fitness businesses of all shapes and sizes:
- Yoga studios
- Gym chains
- Personal trainers
- Yoga instructors
And your fitness business could – and should– be next.
You might be thinking that you’ve missed the boat. That it’s too late to get started. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Your business and customers need this.
An online presence is no longer a nice to have, it’s a need to have, The best time to get started was yesterday. But, the next best time is right now!
Here’s what to do if you want your fitness business to survive the next wave…
How To Prepare Your Business For The Second Wave
The first step in taking your fitness business online is to watch the video below. In it, we’ll outline exactly how you can quickly and easily get set up: