Coronavirus/COVID-19: Guide for Gym Owners

This post is for any gym owners looking for resources and tips to help manage their business through the challenges posed by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Wodify customers - access all the resources we’ve made available to your here:

Fitness businesses around the world are being impacted by Coronavirus. In order to maintain a strong community of members and minimize the financial impact to your business, it’s important to be proactive about communicating with your members and plan a strategy to keep your business going. Here are 4 steps we recommend considering:

  1. By now your physical location is probably closed or planning to close. First, make sure to get in touch with every single member (individual calls, if possible) and let them know exactly what you are offering to continue to provide value for them during the time your physical location is closed.

    At a minimum, include at-home programming options, but also consider offering 1-on-1 coaching, nutrition consultations, outdoor workouts, and more. Now is the time to over-deliver value to minimize the risk of losing membership revenue. Here’s a guide from Two Brain Business on How to Set up Online Coaching in 24 Hours.

    We have seen gyms that have to close their physical location retain members through transparent communication that:

    • Explains the situation and why the gym is closing.

    • Expresses understanding that the member might be going through financial hardship as well.

    • Emphasizes the importance of physical health / fitness now more than ever.

    • Elaborates on what value you will still get with your membership  (e.g. remote programming, individual coaching, etc.) and makes a clear ask for members to maintain their membership plan or switch to a remote membership plan.
  2. Implement an online/remote programming strategy. Wodify customers, here’s what you need: How to Offer Online Programming with Wodify
  3. Continue to over-communicate with members and find new ways to engage your community. This is even an opportunity to generate new revenue and reach non-members through remote challenges or new online coaching offerings.
  4. It’s not too early to start thinking about what re-opening will look like. Make sure you have a plan and are communicating with your members. Here’s a guide on How to Reopen Your Gym by our friends at Two Brain.

At Wodify, we’re dedicated to providing the resources and tools for gyms owners to continue to run their businesses. Below you’ll find a list of the resources, software tools, and other tips to help.

Top Resources

Gym Owners United Facebook Group

Facebook group to learn from other gyms owners and discuss response techniques that are working. This is a great place to see exactly how other owners are communicating with their members and offering alternate options to group classes.

Two Brain Business: Rebirth of the Fitness Industry (4/12/20)

Password: o6#t$F*u

Chris Cooper of Two Brain Business suggests a strategy for the next 30-90 days, broken into four parts: retain revenue by retaining members, recover revenue by offering different services to current members, grow revenue by attracting new members, grow your business through this new revenue stream and bring people back to in-person training.

Technology That Can Help

How to create a new remote program with Wodify [help article ⟶]

If you’re already using Wodify, you have the ability to quickly set up at-home/remote programs and keep your members engaged. We recommend encouraging your members to stay connected by using Wodify to track their performance and sign-in to classes, even if they aren’t coming to your physical location. 

Community is what built CrossFit, so even if they aren’t working out as a group, make sure to remind your athletes to “like” and comment on other’s scores in Wodify. If you aren’t using Wodify, get started here.

Run a remote fitness or nutrition challenge with Wodify Rise

Wodify Rise is a free-to-use (even if you aren’t a Wodify customer) software tool to run challenges. It can be a great way to keep members engaged and living healthy lives while they aren’t coming into the gym. 

If you want to get started right away, check out the 800g Challenge by OptimizeMe Nutrition that includes step-by-step instructions, promotional content, and more.

How to manage membership holds [help article ⟶]

Even if you implement all of the best practices, you will likely have some members who ask to put their memberships on hold. If someone decides to hold or cancel their membership, try to schedule a meeting for 30 days out to revisit their fitness goals and assess if they would like to rejoin. Scheduling that in advance greatly increases your chances of winning the member back. 

Wodify Sites users

You can add a COVID-19 updates landing page easily from your landing page library.

Zoom video conferencing

Zoom is a great tool if you want to offer 1-on-1 or group video sessions. Check out this guide from Warmup and Workout: Zoom 101 for CrossFit Affiliates & Coaches.

Remember, you’re in the business of coaching. So there is an opportunity to extend your expertise to your members with 1-on-1 coaching they can receive at home, through personalized workout recommendations, nutrition coaching, and more.

Real-World Examples of Member Communication

Closed by local government mandate.

Blue Titan Fitness
Presentation given to members about shutting down. All are welcome to create a copy and edit for their community

CrossFit Monterey
Offering virtual classes via Zoom.

CrossFit Main Line
Closed by local government mandate.

CrossFit Currahee
Closed - example of at-home workout tutorial.

BRICK Fitness
Closed by local government mandate.

Port Coquitlam CrossFit
Closed, offering remote classes

Other Tips/Resources

  • If you are closing your gym, one way to keep members engaged is by allowing those in good standing to check out easy-to-transport equipment (kettlebells, dumbbells, jump ropes, and medicine balls) on a first-come, first-served basis. Here’s how to manage loaning equipment through Wodify.
  • Get your news from trusted, medically-backed sources, like the CDC, WHO, and your local or state government. 

We hope that these resources & tips help you continue to operate your gym and engage with your members. If you have any resources you’d like to add or questions, please email brendan@wodify.comThis post is for any gym owners looking for resources and tips to help manage their business through the challenges posed by the Coronavirus pandemic. We will continue to update this post regularly with resources and news to try and help as many gym owners as possible. 

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Ready to put what you’ve learned into practice?
Download a free PDF handbook with many of NCFIT’s gym management procedures and philosophies that you can implement in your gym today.
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