“We’re going to have to close.” It was one of the last things my manager said to me as my shift ended and my fitness studio paused its operations. And just like that, I was out of work. This was just the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Since then, shut-downs and stay-at-home orders have forced gyms and studios to transition to the online space, seemingly overnight, to keep their businesses afloat.
The Coronavirus has completely shaken up our daily lives and the fitness industry has been hit especially hard.
Many fitness studios have temporarily or permanently closed, with ~50% of gym members saying they won’t return, according to a recent report in RunRepeat.
A lot of fitness professionals are already experiencing this new reality of heavy restrictions as their spaces are re-opening. And some may have to lean on other exciting virtual opportunities.
The big question on a lot of our minds as fitness professionals is “What can I do to adapt to these changes?”
It’s not easy. And I’ve made some mistakes myself, but let’s talk about the top field-tested things you need to be doing right now to set yourself up for success as a fitness professional:
#1 INVEST IN NEW SKILLS
Everyone is being forced to adapt to this new normal, whether we like it or not.
The individuals who build the necessary new skills to help them differentiate and speak to solving specific problems are going to be the ones to succeed.
No longer is it about how perfect your lunge is. You have to explain to your clients what deeper level journey you’re taking them on, how it will benefit them, and why it’s important in the first place.
That means getting clear on your own as well as your clients’ lifestyle goals, understanding what type of income you need in order to make your business work long term, and ensuring you’re speaking to the right audience and niche who truly resonate with you and want what you have to offer.
#2 STOP TRADING DOLLARS FOR HOURS
Being a successful fitness professional is no longer about spending every single waking moment of your life in the gym and getting burned out while doing so.
Truly successful fit pros know that success comes from your clients achieving their goals and using whatever tools and strategies are the most effective to get there.
Leveraging the power of online fitness and making personal training and group instruction less of a grind is the way smart fit pros operate.
One of the best ways to build a following is to earn your clients’ trust. This is even more true for the online space when your clients have more options.
People do business with those they know, like, and trust. The best way to do this is by providing a complimentary introductory class, or some form of free advice, they can access.
#3 HAVE A STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP
Anything I’ve ever accomplished in the fitness industry and in life, I’ve always had the help and support of others.
Be it a mentor, mastermind group, supportive coworkers, or just a training program. Learning from others who have been there before, figured out what works and what doesn’t, and who have achieved the success you’re looking for are the best teachers.
We, as fit pros, like to lone-wolf it sometimes and have a tendency to stick to the tried and true ways of doing business. But with the shifting marketplace due to Coronavirus, we can’t just bury our heads in the sand and wait for things to blow over and just do what we’ve always done.
And that’s why it’s crucial to have a strategic partner who can help you navigate these changing times. You don’t want to reinvent the wheel by yourself.
It’s all about speed of execution. And having a partner who’s done it before, or who has the experience you don’t, can help you shorten the learning curve by sharing resources and showing you the way forward.
Being a fitness professional means you’re your own boss. And as such, it’s up to you to make your business work for you.
And that’s why I’ve sought out programs like the “21 Day Online Business Planner”, which will help you finally determine if building an online business is right for you in just 3 weeks.
Navigating the online fitness space can be challenging. And that’s why I’ve teamed up with Aryana Shokat founder and owner of Karma Fitness, who also manages presale operations for Orangetheory Fitness at studios in Los Angeles.
Together, with our combined nearly 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, we’ve created a community to help fitness professionals navigate the online fitness space and grow an online fitness business with the lowest amount of overhead possible, so they can continue to make an impact and help others live healthier lives.
We call that the Virtual Fitness Business in a Box.
We’re in the season of separation and the market is going online. Those who adapt, invest in themselves, and take action are ultimately going to position themselves ahead of their competition when everything settles.
Nate is a personal trainer, group instructor & fitness consultant. He has been doing competitive obstacle course racing for the last 8 years.
And he’s on a mission to help company decision-makers who struggle to build a strong remote team, culture, and chain of command, use obstacle course races as a way to grow their people, leadership, and a healthier work environment for a successful and profitable business.
Ary has been a personal trainer for the last 7 years. She manages pre-sale operations at OrangeTheory Fitness studios in Los Angeles, all while running her personal brand, Karma Fitness.
Ary is on a mission to help fit pros and fitness studios extend their service capabilities & product lines to serve more clients & create more effective and streamlined business operations.