Preparing Your Fitness Business for Life After the Lockdown

As we look to the future, we want to help you prepare your business during what is likely to be another ‘unprecedented’ (the world’s new favorite word!) period of time.

The Covid-19 pandemic has fast tracked the online personal training and fitness industry practically overnight. 

Gyms and fitness clubs may have to wait a little longer to reopen but that doesn’t mean you can’t start to make changes now that will enable you to start meeting your clients again in the very near future.

Measures such as using reduced equipment and personal trainers having to offer advice from a distance are likely to remain in place for some time, which understandably will continue to impact how you operate your business and serve your clients.

So what can you be doing now to best prepare yourself for life after the lockdown?

1. Time to Reflect

Now is a great time to ask yourself: 

‘How do I want to run my business going forward?’

As you’ve adapted over the last couple of months you may well have had some, potentially unexpected, big business wins during this period.

When we asked My PT Hub users what their wins have been in the last few weeks, there were a lot of answers around ‘learning to better serve my clients online’, ‘setting up My PT Hub’, ‘creating new client programs’ and ‘using the time to increase my knowledge’.

The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us that online training is bigger than ever. So even if you are planning to go back to primarily being face-to-face with your clients, you can definitely take advantage of online training in your business model moving forward.

Some key questions to ask yourself right now are:

  • How have you found the last couple of months? And why?
  • What changes have you made that you want to continue?
  • What are you most looking forward to getting back to doing after lockdown restrictions are lifted?
  • How have your clients coped during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Personal trainer resting on gymnastic rings. Reflecting on what to do next.

2. Gather Client Feedback

Depending on what your niche is, you may have clients that have taken to the remote way of training really well and others that have struggled to adapt.

One great way to prepare yourself for the transition period over the next couple of weeks is to ask your clients for their feedback, to determine how they would like to work going forward.

You might find that some people are happy to continue working with you remotely for the foreseeable future. And on the flip-side, you have some clients who can’t wait to get back to their face to face sessions.

Things to consider when asking clients for feedback are:

  • What has worked well for you and your business? As your own boss you have the luxury of looking at what’s working for your business and to decide how you want to operate going forward. Don’t give your clients options that you don’t want to deliver!
  • What are the different options that you want to offer after the lockdown? Here you might want to think about the types of clients you train as well as key points such as using technology and your location / proximity to your clients and available outside spaces
  • What will life look like for your clients after lockdown restrictions are lifted? Here you’ll want to consider their demographics such as their age, general health, lifestyle, occupation and location to help you determine what services would be practical and suit their needs
  • From your perspective how have your clients coped working with you remotely? If they say they’re happy to continue working remotely but you don’t think it’s worked out particularly well, take this into consideration when deciding the best ways to work with your client(s) during the transition period!

Women leaving feedback on phone

Here are a few ideas of questions to ask your clients in the next couple of weeks:

  • How have you found the last couple of months?
  • Are you happy to continue working primarily online or are you eager to get back to face-to-face training?
  • With gyms unlikely to be reopening for a while longer, what other locations would suit you for training? For example: the local park or field, private outdoor space e.g. where one of you lives

As a personal trainer or fitness professional, your clients will likely look to you for advice on how to work out going forward, until the country you operate in lifts certain rules, such as social distancing measures. 

Ultimately it’s up to you to decide how to work with your clients during this time period but it’s key to manage their expectations. For example if you previously used to meet twice a week for face to face sessions, this may have to be adapted to once a week face to face and once a week online, as well as in a different location e.g. outdoor training compared to in the gym.

What’s the best way to gather client feedback?

  • Use the new Chat feature with your clients to send Individual, Group or Broadcast messages to ask questions and gather their feedback 
  • Create a survey using the Forms section to send to your clients, all through using My PT Hub. As well as this, you can add survey links to your social media platforms or ask questions and create polls directly on your social channels.

3. Operational Changes

Once you’ve worked out exactly how you want to continue running your business and have gathered insights from your clients, you’ll want to put these ideas into a plan of action. 

Sportswoman making sit-ups outdoors with the help of a trainer

Things to consider here include: 

  • Extra Health & Safety measures: When you get back to meeting with your clients whether it’s in a park, their garage or eventually, the gym, you’ll want to think about how you’re going to increase your health and safety measures to limit contact and reassure your clients. Here you’ll want to consider limiting the amount of equipment needed to perform each exercise, using gloves if any contact is required, wiping down equipment with anti-bacterial wipes or sprays and respecting social distancing measures when meeting up with your client.
  • Event Stream for Individual & Group Sessions: Even if you decide you need to get back to face to face sessions as soon as you can, it’s still a really good idea to offer remote sessions to your clients too. Some people might not feel comfortable meeting up face to face and want to continue working with you remotely. This is also a great way to keep running Group sessions during the transition period as this is something you’re not likely to be able to do for a while in person.

💡The Event Stream feature offers your clients the ability to join Live or On Demand events from within your My PT Hub account.

  • Communication is key! Whatever operational changes you make to your business over the upcoming weeks one of the most important things to do is to tell your clients about the extra measures you’re putting into place. Not only will they really appreciate the transparency they’ll also gain trust in you that you are taking their health and safety seriously.

💡 When letting your clients know about the operational changes you’ve put in place, use the Broadcast option in the new Chat feature of your software to let everyone know at the same time!

Let’s Recap!

In summary, the next couple of weeks are a great opportunity to spend some time:

  • Reflecting on your business and deciding how you want to operate going forward
  • Asking your clients for their feedback to determine the best ways to serve them, both during the transition period as well as in the longer term
  • Thinking about the different operational changes you want and need to make to support your business and your clients during the transition period

Over the upcoming weeks we will be sharing more ideas on ways to keep your business going during the transition period, so keep your eyes peeled on our blog and social media channels!

Got a question? Leave us a comment below!