How your local community can support your fitness studio

It's been one long year for all of us! We took each day as it came, going through the ups and downs along the way. As much as we were affected by this constant uncertainty, local businesses had a lot more to contend with. Unlike the larger brands and businesses who found ways to keep the ship steady, local businesses had to evolve  drastically to save themselves.

Fitness studios and personal trainers, in particular, were among the hardest to be hit by the pandemic, with the decline across the fitness industry last year expected to be about 13.2%. With traditional in-person classes running the risk of spreading the virus, it was only logical for local fitness businesses to move online. This might have solved the problem then, if only they weren't competing with larger brands already acing virtual fitness classes.

A year on, small fitness studios are gradually finding their way back with caution. Whether they're holding outdoor classes, managing lower capacities, or conducting classes online, personal trainers and local studios have found a number of ways to keep themselves going. But the one thing that keeps these studios and trainers running is their community. 

Today, local businesses need the numbers. They need the community to come together and keep them going. After all, when fitness trainers and studios do their bit for the community, it's only fair to give back in kind. This means every member of the community has a role to play, however small it may be. Here are a few ways in which local fitness businesses can be supported today. 

Sharing is caring

A good place to start would be recommending fitness classes to immediate family and friends. It's always hard to find a studio that understands personal needs and knowing what works for friends and family, it shouldn’t be too difficult to recommend a good local fitness studio or trainer.

Social media is another way to spread the word about local businesses. Whether it’s a quick story on Instagram during class or a workout ‘boomerang’, it’s bound to tempt a few viewers to join in.

Another way studios can encourage this is by offering some of their most loyal clients a referral code that can get their friends and family a small discount on their first class. This would motivate them to share more about the business and bring people in!

The power of testimonials

Testimonials can add significant value to any business. This is because an honest testimonial gives people a view of the studio or trainer that doesn’t come from the source. They make relatively unbiased sources of information and can easily attract more clients from the community.

Balanced customer testimonials bridge the gap between what studios promise and a customer’s practical account of the service. With a first-hand perspective open to them, people will know what they're getting into. Anyone who finds the studio to be a good fit would sooner be willing to accept the place as it is than be let down by expectations later.

Testimonials where people speak on how a certain training program improved their lifestyle or why others need to try a particular program would build trust in the studio and its classes. People within a community will generally choose to be inspired by their own first, so these testimonials could attract a wide local audience.

Members are family

Most fitness studios today are largely dependent on membership fees to maintain their revenues. In fact, membership fees currently make up 60.4% of the total health and fitness industry revenues.

Members keep the studio running and every fitness studio listens to its members before making any serious changes to their classes or training styles. To an extent, the workout routines preferred by members would be prioritized by the trainers.

As the studio's first priority, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to accept the role that members play in building the studio's identity. Besides, with a membership, clients are making more than just a financial commitment to their local gym. They're buying into the brand and placing trust in the trainers to help them with their long-term fitness goals!

The gift of wellness

Another great way to generate business for local studios is to create and sell gift cards for fitness services or classes. This creates an excellent opportunity to make an impression within the community and give those who are interested in fitness, a glimpse into the studio and its trainers.

Another option that would help local fitness studios is buying their workout wear or other branded items they may have on sale. It's a great fit for family and friends who would prefer a home workout, while also driving sales for the studio.

Virtual workouts, real relationships

It served studios quite well to go virtual with their classes during the pandemic. In fact, virtual streaming shot up 25 spots from last year to top the American College of Sports Medicine's annual survey of fitness trends for 2021.

Our own clients used Omnify's Zoom integration feature to train their customers and members virtually. The worst of the pandemic might be behind us, but it looks like the option of virtual workouts could be here to stay.

So, for those who would like to keep their home workouts going, signing up for virtual fitness classes at a local studio would be the best thing to do.

Ultimately, it's best for your fitness studio to foster a symbiotic relationship with your community and continue to find ways to grow stronger, together.

If you run a fitness studio looking to simplify your business and devote your efforts to improving your customer experience instead, take a peek at what Omnify has to offer you. Reach out to us or Book a Demo to know more about our services today!