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Business Management

How To Evolve Your Fitness Business in 2021

As gyms, yoga, dance and fitness studios have reopened to in-person sessions in 2021, offering online classes will keep your business competitive.

March 26, 2021

The fitness industry has been transformed by the coronavirus pandemic. As fitness businesses and their customers adapted to the changing landscape, online classes – live and on-demand – became the saving grace of an industry that had not yet wholly embraced digital.

It now appears that even as gyms, yoga, dance and fitness studios have re-opened to in-person sessions, and look forward to “normalizing” in the latter half of 2021, online classes as a complement, not a competition, will retain a lasting role.

Here are a few ways fitness businesses are expected to evolve their online options in 2021:

Hybrid Group Exercise

Class-size restrictions and increased concern for health and safety mean fitness studio owners will be managing expectations around supply and demand for the foreseeable future. Continuing to offer hybrid online + in-person classes is one way to head off customer disappointment, keep your community connected and strong, and retain revenue.

Live streaming your in-studio classes allows those now smaller groups to feel the additional energy from the students online, and provides online students with access to their favorite instructor in real time for alignment cues, personalized inspiration and Q&A before or after class.

This is an important advantage over all the free fitness videos available online. 

Shorter Workouts On-Demand

Working at home during the pandemic has given rise to the habit of fitting in quick, intense workouts during the day – especially around the lunch hour.

As you customers look to squeeze their workouts into their busy family and work schedules, shorter, pre-recorded video classes of 30 min or 45 min are a great way to help your students stick with their fitness routine, while giving them access to their favorite local instructors in a way that won’t compete with your regularly scheduled live classes.

Punchpass fitness business software allows you to customize how your students access different types of online on-demand content. You can choose whether to offer classes for free, charge, create password protected content, and group your content into different categories. LINK

Online Lifestyle “Extras”

Successful fitness businesses know that attracting and retaining customers is all about providing value, especially in unexpected and unique ways that set you apart from the competition. Consider using your online content library to offer healthy lifestyle tools that will encourage your customers to stick with their fitness goals, and increase their results.

Here are some types of supplemental materials that you could offer online as PDF’s:

  • A welcome kit for new students participating in your introductory offer
  • Alignment and anatomy deep dives on specific moves or poses that you’re featuring in your group classes or workout regimens, Supplemental materials and support
  • Nutritional guidance and/or recipes
  • A workout or practice schedule with space to fill in goals, class days and times and personal bests
  • A quick “workout of the day” or practice of the day.
  • Inspirational themes for mind-body health and wellness

Announce these bonus items before or after your live classes, promote them through email (LINK) and on social media. This is a fantastic way to give students a deeper dive into topics that you don’t have time to elaborate on during class.

Add an Online Option to Trainings and Workshops

You can exponentially expand enrollment in your workshops, boot camps, and high-ticket items like teacher trainings and instructor certification programs by opening your programs to digital participants. During the pandemic, many people took advantage of extra time at home to finally fulfill their dreams of becoming certified fitness professionals. There are many more, who post-pandemic will be looking to change careers.

There’s a new level of trust in online trainings and customers are comfortable joining in programs outside their local communities. The flexibility of schedule that such programs allow is also a big selling point that makes such programs available to a much broader audience of locals and non-locals. If you aspire to, you can attract and serve customers worldwide.

Punchpass allows you to film your local in-person trainings using live-stream, record the sessions and upload them to your on-demand content library, deliver additional pre-recorded content like PDF’s through an online portal, and take payments and track attendance for trainings – all online. Such hybrid training programs are becoming the blueprint for the next generation of fitness and yoga teacher training programs.

The key to effectively using online platforms to grow your fitness business is to think about them as an extension of and enhancement to your existing programming and community-building efforts.