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How To

How to Take a Vacation From Your Fitness Business

With some advanced planning and smart use of your fitness business software, you can set yourself up for stress-free time away to relax and recharge.

July 28, 2021

When you’re a self-employed fitness instructor, taking a vacation can seem like an impossible dream. But working for yourself as a personal trainer, or owning and running your own gym or fitness studio doesn’t mean you can’t take time off. In fact, you deserve a break! And taking a vacation from your fitness business can be an important antidote to burn-out.

With some advance planning and smart use of your fitness business software, you can set yourself up for stress-free time away to relax and recharge. Here’s how:

Plan Time Off from Your Fitness Studio in Advance

Before you book your vacation, allow yourself enough time to notify your customers of any schedule changes that you may need to make, hire or train staff members to manage critical business functions, arrange for substitute instructors, set up automations (more on that below), and stash away extra money in your savings account.

If you host personal training sessions, teach private lessons, or are the only instructor for your group fitness classes, it’s a good idea to give your customers at least two weeks’ advance notice that you’ll be away.

Then, let go of the guilt! It’s normal to fear that your clients will be upset or that you may lose them to another trainer or gym, but remember, they understand that you are human too and deserve a break. Your customers don’t think twice about missing a week or two of fitness classes, especially in the Summer, and it’s o.k. for you to vacation too.

Hire & Train Staff the Right Way

Especially during the Summer months, it is critical for any fitness business owner to staff up and have a plan for making sure all classes and training sessions are appropriately staffed. This means that if you are a solo fitness instructor, and you don’t want to cancel classes, you need to give yourself enough time to interview and train your substitute.

If you manage a group fitness studio or class schedule that includes multiple class types and instructors, it’s important to know weeks in advance when your staff will be available and what their capacity is for covering your classes and each other’s.

Sometimes it’s smart to hire extra substitute teachers temporarily. Make sure you have at least one or two instructors who can be available at the last minute to come in and teach in an emergency. Life happens, even when you’re on vacation. You want the peace of mind that comes from knowing your staff has got your back, and there’s no chance of your customers showing up to a locked door or dark room.

It’s important to have a fitness business software platform like Punchpass that makes it easy to change your class schedule at any time, even from a mobile device.

Having a simple, easy to learn fitness business software can also make the difference when training stand-ins to manage your business and group fitness classes while you are away. With Punchpass, training another instructor on how to make class schedule changes, cancel a class, sign students in for class, and sell class passes is straightforward and simple.

Lastly, make sure you have a dedicated person who will regularly check phone messages and return calls. This is critical to maintaining a seamless experience for your customers and continuing to bring in new business while you are away. If you absolutely must, you can have calls routed to your cell phone so that you can handle them from anywhere, and most phone service providers allow you to check voice mail messages from afar. 

Automate Your Fitness Business

Before you leave on vacation, put as many business functions on auto-pilot as you can. Here are a few examples of ways you can use your fitness business software to run your business for you while you’re away.

Set up your customers on autopay memberships, and make sure you’ve enabled reminders for those with class passes so that they can renew their passes online when class visits are getting low.

Create your email communications in advance and use Punchpass’s Mailchimp integration to pre-schedule your emails to send, even when you’re on vacation. Make sure you’ve set up an automated welcome email for new students.

Set up automatic payment for your business’s recurring bills through your bank, or, if you’re paying manually, make sure you’ve sent in payment before you leave on vacation.

Get a lock box where you can store an extra key to your fitness studio or classroom.

Designate someone to gather mail and store it safely and neatly. 

Build an On-Demand Fitness Video Library

Whether you choose to use your video classes to replace your live classes, or simply want to ensure that your customers have a way to connect with you while you’re gone, filming class content that your customers can accesses anytime, anywhere is a great way to make sure they can still see your face, and get the motivation they need, without you having to be there.

Punchpass allows you to upload class content to your online content library and choose whether to make the fitness classes available for free, charge by the class or gate the content with a password so that it’s available only to select groups of customers, such as members.

Consider creating a special online ‘Series” that your customers can engage with while you are gone. This video fitness class series could be entirely virtual, or supplement in-person classes that your students take from substitute instructors while you’re away.

Finally, when preparing to take a vacation from your fitness business, remember to relax and be kind to yourself. It’s a superhuman job running your own small business, and it can be all consuming. Taking a break is a reward for all that hard work, and a way to reset so that you can return to your labor of love refreshed, rejuvenated and inspired.