After a challenging few months, a small women’s gym in Sheffield is already bouncing back and feeling optimistic the business will be even stronger after lockdown. But after months of closures, will the fitness industry ever truly recover?
Small businesses across the country have been devastated by COVID-19 but Believe & Achieve UK, believes this as an opportunity for personal training studios and small gyms to gain the upper hand on the big players in the fitness industry. While people are wary of visiting places with large numbers, small studios can provide a safe, high-quality gym experience on a far more personal level.
Founder Claire Moore says “After months of isolation people are craving to connect and feel part of a community. But we have to understand that there are a lot of concerns about returning to what was normal life. As a small gym we pride ourselves on building relationships with our clientele and now it’s our responsibility to build their confidence in us and our gym. The key to that is communication.”
All gyms in the UK were instructed to close on March 21st, the biggest challenge the fitness industry has ever faced. Gyms scrambled to provide support and training online, while fitness equipment sold out almost as fast as toilet roll, as people transformed spare rooms into home-gyms. Everyone had to learn to do things differently.
As lockdown begins to ease, will people want to go back to the old routine? If so, how do we tempt people out of their homes and back to the gym?
While online is a welcome way to be able to keep training clients, nothing beats face to face connection. The live experience of working out in a gym or studio will never be replaced.
That sense of belonging and community, cheering each other on, supporting each other when it gets tough (cos in a good gym it always gets tough) can never be replaced online, but we must show clients we can do this safely.
Small gyms win this one hands down. The community they create and how they know every client by name as they walk in the door, provides a great opportunity to show caring and compassion through a personal touch. Add in the minimal space and equipment to clean, the ability to stagger sessions and you have a winning formula for a great gym experience with safety a top priority.
Claire ends “Being able to work with our clients online has been great but we can’t wait to get our gym family back under one roof and support each other in getting healthier and happier. This is a fantastic opportunity for small business to provide even more value and connection and we are going to grab it with both hands.”