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Gym reopening in ‘a to vaccinate or not vaccinate’ world

Gym reopening in ‘a to vaccinate or not vaccinate’ world
September 28, 2021

With lockdown easing measures commencing in Victoria, Mel Tempest, owner of the Ballarat Body & Soul Genesis 24/7 gym, explains that relaunching your fitness business post-COVID is about more than sales.

When lockdown commenced in March 2020, we decided to refurbish our club like many gym owners.

We re-upholstered many machines to match our Genesis branding; put new flooring in; re-modelled the male and female toilets, and purchased new equipment from Life Fitness Australia, new group fitness equipment, a new floor in our group fitness room and more boxing equipment for our HNR zone. 

We then revamped the merchandise with clothing, beanies and home equipment for members.

Finally, we landscaped the front of our building, and yesterday our new signs went up out the front

I have the best graphic designer in the world - Jack Lee from Novu Creative - and whether he is doing work for the gym or ‘Mel T’ work, he understands my objective, can read my mind and delivers what I need. He is always willing to listen to my ideas, and he never says, ‘we can't do that’.

Looking forward, it's time for club owners and frontline teams to think about how they will open their frontline business in a to vaccinate or not vaccinate world.

There is no point going out there and launching ‘we're open’ if your frontline team are not ready, and if you think they are, it's highly likely they are not. Nobody is prepared; no person has done this before; sales training and culture is no longer 2019.

Relaunching your business is more than sales. It's about the environment, the offering, and being able to have comfortable conversations about vaccinations. Irrespective of our personal opinions, our teams need to hold down mature discussions. They need to be trained to handle and avoid conflict and objection both in person and via the phone. Though this is not what they signed up for, this will become part of their new onboarding experience when you re-train your team; what was new is now old, job descriptions and sales procedures have changed, your business model has changed, and so have you. Get this right and you add value to your business. Get it wrong and your appraisal drops.

The consumer's desires and dreams have not shifted and they never will we as professionals just need to learn how to meet their goals on many different levels with new profitable business models.

Images: New signage at Ballarat Body & Soul Genesis 24/7 gym (top) and Mel Tempest (below).

About the author

Mel Tempest

Fitness Business Influencer Speaker Podcaster

Mel Tempest is the Chief Executive and the founder at Ignite Fitness Business Events, the host and founder of The Gym Owners Fitness Business Podcast and The Womens Leaders Fitness Business Podcast.

In 2017, Tempest, who organises fitness business events and roundtable events globally, was the first Australian to receive an award from the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) and, in the same year her Ballarat health club was in the top three Smart Company Australian awards.

In 2019 and in 2020 she was recognised as a top three fitness business influencers in the USA by the Association Of Fitness Studios.

In 2005 she was the first Australian to receive approval from the Equal Opportunity Board and Human Rights Commission to open Australia’s first male gym.

In early 2021, she was named 2020 influencer of the year by the US-based Fitness Business Association.

Click here to visit Mel's LinkedIn page.

Read more from this author

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19th August 2021 - Fitness clubs shut and with no ‘take away’ for 30% of days since March 2020

18th August 2021 - Global Health & Fitness Alliance sets out to prove the exercise industry’s value to society

13th August 2021 - Women in Fitness Association expands LEAD Coaching Team

22nd July 2021 - Call for stronger advocacy and support for fitness operators in regional Victoria

6th March 2021 - Mel Tempest named 2020 influencer of the year by Fitness Business Association

12th January 2021 - FITREC references Fair Work Ombudsman advice in ongoing dispute over registration of industry professionals

11th May 2020 - Women in Fitness Association appoints further global ambassadors

27th April 2020 - Global Fitness Business Women’s Leaders Virtual Event launched

25th October 2018 - Fitness entrepreneur and ‘contrarian’ Mel Tempest receives special industry communication and marketing award

27th September 2018 - FITREC names Mel Tempest as Global Ambassador

2nd March 2018 - Ballarat gym rebranding reflects changing fitness trends

15th June 2017 - Ballarat fitness club owner wins IHRSA Institute Scholarship

24th February 2015 - New guide to running a ‘Kick Ass’ fitness business


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