With Coronavirus having had a significant impact on the fitness industry, Dan Henderson, Director of the Functional Training Institute and founder of Dan Henderson Coaching, has suggested that post lockdown the industry will not be the same.
Henderson (pictured above) writes, that the worst mistake operators can make is to assume that the business model that worked so successfully for them pre-COVID-19 will work for them once the lockdown is over.
The fitness industry is saturated. There is more competition than ever before with new franchises, boutiques and mega gyms popping up on every street corner. However, that is now likely to change as we see a ‘thinning of the herd’. The longer we endure this lockdown the more likely we will see several operators not reopen their doors.
The financial impact and stress are immense and not every business or operator is built to withstand it for an extended period of time.
For those that navigate this period successfully, there will be opportunities but only if they adapt to the new consumer demands that will emerge.
My great friend and mentor Thomas Plummer has this great ability to read the future and many of the insights that I share have been inspired by his profound gift.
Coronavirus will be here for the immediate future and beyond and that is why we must take heed of it and the impact will have.
When the lockdown restrictions get lifted within the next few months then I believe seven major areas that will change.
1. You will need to Maintain an Online/Virtual Delivery Model
This is important for two reasons:
Firstly, there will be some consumers that still don’t feel entirely comfortable in crowds of people and would prefer to train from the safety and comfort of their home. They will continue to train virtually even though there is now a face to face alternative.
Secondly, people have now experienced the convenience of training online and would like to continue to do so. This may complement their face to face training and means they now have extra flexibility and can attend more frequently.
The hybrid model will be a necessity moving forward if you want to succeed.
2. Semi-Private Training will be In Demand and more Popular than Ever
I have been an advocate of semi-private training for many years and have coached over 200+ people in how to implement it.
It will now be more popular than ever as people will appreciate more space, their own equipment and less people.
They will feel safer and more comfortable in their own pod. They want equipment only they touch and space where they can move uninhibited by other people.
The group numbers will be dictated by the size of your facility and equipment available but I believe the magic number will be between 4-8.
One on one training will be in demand but there will also be economic limitations for quite some time and hence the attractiveness of the semi-private model.
3.Team Training will be Popular but will look Different for some Time
Team training has been the ‘it’ product within the fitness market for the last five or so years. 30 or more people crammed into a small space with pumping music and sweat everywhere have been tokens of success, but not anymore ...
People will appreciate more space, less sharing of equipment and not having to crash into people to move from one space to another.
Team training models will need to adapt with lower numbers, clever programming to minimise the sharing of equipment and a better utilisation of space.
The next four areas where fitness will change once the lockdown is over will follow next Tuesday.
22nd April 2020 - Australasian fitness industry looks to post Coronavirus operations
22nd April 2020 - Fitness Australia to host virtual events announcing 2020 Australian Fitness Awards winners
7th April 2020 - Two-thirds of the world’s fitness clubs are currently closed
6th April 2020 - Fitness Show Sydney rescheduled to September but B2B component shelved to 2021
2nd April 2020 - Fitness Australia encourages Australians to ‘Keep on Moving’
31st March 2020 - With clubs closed fitness providers go online
23rd March 2020 - Fitness Australia flags outdoor exercise as an alternative to imminent gym closures
11th March 2020 - Fitness Australia releases advice on Coronavirus
9th May 2019 - International Union of Kettlebell Lifting looks for recognition in international sporting arena
8th April 2018 - IBISWorld shows that 24/7 budget gyms have transformed Australian fitness
3rd August 2017 - Opportunity for fitness sector to maximise marketing and communications exposure
11th February 2014 - IBISWorld predicts flat growth in fitness industry through 2014
3rd December 2011 - Focus on good manners in the gym
11th November 2011 - Plummer warns of the dangers of low-cost fitness memberships
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