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Fitness memberships, workout classes, wellness services, beauty appointments and more.
As we all continue to work through the current coronavirus pandemic together, many of your favorite fitness and wellness businesses have had no choice but to temporarily close their doors. Without a chance to offer their usual services or classes, many business owners are struggling with a very important question:
Memberships are critical to the health of a fitness business. It’s a revenue stream that they count on each month to keep the lights on and their teams employed. Now, with many of us unable to visit these locations, a business could decide to suspend all memberships for the time being—but is that the best option? As members, we still need to work out, and there’s plenty of opportunity for the business to help with that. Plus, in these isolating times, fitness studios can provide their members a sense of community right when they need it most.
There are several options studios can consider when it comes to memberships, and there’s a lot that influences which is best for them.
This is likely the best solution from the business’s point of view, but the question remains: how can they provide members the same value they get from their traditional memberships, but in a new way?
Whether a member usually visits once a week or once a day, much of the value of their membership is the sense of belonging that the studio provides. More than ever, people crave this as they cope with isolation at home, and businesses are already working hard to keep their members engaged. They might create a Facebook group for members with daily workouts or encouragement. Some may offer classes or workouts through live or recorded video, and others may be able to offer small-group workouts outside where clients can be spread out.
Many owners are even working to ensure their members have access to the equipment they need for at-home workouts (even if that means delivering their own studio equipment for them to borrow or rent). All of these options provide value to clients. For their part, many members themselves believe in the intrinsic value that small businesses bring to the community and are open to continuing their memberships through this time.
If you are a member somewhere, it’s likely they’ve reached out to share new services they’re offering—but if not, feel free to ask them for updates. This may help you to ultimately decide what you want to do with your membership.
Hint: If you search “virtual” in your area using the Mindbody app, or on Mindbody.io, you'll find that studios, either those you have loved for years or ones you've wanted to try, are adding online classes every day. (Remember: you don't necessarily have to search in just your current area. "Virtual" means maybe checking out a class in NYC right now.)
Some businesses are voluntarily deciding to give members a choice. When Stephanie Stackhouse of SLO Yoga Center emailed her clients to let them know the studio was temporarily closing, she gave members the option of continuing. Stackhouse shared why the support was important and how the studio plans on continuing to provide class through a live stream. She gave two options members could click on: “Yes, continue my billing in support of Yoga Center” or “No thank you, please suspend my membership for now.”
If you are a member at a studio and have decided to continue your membership, reach out to the owner to let them know why—and what their studio means to you. They could likely use a kind word these days, and your sentiment may help encourage other studio members to do the same.
This option offers a sort of middle road for your studio: it’s not as favorable for them as keeping memberships as they are, but it might provide their members enough relief to keep them from canceling altogether. Studios know their members may be dealing with situational and financial hardships of their own, so as a show of good faith, some may offer a discount on the next month’s membership fees. This feels like a win for clients, who want to continue to support the business but may be coping with tough times of their own.
As you think about your own fitness membership in the era of COVID-19, you’ll have to consider how you feel about your membership—what the business means to you and your sense of community—and weigh that against your current ability to continue your support during these times. There’s no easy answer. But remember, your studio has fixed costs. Rent isn’t socially distancing itself from anyone anytime soon. These businesses play an important role in the lives of many, many people—perhaps even in yours. When things return to normal—and they will—we want these places to be there for us to return to.
Remember, we are getting through this together, and together we will emerge stronger. To show your local studios support during this time, please visit them on Mindbody.io or in the Mindbody app and find your favorite classes or one you've always wanted to try. Also, tag them on social media, along with @Mindbody, and we will support in any way we can.
Things are weird. Times are changing. It seems like just when we’re starting to get a grip, there’s another surprise. When it comes to beauty, we've had to adapt on our own due to salon closures, keep an eye on preparations and protocol changes during those closures, try to know what we’re doing before booking an appointment once they reopened, and maybe even brave the journey back to the salon. Whether you live in a place where salons are open, you’ve experienced a second shutdown, or you straight up haven’t had a haircut since March, we can all probably agree that we’re expecting some differences in the salon and spa world thanks to COVID.
We wanted to gauge how everyone is thinking and feeling about all this, so we put out a poll on our Instagram, asking you all what you expect from beauty salons right now.
Here’s what you had to say...
53% of you have returned to the hair salon by now, while 47% of you have not. This makes sense, because every area of the country is different when it comes to cases, closures, and mandates, and every person is different when it comes to risk and safety.
While many hair salons have begun operating outdoors due to government regulations, 58% of you said you’re fine with getting your haircut indoors, while the other 42% are more comfortable keeping it outside.
58% of you said you’d rather go to your hair salon than have your stylist come to you. I get it, home is a safe space, probably shouldn’t let any outsiders in.
69% of you said you’re “totally!” going to tip more for services once you start receiving them again. During this time without our stylists and aestheticians, I think we all realized how much we need them and appreciate them, and many of us are willing to show them a little extra gratitude to make up for the time we spent apart.
But, most of you aren’t. 56% of you said you have not cut or colored your own or a friend’s hair, because it was too risky, while the other 44% just “had to!”
Only 29% of you have returned to nail salons, while the rest are sticking to at-home manicures. Maybe we’re all just getting really good at it? But probably, it’s because a lot of them are still closed down, or because it’s a little more difficult to get a pedicure outdoors (we need our massage chairs!).
Our last poll question asked about what differences you’ve all noticed when heading back to the salon, and you all had a lot to say...
It’s a beautiful thing to see how the salon and spa community has come together, taken precautions, and adjustments, all so they can continue to help us look and feel our best. If you haven’t spoken to your stylist lately (or even if you have), don’t forget to shoot them a thank you and let them know you appreciate them.