Understand the Guidelines
It’s critical to understand and abide by governmental and health organization regulations, restrictions and recommendations – at the national, regional/state, and local levels. Some guidelines may be quite specific, whereas others may allow more latitude for your gym to determine what works best.
Know what’s required versus recommended, and contact authorities with questions. Discuss anticipated changes to your business with your organization’s attorney, insurance company, and accounting team to address potential issues that may arise.
Adapt Your Business Accordingly
Compliance with new COVID-19 restrictions will take adjustments to operations, including:
- Capacity restrictions – You may need to implement a reservation system for club usage or group exercise class participation.
- Social distancing – You may have to buy new fitness equipment or take machines out of use to ensure sufficient space between your members. Gympass partners can benefit from Gympass Plus, a comprehensive online marketplace with exclusive discounts for fitness center supplies, equipment, and software.
- Limited offering – Some regions are currently unable to open saunas, swimming pools, steam rooms, and more. Other clubs may have to reduce or eliminate programs due to restrictions or lack of participation.
- New services – Many gyms and studios have started offering online fitness classes and virtual training during the lockdowns. You can provide these services with Gympass even during reopening for members who aren’t yet ready to return in person to your facility.
- Masks – Clearly determine if they are required or only recommended in the gym – and specify if they must be worn during exercise. Staff should be provided with masks and gloves.
- Cleaning – Clubs and studios must increase cleaning frequency and may adopt new protocols and tools for deep cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning supplies must be widely available for both staff and members.
Communicate and Train
All of these significant changes require clear, frequent communication to staff and exercisers to manage expectations, minimize problems, and maximize compliance. First share details with employees, and provide in-house training on new policies, procedures and responsibilities.
Then use a variety of channels to communicate information to your members, including announcements via email, social media platforms, website, SMS/text, and notifications or messages on the gym’s app. Add signage throughout the gym with reminders as well.
Highlight the reopening date, hours of operation, new procedures, cleaning protocols, and available offerings. Provide an email address and phone number where exercisers can ask questions. Consider developing a FAQ and posting it to your website for easy access to common inquiries. Finally, remember to keep your profile up to date on our Partners Portal as things change.
Of course, the only constant during the pandemic has been change. Given the ongoing and frequent changes, ensure that your gym or studio remains flexible and is ready to adjust operations as restrictions evolve and as your members’ perceptions shift.
You should be efficient, but thoughtful, when adapting to new regulations or freedoms, working with staff and informing members to foster a safe, healthy environment.
For additional tips on how to successfully reopen your business, please download this guide we’ve put together.