Sweat Equity: Face Masks in the Gym

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Get the Basics...

  • đź”’ Navigating gym closures
  • Tackling the face-covering controversy
  • Prioritizing benchmarks and emails
  • Handling Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Interview with Ashleigh Kast đź’¬

Welcome back to Sweat Equity. In this edition, we’re looking at how to navigate another round of gym closures and what Corporate Social Responsibility means for your ad campaigns.

New this week: Navigating gym closures and face coverings… Growing your fitness business with benchmarks and email… Keeping ad content relevant… Corporate Social Responsibility… Interview with the founder of Sophisticated Strength, Ashleigh Kast.

Still with us? Great. Let’s get started.

If you’re ready to grow and manage your business better, book a demo with our team today.


BUSINESS

Will Gyms Ever Be Safe?

How to operate navigating a gym during an ongoing pandemic

COVID-19 Is Airborne

It’s official. COVID-19 is airborne. What does that mean? Previously, COVID-19 was thought to be transferred primarily via contaminated surfaces and large droplets (sneezes, coughs, forceful talking).

But researchers have come to the consensus that it is likely transmitted by aerosol as well, meaning the virus particles can stay airborne for longer than originally thought and can be spread by mechanical air movement (think central air conditioning).

On July 4th, in an open letter presented to the World Health Organization, 239 scientists presented evidence that respiratory droplets are remaining airborne and infectious much longer than originally suspected. The WHO currently does not recognize the airborne transmission of COVID-19. You can read their response here.

And states in critical situations, like Arizona, Texas, and Florida, are beginning to back-peddle their reopening measures. Many counties and cities are once again closing, restaurants, bars, and, you guessed it, health clubs and gyms. With so much uncertainty surrounding the spread of COVID-19, lawmakers and business owners are exercising extreme caution.

What Does This Mean For Gyms?

So, what does all this mean for the fitness industry, specifically in-person fitness? According to medical professionals, working out at the local gym isn’t advised. The Texas Medical Association ranked 50 activities by risk of COVID transmission – Know Your Risk During COVID-19 – and they’ve ranked working out at a gym in the high-risk category, scoring an 8/10 on the risk assessment scale.

texmed high risk covid

What Happens When a Gym Reopens, Only to Close Again?

If you’re operating a gym in a state where coronavirus cases are surging, it’s possible your staff and members are facing exposure risk. Even in the most controlled environments, it’s difficult to monitor and prevent transmission by symptomatic/pre-symptomatic carriers.

What if a gym member with COVID-19 unknowingly infects other club members during a gym visit? If the said member later becomes ill and tests positive for COVID-19, local health authorities will contact you and provide guidance regarding precautions/closure procedures.

The CDC Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist details how to establish and implement procedures. OSHA COVID-19 describes the steps and strategies needed for a possible outbreak among your staff. Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers Responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) details how to prevent/limit exposure among employees and protect customers.


The Face-Covering Conundrum

How to make sure members are wearing masks (while avoiding confrontation)

“Wearing a mask in the gym is critical and warranted,” says Meir Magal, exercise science program director at North Carolina Wesleyan College, a fellow with the American College of Sports Medicine, and ACSM certified clinical exercise physiologist. He goes on here to describe how to properly wear a mask during exercise and what some adverse reaction looks like.

To encourage compliance, make sure to:

  • Display clearly your gym’s mask policy – preferably to be seen before entering the facility.
  • Communicate via several channels to alert members of your face covering policy – use email, SMS, social media, and your website.
  • As obvious as it seems, avoid politics. Rather, emphasize to your members that masks are about community kindness and keeping your doors open.
  • Provide free masks so no one has an excuse.
  • Support your employees. Give them your full support when they have to stand their ground.

Alternatives to Cloth Masks for Exercise

Are face shields alone a safe alternative to cloth face coverings? The short answer is no. Because of the large openings on the side and bottom of a face shield, if worn alone, it does little to control the expulsion of droplets (again, the point of face coverings it to protect others might you be a COVID carrier).

Various health officials recommend using some type of additional cloth barrier in tandem with a face shield, as the original intent of a face shield is to offer a second layer of protection for medical personnel.

However, as expected, the how for using face shields is debatable. In this study published by JAMA, shields were reported to offer advantages to face masks in both transmission and inhalation prevention

[Related: We Found the 20 Best Face Masks For Running or Cycling, Why Aren’t Face Shields More Popular in California?]

If you’re wary to continue running in-person training, but you’ve also been hesitant to take your fitness business online, it’s not too late to begin the transition. And if you are online already, it might be time to ramp things up! Book a demo with us today to get started.


TRENDS

Benchmarks & Emails to Prioritize Now

10 business reports you should be monitoring

Maybe you’d like to purchase new equipment, hire additional staff, or rework your pricing structure. Your gym’s financial reports give you insight into how much cash you have available to spend toward new projects and how your immediate financial decisions will impact your business’s revenue outlook.

Using the right financial reports is a big part of how business owners measure success and detect struggles. In light of COVID’s impact on the fitness industry, now may be a good time to rethink your revenue and spending ratio. By monitoring money going out and money coming in, you can identify your gym’s areas of profit and loss.

So which reports should you be following? According to IHRSA’s This Report Should Be Part of Your Strategy for a Better 2020, here are the ten reports every fitness entrepreneur needs to be monitoring on a regular basis:

  • Revenue: an income statement provides your net income after deducting expenses and losses
  • Retention: monitor customer loyalty by tracking membership sales, renewals, and cancellations
  • Revenue per member: determine how much money you take in from each member
  • Membership growth: calculate how many memberships were added this year and calculate the same for last year; subtract the values and divide by last year’s total to determine the growth rate
  • Membership costs: divide total sales/marketing expenses by the number of members/clients
  • Labor costs: calculate what percentage of your revenue goes toward payroll
  • Capital expenditures: calculate the percent of revenue being reinvested into your fitness business (i.e. new equipment, facility upgrades)
  • Nondues Revenue: calculate the percent of revenue being generated by non-membership sales (i.e. personal training, fitness challenges)
  • Profitability: determine which service generates the most revenue (monthly memberships, fitness challenges, workout packages)
  • Facility costs: calculate the percentage of revenue being spent on building expenses, including rent, utilities, taxes

Exercise.com’s advice from the experts: Do I Need Personal Training Software? and 16 Common Mistakes Gym Owners Make

Do Welcome Emails Really Boost Conversion?

Why, yes, they do! According to GetResponse’s Email Marketing Benchmarks report, businesses that fall under sports and activities industries enjoy a 28.99% open rate. Capitalize on an email-receptive environment by crafting a strategic and informative welcome email for your online fitness audience.

You should be sending welcome emails to confirm new memberships and onboard new subscribers. And take advantage of automation to ensure no lead slips through the cyber cracks.

Make your welcome email campaign count by:

  • Setting the tone your relationship with the new client/subscriber; also, to build trust and establish engagement
  • Inviting your new clients to join you on social media
  • Sharing your popular content/case studies
  • Setting expectations – put your subscriber in the know regarding types and frequency of emails to expect
  • Spelling-out the steps your subscribers need to take to prevent your emails from going to spam

[Related: Promoting Your Gym With Digital Marketing, 30 Gym Marketing Ideas — and Counting…]


DEBATABLE

Mastering Relevant Ad Content

Balancing monetizing ads and Corporate Social Responsibility

When your fitness business produces relevant advertising content, you’re doing much more than just advertising. You’re creating (or joining) a conversation with your audience and signaling yourself as an authority in the industry. Relevance is often compared to authenticity – believability – because your audience wants to feel that you have your finger on the pulse of current trends and problems.

“Building copy around economic, cultural, or temporal context strongly increases the relevance of the ad. And adjusting your copy according to relevant events happening in the world can go a long way.” (Stacked Marketer)

yoke content audience pillars

[Source: Yoke]

Here Are 10 Steps to Keep Your Ad Content Relevant

  • Linking a landing page that makes sense
  • Communicating that your brand understands your audience’s intent/need
  • Offering a Unique Selling Proposition – stand out from the competition
  • Understanding how to have a conversation with your target audience
  • Keeping their engagement risk-free
  • Properly using headlines
  • Incorporating keywords and SEO that match user intent
  • Being “advertorial”- people don’t want to be advertised to, but they do want to be informed
  • Addressing current events, use testimonies, great graphics, and stats
  • Making it urgent: utilize CTAs

[Related: 10 Ways to Make Your Website Content More Relevant (and Rank Higher), Clever Gym Advertising Campaigns]

What Is the #StopHateForProfit Movement?

The #StopHateForProfit advertising boycott is positioning itself as an anti-hate movement. And plenty of big names are participating, while plenty of others are not. The majority of corporations are focusing their energy toward boycotting adverts with Facebook, costing the company an enormous amount of ad revenue.

The question many small businesses have is: What if you’re just trying to be a decent human being and grow your business? – because, on most days, that may be all you have the energy for. Unfortunately, the world of social media is making it harder and harder to remain neutral on current happenings. So, in light of current events and the boycott of Facebook, what should your response be? Business as usual? Or do you join the voices pushing for change?

That’s a personal question only you can answer – but learning about Corporate Social Responsibility may help.

What Is Corporate Social Responsibility?

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) comes in many forms. And the beautiful thing is, you chose what’s right for you and your business. You might be hearing only one conversation but that isn’t the only conversation that’s happening. Whatever cause you choose to be a voice for, you will have supporters – and you will have haters.

Whether you choose activism or not, it’s a good idea to formulate a statement regarding your position on various social issues. Clients and employees may want to know where you stand, and you want to be ready with a thoughtful, non-combative position and reasoning.

Here’s mega-corporation IBM’s 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report as an example of how a business incorporates tackling social issues. Here you can read about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

[Related: 16 Brands Doing Corporate Social Responsibility Successfully, Sweat Equity: Prioritizing Employee Engagement]


INTERVIEW

Ashleigh Kast on Developing as a Fitness Entrepreneur

Our resident interviewer, Schimri Yoyo, sits down with Ashleigh Kast, founder of Sophisticated Strength, to discuss developing as a fitness entrepreneur.

Ashleigh Kast

Notable Quotes:

  • “I think the way that I approach personal training, always whether it’s in person or online, is not only to train people to get them the results they want but also to get them to a place where I don’t need to train them anymore.”
  •  “…if they needed to go and help a family member or help a friend start their own fitness journey, I like to ensure that my clients are ready to do that. So I want them to feel like they don’t need me. I want them to feel self-sufficient. I want them to be able to take agency over their own training and their own health.”
  • “…in terms of like my one-to-one business, my in-person business, my Instagram is more like a business card for me. And then online, I’m using it more of like a direct funnel, too. So I’m trying to essentially offer people some really good information and also offering some really good programming to entice them to start training.”

Read the full interview here.


QUICK REPS

Interesting Internet Finds

Share these links on your social media platforms for increased reach and engagement

Taste: When it’s too hot to fire up the grill, keep mealtime healthy and cool with a crisp Chinese Chicken Salad.

Buy: Want a simple device to monitor your health vitals? The NBA is investing in ĹŚURA sensors to keep players healthy by tracking sleep, heart rate, body temp, and other activities.

Watch: Here’s how Pro Basketball player Chris Paul keeps his edge at the age of 35.

Read: Is COVID really changing the way you eat? Maybe. See how your eating habits stack up: How COVID-19 has changed the way we eat, according to five experts

And that’s a wrap! We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s digital issue of Sweat Equity: Insider Fitness Business Insights. We’ll see you in two weeks! Stay safe. Stay kind. And wash your hands.

If you’re ready to grow and manage your business better, book a demo with our team today.


This week’s newsletter was brought to you by Brittany, Mathew, and Jeff.

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