24 Hour Fitness Files for Bankruptcy Protection—
A New Day Dawning For Small Gyms, Studios, and Health Clubs?
by Patrick Craig
Health clubs, studios and gyms, especially the smaller, independently owned ones, have just gone through the biggest challenge to small businesses since the 1930s. With the coming of COVID-19 and the mandatory lockdowns of clubs all over the country, the fitness industry took a financial hit that many pundits predicted it would never recover from. And there were some fatalities—24 hour fitness announced yesterday that they were filing for bankruptcy restructure.
But now that we seem to have come through the worst of it and clubs are opening back up, albeit slower than most owners would want, a lot of you recognize that the world you are emerging into after a long cold spring differs from the one you knew when you locked your business down. But just because it’s different doesn’t mean it is bad. This may be a great opportunity for smaller clubs to take up the slack being left by the demise of some of the larger chains since there are some additional aspects to the business that have ramped up while the industry was sleeping—developments that could be a great fit for your small independent club.
One of these innovations is the innovation of live stream personal training and classes through companies like ZOOM. Club members can sign up for a class and take part while watching their phone, desktop or TV. Yes, some companies had been putting their toe in the water of online training before COVID, but it was only the lockdown that pushed personal trainers into taking their classes digital. And here at Money Movers, Inc., we saw which way the wind was blowing and built live stream ZOOM class functionality right into our ONLINE BUSINESS MANAGER Gym/Member Management software.
OBM lets your club members see all your ZOOM classes displayed on our proprietary Public Calendar which you can install on your club’s website or Facebook page. Members can also use our AccessPass App to see which trainings and classes are available through the OBM member portal. You set up your class inside the software and make it available to the calendar and the member portal. The calendar and portal have a sign-up wizard that allows your members to purchase the class and book themselves into it online. When they do, the software sends them an email or a text with a link to the ZOOM meeting and at class time, they log in and take part.
When we were developing our ZOOM function, we discovered one factor that was keeping trainers from getting into Online Training as a profitable option for club members. To present the class, the trainer had to be there every time to lead it, live and on camera. To make Online Training feasible, they had to present several classes each day which can be exhausting.
Because ZOOM and the other Live-stream companies are not set up yet to do pre-recorded videos, it took an actual live trainer leading the class to present it. So Money Movers Inc. developed a proprietary system that allows trainers to prerecord a class, schedule it, wait for everyone to show up, turn the video on and sit back while the training runs. If you are charging $15 a class and fifty people sign up, there is a great potential for profit. When you sign up for OBM software, we give you a training video that will show you every step of the process.
It also helps if the software has a CRM feature that allows you to update all your members on your new ZOOM capability. OBM has a built in texting and email module that allows you to contact all your members or specific segments. We even provide professional templates in our member mailing list module. To sum it up, OBM is one of about six companies that have added ZOOM to their arsenal of features, and at this writing, we are the only one that can teach you how to use prerecorded videos.
Don’t come out of the lockdown thinking your business was irreparably damaged. It wasn’t. There are some opportunities now available that can get you back up and running a lot sooner than you thought possible. Yes, there is a new day dawning for gyms, studios and health clubs, so make sure you do your homework ASAP. Let OBM help you with our state-of-the-art Gym/Member Management Software. You might see your club take a brand new direction.
Call us at (800) 861-5029 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a demo or just find out more about ONLINE BUSINESS MANAGER Software.
Patrick Craig has worked in the Marketing Industry for the past twenty years. He is a published author and has written extensively about the fitness industry, particularly the gym software aspect of it. He has been with Money Movers, Inc. for the last six years where he serves as the Marketing and Operations Manager, web designer and coder, and maintains the custom websites Money Movers, Inc. develops for their Online Business Manager gym software clients.