Everything you need to know about safely reopening your gym

By Parisa Hashempour

Published 26 May 2020

After months of isolation, gyms, clubs and studios around the world are preparing to tentatively open their doors. If you’re like most other fitness professionals, you’re probably extremely excited by the prospect of being able to finally get your business back up and running (and also seeing your members come physically running back through the door).

But as much as we might wish this crisis would pass quickly, the truth is that it may take a while for society to adjust to the new safety precautions that will likely stay in place for the foreseeable future. At least, this is what we’re currently seeing in many states in the US.

This will impact gyms, studios, and fitness clubs and shape the way that they continue to serve their members. In order to ensure that your return to normalcy is as smooth-sailing as possible, you should set yourself up with the software that will allow for a seamless transition.

Virtuagym is a software provider for fitness businesses that provides fitness business owners with a personalized branded app, which gives members access to a community feature, a virtual 3D trainer with over 5000 animated exercises and both nutrition and exercise tracking.

It’s an essential tool for engaging and retaining members in normal times but during the crisis and the post-pandemic transition, it will equip them with the crucial equipment needed to manage their businesses.

So how exactly can Virtuagym software help fitness club owners with reopening?

Regulate the amount of members inside the facility

No matter where you live, the chances are that to comply with new government regulations, you will probably have to limit the capacity of your gyms. This will mean a lot less people inside your gym than usual, all operating at a safe social distance.

As gyms and studios reopen, are your members ready to return? Businesses across all sectors are devising ways to monitor and control the number of people inside their businesses. For gym owners, software is key.

  • Class scheduling

A class scheduling system can be used not only to decrease and limit the number of participants in group classes but can also be linked to your check-in system. You have the option to book a two hour slot with your gym’s maximum capacity and then members have the option to sign up in order to enter the gym.

If a member tries to access the gym without booking-in, they can then be denied entry.* This is an effective way to ensure that members sign up and register for work out slots ahead of time, ensuring that maximum capacity rules are always adhered to.

Many fitness clubs are expected to be able to allow members in for individual training sessions but not for group classes. This may mean that more clubs will be offering group classes outdoors, in order to comply. If you are a fitness professional offering outside classes in order to cater to more members, you can create separate schedules for inside and outside your facility.

  • Check-in feature

Using Virtuagym’s check-in feature is another impactful way of making sure that capacity limits are not surpassed. Members check-in and out of your facility every time they come to the gym or studio and this way you can ensure that there’s never too many people inside.

Check-ins can be done via QR code scanning, RFI ID cards or a barcode scanner. You can also use a simple card reader to check your members in and out of the gym too, so turnstiles are not necessary. By using a check-in feature you are also able to see exactly who is in your gym at a given time, this is an important safety feature, and will also help you keep track of how often individuals are coming to your gym.

  • Business analytics

With Virtuagym software, you also have easy access to all of the business analytics relating to gym entry, class participation and credit usage. By looking at this easily digestible data, you have insights on which individuals are entering the gym and how often they come. Graphs are clear and easy to use and also offer insights into your client and member’s coaching and nutrition plans.

Data is a powerful and useful tool. And having a system in which you can analyse your business analytics is crucial, whether we are living in a post-pandemic world or not.

By using a software system with this capability, you can find where the biggest opportunities exist for your business. This will help you realize spaces for growth and can help bring your business to the next level – something that is crucial as the industry scrambles to get back on track.

  • Utilize a credit system

By utilizing credits, fitness professionals have the option to limit client’s entries into the gym. This can be created as an add-on option and you don’t have to create new memberships for this.

For example, if your gym only has space for members to visit three times per week under social distancing measures, you could give members enough credits to book in these three slots.

If they try to book more than this, they will have to purchase more credits. It helps ensure that members don’t visit the gym too often will new coronavirus safety measures are in place.

How else can Virtuagym help my gym prepare for reopening?

Of course, it’s not just the amount of people in your facility that you’ll need to consider. Business owners will have to go out of their way to make sure that members are complying with regulations. In order to help you get your message across, you could use your own branded personalized app.

Create a ‘Rules’ tile within your personally branded mobile app

When Virtuagym creates an app for your company, it gives you the ability to customize what appears to your members. Members will see ‘tiles’ on the homescreen and these tiles can link to various places.

One option Virtuagym is currently recommending, is that fitness professionals use this space to post their new hygiene rules and in-house protocols. The app is something that all of your members will use in order to book workout slots and classes, this means that everyone is sure to see it.

Ultimately, Virtuagym is well equipped for helping your gym prepare for reopening. Beyond the functionality of the software’s practical business management system, it will also help prepare you for the new needs that your customers will have, after becoming used to working out at home.

For more on how Virtuagym can help you engage and retain members through a hybrid at-home/ in-gym membership style, click here.

 

Parisa Hashempour

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