Our gym has now been open for a week ( baby steps) but where does this put us?
What I realized is that everyone’s lens of the pandemic is different and it depends a lot on geography. For the people in my beloved home country, Covid is basically a nuisance ( it pays to have a functioning government and health care system) whereas for us in NYC this is existentially threatening.
By pure numbers, we have four times the dead than the entire country of Germany which has ten times the population. And then there are the economics, which are simply horrifying.
But even within NY, things differ greatly. The Bronx was hit three times as hard as Manhattan, bars have been selling booze since late May whereas gyms just got the green light to operate.
Mind you, I am not complaining since this is the career path I chose.
My father always said: Well, you could have become a teacher.
So the question is: how do you handle the combination of owning a business in a hard hit industry which in itself lays in a war zone? Add to that that cavalry isn’t coming in terms of a gym bailout and you are looking at a bleak picture.
Make no mistake: if we have to close our doors, I am ruined.
1. You need a team . Trying to go at this alone is simply impossible.
2. You need to know what you are selling. The ” we got everything ” gym of 2019 is dead. If you want to stay solvent ( forget making a profit) until some normalcy kicks in, find your niche. Ours is very simple ” we make you look better” Nothing else.
3. Qualified personnel would be a good idea. Since we won best personal trainer twice, I feel that applies.
4. Keep the gym immaculately clean and enforce sanitizing rules. That should be self explanatory but sadly it is a case by case or gym by gym deal. I can only speak for our place, it is so clean people actually started speaking Swiss German.
5. You must offer more than weights. Customer service is crucial, now more than ever. One reason why we are still in business is that we never stopped communicating and offering help via workouts, videos etc. Once you become invisible, you are done.
6. As my friend Greg puts it: “It is an energy thing” If people get the feeling that you can pull this off, they will come.
See you soon!