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Even the most successful fitness studios across the globe have had to close their doors amidst the spread of COVID-19. Businesses need to adapt and shift their business model to stay afloat. The evolution of the virtual gym, live stream classes online, and the Zoom exercise have become the new normal in the fitness industry seemingly overnight. While everyone is feeling the brunt of lockdown, group fitness instructors and studios are turning to creative revenue generation ideas while the studio is closed. By connecting with people and keeping clients engaged, fitness studios can continue to support their members during this difficult time.
Through creativity and innovation, studios can not only stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic but come out on top. Many fitness entrepreneurs and studios have already jumped at the opportunity, shifting to a new strategy. Dryft (rebranded as Recess TV) started off as the world’s first “mobile fitness” studio in San Francisco. The boutique fitness studio focuses on strength training and rowing during its workouts. Now, Recess TV has gone virtual and created their own sleek fitness VOD (video-on-demand) platform offering a wide range of online fitness classes. With a focus on corporate and group workouts, Recess TV continues to generate revenue by purchasing tokens to enroll in a class, starting at $12 for 100 Tokens to $257 for 2,500 tokens. There are options to participate in a donation yoga classes where funds go directly to the instructor.
Another business that was quick to pivot its strategy is India-based Fitternity. The online marketplace for fitness services in India rapidly switched to online services. They now offer:
- Online classes
- Fitness VOD (video-on-demand) services
- One-on-one coaching
- Video consultation offerings
Fitternity has only seen a 20% drop in active user numbers and charges 60-70% of their standard in-person fee.
These are just two examples of successful fitness brands that quickly made the adjustment to a new way of doing business. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything that’s happening in the world or discouraged that you didn’t adjust quickly enough, you’re not alone. Regardless of where you are in the process, you can find other revenue generation ideas while your studio is closed and creative ideas on how to keep clients coming back.
1. Video Classes
As we move through the reality that online fitness is here to stay, its a great business strategy to determine a way to monetize your online content. Offering fitness VOD (video-on-demand) classes is a great revenue generation model while to continue providing expert guidance to your clients. There are a few options when it comes to fitness VOD. With both on-demand and live stream classes, you can create full workout programs and more personalized fitness routines.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many fitness businesses need to get content online fast. Fitness tech companies will continue to evolve technology to meet consumer demand. If this pandemic has taught us anything, its that being agile and flexible is favorable to business longevity (Hello Zoom exercise).
2. Retail Items
Selling retail items is a great way to make money from your existing customer base. It can be a powerful addition to your revenue generation goals. To get started, you need to get a feel for what your customers value. Think about offering a range of price tags so that you can get an idea of what price point lands well and move forward from there. When you sell merchandise, it comes with a seal of approval from you. Your clients can trust the product. Here are some retail ideas, some pandemic specific and others, typical retail:
- Custom facemaks
- Private label hand sanitizer, wipes or other COVID hygiene products
- BPA free custom Nalgene bottles
- Wholesale bulk supplements
- Yoga mats
- Custom resistance bands
- Protein bars and health snacks
3. Virtual Coaching
As a fitness instructor or health and wellness coach who usually sees clients face-to-face, you can now take your coaching online. Virtual coaching means delivering expert guidance that your clients crave while sticking to social distancing guidelines. Whether it’s through Skype, Whatsapp, Slack, or Facebook, there are many ways to communicate with your clients. With virtual coaching, you can offer premium services that your clients will value, such as:
- One-on-one coaching
- Nutrition coaching services
- Personalized at-home workout routines
4. Home Workout Program
Home workouts have seen a massive uptick in demand in recent weeks and for a good reason. You have the opportunity to create detailed home workout programs to sell as a package for multiple users. This can include things like workouts, recipes, printables, calendars, and more. It could be a six-week online weight loss program, focused more on increasing strength with no-equipment exercises or even very specific like a calisthenics home workout plan. Generate leads by offering a free-trial or free resource on your website to gain interest and get conversion. You are now competing with thousands of other fitness instructors that also took their business online so standing out is more important than ever.
If you are savvy with video editing, you could created a guided home workout program through video tutorials and create individual courses that your customers can work through at their own pace. With a little bit of work upfront, you can develop a solution and package it, giving you some flexible revenue generation income more passively with a published home workout video course for as long as it’s on the website. If you are looking for some free or inexpensive video editing services, check out our blog on 9 Of The Best Visual Tools For Creating Social Media Content for some suggestions.
5. Online Workshops
Another way to generate additional streams of income is through online workshops. Focus on developing online group training that targets specific skills like bringing your yoga workshop online. Find out what your clients and audience would value most by reaching out on social media with an Instagram Story poll, quick Facebook Live or email marketing such as Mailchimp surveys. Online workshops can cover all areas of fitness, from workouts and healthy eating tips to meditation and mindfulness.
There’s also an opportunity to teach other fitness entrepreneurs industry tips and expert advice. With educational resources such as webinars, you can position yourself as in industry leader and offer paid courses that will bring in revenue to your business.
Best Practice Suggestion: For online workshops and courses, the goal is to reach a broad audience. It has been increasingly crucial that digital content is accessible to a greater population. There are web content accessibility guidelines you can research to be in a better position to extend the reach of your online digital content. Roughly 15 to 20 percent of the global population has some form of language-based learning disability. In the US, around 14 percent of adults are illiterate, and many have elementary reading skills. Accessibility in digital content is relevant. Populations are evolving. A feature to consider incorporating into your digital content is text to speech. There are free online text to speech software tools. A text to speech communication app extends your audience’s reach. Text to speech reaches those with literacy difficulties, learning disabilities, reduced vision or vision loss, and those learning the language of your digital content. To learn more about accessibility in fitness, check out our blog, Why 2020 is the Year of Accessibility in Fitness.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that you need to leverage all additional revenue generation streams as much as you can. Yes, this is a difficult time. But, it’s an opportunity to reach a new audience and future-proof your successful fitness business. Get creative. Find ways to collaborate online with other professionals in your area of work. You never know, it might be something that completely works for your business. It will allow you to adapt and transform the way you work to remain current and at the forefront of the industry.