Now What's Next?
We are in the middle of this now. For some studios, things have settled into a new normal with virtual classes and keeping in touch with clients with lots of emails and social media. For others things are still a little chaotic getting into that new routine but maybe almost there. No matter where you are at this point in time you've almost certainly been focusing on the present situation a lot. But we need to remind ourselves to focus on the future as well. As business owners and managers we always need to be thinking ahead! When you get to a place where you can take a breath, take a look at how you'll handle the process of re-opening; and how your services will look when you first re-open. That day is still an unknown for sure, but it will come and you want to be prepared.
Here are some things to consider as you plan ahead. 🎇 Your in studio audience will be different. Some clients will be chomping at the bit to get back into your studio and back to normal; while others may still feel nervous about being around other people. This will definitely impact attendance initially after re-opening. 🎇 Consider offering both virtual and in-person classes - at least initially, if not permanently. Since in-person numbers will likely be lower due to nervous clients and distancing restrictions, this hybrid option might be your best bet. Create two classes in MindBody for each class. One for in-studio with a cap on the number of participants, and one for the virtual version. Keep your set up that you are using right now in your studio for your virtual/live streaming, and stream the class while it's being taught live to those in the studio. Once the rooms start to fill up again you might remove the virtual option, or if you have the capability you could keep it from now on! 🎇 This is a perfect time to make staff, procedure and schedule changes. Have an instructor that you want to have more or less classes? Or an under performing class you've been wanting to remove from your schedule and just couldn't find the right time to do it? Well here is your opportunity! You won't re-open with the same schedule you had before you closed. You've probably reduced the number of classes you offer per week with the change to virtual classes. Initially when you re-open you'll have to build back up a little and so your schedule will start out a little lighter. Plan out that new schedule as much as you can now, and make any changes you've been wanting to make. As you start to add more classes back in as business ramps back up, you might change up class formats and class times based on feedback and attendance analysis. You can also make changes with policies, procedures, employee/independent contractor contracts, etc. This is the time!
🎇 Keep your virtual library of classes - and keep building it!
You might be recording classes now and building a library of virtual classes. Access to a virtual library of classes is a great perk for members now and even after we return to the studio.
You might include it in your regular membership pricing or add another membership pricing tier that includes the virtual library. You could also make the virtual library available for non-members for a fee as well. Charging for online classes and virtual libraries can be done with add-on video players to your website, Vimeo, and will also be possible with MindBody Video - eventually. 🎇 Plan ahead with your software too. There are a lot of specials and free trials happening right now with software helping us to be virtual during this time period. Eventually all that will end and we'll have to pay for these services. If you are planning on continuing with these virtual options you'll want to think about the software you want to use for the long haul. Some are using Brandbot and Fitgrid to help with the workflow of live streaming classes and delivering links for Zoom classes. Those software products both do much more than that though, and if you are going to be paying for them you want to use them to their full potential. MindBody Video is starting to be launched as well. There will be no fees with this feature until around June, and the cost for those services after that are not yet known. Right now this feature is a video library and you have the ability to just share links with clients so they have access to pre-recorded classes. But, this product will continue to be built out and you'll eventually be able to do much more. Live streaming classes is next up on the list, and is in beta right now. Please feel free to email me with any questions you might have. I'm here to help!