In response to COVID-19, the Zen Planner team is doing everything we can to help boutique gyms transition from in-person to remote. As we follow what our customers, partners and influencers in the boutique fitness market are doing to quickly evolve, “virtual” classes are standing out as the top way to continue to provide value to members. These are challenging times and we understand the importance of giving you the tools you need to keep your community engaged.
To help, we’re excited to share a recent update that gives you the ability to create a virtual fitness class and allow your members to easily access those virtual classes in the Member App. Zen Planner customers: click here to learn more about setting up a virtual fitness class on the Member App.
Why Going Virtual is Important
As small businesses, we don’t have the same short-term options as larger corporations. We have to look at efficient ways to provide more value rather than providing discounts. Our costs are primarily rent. Giving away two months of membership dues could mean the end of our business altogether. Cutting staff won’t come close to the savings we need to extend our runway. We definitely don’t have millions to spend on launching a digital platform with high-value production, video-guided workouts.
How We Win
Will we lose some people to the trendy digital options out there? Sure. But those aren’t new competitors. We’ve been competing against digital experiences for some time now, not to mention the long-time battle with big boxes.
We still have what the big boxes and digital offerings don’t. We have community, relationships, trust, real people having fun and meaningful interaction.
So, how do we capitalize on these things in this new environment of shelter-in-place and social distancing?
- Maintain our relationships within our member base. Communicate. Our members still want and need guidance, accountability and someone to depend on, now more than ever.
- Continue to foster community interaction. Have you been invited to a Zoom happy hour yet? With zero interaction with people otherwise, it has become oddly more fun and exciting. Our classes are the same. It may not have worked when things were “normal,” but it seems to be working amazingly now! People still want interaction with others in their community. Our competitors can’t offer this.
- Coach / Teach / Instruct. All of the artificial intelligence, fancy visuals and live-streamed celeb trainers in the world can’t come close to providing the quality we provide. We know our people. We know what they are capable of, and we know their limitations.
So, we’re keeping it simple. A free Zoom account and people with some space in their living room is what we’ve got right now. We can make it work.
Forget about the production value, your members don’t care. They want to see you. They want to see their normal classmates. They want the social accountability and fun of doing what they normally do, with the people they normally do it with.
Don’t overthink it. Let’s keep doing what we’ve been doing, just in a different physical setting.
Director of Product Management
Matt was a fitness business owner and Zen Planner customer before joining as one of the company’s first customer advocates in 2013. After building out Zen Planner’s customer implementation team, Matt became Zen Planner’s first Product Manager in 2015. He now leads Zen Planner’s product team. Matt lives with his wife, Terra, and dog, Carl, in Denver, CO.