Coronavirus may have closed lots of our doors to the public, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t make lemonade out of the situation, while we all work hard to #FlattenTheCurve.
In this article, we’ve compiled some ideas from organizations facing the same challenges on how they’re keeping revenue coming in & staying connected to their community. Not only that, while it may seem premature, it is critical that we continue to think about the long-term and prepare our business for when we finally come out the other side.
Now is the time to ask yourself “how can you still deliver value to your clients during this time?” The answer looks different for everybody, but it’s a good place to start.
We’ve definitely seen our own clients approaching life during COVID-19 in creative ways to keep their business open, even if they can’t meet face-to-face. Hopefully they can provide you with some inspiration!
Check them out below:
- Allow clients to rent equipment for a fee or as a perk for continuing their membership, so they can stay active at home. Just set up your equipment as merch items & re-add it to your inventory once returned. If you want to offer it as a membership perk, set up a membership required discount & link it to the equipment merch items in your store.
- Host live or on-demand online workouts, webinars, workshops, info sessions, and more. Offer them for free to paying members and charge for those individuals who’ve canceled but want to take part. You can still use our online registration to book clients & keep track of who’s attending. Just share the link with clients when it’s time to join in!
- Offer new services like nutritional coaching, educational courses, or other exclusive content via platforms like a members-only Facebook group.
- Lean in to retail possibilities by offering to send swag packages or by bringing your pro shop online. Clients are still looking for gear to use and wear while they are stuck at home.
- Create at-home resources like documents/guides, fun challenges, coloring sheets, or at-home Bingo to keep clients engaged. (Here’s an example of a Bingo card we put together!)
- Providing discounts on memberships or packages may keep wary clients onboard while you ride out the downswing.
Keeping your community connected & engaged is more important than ever. It is crucial that we communicate with our clients & staff in the most efficient and effective ways available to us.
Here are some great thought-starters:
- Send a message to groups of clients or staff at once through email blasts. This will help you get important information and updates out in front of them in a few clicks.
- Reach people the way they like to chat most - via text. SMS is a quick & easy way to touch base with clients & staff and ensure your message gets read within minutes.
- Keep your website up-to-date. Whether it’s FAQs addressing how your business is managing through COVID-19, promoting special pricing offers, or sharing announcements on your homepage -- your website remains a great communication tool that you don’t want to forget about.
- Be social on social. People are turning to social media more than any other platforms to seek out information, reassurance, and to connect with others. Go to where your clients are already listening and use this time to support your community -- feel-good stories? Small physical or mental wins? Important news? Sharing is caring!
To many organizations' surprise, people are looking for ways to support their local businesses as they navigate choppy waters. Sports & rec organizations, like yours, and their staff are pillars of their communities. You’ve made it your mission to uplift participants, students, and visitors alike. Now the community is looking to return the favor.
Staff, instructors, and educators are top-of-mind, as they form such a close bond with participants, and we’ve already witnessed some incredible initiatives so far.
As such, we wanted to lay out some key tips for galvanizing your community & asking for their help.
These tips include:
- Setting up a "symbolic store item" with 100% of proceeds going to instructors/staff. You can do this in our platform with a merchandise item of your choosing -- make sure the merch title and description is clear!
- Ask clients to purchase class packages (MultiPasses) to use for a later date when things go back to ‘normal’. It’s a little revenue to help when it’s needed the most.
- Discount your merchandise so that clients can represent your org in style: Bonus points if you’ve already got your merch online! We’ll help get you set up if you don’t.
- Ask clients to write a review for one of your virtual classes, workshops, etc. or tell their friends --- word of mouth goes a long way!
- Create a fundraising campaign for your org to support the continuity of your programs & activities: While it may feel uncomfortable, it’s OK to lean on your loyal customers to help weather the storm.
- Head to the local media & tell them your story: News and publications are looking to show their support for businesses in the community. Most would love to amplify your message, offer free ad space, share your live or on-demand classes, or promote your fundraiser with their audience during these times.
Asking for help is hard sometimes, but that’s what community is for.
Tough times don’t last, tough people (and organizations) do.
Beyond chasing those immediate wins to stay afloat, we need to make sure we have an eye on the future. Even if we don’t know exactly when, good times are guaranteed ahead.
The upswing of business will come. And your community will come together again.
Here are a few pointers to help get back on track:
- If you haven’t already, encourage clients/members to buy now, use later. This can be done with discounted memberships, subcriptions offers or pre-purchased MultiPasses (class packages). In our platform, MultiPasses can be applied to drop-ins and/or private lessons.
- Set up a fun “get-back-out-there” discount code/promotion. Get people as pumped as you are to come together again. Ideal? No. But it will help in the long-run.
- Start planning some marketing initiatives. Like employing tried & true marketing techniques: email marketing, social media posts, Google ads, and SMS to communicate with clients and reach new ones. (Recommended reading: Free Useful Marketing Hacks to Help Your Gym Thrive)
- Take advantage of this time to freshen up your offerings. This is an opportunity to think about your current programs/activities & find ways to improve or expand on your curriculum to come back with a bang!
We’ve always liked to say that we’re on your team, and during times of crisis, that’s no different! The Amilia platform is constantly evolving with valuable feedback from our clients, so we can better support you in managing it all. From behind the scenes!