We’re all eager to get back into the swing of things and get back into our normal routine. This is especially true for gym owners who want to open up their business again so they can provide a health service for all their loyal clients, as well as pay their bills and feed their families. This has certainly been a difficult time for all of us, especially the small business owners. But even though we’re all ready to return to normalcy, there are some steps that need to be taken to ensure it’s done safely.
As we’ve witnessed many gyms open back up over the last couple weeks, we’ve seen some common denominators that will surely prove useful for you as you start your reopening plan. The most important thing is that your clients feel safe and you’re providing a useful service for them. These five tips should help you along your way. Good luck!
Figure Out What’s Going on Locally
Every state has different reopening dates and plans. What might be going on in your hometown is different from the state next door. Before you start putting together your reopening plan, it’s crucial that you look into what’s going on locally. When are small businesses opening back up? What date has the governor set for gyms to open up? Speak to your fellow business owners in your community and see what their plans are too.
Another thing that’s worth looking into is the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths that have taken place in your state and in your county. If the numbers have not been very high, you’ll likely be able to open up sooner. But if you’re living in a highly concentrated area of COVID cases, you’ll either have to extend your reopening date or come up with a plan that will limit how many customers you can have in your gym at once.
Make Cleanliness Your Top Priority
The gyms that have opened back up have ensured that there are opportunities to clean the shared equipment at every turn. Now’s the time to stock up on cleaning solutions, spray bottles, and paper towels or cloth towels so that every person who comes back into your gym has whatever they need to clean off their used equipment after they’re done.
In addition to offering products to clean the shared equipment, consider putting hand washing stations around the shared space. A simple bottle of hand sanitizer will do. Put some signs up around the facility as well to encourage people to clean their hands as often as possible. The less germs that are being spread around, the better.
Consider Changing Around the Layout of Your Gym
Social distancing isn’t going to go away overnight. A lot of gyms that have reopened have had to readjust all the benches, cardio equipment, and dumbbell racks at least six feet apart so that people can still keep their distance while fitting in a workout. Consider doing the same with your gym layout, especially if you’re working with a cramped space already. This might mean you have to temporarily put away some equipment to make room for added space, but that’s a small price to pay to make sure your clients feel safe and not too cramped.
Another good idea is to place tape on the floor around certain equipment to indicate that between each section of tape is six feet. This is similar to what you’ve seen at grocery stores. Each person in line stands on a piece of tape which indicates that they’re six feet apart.
Reserve Special Hours For Certain Demographics If Needed
Many grocery stores and pharmacies reserve the first hour or two of the day so that certain demographics can pick up what they need without running into too many people. This works well for at-risk demographics, such as the elderly, individuals with preexisting medical conditions, and anyone else who may be particularly susceptible to suffering from coronavirus.
You may want to reserve the first hour or two of the day for these groups of people so they have the chance to stay farther away from other folks who might unknowingly infect them with COVID-19. This way they still get to workout without having to worry too much about a crowd.
Offer Constant Support For Your Customers
Let your clients know that you’re there for them no matter what. Have open office hours. Make yourself available by text, call, or email. Your job is to provide them with a safe environment to be healthy, but at the same time these clients also rely on you to be there for them when they’re feeling hesitant or concerned about what’s going on in the world. Show your customers you’re there for them and they’ll stay loyal to you.