Is it wrong to be charging right now?
Fitness studios across the world have shut down as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, and studio owners are struggling to decide how to price their services. This has led to the tricky question of whether it is wrong to be charging customers given the current global crisis.
A tricky one for sure. On the one hand, there are benefits to getting out there and providing value to your clients as soon as possible. On the other, you may be devaluing your service and creating long-term damage not only to your brand but to the rest of the fitness industry.
Reminiscent of the conflicting aspects of ClassPass (bringing clients access to studios they wouldn't otherwise have access to vs. creating an unrealistic expectation of what studios should offer), this dilemma is a challenging one.
The solution? Take the time to plan and create value that will be worth your clients' time. Think through the obstacles of working from home and create workouts that are enjoyable and challenging. Think about the ways in which you can differentiate your offering, what makes you stand out from the rest? What makes you unique, and what makes your clients want to come back for more?
Whether you decide to charge a small amount for an online class, or at the very least donation-based, don't forget that your expertise is valuable. Your time, energy and knowledge-resource for which your clients were previously paying for have not changed. You are delivering the same product you did before, only this time you are online vs. in person.
And as for the temptation to 'get out there', why not do teasers via Instagram live, to give your clients and potentially new clients a taste of what they would be getting? Make sure it is fun and worth their while!
Lastly, don't feel discouraged, don't stress and don't panic. Think about the missing elements and find creative ways to replace them. You have had success for a reason and staying true to yourself now is more important than ever. Have faith in your following and in your community. If for instance, your community played a large role in what made your studio thrive, why not create forums for them to stay connected and engaged?
If you'd like my help on navigating this, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will support you through this!