The Strength of Community During a Pandemic

As we write this, there are a billion people around the world (and counting) largely confined to their homes and only allowed to go out for absolute essentials. It’s an unprecedented situation that is affecting every single person on the planet in some way or another.

It’s a situation that is already impacting our franchisees and like many small business owners, they are under increasing pressure to keep things going and find new ways of working as more countries enforce closures and shutdowns. Of course, we will always do everything we can to support our business partners, and franchisees can be sure that we’ll be pulling out all the stops to minimize any negative business effects for them. 

Something that sets F45 Training apart from our competitors and the rest of the industry is a unique and authentic sense of community and teamwork. It’s inspiring, motivating and built to a large extent through our carefully designed and curated in-studio member experience.

The question for franchisees wrestling with closures or increased customer worry about hygiene and exposure is how to preserve their individual communities and still offer value to members no longer willing or able to get into their studios.

The good news is that the global F45 family is passionate about the brand and the vast majority of members have a huge amount of love for the business and all the good things it has added to their lives. It means there’s an engaged audience waiting to hear from franchisees and willing to support any initiative that will help restore some sense of calm and order to disrupted lives and routines.

Here are some thoughts from F45 HQ on how franchisees can preserve and grow their business’ community, even if their studio doors are closed:

Make the most out of the F45 At-Home Workouts.

We’ve been overwhelmed by the massively positive response to our in-home training launched through the F45 Challenge app and website. By focusing their marketing messaging on the At-Home Workouts and making sure to feature members’ responses via social channels, franchisees will be able to drive awareness of this exciting initiative. The more members franchisees get to sign up and participate, the more content we will be able to generate. It means that members taking part will feel like they’re still getting loads of value back from the brand, which will make them less likely to freeze or cancel their memberships. Members who stay fit and active will also be more likely to return to in-studio training once the dust settles and things return to normal. 

All franchisees should make sure that they’re 100% up-to-date with the latest live and At-Home Workouts and are able to assist members with sign-ups and troubleshooting.

Create a group for your studio.

While members should always be directed to follow and contribute to a studio’s social pages, creating a WhatsApp group is another way for franchisees to ensure that they are able to stay in close contact with members. This can be a way to share health and safety updates and the best contributions from the global F45 family. Remember to keep messaging to a minimum, though, and please ensure that any content shared keeps within the F45 Training brand guidelines. Don’t spam or share anything that could cause offense or panic – any information should be checked and confirmed before franchisees hit that send button.

Be creative.

While F45 Training HQ will keep the live training coming, franchisees should also look to add value to their individual communities. With many people lacking full home gyms or even just a set of dumbbells, bodyweight training is an easy go-to, but franchisees can offer more with a little creativity and out-of-the-box thinking…

One idea could be to get members to send in a picture or list of what they have at home to train with—a single dumbbell, a resistance band, a skipping rope or even just a chair and table. Franchisees can then piece together a workout using what the member has and encourage them to share their results. These workouts don’t need to be complicated, just easy to do and share.

The internet is sure to soon be flooded with hordes of bodyweight workouts and, to stand out, we’ll need to do things differently. Even something as simple as challenging members to wear a funny or themed outfit while they train could be a good way to add some humor and variety.

Get members to challenge one another.

Some friendly, supportive competition is always a good thing. By encouraging members to compete in a series of simple challenges and tag their friends to participate, franchisees will be able to stay top-of-mind and members will be given extra motivation to keep moving and stay in shape. A plank, push-up or pull-up competition are all easy and simple ways to engage members and keep that sense of teamwork going.

Nutrition will become more important.

In the midst of the global health crisis, people are likely to exercise less and maybe even comfort eat out of boredom. Franchisees can offer support by sharing easy, healthy recipes and ways to switch up meals that are likely to be based on a lot of the same staples and non-perishable foods.

Pre and post-workout recipes, smoothie ideas and healthy snacks to preserve muscle and stay lean will be more than welcome for most people. The F45 Challenge and our global network has loads of ideas for franchisees stuck for suggestions. 

Use the extra time to take stock.

The fast-paced nature of our industry can often mean that franchisees are tied up in their day-to-day without being able to take a step back and see the bigger picture. This could be a great time to look at business systems, processes and goals and spend some time giving the fundamentals some love. Time is only wasted if you do nothing with it.

Be proactive, be positive and keep going.

As the world struggles with uncertainty, our job is to try to remain as positive and agile as possible. We’ll find new ways of working and living and hopefully inspire and motivate others to do the same. Remember, we often can’t control what happens to us, but we can choose how we react to it.

The Strength of Community During a Pandemic



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