These are difficult times for small businesses. The Coronavirus pandemic has led to the Government ordering venues such as Yoga Studios to close and while there is help available from the Government for some businesses and venues (Check here for more details) many are also concerned about having a business to go back to once the crisis is over, and how they can maintain client loyalty.
Here are a few tips to keep in contact with your students and help maintain your business during this crisis.
Take Your Business Online
Online Real-Time Classes
If you own or have access to a private studio you can still use it to offer online classes to your students. 2-way video conferencing software such as Zoom means that you can still offer your clients some of the same benefits as being in your regular class. While hands-on assists might not be possible, you can still view your clients form and provide recommendations for adjustments, as well as answering any questions your clients may have during the class, offering a key advantage over freely available video content.
Most of the software is fairly simple to use and can run just using your laptop or phone, though if you have a camera and tripod available this can also be used.
If your clients have existing classes remaining on a block booking you can offer them the chance to use these sessions on a virtual class instead, keeping them engaged in your offerings
Offer Free Video Classes
If live-streaming isn’t for you then you could consider offering free video classes to existing customers. Even if this doesn’t generate any revenue, it’s a great way to add value, remind your customers you are there and support them through this difficult time.
Dealing with Memberships
If your studio or class runs on a monthly membership basis this offers a great opportunity to maintain an income stream, even while your venue is closed. Offering your students options as to how they would like to maintain their membership means that you can be ready to get up and running quickly once you are able to run in-person classes again.
Some students may not be able to afford to continue with their membership. Rather than letting them cancel, consider offering them a 3 month “holiday” which will recommence automatically unless they ask for a further extension.
For students that are able to keep their membership going while your venue is closed, you might consider adding value to their membership, both during closures and once they return. A free guest pass or a free future class for themselves for each week missed, access to free online content during the closure or online advice services are all ways you could consider rewarding clients that stick around.
You could also set weekly challenges or “homework” for your clients to help them maintain their practice.
Keep In Touch
Lastly, don’t forget to keep in touch. Your students need the support of wellbeing services more than ever right now, and letting them know that you are there when they need them is vital.
Keep updating your Facebook group or sending out your newsletters to make sure you keep them up to date with current guidelines and news, so that you’re not a blast from the past when it comes to reopening.
We’d love to hear any others ways you are dealing with the current situation.