COVID-19 has changed gym membership and workout culture as we know it. Now, more than ever, determining how to innovate can be a complicated process that requires careful thought and consideration. It isn’t just a matter of figuring out ‘what’ to do but also ‘when’ you should do it.
Launching a new product or service ahead of its time and before the market is ready can spell disaster. Web search engine, AskJeeves.com (now Ask.com) was launched in 1997 but the technology just wasn’t as good back then and companies like Yahoo and Google eventually swooped in and took over.
Arguably worse still, you can be too late. New ventures must move fast to capture fleeting opportunities. You only have to look at failed businesses like Blockbuster or Motorola to understand the importance of striking while the iron is hot. Both companies eventually recognised their need for change but were unable to do so fast enough. As a result, they were unable to keep up with competitors and were no longer relevant. Left behind, Blockbuster went bust and Motorola’s cell phone division became a perennial money-loser.
In this current climate, gyms must digitize to stay relevant and they must do it now before it’s too late. A successful digital transformation will, for many gyms, be the difference between survival or failure in this coming era.
So, how do you know the right time to pivot? It can be as easy as asking yourself a set of questions:
- Is your business still serving your target market?
- Are you spending too much time putting out fires?
- Are your profits declining?
- Have you stopped growing?
- Are you still seeing results from the things that made you successful?
- Can you still see a viable path to further growth?
- Are your customers or employees leaving you?
- Are you falling behind in a busy market space?
- Is your intuition telling you so?
If your answer to many of these questions is ‘yes’, then it’s time to reconsider your business model -now.
If your members are looking for different ways to be served that you don’t offer, you will need toadapt or narrow your market before they look elsewhere. If you are struggling to stay up-to-date with current trends and find yourself unable to keep up you will fall behind and become irrelevant to your target market. The “this is how we’ve always done it” attitude will no longer serve your business or ensure its survival.
If you feel as though you spend more time putting out fires on a daily basis, and leave everyday feeling like nothing has been accomplished, then it’s time for a change.It’s also a big sign if you find yourself behind on market trends and your leads are being impacted as a consequence.
But the biggest indicator that your company needs to evolve is when you find yourself doing the same things you did before, that were previously successful, but no longer are.
The reality is that the effects of the pandemic on the economy will play out in a complex and hard-to-predict manner. Perhaps digital transformation wasn’t entirely essential for gyms before, but now, in our current scenario, it has become urgent and critical if operators are to emerge successfully and profitably.
Timing is the essential ingredient to the success of any business endeavour. Establishing a lateral extension of your gym’s existing capabilities, cementing —not undermining —it’s strategic intent is key.
Now is the right time for gyms to get outside perspective from trusted advisors, ones that share similar values and are willing to work alongside you to build a sustainable and profitable future.
Funxtion is ready, willing and able to work alongside and support gym operators with the ‘what’, ‘how’, and ‘why’ but it’s up to them to decide the ‘when’.