The changes over the last two years have been quite phenomenal, especially for small businesses that rely largely on face-to-face sessions. Take the fitness industry, which is what we’re interested in here. Gyms were forced to close because of the pandemic. Travel except for essential reasons was banned, and a fitness training session with a personal trainer does not come into that category.
What happened during the lockdown periods was that many personal trainers took their one-to-one sessions online. Video tools such as ‘Zoom’ were in great demand as other businesses also took to software solutions to continue trading. Imagine the pandemic in the pre-internet days, and many more would have gone out of business.
The net result is that many fitness trainers – and others who use face-to-face sessions such as lawyers, accountants, even the medical world – continue to use the virtual often either instead of, or in tandem with, the physical appointment. Let’s look at some of the IT solutions that fitness trainers, in particular, have found beneficial.
Easy Appointment Scheduling
Scheduling meetings and appointments have never been easier thanks to capable and effective scheduling and booking tools such as missed.com. The system uses a cloud-based calendar that the trainer’s clients can access. The trainer leaves open all the slots where they are available.
The client simply picks a convenient slot, and the trainer is notified of that session being booked. It’s all fully automated, and a reminder can be sent. Simplifying appointment booking in this way is useful for trainers and any business that holds remote meetings, whether for one or more people. This leads us to the next section.
One to One Remote Training
Video appointments – and training sessions – became the only way to keep up with their training regimes via the internet. We’ve mentioned Zoom, but it’s worth noting that some booking software packages – missed.com included – have their incorporated video software as part of the deal.
Many clients are now so used to this method that they prefer it. The convenience is undeniable; there is no travel requirement and no expense for such, so if you’re not offering this service, it may be worth considering it to bring in more business.
Automate Your Invoicing
With automated invoicing, a personal trainer can save time on general admin and put more into the business areas that need attention. A typical automated invoicing system works as follows: when the client books their slot and logs in to take it, that time is automatically added to their invoice when they sign out. At a given point, the system simply emails invoices to all outstanding clients. They can pay directly using a link within the email. This sort of streamlining of admin duties is certainly worth the investment.
Follow Up Absent Clients
What happened to those clients that used to be regulars but have drifted away? Some will have stopped sessions because of the pandemic – perhaps unaware they can continue with online classes – while others may not have renewed their memberships because of loss of earnings.
By offering online training, the trainer can offer a reduced rate that may entice some lost clients back to being regulars. A simple email marketing campaign device from existing and past customer records will let them know that they can indulge in training classes online.
One method that some trainers are using is offering pre-recorded sessions that the client can download and access when they choose to do so. This is also a convenient use of time and an extra product that personal trainers may add to their menu.
Produce Progress Reports
Now and again, a trainer will chat with the client about their progress and where they need to improve. There are software packages that can enable this to be done automatically. A regular report is sent to the client outlining their performance and future expectations and inviting them to a one-to-one video meeting.
This cuts down on time spent by both parties in traveling to a meeting and adds an extra attraction to the trainer’s business. The progress reports can be accessed online by the client also.
Many potential software solutions are attractive to personal trainers, fitness trainers, and other small businesses that can ‘meet’ clients online. In the post-covid world, more people are working remotely, and also, more are choosing to go down the online video route. If you are a fitness trainer and are considering offering such a service, it may be a big boost to your business, so check out the software tools we’ve mentioned above and offer online sessions to your regular clients.