We understand that small businesses are facing an unprecedented time of disruption resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While sadly many businesses have no option other than to close their doors, here at the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) we are hearing about business owners who have been able to innovate and find a new direction. This series of posts is about sharing ideas from WA small businesses that have found a way of doing business differently.
Glenn and Emma Robson, along with partner Paul Twyman, are co-owners of Aspen Coaching. The two year old movement coaching business, based in Mt Hawthorn, offers body weight strength, movement, balance and mobility training to 100+ clients from their studio.
With their personal training and group unable to continue, following mandatory social distancing restrictions announced on 23 March closing gyms and sporting facilities, the trio flipped their business model overnight to online delivery.
Instead of offering group training and personalised sessions face to face in their studio, classes were reorganised to run online using Zoom. In recognition of the changed method of delivery, a new membership pricing structure was devised to include a mix of online classes and personal training. An advantage for the business is that much of their training is based on movement and does not require specialised equipment, putting Aspen Coaching in a good position to deliver remote training to clients in their own homes.
The online delivery model includes:
- online group movement classes, which clients can select and book using an app
- the ability to access recordings of classes for five days after booking
- personalised movement programming, which focusses on developing different areas of strength or movement
- one-on-one online personal training sessions
- maintaining community through social Zoom meet-ups and a private Facebook group.
Glenn says, “As a relationship-based facility, a huge part of what we normally do was based around getting to know people, being able to interact with them regularly and create a community within our space.”
“To try and keep that community feel we really made the most of our social media members’ groups and we have also scheduled some social catch-ups using Zoom.”
“The most challenging part of pivoting so quickly was ensuring we stayed on top of client communications and managed expectations. For example, recognising that members cannot currently access our facility or see us in person, we reduced our coaching rates. It’s been a juggle but we feel it’s paying off. Overall, we are really happy with how everything has been going and are excited to see where it goes.”
Some unexpected feedback the team has received is that although their members miss the community feel of the studio, many have said they now prefer online personal training because it saves them commuting time and fits better into their schedules. When the facility reopens to physical classes, Aspen Coaching plans to maintain and grow their newly created online membership portal to continue offering members the flexibility to train at home when they wish.
Thanks for sharing your ways of doing business differently Aspen Coaching!