What a year it’s been for me personally and collectively here at uFit.
Since 2016, when the last studio closed it had been my dream to open up another space. I just didn’t expect it so soon around Covid. I mean, Covid hit obviously and with that, restrictions eased around opening up a fitness studio. The struggles I’d found with opening up other spaces simply disappeared with the E class coming in – allowing multi-use facilities to open up around the UK.
You may not have realised, but prior to this, I’d personally researched and invested A LOT of time and money in trying to locate another unit. I have a spreadsheet on Google Drive of over 350 units, like ours now, that I’d been to see, perhaps enquired about, been turned from – and for some got pretty far in ‘almost’ opening up a space.
It wasn’t just a case of seeing this one day on a whim. I’d often stay up late – just researching, enquiring, writing down locations and sizes of spaces to see if there was a possibility. For the most part, there wasn’t. For some everything was agreed until the landlords/agents pulled the plug.
Frustrating at times. But it happened. This lasted for 5 years. I’d often joke with Helen, my soon to be fiance that every empty space I’d walk past ‘would be a great place for a studio’. She even used to say it before I did. ‘I know Sam, this would be a great space for a studio’.
Fast forward to now, and here are a few numbers for you:
1937: Total amount of attendances at Density (Not including when it was labelled Team Training)
1356: Total amount of attendances at Intervals (Not including when it was labelled Team Training)
58: Number of attendances at Pre Season (Our onboarding workout)
Total Visits across ALL workouts: 4401
And when we’re in the middle of a pandemic, that’s not bad going, right?
There’s more to come and I wanted to spend some time going through – reviewing the year, what went well and what didn’t, so we can fully evaluate where we are, reflect and make improvements going forward.
I feel we’ve had a really good grasp of the session structure and defining the different types of workouts and why they’re important for your goals. It’s easy to fall into the trap of just being ‘another gym class’ where you give members what they want without really helping them on what they need.
I don’t want that to be us.
But considering we have almost 100 members, from all walks of life and experience of gyms it’s been great seeing how many people have been open to the idea and trying the different workouts and understanding their importance across the board.
Integration of members and coaches
Integrating members into our philosophy and our coaches into our methods can be a little tricky at first. We all have experience of something else and what we believe to work. It’s natural. But I really do think the 30 day trial we offer helps members embed themselves into our ideas and showcases the level of progress one can make in such a short space of time.
Since we opened we’ve been pretty consistent in delivering sessions. Since June (6+ months), we’ve missed the following sessions:
2 x 6:15am sessions due to our coach missing the alarm
1 x 6:15am session cancelled due to being locked out of the studio
1 x 5:15pm due to coach shortages
Considering we’ve done over a thousand sessions so far (1069 in 2021), 4 late cancellations isn’t bad. That’s 1 in around 250 classes.
What an unbelievable set of members we have…Like, we’re lucky. Every coach will say they have the best clients, but we do. Our community is special, it’s bonded and helped new members, old members, those who are apprehensive in starting and those who feel down feel better instantly.
We have this culture that’s hard to put into words but it has energy and passion and will only blossom.
Things to Improve
Due to the busyness of both studios, some work in the pipeline has taken a little longer to complete than expected. For instance, this blog. The end of year form that we sent out to members, our membership pipeline and also the toilet and reception area.
We’ve been so focused on delivering sessions, we(I) haven’t found the best solution to some problems and perhaps they’ve taken more time due to the demand.
Goal: Hiring an assistant/client support will manage the load, improve the experience and efficiency of tasks and tidy up the daily list of running a 3,000 sq ft facility.
We have some wicked clients. If you’re a member, you know what I mean. And I think that should be celebrated. Getting together outside of the gym, getting to know each other – learning about each other and just becoming an extended family.
We’ve been to restaurants and meetups, but this year I feel we deserve more and to do more. As much as we physically and emotionally improve ourselves in the gym, working on our overall, deep health outside of the gym will benefit other areas. Spartan runs, Rock Climbing, Wakeboarding – doing other activities outside the four walls. Perhaps it’s climbing peaks and raising money for charity.
Goal: Bringing on ambassadors for uFit who encompass the social aspect of uFit with the goal of creating events and raising awareness for our members to attend.
Sometimes it just needs a quick message blasted out, or recipes dropped in a way that stored forever, not via emails. I mean, how many emails do you get a day?
So we’ll create a central hub for members with easy access to recipes, videos, guides that they can use and refer back to when needed rather than scroll through emails trying to find Novembers recipes.
Goal: Creating easy access, a central hub for members to access all that they need.
I think it’s important to support local charities. Something that has benefitted my dad greatly was a charity called Headway, which helped his rehabilitation and recovery from severe brain trauma. Weekend charity workouts are something I feel extremely strong towards and finding a way to help out where we can is something we need to be more proactive with.
I’ve also lost a client and friends to suicide, and CALM is a charity that works to help vulnerable men in need.
Goal: We’ll be actively looking at ways to support charities like these moving forward that have helped and affected the lives of our members and finding ways to support them through charity workouts and events.
More Sessions – Specifically 5:15pm
We’re pretty full with our sessions right now, averaging around 7 a day, which gives a lot of flexibility for our members. What we’ve realised though is with Covid and people working from home more often – a 5:15 pm class is a lot easier to get to than it used to be. Before, with traffic and late finishes 6:15 pm was the earliest most people would be free, hence the sessions at that time. Times have shifted, and perhaps we need to accommodate more 5:15pm classes to suit the demands. We currently have two per week. The struggle we currently have is having coaches available for those times, with some coming from other commitments.
Goal: Have a schedule that fits in a 5:15 pm at least 3x a week to accommodate the demand and to also spread the volume of members per workout.
That’s it from me. From time to time I’ll update this as we go along and work on the solutions above. For now, 7 months in. This is a good start.
Catch you soon,
~ Coach Sam