What did you do for reopening?
We didn’t have a ton of time to prepare, we opened on June 1st, we are a big studio with lots of overhead and we were paying rent and employees the whole time so we opened as soon as we could.
What did the first-week open look like?
Well, most important to MISSION is branding, communication, and social so we relied on these as we reopened and we immediately had lots of people return and lots of new members. By 4 to 6 weeks in, we had almost exactly half of our members back and classes were all full with a waitlist.
What did inside the studio look like?
We have physical distancing but no masks for clients. There is a plexiglass barrier up at the front desk and staff that is maneuvering between clients (to clean and reset) are wearing masks and gloves but once instructors are in place they are not. Also, the showers are closed so there is not a ton of use of the bathrooms.
Did clients have to sign off?
Yes, we had clients sign a physical waiver, we did this instead of a virtual waiver to force a one-on-one conversation with each member to walk them through the new procedures.
Did you have a client or staff push back?
No, clients push back on being too strict or too lenient. We had some staff chose not to come back but they made this decision from the beginning and now the majority of our staff are new.
How did you use this time to reset and look for an opportunity?
We had been slammed since our second month open as a new business, so the past 4 years have been like drinking from a fire hose so we took this time to look at our core values and our hiring process and really find who we are.
What is one thing that you learned?
I learned that we had lots of staff turnover and we didn’t properly establish who/why we were hiring people from the beginning. I was hiring for skills and not behaviors and I needed to look at our culture. I am not sure I would have if this hadn’t forced that perspective on me.
What made you take the time to do this?
I had to start looking strategically at everything and the lens shifted to one of protection and not growth.