I was a clean freak long before Covid. However, it should be no surprise that the emphasis on a clean gym facility has become more and more important over the past few years. In fact, it’s basically a mandate.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has continuous updates on how (exactly) clean your facility must be in order to ensure the safety of your members, and your individual county or State will have even more to say about it before you are even allowed to open your doors and operate.
But beyond the implications of Covid-19, why should gym-owners be so concerned with the cleanliness of their facilities?
Is it any surprise that public places harbor countless germs? I would think not. Gyms, studios, fitness centers, whatever you call your space, are included in the public sphere and are subject to germs, bacteria, and viruses, just like every other public space.
Coughing, sneezing, and of course, sweating, can leave bacteria behind in the most random places. From yoga mats, to TRX straps, aerial hammocks, and Reformer springs, there are literally hundreds of thousands of surfaces where germs can live.
Beyond Covid, there is Staph, Salmonella, Influenza, and so much more. You can’t be responsible for every germ, but you can help alleviate the worst of it by keeping your space clean.
Whether you admit it to yourself or not, first impressions are important—don’t think for a minute that your potential clients are ignoring the tumbleweed of hair that rolls across your group class space. The visual aesthetics of your facility are exceedingly important. A client might not articulate the exact reason why they did or did not like your gym, but a well-organized and tidy space will never hurt you.
Moreover, cleanliness is now equated with safety, so you want to make sure the first impression your gym gives off is one of perfectly executed spotlessness.
As much as we love to invest and reinvest in our businesses, it’s simply not feasible to purchase new or single-serve equipment (except, perhaps, for a few elite private clients). However, equipment upkeep can drastically affect the overall appearance of a facility. With that in mind, proper equipment maintenance is essential for not only the longevity of the equipment itself, but also for the competitive edge it provides your gym, in general.
Though cleanliness is probably not a part of your brand, specifically, it is definitely a part of how your brand is perceived by clients and competitors. How clean your facility is (or appears) will directly correlate with how your members see your business and how they portray it to others. This is especially true post-Covid.
And if you think cleanliness and client retention are unrelated, you are sadly mistaken. How you treat your gym space reflects your values and work ethics and, in turn, tell your clients how seriously you take their health and safety.
How Clean is Clean?
Cleaning isn’t Rocket Science. It’s probably so mundane, you hardly think twice about it. But the truth is, there’s a lot more to it now than there used to be…and your clients expect more, too.
Train Your Team
The first step to a clean space is to train your team. Whether you have employees or independent contractors, you need to make sure your team is well-equipped and well-versed in your cleaning policies.
Maybe they are in charge of sweeping floors or wiping mirrors, or maybe they need to throw in a load of laundry at the end of their shift; whatever the responsibility, your instructors and staff need to have a cohesive understanding of what you expect of them.
As your cleaning policies change, don’t be surprised if you get a little push-back from your employees. A mandatory training session will help you safely and effectively equip your staff for all the protocols laid down by government and healthcare mandates.
Going the Extra Mile
We all remember the great Clorox Wipe shortage of 2020, but our clients expect more than just a swift rub-down. If you can afford it, look into technology like automatic hand sanitizer dispensers, ozone generators, UV light sanitizers, and single-use cleaning supplies when possible. Yes, it can get expensive, but the end game is keeping your clients comfortable in whatever way possible.
And of course, if you can outsource a professional cleaning company, even if it’s just twice a month, you will be amazed at how much less stress you have with the whole cleaning process.
How have the cleaning practices of your business changed in the last couple of years? What new policies have you implemented? How have you managed this increased pressure to sanitize everything? Let us know in the comments!