Our guest blogger, Gillian Reeves, offers some practical tips
In the second of her guest blogs, Gillian Reeves, instructor and studio owner at Croydon Yoga Hub, has offered the following practical advice for group exercise instructors as the current uncertainties continue.
In order to continue offering classes, there are some questions to ask yourself –
- Do you want to go back to a facility where you used to teach?
- Do you want to continue online or offer a mixture of both?
Consider looking into how the facility you used to work for pre-lockdown is doing financially. Your income may have stopped completely, or it may have increased during this period with the huge uptake of online classes. Every gym or studio will have had fixed costs to cover, they may have had some government support, however pretty much all businesses with a physical facility will have been hit hard financially since the end of March. They will be looking to literally rebuild, sometimes starting from a more challenging place than they were at before lockdown.
Find out where they are at to understand what the future may hold – were they getting ready to sell their business and now they need to build again? Do they want to continue and rebuild to maintain their place in their area? Are they looking at a timeframe of when they need to be successful by to decide whether to continue or close? These questions around the strategy of the organisation will help you to understand where you stand and what teaching may look like for you in the future. This knowledge gained now can help you plan and limit disappointment or surprises.
Decide where you want to place your energy. Which facilities do you want to go back and teach at? How do you want to offer your classes going forwards?
If you are not sure about pay structure or schedule changes by now, ask the studio manager or owner of the facility. Consider how you can support and contribute to the facility continuing, weighed up with what you need financially to be able to cover your own living costs.
Ask about the rationale of the schedule changes if you have not already received this so you understand where you stand with the organisation. This may help you decide where you want to place your energy going forwards and which organisations to support based on your own values.
If you haven’t had a recent conversation with the person responsible for scheduling the classes that you teach, pick up the phone and call them. Best practice for studio managers to be connecting with you on an individual basis is once every three months. It doesn’t have to be them that calls you! Communication is a two-way thing so don’t be afraid to be the first to pick up the phone.
I understand it is a challenging time with so much change and I hope this information is useful. Do let me know what you think whether you are an instructor, studio manager or owner and get in touch if I can support with any specific advice.
You can reach me at Croydon Yoga Hub on 07540 051250 or email me via firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further guidance, EMD UK has a free to download Group Ex Support Pack available together with a Return to Play document which includes a comprehensive list of how the venue you operate in can be COVID-19 safety compliant.