Bedros Keuilian Bluntly Explains Why Fitness Studios Should Reopen Now And Retain Their Virtual Options Indefinitely

By Mike Arce | May 23, 2020

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Show Notes

Founder and CEO of Fit Body Boot Camp (FBBC) and Author of Man Up! Bedros Keuilian is back on The GSD Show it was epic! We went LIVE and there was no holding back. Why?

Because like the top 5% of fitness studios we work with, Bedros had his FBBC locations pivot into virtual fitness and they’re not just surviving the crisis, they’re thriving in it!

“Look, we’re starting to reopen our locations, strategically,” Bedros says, “but there’s no doubt in my mind that too many fitness studios suffered because of inaccurate data and government overreach.”

He admits, “maybe that’s a conversation for another day, but it’s important for business owners to know and acknowledge these things so we can fix and prevent it in the future.”

Why Bedros Keuilian Says You Should Reopen Your Fitness Studio

“I believe we have a social duty, as entrepreneurs—and entrepreneurs are leaders—to say, ‘we’re opening up, we’re going to do it on this date, we’re going to do it right, and we’re not going to spread the virus.’” – Bedros Keuilian.

Reopening fitness studios seems to be a bit of a controversial issue though. Some say 100% we should open up safely and strategically while others say There have been a lot of deaths from Coronavirus and New York is still in bad shape, maybe we should play it safe and wait it out — I don’t think either opinion is wrong, but I wanted to get Bedros’ take on it. In true Bedros fashion, this is what he said:

“It’s fair to say that New York is very different from Phoenix, Arizona. New York you’ve got thousands of people stacked on top of each other where Phoenix is spread out. 

So we should treat every area differently. We shouldn’t treat the 98% of the country that’s not like New York the same way we’re treating New York.

We should let the rest of the country get back to work and contribute to the economy. That economic production will help produce the tax revenue needed to take care of those most susceptible to the virus.”

Fit Body Boot Camp has nearly 700 locations here in the U.S. and Canada. Bedros knows they’re itching to reopen and their members are ready to get back at it too. He also knows that virtual fitness is going to be huge moving forward and something every studio needs to be doing.

Bedros Keuilian Explains Why Fitness Studios Need To Keep Their Virtual Fitness Options

“We’re going to keep virtual fitness indefinitely and here’s why,” Bedros explains, “Mike, you work with a fitness studio based out of Chicago who’s signing up members in Chile for online coaching, so why not?

If you are good at what you do and you have built a social following and now you have an online platform where you can do follow-along videos, and coach people up, and hold them accountable, maybe someone in Argentina, maybe someone in Germany wants to connect with you…”

As Bedros explain, why wouldn’t you want to keep that? He continues, “When you go back to business it’s not like you turn your in-person business on and your virtual option off. That’s a mistake and here’s why:

  1. You’re limited to the number of members you can have in your gym right now and your cleaning costs have gone up, so that changes your profit margins and virtual can make up for that
  2. You’re going to have groups who aren’t ready to get back out there, they’re scared or worried about the virus, so they’re going to say, ‘If you don’t have an online option, I’m canceling.’
  3. You’re going to have a certain segment of the population that realizes how much they love the online option and they’re going to want to stick with that long-term.”

Bedros says you should continue with a virtual fitness and physical fitness studio hybrid going but that this whole pandemic as skyrocketed our industry into a new normal…

One where studio owners have the opportunity to capitalize on two streams of revenue and a much larger share of the overall market.

The New Element Virtual Fitness Has That Never Existed Before

I started breaking down, what I believe is the biggest advantage that fitness studios have that never existed before: LIVE ACCOUNTABILITY. Think about it…

If you’re doing an old-school DVD workout at home or on your laptop, no one calls you out for cheating on a set, sitting out a set, or, if you quit and decide to close your laptop or shut the TV off.

For virtual fitness studios, there’s a LIVE trainer there keeping members going. That never existed before! As Bedros puts it:

“Bingo! Because the results only come when I do the workout. People are paying for the results and the results are a byproduct of the accountability and the coaching.”

After this, Bedros Keuilian and I got into retention strategies, but I have to encourage you to actually watch and hear his take in the video because I couldn’t possibly do it justice here. 

It’s insightful, helpful, and powerful for fitness studio owners right now.