Christy Overby from Thrive Martial Arts jumped into answer our survey questions about how Thrive is pivoting during the COVID-19 crisis.
What were your first reactions when COVID began to impact your business?
We were a little intimidated and worried as we never experienced anything like this before. We knew we had to come up with a great game plan, communicate with our students more than ever, and try to keep things as “normal” as possible for everyone.
What was the reaction from your customers?
There were a lot of mixed reactions. We have had a lot of families support us during these times and take advantage of the different training opportunities that we have made possible. We also had a lot of families cancel their memberships due to financial reasons and not being able to engage with the virtual learning.
What services did you begin to change or what did you do differently in response to COVID?
We had to change almost everything we were doing when COVID hit. Before this, we were an in-person Taekwondo training facility that would have class sizes anywhere between ten to forty students at a time. We never did virtual training before this and now we offer group classes on Zoom, semi-private classes on Zoom, and pre-made YouTube workouts.
How did you connect/communicate these changes to your community and/or customers?
We have been sending emails almost daily to our members along with daily Facebook posts. We also reached out with phone calls to everyone who was not participating in the virtual training to make sure they understood what options they had to continue their training.
What kind of help did you seek out? (if any)
We have applied for every Government loan that is available for small business owners, but unfortunately we have not received any of the loans yet. We have also reached out to ATA school owners from all over the World and we have gotten a lot of great ideas! The ATA has really come together to help each other and it has been a wonderful tool for us.
What have been the results so far?
It has been a challenging, and yet sometimes exciting time for us. We have lost a lot of students, but the support we have gotten from the families that have been sticking with us through this time has been amazing! We have learned so much virtually and we are excited to continue some of the virtual training when this is over.
Do you have any advice for fellow business owners who are looking at pivoting to something new?
Take this time to take advantage of every virtual learning opportunity that you may have and use it! We never realized how easy it can be to train with someone from across the World or even the country. You can use this time to come up with ideas that you can still implement in your business when things start to go back to normal.