There are no guarantees in business. You may have had a thriving business at the start of 2020 only to find that you are now hanging by a thread. A lot of businesses are in that position. For instance, Cyc Holdings just filed for bankruptcy. As a nationwide operator of cycling studios, the company has not recovered from the lockdowns imposed earlier this year. How can the company, or any cycling studio, survive COVID-19?
Bloomberg reports that CYC Holdings has filed Chapter 11 in Delaware in hopes of continuing to operate while they pay off their creditors. They are seeking legal relief from their lease obligations as well. This suggests they will be closing down at least some studios.
The gym and indoor cycling industries were hit especially hard by coronavirus lockdowns. Along with bars and pubs that do not sell food, gyms and studios were among the last businesses to reopen. In some cities, they still haven’t reopened. It is obvious that you cannot run a successful business if you can’t open your doors to customers.
Find Something Else to Sell
So, how can a cycling studio survive the ongoing coronavirus crisis? One possibility is to find something else to sell. This suggestion is in no way offered glibly or without concern for the business owner’s welfare. Moreover, this author understands that reinventing a business is easier said than done. Some studios simply cannot do it. But for those that can, there are plenty of examples of companies that stayed alive – and even thrived – by retooling in the midst of a crisis.
Consider Apple. The company was on the brink of collapse more than 20 years ago after losing the PC wars against Microsoft. But they changed direction. They started manufacturing portable music players and smartphones. The rest, as they say, is history.
Lego was another company in serious trouble a decade ago. In order to save the company, tough decisions had to be made. They stopped selling products that were losing money and brought in designers to create new sets that would appeal to modern children. The change of direction has restored Lego to good health.
Staying in the Industry
Finding something else to sell might mean breaking into a new industry. However, it doesn’t have to. For example, Salt Lake City’s Mcycle spin studio had barely opened as a new business when coronavirus struck. Company owners were not content to sit and wait for the crisis to pass. They immediately established online classes and bike rental to encourage people to take classes from home.
Indoor cycling classes are now allowed in Salt Lake City under coronavirus restrictions. Better yet, you can go on to the Mcycle website and see that the class schedule is gradually filling up. Business may not be what they had envisioned at the start of the year, but they are continuing to make a go of it by thinking outside the box.
The thing to understand is that some cycling studios may continue to suffer even when life returns to normal. The reason is simple: people who have successfully adapted to taking online classes at home may decide to continue doing so. They may decide that exercising in the privacy of their own homes is preferable to going to a public studio.
There are never any guarantees in the business world. A cycling studio suffering through the coronavirus crisis can either sit and wait for the crisis the end or find other ways to drum up business. At least the latter choice gives a business a better shot at survival.