As the COVID-19 vaccination continues to reach more and more people throughout the United States, many subscription and membership-based businesses like gyms, wellness centers, and coworking spaces are struggling to get their revenue back to pre-pandemic levels. Despite the innovative ways these types of businesses have reacted to the global shutdown, many have been left looking for new ideas to grow their business as restrictions lift and the virus becomes a thing of the past.
One option for businesses like these is to provide 24/7 access to their members. While this strategy has been seen across large fitness franchises, smaller businesses may have a harder time figuring out how to make it work for them. Roadblocks like increased operational costs and safety concerns often arise, stopping small businesses from making the switch to 24/7 facility access. But with new technology in the access control space, it’s now easier than ever to transition into offering 24/7 member access to these spaces.
Why More Businesses Are Considering 24/7 Access
Today more than ever before, people are living very busy lives. Whether a business’s clients work more traditional hours or have more flexible schedules, the most beneficial business for them will be one offering convenient hours. In today’s world, Inc. says this means that B2C businesses are expected to almost always be open and operating for their customers. While some may see this as a challenge, it also presents an opportunity to expand a customer base to night shift workers, workers with flexible hours like freelancers, and even those with traditional 9-5 jobs who prefer working out very early or very late in the day.
With 24/7 access to facilities like coworking spaces or gyms, members have more options when it comes to using the facility. This is important because customers are beginning to expect 24/7 access to the businesses they use often, according to Entrepreneur. More options for customers often means happier customers, which can convert into more revenue and loyalty for the business. Plus, as a business grows, it’s easy to incorporate 24/7 access into membership or subscription tiers, giving another opportunity to increase revenue through membership packages.
24/7 Access: Challenges and Solutions
As a small business, being open all the time presents a number of challenges. From an operational standpoint, a business would need extra staff to man their facility, which could lead to burnout for current employees or hiring more workers for the night shifts. On top of this, there’ll be additional operational costs for utilities for the new hours the space will be open. Safety is also a major concern for most business owners, not to mention the lone employees working overnight.
These problems don’t have to completely stop a business in its tracks, though. Many of the challenges that come with staying open 24/7 can be overcome with just one simple solution: access control. Kisi can significantly reduce the stress business owners have about 24/7 hours by restricting access to members only during certain times of the day, for example during overnight hours.
Kisi’s access control system makes it possible to limit access to a facility to members only, or even only to those who pay for a certain subscription tier, like premium members. This is an easy way to keep a space as safe as possible overnight, both for members who choose to use the facility during your new extended hours and for any employees there as well.
Speaking of employees, by limiting access during these hours, Kisi also helps limit the impact to payroll expenses that can come with extending your operating hours. Becoming a 24/7 facility doesn’t have to mean more employees working more hours. Instead, it could mean only one or two, or even no extra employees, depending on how much assistance members could need during this time. While some may prefer an employee or two still manning the facility and supervising members, others, like Atomic Athlete, have managed to use Kisi to control a completely unmanned gym.
“We’re an unmanned gym with an open layout, so people can come and go as they please. The facility is set up with 24/7 access for some members, and the rest we restrict from 4 AM to 10 PM. Kisi allows us to enforce this membership differentiation.”
- Atomic Athlete
Additionally, using Kisi to control access for extended 24/7 hours provides businesses with more data to work with, helping them make more informed decisions based on the frequency of member visits and their facility’s peak hours. For example, a business may realize that certain nights of the week are more popular than others, and adjust their hours accordingly. Or if certain areas of a space aren’t being used by members visiting at night, access could be restricted to those areas to help save on electricity and staffing. Knowing this information makes it much easier to cater to current members, as well as providing a business with ideas on how to bring in new ones. With COVID-19 health concerns, knowing your peak hours could even allow a business to alert members to any lulls during the day when people may be more comfortable coming in.