By Gill Stewart at
During 2020 the WALX Franchise team got TWO questions almost every day
During the first lockdown we were approached by a lot of potential Franchisees who wanted to make a significant lifestyle change – whether to escape the virus risks of the city and commute, get off the treadmill or simply to be outdoors more. Some had no choice, having been made redundant.
Whatever their reason, we were able to provide assurances that during lockdown, our programmes were actually gaining in popularity as more people experienced the power of walking but wanted to gain more from it.
In fact our groups saw an increase in enquiries which they were able to capitalize on during the Summer months. We also saw an increase in interest from companies, councils and other groups who wanted walking programmes to help them exercise safely.
The fact that we offer Covid secure outdoor exercise has helped WALX become a solution both for the Public and operators who have been forced to embrace outdoor exercise – something we have excelled in for over twenty years!
We adapted our already robust risk assessments, systems and training to create Covid secure protocols that meant we were able to continue to operate our group classes, even in tier 3. Our booking system enables us to work closely with NHS track n trace and we have adapted our programmes to ensure our groups operate safely and respectfully (including creating a logo and vests for group leaders to ensure it is clear we are operating professional organised group classes), kit quarantining and specific route planning.
Exercise is a vital tool in the fight against Covid and our approach can help people of all ages and levels enjoy exercise that is both enjoyable and effective. It also helps to harness the mood boosting properties of the great outdoors and is a sociable as current rules will allow – which helps us to fight depression and isolation too.
We were also able to retain many of our Direct debit payers due to these solid principles and the fact that we created a virtual platform so we could provide on line exercise sessions and videos to help them stay engaged. In fact, this proved so popular that it has become a major element of our business model with the WALX team even creating on line plans for our Franchisees to sell to the public see here to see how our fun ADVENT WALX plan was received.
2021 will be another year of change as we navigate through a tough economic climate and more restrictions until the vaccination process is complete but this will not stop the need for people to take up exercise. In fact, it will increase it as we learn more about why its is vital to be active and keep our weight down if we want to fight Covid and other health conditions.
People will be less inclined to exercise indoors and whilst many have experienced how walking can make you feel good, they will now be in need of more structured exercise in order to maximise the results they get form it.
That’s where WALX comes in – we KNOW how to make walking work, we KNOW how to create motivating and sociable sessions and most of all we KNOW how to help people get results form every step they take.
We also KNOW how to spread that message to help our franchisees gain clients plus provide all of the tools they need in order to communicate with them in order to continually inspire them to discover the power of outdoor exercise.
How do we KNOW this? Because we have operated highly successful health clubs and created award winning outdoor fitness programmes. We have also developed innovative software that ensures our franchisees can manage their clients, their accounts and their team effectively. Our training is comprehensive, supportive and tailored to the needs of each Franchisee. Their local business is matched to their skills and the demographic of the area with nothing left to chance. We ensure that each Franchisee starts with a full business plan that is verified by independent accountants BEFORE they fully commit.