Less than two weeks ago today I was finishing up a ‘Winter Newsletter’ which was going to summarise everything we’d been up to for the last couple of months and all the exciting things we had planned for the rest of the year.
It seems however that current events have got in the way a bit, so instead please find this message to bring you up to date on where we stand today and how we plan to continue providing you with a valuable service during these next few months of uncertainty.
It is a long read, but please read it through to the end!
The year had actually got off to a really good start, we had introduced a new timetable, almost doubled the amount of classes available, memberships were slowly increasing and this was looking like it was going to be the first quarter where I was going to be able to pay the rent on the unit without dipping into my own personal savings.
The way things were going we were on track to clearing our significant overdraft and actually being in a position to have some cash left over to invest in new equipment/obstacles by the end of the year…… and then this happened.
If I’m totally honest, of all the scenarios I considered concerning risk management and mitigation, global virus pandemic and being forced to close our doors for an unknown time period never crossed my mind as a realistic situation I’d ever have to face in my lifetime.
We are operating in uncharted waters, the advice and instructions from the government is changing daily. I would have sent this email sooner however no sooner had I finished developing a new strategy based around the latest announcement from number 10, it had changed again.
Right now the only thing certain is that everything is uncertain. The government plans to reassess the situation every 3 weeks so we could be re-opening after the Easter holidays, or not until summer. If I had to take a guess I’d say it is likely we will experience a yo-yo effect of restrictions being lifted temporarily and then being reintroduced again when virus infections climb again beyond a certain threshold.
It is no exaggeration to say that our financial position as a club is fragile and hanging in the balance right now. The government has made a lot of promises which sounds good, but as yet there is no infrastructure in place for anyone to be able to access it, and it is totally unclear what, if anything we will be eligible for. It seems for now that coaches on payroll will get 80% of their income covered but beyond that everything else is less certain at the moment.
To emphasise just how critical things have become, I have started a job at Morrison’s this week as a home delivery driver just so I have enough coming in to feed myself and keep paying the rent and utilities on the unit so that we have a place to come back to once all this is over.
That however will not be nearly enough on it’s own, so for those of you who have not lost your jobs and can still afford to do so, I cannot emphasise enough right now how much your ongoing support is important to the future of Street Motion.
If you like our ethos and what we do and want to be able to come back later this year, we need your help to make that a reality.
Our Pledge to you
This is our 3 step strategy to navigate the chaos and continue to offer you a valuable service during these uncertain times.
1. Holiday Shifting
Our memberships are costed based on a 43 week year with the payments divided equally over 12 calendar months. This keeps things simple meaning you pay the same amount each month but the cost per session quoted in our literature remains constant as this is calculated over 43 weeks not 52. In other words, whilst the monthly fee remains constant, you are not paying extra for the time we are closed in the school holidays.
Why is this relevant? Effective immediately we are going to combine all scheduled holiday periods for the year into a single block. This means, Easter holiday (2 week), Summer Half Term (1 Week) Summer Holiday (2 week), October Half Term (1 week), Christmas Holiday (2 weeks) A total of 8 weeks ‘leeway’ before further closure will eat into time that has been paid for. The compromise on our part, hence the term ‘holiday shifting’ is that we will not close for the rest of the year and will remain open for all the other school holidays when we would normally have been closed.
This means for all of our loyal customers who were committed to attending for the full year and beyond, if we remain closed for 8 weeks now and you can continue paying as before, you will have lost nothing as we will be open at times later in the year when we would have otherwise been closed.
If we end up having to remain closed for more than 8 weeks we will re-assess the situation again when the time comes but at least for the moment it buys us some time.
2. On-line Tutorial Videos
We guarantee to provide a minimum of 1 video per week for those with standard memberships (or older equivalents) and 2 videos per week for those with ultimate memberships.
If we can do a more then we will but we’ll be aiming for quality over quantity and of course tailored to things you can do in your home or garden without a full gym at your disposal.
This will be more than just be a watered down warm-up for the masses like P.E. with Joe Wicks, but actual parkour / freerunning skills and strength training which will enable you to level up and come back stronger and with a greater skill set than when you left.
For simplicities sake the first few videos will be available to all across all of our web and social media channels, however once we are up and running with a regular schedule we will lock down access to a member’s area of our website. Access will be via the number printed on your membership card. If you have lost your card please email us.
3. Home Training Products.
We are developing a small range of affordable home obstacles which will be available as soon as next week!
Compact enough to use and store at home, these will enable you to take your take your home Parkour training to the next level.
More products will be added to the range as time goes on but if you have a cool idea for something we should sell, we’d love to hear your suggestions.
One final word…
We are doing everything we can with the tools available to us under the circumstances to continue to provide value to you as well as ensuring our long term survival for the future.
If you are in the position to do so please consider booking a birthday party with us or buying a ticket for an event taking place later in the year, or even just buying a t-shirt or hoodie.
Whilst we remain unable to open our doors, online sales count for everything and every single purchase no matter how big or small will make a massive difference right now.
If you have ended up unemployed as a result of covid-19 and your financial situation is so bad that you are considering cancelling your membership with us, please at least consider allowing one final payment for April. Rent on the unit is paid quarterly and I’m relying on the majority of memberships being in place to have a hope of being able to pay the landlord in 7 days time.
Either way, if you really have to cancel, please drop us an email to confirm your intentions so we can keep our records up to date.
Stay safe, stay strong and get outside in the sun as much as you can – even if it is just in your garden!
Dom and all of the team at Street Motion.