You can’t be everything to everybody. This statement rings true in many facets of life, but in recent years it has become especially poignant for health and exercise professionals. Fitness and nutrition are no longer considered “one size fits all,” and the ability to customize your programming or services for your clients is limitless, meaning that helping a person achieve their wellness goals can require hours and hours each week, making it impossible to scale your business if you try to do everything yourself. That’s why it’s become so important to learn how to leverage established tools.
It is easy to admit the need for third-party tools that support your business—the websites, booking software, social media accounts and marketing materials. But when it comes to utilizing tools that deliver additional fitness or nutrition content, health and exercise professionals sometimes get defensive and view these resources as competition. Here is the truth: If you simply focus on the personal relationships you develop with your clients, you will never be replaced by a virtual fitness offering.
As a health and exercise professional, you have to be mindful of your time and focus on where you add value. If you continue to burn the candle at both ends, you will eventually burn out and that won’t help anyone. Your value comes from the relationships you develop with your clients.
Value comes from communication. Take the time to get to know your clients so you can better understand what they want, what may be holding them back and, ultimately, how you can empower them.
Value comes from customization. Mass market programs service a general need, but it is important to understand that real results come from customization. You add value by creating a program tailored to each client’s specific goals, understanding their limitations and evolving the program as your client progresses.
Value comes from accountability. The idea of accountability may be the single most important piece to a client’s success; knowing that you are there to support, encourage, hold them accountable and help them get back on track when they slip can be more valuable to a client’s success than the actual workout.
At the end of the day, recreating the wheel when it comes to fitness and nutrition content is not what’s adding value for your clients. Instead of trying to create all of the programming yourself, direct your clients to high-quality third-party content. To service the needs of a diverse client base, research digital fitness providers (e.g., Peleton® App, Openfit®, Nike Training Club) that can provide safe and effective virtual workouts for those days when you cannot directly train your client. Leveraging a third-party content provider increases the value of your services, helps your clients achieve their goals faster and, ultimately, allows you to grow your business.
You can’t be everything to everybody if you want to succeed as a health and exercise professional. Leverage established tools where it makes sense so you can focus on where you add the most value for your clients.
To recoup billions in revenue the global aviation sector has lost during the pandemic, some airlines have turned to pop-up restaurants on the tarmac, selling merchandise, snack trolleys and even in-flight meals to stay afloat.
Photos of Virgin Australia offering two-minute noodles to business class customers hit social media in October
Experts say the bungle is indicative of how expensive it is for an airline to offer free food and drink
Some airlines may strip back what a ticket includes and begin charging for luggage, a seat, wifi, and food and drink
Since March, airlines around the world have halted the vast majority of their international and domestic flights.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) in late October said total industry revenues in 2021 are expected to be down 46 per cent compared to the 2019 figure of $US838 billion ($1154 billion).
Its previous analysis was for 2021 revenues to be down about 29 per cent compared to 2019, based on expectations for a demand recovery commencing in the fourth quarter of 2020.
But recovery has been delayed due to new COVID-19 outbreaks, and government mandated travel restrictions including border closings and quarantine measures.
IATA says airlines will need to significantly cut down costs.
One way airlines have been doing this is by selling merchandise and even in-flight meals.
Snap Fresh, which supplies meals to Qantas, sold 30,000 in-flight meals direct to nostalgic travellers in just a few weeks.
Singapore Airlines launched pop-up restaurants on grounded A380 airbuses.
It has been offering seats in economy and business class where diners pay a few hundred dollars to pass through security at the airport then sit on a grounded plane for a few hours eating traditional in-flight meals and watching movies on the back of their seat.
Airline caterers hit hard, travellers get two-minute noodles
Transport Workers Union national secretary Michael Kaine said airline caterers had “been hit hard since the pandemic with thousands of experienced workers stood down since March”.
Mr Kaine said Dnata, which supplies inflight catering to Qantas and is one of the biggest airline caterers in Australia, had already stood down 1,000 staff because the company is not eligible for JobKeeper.
“The loss of thousands of airline caterers will have a devastating impact on the ability of the aviation industry to bounce back when restrictions are lifted,” he said.
Troy Sarina, a senior lecturer at Macquarie Business School, said the airlines were taking an “novel approach” to try and keep people employed.
“The latest thing I’ve seen is Qantas auctioned off their food trolleys from retired 747 planes with all the snacks and small bottles of alcohol in them,” Dr Sarina said.
“There was an online auction and they sold within minutes.”
But the flip-side of the fun hit social media in mid-October when photos were posted of Virgin Australia serving two-minute noodles to its business class customers.
And when domestic flights resume in Australia, airlines will still be bleeding money, he says.
Neil Hansford, the chair of airline consultancy Strategic Aviation Solutions, described noodle-gate as “stupid” but was confident it was something that wouldn’t be repeated.
Virgin’s new business class menu is tipped to be released in a few weeks and Mr Hansford said noodles are very unlikely to be on it.
“The only part of the plane that’s worth having internationally is business. First class takes up too much space and costs too much,” he said.
‘If you can fill the bellies, it’s profitable’
Your bread roll, packet of butter and oily curry might not look expensive, and it’s not.
But it is costly to employ human resources to get that meal from a kitchen, to an airport, to the plane, to your seat.
“Economy catering usually costs between $10.50 and $11 per person,” Mr Hansford said.
Mr Hansford said because it was so costly to offer free food and drink, “the temptation is always there to do away with it”.
While the aviation expert does not see Qantas changing its product, other airlines might.
Regulation is the main factor keeping Australian airlines from going down the low cost road. Australian airlines offer generous conditions such as a minimum number of crew on board for safety.
And while that’s a good thing for workers, it does mean airlines will look to cut costs in other areas, Mr Hansford said.
These included limiting the amount of luggage customers can check in.
“The space underneath the plane for cargo is becoming more valuable,” Mr Hansford said.
“So there will be more emphasis on freight.
Hopping from Brisbane to Melbourne? Be prepared to pay for everything
Another area of change is a broadening of “ancillary charges”.
Mr Hansford said this was already happening in the United States with airlines such as JetBlue charging travellers to simply get on the plane and then charging separately for a seat, any luggage, wifi, food and drink.
“So if you want to sit in the first two rows on the aisle you will pay more than the middle seat, two-thirds of the way down the aircraft,” he said.
“Jetstar already has zones with different prices; emergency exits and the first seven to eight rows have a premium on them.
“So I see Jetstar further enhancing their premium for the better seats.
“I see changes in ancillary revenue but the bare-bum ticket to ride fares, no insurance, no carbon levy contribution, that will still exist.”
Mr Hansford said Virgin Australia might adopt a similar strategy where it allows economy customers pay a lower ticket price to board but then charges extra for add-ons.
Another option taken from the US that could enter Australia’s airspace is dinner boxes.
“In the US you get a dinner box and a drink at the gate and you carry it to your seat,” Mr Hansford said.
“There’s a suggestion this could happen here. Qantas Link to do this on their regional routes.
David Flynn, editor of Executive Traveller, said with Bain Capital on board he would not be surprised to see Virgin “offer a basic economy which is just a seat”.
“I would not be surprised to see Virgin drop meals completely in economy,” he said.
On the idea of dinner boxes though, he’s torn.
“It’s interesting. Aussies often look down their nose at dinner boxes,” Mr Flynn said.
Editor’s note: Some of our covid-19 coverage is free for readers of The Economist Today, our daily newsletter. For more stories and our pandemic tracker, see our hub
THE IPO is dead, long live the IPO. When the pandemic hit in March, initial public offerings, particularly those by technology startups, were predicted to be among the early victims. After all, who wants to go public in a once-in-a-century crisis?
Quite a few people, it turns out. In the past couple of months IPOs, which all but dried up until late May, have come back with a vengeance in America. None of Silicon Valley’s recent and upcoming listings rivals that of Ant Group. The payments affiliate of Alibaba, an online giant, wants to raise a record $30bn in China by October, which could value the firm at around $200bn. But America’s technology startups have brought in $10bn so far this year (see chart 1)—and there is more to come. On August 19th Airbnb, which rents homes to travellers, filed for an IPO. Other privately held “unicorns” reportedly ready for public pastures include Snowflake Computing, which makes cloud software; DoorDash, which delivers food; and Instacart, which delivers groceries. Add Palantir, a cryptic data-management firm preparing for a direct sale of existing shares in public markets, and the latest combined valuation of these five is $80bn, according to PitchBook, a data provider. Even if they float only a portion of their shares, billions-worth of fresh tech stocks will soon trade publicly.
This flurry of activity has not reached dotcom-bubble territory from the turn of the century, when dozens of startups floated each month. But there is a whiff of “irrational exuberance” in the air, detects Lise Buyer, who has watched technology stocks since the heady late 1990s and now helps startups with IPOs at Class V Group, an advisory firm. When Duck Creek, an insurance-tech company, went public on August 14th, it closed nearly 50% higher. BigCommerce, an online-shopping platform which floated a week earlier, saw its shares “pop” by more than 200%.
With the S&P 500 index of big American firms at an all-time high, never mind that covid-19 rages on, investors’ rationality is certainly up for debate (see Buttonwood). But for many startups, the desire to go public is perfectly rational, for two reasons.
The first has to do with the financial markets themselves. Venture capitalists who had been pouring billions into unlisted firms began to cool on frothy startups before the pandemic, after a few unicorn listings disappointed (Lyft and Uber) or collapsed (WeWork). At the same time, rock-bottom interest rates are pushing public capital to seek returns. As a result, stockmarket investors are ready to accept high valuations, says Lauren Cummings of Morgan Stanley, an investment bank and a leading underwriter of IPOs. “There is insatiable demand by public investors,” agrees Brian Feinstein of Bessemer Venture Partners, a venture-capital (VC) firm.
Startups are keen to slake it before it dissipates. Many firms are therefore dusting off listing plans that were put on hold in the wake of the ride-hailing duds and the WeWork snafu. Their case is bolstered because—and this is the second reason for startups’ listing-lust—the pandemic has been a boon for many tech firms.
The five big platforms—Alphabet’s Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft—have thrived as self-isolating consumers spend more time and money online, and firms splash out on cloud-computing services to enable remote working. On August 19th Apple briefly touched a market capitalisation of $2trn, the first American company to do so. Not-so-big tech, too, has benefited, including many companies that have recently gone public.
The pandemic has highlighted and sped up a fundamental shift towards digital businesses, says Sarah Cannon of Index Ventures, a VC firm. The trend will last for decades, she predicts. Markets concur. The tech-heavy Renaissance IPO Index, which includes most listers of the past two years, is up by more than 40% since January (see chart 2). Zoom, whose videoconferencing app has become ubiquitous amid lockdowns, has seen its share price rise fourfold since floating in April 2019; it is worth $78bn. CrowdStrike, a cyber-security firm which listed in June last year, has quadrupled in value since March.
One thing the latest boom has done is highlight how unhappy startups and VC firms have grown with the current process of going public. It is cumbersome, with reams of paperwork, and can take more than a year. It is also pricey—and seen as too cosy for Wall Street. Investment banks’ fees alone eat up between 4% and 7% of a typical IPO’s proceeds, not counting lawyers and other advisers. Startups and VC firms point to big first-day pops as evidence that offerings are underpriced to give banks’ big investors a quick return. After all, those customers are regulars that must be kept sweet, whereas most startups only go public once.
Disaffection with the IPO process, combined with a renewed desire to go public, has led some firms to consider alternatives. One is a “direct listing” of the sort Palantir is pursuing, and which Spotify, a music-streaming service, and Slack, a corporate-messaging firm, have used to good effect. Asana, which sells web-based project-management software, may be another unicorn to take the direct route. Direct listings use an electronic auction by the stock exchange to get startups a fairer price for their shares than investment bankers might. But they do not allow firms to raise new money. As a result, they are an option only for cash-rich firms.
Another route that has gained prominence is the special-purpose acquisition company. These SPACs, as they are known for short, are shell firms that go public promising to buy one or more private businesses with the proceeds from the listing. The private business then fills up the listed shell through a reverse merger. SPACs have a dodgy history; many have underperformed the broader stockmarket. But the latest lot promise to fix the flaws while preserving the benefits, which include direct negotiations over the purchase price that can make deals faster and more predictable. From January to early August 60 SPACs went public, raising $22.5bn. In July Bill Ackman, a hedge-fund boss, launched a $5bn-7bn vehicle, the biggest so far.
It is unclear if Silicon Valley will embrace SPACs wholeheartedly. The biggest tech firm to have used one is Nikola, a secretive zero-emission-lorry startup which now boasts a market capitalisation of about $16bn. Many entrepreneurs and their backers would resist letting their firms be sucked up into a shell. But SPACs have a place in tech world. On August 18th Kevin Hartz, an early investor in Airbnb and Uber, launched one. Ribbit Capital, a VC firm, is reportedly planning another.
The IPO-industrial complex is not averse to direct listings or SPACs, even if they are less lucrative than the old-school ways. Bankers predict a diverse future of increasingly tailor-made flotations that, say, target specific investors and predetermine how long staff must hold on to their shares. As Greg Chamberlain of JPMorgan Chase, a bank, sums up, “Not all technology companies are the same. They have different objectives.” So long as startups want to cash in, as all ultimately do, they will need Wall Street to shepherd them through.■
This article appeared in the Business section of the print edition under the headline “Partying like it’s 1999”
Roseate Hotels & Resorts has launched ‘Care by Roseate’ across all its properties in India & UK to gear up for the new normal.
Covid has caused a stir in every industry and the impact on the hospitality has been the greatest. These uncertain times has seen consumers turn to trusted associates and renowned brands. Roseate Hotels & Resorts is one such brand that has discovered new nuances in hospitality to give to their valued guests, unparalleled experience & utmost satisfaction keeping all the hygiene and safety standards in place.
In a bid to minimize physical contact with guests at their hotels, Roseate Hotels and Resorts has launched ‘Care by Roseate’; believably a novel approach towards instilling confidence among its customers about their safety while staying and dining at restaurants across their six properties in India and UK.
The Coronavirus Pandemic is far from over and “Touchless Hospitality” is the new future that is here to stay with us. Roseate Hotels & Resorts have completely remodelled their standard operating procedures towards providing greater care and ensuring a safe environment for their cherished guests.
Care by Roseate involves stringent procedures in place to ensure no contamination enters via any route. The measures involve thermal screening at entry gates of all passenger vehicles. Display of ‘Safe’ status in ArogyaSetu app for staff & guests and wearing of masks that be a must to enter the hotel premises. All hotel vehicles are disinfected at entry points and after every use. Sanitizers would are kept in all prominent locations within the hotel. Guest luggage is disinfected from outside on arrival. To enable seamless, remote check ins, Touchless Check ins are facilitated via app, in which all information is already be pre-registered. After check out, the same room is allocated only after 24 hours post being thoroughly disinfected.
Furthermore, Roseate Hotels & Resorts is also following an alternate room occupancy policy to maintain social distancing. Housekeeping staff would wear Personal protection Equipment(PPE). Delivery and clearance of Room Service orders would be just outside the hotel room entrance. To ensure touchless usage of elevators, a staff member in PPE would be present to operate them with not more than 3 members at a time.
Also, under this new initiative “Care By Roseate “, touchless dining is going to be paramount. Here for dining, the guest while booking a table can see the menu and order from it. The guest shares their location with the hotel so that the kitchen staffs start preparing the meal when the guest is enroute to the hotel restaurant. Guests also have an option to add more items while they are enjoying their meal. In addition the app would allow guests to see food being prepared live in the kitchen. At the end, the bill comes on the App on which it can be paid via credit cards. There would be no Buffet services for the time being.
The tables in the restaurant will be placed at a minimum two metre distance and kitchen and service staff will wear PPE (masks, gloves & other protective gear)at all times. Moreover, regular temperature checks of staff will continue to be a part of the new normal. Personnel from areas designated as hot spots will be discouraged in the hotel premises.
For their delivery services all meals will come in double layered packaging and delivered with utmost hygiene, as will be for laundry care services.
Care by Roseate would ensure that while utmost care is taken, guests will not be deprived of availing luxe fine dining and stay services. Roseate Hotels & Resorts is treating the COVID-19 with the utmost gravity and is taking every precaution to keep the guests safe.