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Business Far from Usual: A Message from 9Round’s CEO

COVID-19 has presented many challenges to business owners, including the need to adjust and adapt quickly to customers’ new way of life. But it is also presenting a unique opportunity that our CEO, Shannon “The Cannon” Hudson, discusses below. Continue reading to see his thoughts on the situation and to learn how 9Round is charging forward despite this pandemic.

“In one week’s time, my company went from the world’s largest kickboxing organization to the largest online kickboxing organization. Like every business owner in every industry impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, we had to innovate quickly for the health and safety of our team and our customers.

Even in the best of circumstances it’s not easy for business leaders to pivot at a moment’s notice. But the uncertainty and ever-changing nature of the current situation makes it even more of a challenge. 

Daily lives are changing, and businesses need to step up and change as well. And do it quickly.

People who are confined to their homes, for example, are in need of every available resource to keep their lives moving forward in this new normal. And that need goes beyond the basic essentials. They still need entertainment. They still need some sort of social interaction. But as much as anything, they still need ways to maintain their health.

At 9Round Fitness, we recognized that we needed to provide our members with a way to continue their workouts in some fashion, so we immediately rolled out digital at-home workout videos for our members across the globe.

What we’ve seen in return is more than we expected. We’ve received an online outpouring from people sharing their thanks along with highlights of their at-home participation across social media.

It turns out that we have done more than simply provide a way for our members to keep working out. We’ve also created an even closer relationship and dialogue with our customers.

This is something that any business can and should be doing at this time. Creating a dialogue with customers is something that is so badly needed to move our communities forward in the most positive ways in the most stressful of times. And it is an opportunity that locally owned businesses are uniquely able to foster more than any other type of business.

That special relationship between a local business and its customers also brings back an incredible memory for me. It was during the economic recession of 2008 that I made the decision to open my very first 9Round location in Greenville. My wife, Heather, and I didn’t even have enough money to put a sign on the outside. What we did have, however, was a rock-solid commitment to deliver the best in health and fitness to as many residents as possible with our organization. And the community responded in the most profound way.

Our success was the direct result of the love and loyalty from people across our business’s hometown, Greenville, who showed up. I know many other locally owned and operated businesses in our community and many other communities that could say the same thing.

In crisis, it turns out, we have an opportunity to build a deeper bond with our customers.

As all businesses and business owners weather this storm, the businesses that prevail will be those who revisit the rock-solid commitment they’ve had with their customers from day one. They’ll look for ways to innovate and still be there for those customers. They’ll work together to protect their people, embrace change, and remain optimistic for the future. At 9Round, here in Greenville and across 800 locations around the world, we will keep kicking with every ounce of energy that we have to do the same.”