The Boutique Fitness Boom, Economics, and Your Studio
Posted on August 26 2019
"There is SO much competition!" We hear this all the time. It's usually followed by "should I just try to sell my studio?" OR "I work so hard, and we just aren't seeing revenue or profits go up."
Ladies and Gents, it's true...competition IS everywhere, and it isn't slowing down. But that doesn't mean that your business can't make money and continue to expand. What's happening now is basic economics. Supply and demand. There was an incredible demand over the past few years to customize and narrow each area of fitness and wellness.
(According to the International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association, between 2012 and 2015, membership at traditional gyms grew by 5%, while membership to boutique studios grew by 70%.)
But, as happens in many industries, supply grew, big players emerged, and consumer habits start to form. Here is an interesting article from Entrepreneur Magazine on why we all can't be successful entrepreneurs... but what you'll read is that some of us can be WILDLY successful. We simply have to get really, really good at what we do, and find exactly who wants to buy it. Are you confident that you really are the best?
"If you want to be successful, you need a product or service that creates or captures demand more effectively than competitors. You need to be the best at something customers want."
What this article doesn't talk about is that we still have a LONG way to go before the majority of Americans are exercising regularly. We still have millions of potential clients out there that have never tried boutique fitness. Who have never set foot on a yoga mat. Who have never heard of Xponential Fitness or ClassPass. We still have a huge population of prospects who could benefit from your services that are ripe for the picking. So the question is, how are you finding them, communicating with them, and inviting them to your studio?
Now, I hate to bear bad news here, but some studios simply won't cut it in the coming years. Everyone can't be the best. Some studio owners will decide to go back to a comfortable, steady pay check (maybe even with one of the big players as the article referenced) and that's OK! When an industry heats up, it's natural for some economic and occupational darwinism to take place. You have to decide if you're up for the challenge. Will you be comfortable pivoting if the market demands it? Will you invest in the best programming and even in strategic help for your business? Will you find new ways to market to the consumers who are still on the couch, not involved in fitness? Those who do, will survive. They will be the WILDLY successful ones 5 years from now.
Times like this ask us to really dig deep and decide who we want to be and where we want to land. Without judgement. Without shame. What business do you really want to be in and are you ready to up your game? Sounds like a fun journaling experience for the week ahead....