Running a fitness or wellness studio is an extremely rewarding, yet challenging task. If you’re jumping on the group fitness opportunity (and rightly so), you should be aware of the hurdles you’re set to encounter along the way and how you can overcome them.
1. Wearing Different Hats
As a fitness studio owner, you’re not only working in the business, instructing classes and training clients, but you’re also responsible for working on the business. Marketing, accounting, payments reporting – you name it. Your range of responsibilities have just reached a whole new level. Get used to it!
Your ability to transition from a “trainer” to a “business owner” mindset will prove critical to your studio’s growth and success in the long run. Unfortunately, alternating between these two mindsets isn’t as straightforward as one might hope. Just remember you need time to work on the business not in the business. Delegation and automation will be your best friend, step out of the day to day and take a helicopter view of the business to really see areas that need focus.
Put your best foot forward by reading these top 5 tips for transitioning from a trainer to a business owner mindset.
2. Intense Competition
The boutique fitness phenomenon isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. In fact, the IHRSA confirmed that Millennials, in particular, are opting for studios to engage in highly specific training methods. Expect more and more studios to open and take advantage of this trend. Not to mention, club’s are going to do everything in their power to get back in the game.
If you want to grab and keep your slice of the pie, you need to be prepared to build a studio that stands out in what’s set to become a more competitive market than ever before. How can you do this? One thing’s for sure – you’ll need to stay on top of the latest trends taking the industry by storm.
For example, gym and studio owners across the world are adapting to the mobile needs of consumers by implementing a gym booking app. Could mobile give your a unique selling point against rivals? Not to mention, the convenience of anytime bookings will add more value to the member experience.
3. Attracting New Members
With competition as intense as it is, you can bet it’s difficult to attract prospective members to your studio. So, how do you get your name out in a crowded market? What’s more, how do you convince prospects that your offering is better than the competitions?
To start, it’s not enough for people to know that your fitness business simply exists. You need to attract the right people, with the right offering at the right time. Now that’s a tough combination.
Alongside the value that your new gym booking app will offer, you should take advantage of Facebook Ads. Facebook is becoming one of the most popular platforms for gym and fitness studio owners to get their name out in an extremely targeted manner. To get started, download our free guide to creating a killer Facebook ad campaign.
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4. Member Retention
So they signed up. Deal done, right? Unfortunately not. Your will constantly battle the noise of new studios opening with competitive introductory offers. If you want to retain members in the long run, you need to keep them engaging with your business on a regular basis.
If you plan to rely on email to achieve this engagement, you may not experience much luck. Email marketing may not be “dead”, but it certainly isn’t as effective as it used to be. According to Mailchimp, email open rates in the health and fitness industry are at just 21%. That means on average, a whopping 79% of your members will not get the message.
How can you overcome this? Well, what if you could send a message directly to the home screen of your members smartphone or tablet? That’s right, we’re talking about mobile push notifications. When you implement a gym booking app, you have the opportunity to create a direct marketing channel with your members, a key pillar of your member retention strategy!
5. Managing Bookings
Late night booking management, tracking attendances and managing cancellations.. It’s all ahead of you! Unless of course, you decide to implement convenient mobile booking: a time saver for you and your members. When you have a mobile app for your , your members don’t have to call, text or send an email to book into a class or appointment.
It’s simple, instead, your members can book in for their favorite class in just a couple of taps through your branded gym booking app. Since your mobile app is integrated with a gym management software, all bookings will be recorded in your class booking list.What’s more, is that your members are only ever one click away from their next booking. The less clicks a member needs to make to complete a booking, the less likely they are to drop off before making a payment. Learn how you can solve the booking headache for good with these tips!
6. Managing Payments
One of the key reasons as to why the fitness studio model is so attractive is because of the potential to generate more revenue per customer. However, if you make the mistake of launching your fitness studio without the appropriate payment structures in place, you’re more likely to to see your hard earned cash slip through the cracks.
As Paul Drew from Origin Fitness puts it:
“We were generally chasing cash and bank payments, so it was difficult to have a steady flow of income coming in.. And if there’s no payment coming in, there’s no business”.
Your studio will depend on timely payments, or risk closing doors due to low cash flow. Fortunately, you can overcome this challenge with powerful gym management software. For example, Glofox is tailored to the needs of boutique gyms and studios. The software ensures you can process payments online, from your Glofox Dashboard or even from your branded member app.