Fit Summit insights have highlighted that while the “growth of big box gyms has flatlined, boutique studio growth is up 300%.” Boutique fitness may be the new kid on the block but it has definitely created waves in the fitness industry. With such a positive market penetration rate, the question on the mind of every fitnesspreneur is, what can I do to establish a competitive edge over my competitors?
Being a full time studio owner can be difficult therefore the need for personalization has been an evident factor contributing to market success. Due to the brewing pandemic, the fitness industry has had to do some heavy-lifting to get their operations running smoothly. Adapting to the new normal may pose difficulty but with the right amount of innovative genius and execution consistency, owners can create a winning formula.
The increase in consumer awareness and environmental factor awareness has sparked a need to lead a healthier lifestyle for many consumers. Considering the increased regulations imposed by the Ministry of Health in Singapore, many have created new business models to cope with new pandemic norms.
The importance of differentiation through personalized offerings
The growth of boutique studios sprung from the shift between one size fits all fitness to customer-specific fitness. This provided a wider lense to the various subsegments of the fitness industry. Personalized offerings can be broken into two segments including physical services offered and customer service.
Empathy goes a long way when managing clients therefore building a community leaves an impression that lasts. Products can be directly tailored to serve customer needs by creating sessions framed to customer needs, this can be established by collecting feedback and client suggestions. After-service enquiries are important and can be used as a reflective tool, to understand if you are providing value to your customers, so that you can rectify any service gaps experienced.
Royston Wee is a professional MMA fighter who made history by becoming the first and only Singaporean who fought in the most prestigious MMA. Royston delivers value to his clients not only making them physically but mentally fitter with his key principles used to govern his operations. Royson believes that a good sweat is not the only winning formula but creating memorable/personal experiences for all clients leaves a ripple effect allowing them to excel in their personal endeavours as well.
How to innovate in a changing environment
Tragedy strikes genius is what can be said for many business owners operating during the global pandemic. The new social distancing regulations have dampened plans of many fitnesspreneurs but also served as a source of inspiration to get creative. The future is technology, and many have begun their outreach virtually delivering classes online to minimise the risk of Covid-19.
The use of IGTV has also become a source of inspiration with many gyms posting their follow-along fitness routines. Others have chosen to take to the great outdoors creating outdoor circuit training and bootcamp sessions. The fitness industry has experienced disruptions but that hasn’t stopped the entrepreneurial spirit with many studios scheduling students in for self-workout sessions .This helps them maximise revenue and minimise risk from contact.
Let’s not count out the industry giants! Refreshing your body and mind at a high altitude, Virgin Active has adopted a change of scenery by taking their classes to the sky park allowing participants to execute their warrior pose with a view to kill. Overlooking Gardens by the Bay, members can enjoy the comfort of nature and a peaceful surrounding while getting into their flow.
Discovering niches and using them to your advantage
Niches are usually overlooked which can be an advantage for many studio owners giving them the opportunity to introduce a service that can become a new trend in the fitness industry. It’s important to create an authentic story behind your brand, and a story that resonates with your target audience. Customers are always in the pursuit for new experiences to share and partake in.
Niches are scalable, many niches are easier to scale as you establish market leadership due to the differentiation in the offerings that you provide.
Fitnesspreneur Chanya is an amazing example of how one can tap onto niche markets with her combined offerings providing classes that incorporate one-of-a-kind street dance and twerking techniques. It can be said that these offerings certainly danced their way into the hearts of many of her clients.
Let Studio La Vie get you off your feet and jumping to the beat, with their interactive jump fitness sessions. Studio la vie helps many students put a spring in their step in studio and home with members joining in remotely and on site. Whether you’re a fan of K-pop or Jazz, Studio La vie is your one stop destination.
For your business to gain a competitive advantage over your competitors, consider building a culture that embraces change, and creating an environment where your instructors’ opinions are valued. This may require decentralizing the chain of command and letting instructor have autonomy over client facing responsibilities. Often, your instructors are the MVPs when it comes to communicating your brand vision and value.
Numbers tell a story, and consideration should be given to investing in a data-driven software to analyze your outcomes. This can include the monthly monitoring of sales, growth and revenue to monitor the success of your business model.
Vibefam helps support all boutique studio owners by providing them with a scheduling software which supports both instructor and client management. Find out more here and when you’re ready, schedule a personalised demo with us.
This article was written by Kimera Naidoo.