It’s no secret that boutique fitness studios have been exploding on the fitness scene for several years. According to IHRSA, boutiques drove $2.45 billion in membership revenue, compared with $1.49 billion for traditional clubs in 2015. In the US, 42% of health club members are also boutique studio members, so they’re obviously doing something right.
With this in mind, we’ve been looking at what you can do to help your business bring in more membership revenue.
Focus on being good at one thing
Boutique studios are known for being good at one thing. They provide high value, specialized experiences that focus on a particular area (such as indoor cycling or HIIT). So consider this approach with your business and marketing efforts too.
Pick just one marketing activity and dedicate all of your efforts towards it. This might mean selecting one social media channel and focusing on developing an engaged community around it or concentrating on a specific marketing channel, such as a blog or podcast. Instead of juggling multiple platforms and formats, you can direct all of your efforts on just one. This will free up more time to create higher quality posts and more meaningful interactions. This focus on quality will lead to a more engaged audience, who feel connected to your brand and more likely to use you as their fitness provider of choice.
Listen to the needs of your customer
Fitness and health can be incredibly personal for an individual. Your services, therefore, need to be personalized for your customer base. Using business analytics to understand the needs of your customer can help you provide services they will find most useful.
Business analytics can also be a great way to learn about your members. Listen to what your customers do and not necessarily what they say. They might say they want more yoga classes, but, if the classes being offered aren’t full maybe that isn’t the best way to go.
Analyze customer data to deliver content specific to each of your members. You can begin to create lists in your contact database based on consumer behavior and send your members offers via email or push notifications that they might find most useful.
Deliver value to your members
You want to be able to show your members that their membership with you is worth its cost. If members can exercise elsewhere for free like the park or around the city, it might be hard to justify a membership. This is where valuable content and services can help communicate the value of your membership. Free sessions with personal trainers, blog posts focused on weight loss, and videos that feature healthy recipes could help keep your members coming back.
Implement the right pricing model
Since fitness studios usually rely on classes, your pricing model should correlate with your services to maximize profit.
You will need to decide all your prices and payment options: what will your classes cost? Will your clients pay upfront for a pack of classes or for classes individually? If a client misses a class without following cancellation procedures, will you charge penalty fees or charge for the class regardless?
Depending on your club’s style and frequency of workout classes, you can decide to offer unlimited classes within a month for a fixed price, packages of classes at a discounted price or to stick with pay as you go for individual classes. You can also charge flat membership fees for an unlimited amount of classes and increase the average monthly spend through add-ons, such as renting yoga mats, towels, or other equipment.
As an owner, you can experiment with policies to see what best suits your fitness studio.
Maintaining your membership is extremely important. This is how fitness studios succeed and stay profitable. Use the strategies mentioned above to retain more of your members. Evaluate how well you are implementing each of these principles in your fitness studio. Just a small improvement in one could help you boost your membership sales. An improvement in several could generate a big increase in your total fitness studio sales volume.