Traditional gyms still certainly have their perks for fitness fanatics everywhere. But for entrepreneurs, boutique fitness studios are a rapidly growing trend. Your everyday family gym is filled from top to bottom with treadmills, ellipticals, weights, and more. Many even go so far as to provide both indoor and outdoor pools. Add onto that the cost of equipment upkeep, safety personnel, and personal trainers. The initial cost of starting a traditional gym can be in the millions.
And that initial cost is passed right onto the consumer. Gyms that provide a variety of fitness options, childcare, and other services are less likely to run special discounts, even around the start of the year, when people are making fitness resolutions. One area gym and sports center offered family memberships starting at $45 a month for a base membership that didn’t include an indoor pool or fitness class access. You are also required to pay three months upfront and sign an annual membership contract to guarantee you’ll pay your dues for the remaining nine months. For individuals looking for creative, straightforward ways to get their bodies moving, traditional gyms can be out of reach and out of touch with their budget and values.
What is a boutique fitness studio?
Boutique fitness studios offer a smaller gym experience with more specific classes in mind. Soul Cycle and Pure Barre kickstarted the boutique fitness trend at the beginning of the decade, and hundreds of similar boutique fitness chains have popped up around the world.
Rather than coming to the gym at your leisure and using a variety of machines, members or walk-ins can pay for one fitness class at a time without a long term commitment. In a single fitness studio, classes can range from spin to cardio dance, yoga to barre, boot camp style to mommy and me. Each class comes with more personalized attention from instructors and an introduction to a workout that you may have never otherwise heard about. Most gym members believe that paying a monthly fee will encourage more exercise since you don’t want to be flushing your money away. But studies show that signing up for prepaid individual workout classes not only holds you more accountable but also results in more engaged, longer workouts with less downtime.
How are boutique fitness studios more profitable?
Because boutique fitness studios provide a more engaging workout experience with less equipment and square footage when compared to traditional gyms, they stand to make the most money at the lowest possible startup costs. There are hundreds of possibilities for franchises and unique fitness studio ideas, but each requires a great deal of market research. It’s essential to understand your local demographics and to consider the long term implications of specialized fitness classes. For example, CrossFit encourages participants to reach new personalized records and advance to new levels of fitness and endurance. The classes offered keep participants coming back to do better than their best every time.
But your classes don’t have to be exclusive to workout addicts. Creating an open floor plan fitness studio provides endless possibilities. Prefabricated metal building kits can stand unsupported by columns up for up to 200 feet of width. This creates the perfect opportunity for the wide-open spaces and flexible wall panels to change up offerings and host a variety of different sized classes at the same time. Here are just a few ideas to start drumming up your entrepreneurial spirit:
- Gymnastics Academies: No need to invest in Olympic-grade equipment. Parents everywhere are looking for creative ways to let their kids burn out energy, whether that’s in the form of a structured gymnastics class or an open gym hour. Many gymnastics studios charge $10 or more entry fees to allow parents and children into the gym for a little run-and-play time in the safety of the indoors. After all, it’s hard to get hurt on those springboard floors. Toddlers show us what you’ve got!
- Cardio dance fitness: This is a genuinely low-cost startup option. With a high energy instructor and some wall mirrors, cardio dance fitness classes can get your heart pumping with virtually no equipment. It’s a great way to take the seriousness and intimidation out of working out. Catering to different levels of experience, offering mommy and me classes, and scheduling private classes can be great ways to keep customers engaged. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll want to keep coming back for more.
- Barre: Ballet-style fitness classes target the smaller, lesser-known muscle groups to create a burn you never thought possible. In the last ten years, these classes have exploded in popularity. That allows potential business owners to choose between going with a reputable franchise or going out on their own.
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