We already know that the #futureoffitness is technology, we can’t run from that, it’s happening now! What I find interesting is the amount of publications referring to boutique studios are the in thing with each studio differentiating itself from each other. Yoga,Barre,Cycle,HIIT etc etc are the supposed go to tools, become one or go broke. Lets take a bigger step back say seven years when 24/7 franchise boxes were opening here in Australia, the negativity that followed for the independent club owner it was dooms day we wouldn’t be able to compete 24/7, low pricing and blah blah. So here we are seven years later and a high percentage of independents have gone 24/7 and have become fierce competition for these now smaller clubs. How did they do it? Education – going 24/7 is not a big deal it just sounded like a big deal and the fear of god was put into the club owner at every convention or workshop they went to…So now lets look at boutiques clubs – the opposite to the 24/7 franchised gym – specialising in anything from hot yoga,cycle,dance,hiit you name it – again another supposed threat to the independent club – I don’t think so. You see all that really needs to happen is we as an industry need to educate our independents on how to counter act boutique style clubs…. Really? Yes! You see the common factor in all this is one thing “group interaction” Training in a club irrespective of its size,its brand,its social status its group training,its social interaction its everything it was back in the 80’s just different…just like fitness of the 70’s was different to fitness of the 80’s ,at the end of the day it was still the above.People meeting with people. There is absolutely no reason for an independent not to re-brand their group training in their club an offer the same as, if not better as the boutique clubs. Training Gym area’s can be set up in any independent club – I’m doing it as I write,I’ll still have a separate cycle room and GF studio – I’ve taken the PT area dumped it and re-developed it – group training – functional training – people want social interaction, you don’t have to be boutique or Crossfit to offer this, you can be an Independent! Boom I just added value to my members membership! ……And any club owner can put in a Heart Rate monitor system in their club and offer an app – Like #Netpulse. You don’t have to be boutique or a 24/7 box club to have these. My beef at the moment is the hype that is caused from ‘experts’ in the industry to shell shock the independents into negative mindset – your role is education, educate them on how to change and become a better business not a scared business.Thats your job – nobody is interested in what you did or saw on your travels they can google that stuff. They want A to Z get me to the finish line.
Let me leave you with two points to think about –
1.When was the last time you checked how many boutique or 24/7 franchised clubs were up for sale. I love to google “gyms/health clubs for sale, the amount of franchised clubs up for sale is an education itself don’t visit specific www just google.
2.Anybody that tells you that you need to be apart of the latest trend say to them “thats great now show me how to get there and how you got their” If they can’t replicate to you their own experiences then I would probably disregard it… Seriously it would be like somebody who hasn’t owned a gym or fitness business in the social media era telling you how to sell memberships on social media.
Never preach what you haven’t achieved.