The demand for on-demand fitness has never been greater. Let’s rewind to March 2020, when the coronavirus crisis shuttered fitness facilities nationwide. With doors shut, gym owners were forced to quickly pivot to offerings beyond their brick-and-mortar, asking themselves, “How do I provide an in-studio experience for members at home?”
Seemingly overnight, gym owners flocked to platforms like Zoom and Instagram Live, while simultaneously YouTubing “how to use iMovie” to create digital fitness classes for their community. The hope? These quick solutions would provide a band-aid, keeping members engaged, and paying, until normalcy returned. However, gym owners using the quick, live solutions are overlooking business longevity. And hey — for now, that’s okay. You have to start somewhere.
But while it may feel like your social feeds have recently been cluttered with every at-home fitness video you can imagine, on-demand is here to stay. And the reason is threefold: industry, society, and scalability.
The on-demand fitness industry trend has already been realized by large fitness players such as Beachbody, Gaia, Peloton, Daily Burn, and Forte. In fact, as fitness industry trends go, on-demand has seen unprecedented growth in the past three years. According to CNBC, since 2017, on-demand fitness spending increased by 129%, whereas traditional gym spending is up just 6%. What does that mean for the smaller, mom-and-pop gyms? It's time to consider expanding into the digital world.
While it may seem unrealistic to scale a digital offering comparable to that of the fitness brand giants, that doesn’t mean it’s not a path worth exploring. Providing a professional, on-demand offering to your members (and future prospects) is becoming increasingly easier as the demand for it rises.
Whether it’s adding a password-protected area to your current website or leveraging STUDIO, an existing platform, the barrier of entry to this new revenue stream is conquerable. Don’t let the learning curve scare you from the opportunity to be on the forefront of this digital revolution. You knew starting a business meant you would need to keep growing and evolving — here’s the perfect opportunity to prove to yourself that you will do what it takes.
Boutique fitness studios, regardless of their size and resources, can compete in this emerging market. The question then becomes, how can you differentiate? What can you do that Peloton can’t? Good news: it’s the same thing that probably made you start this fitness thing in the first place. You have a unique concept, approach, or style, and the personality to sell it… so make it personable. Use your approach, with your coaches, in your studio, with your unique lexicon.
Carve out your niche and grow it with the same dedication you gave to your brick-and-mortar business, by leaning on the most difficult task for the big brands to accomplish: personal, direct communication. Why does someone choose a boutique gym instead of a Globo-gym? Community. The sense of feeling like they’re a part of something bigger, with people who care about their well-being.
If customers send feedback to a giant like Peloton, they have no way of knowing if that company will ever respond to a suggestion from one of its 1M+ subscribers. But do you know who can respond — personally — and make those customers feel even more valued and excited about spending their hard-earned wages? You.
If keeping up with fitness industry trends isn’t enough to motivate you, here is another reason: Your members expect it.
In today’s instant gratification society, 24/7, anytime, anywhere is a business model must. Grocery and food delivery, music, movies… all on-demand and leveraging a “convenience first” approach.
Additionally, it’s not just convenience that keeps consumers engaged, it’s also flexibility, variety, and control. How many nights have you perused Netflix looking for the perfect binge-worthy show? You can choose to watch at 7am or 7pm. You can select movies or TV shows from a variety of genres. And there is no immediate time commitment. Pause, stop, restart, at any time.
And as more consumers become accustomed to the instant gratification, convenience, and flexibility afforded by technology, they demand the same from your gym. Live fitness videos create accountability, whereas on-demand fitness video archives create the variety and freedom that we have all become accustomed to in our day-to-day lives.
The great news: STUDIO will give you the ability to provide a library of fitness classes that provide instant gratification and flexibility to your members — delivered and consumable the way they demand it.
If the pandemic has taught business owners one thing it’s that having a standalone brick-and-mortar location has its limitations. The silver lining? It has forced us to pivot our thinking.
Let’s say in our dream world (and hopefully near future), you are open, and your physical space is active. You have a 2,000-square-foot building and your current operational capacity is 250 members. How do you grow? You may say “bring in more members for classes,” but as your membership grows, so do your variable costs, and at the end of the month, you’re bummed to see that your growth is not showing in your bottom line.
The answer: open up new revenue streams. Break out of the model of revenue per square foot and allow yourself to remove the ceiling of operational capacity. Digital on-demand content allows you to expand your membership reach and eliminate the physical barriers.
Previously, you had to hope that someone came to your building, took a class, and returned. But now, you have the opportunity to have a random mom in Indiana view your online content, resonate, and subscribe.
Or how many times did you lose a member because they were moving, or traveling too often for work? Great, no problem. Now you are providing an anytime, anywhere on-demand service that delivers the classes your members already love to them, on their time.
The opportunity with digital scalability is massive, but with many gyms, it’s still unrealized potential. Are you one of those gyms? Let STUDIO help you change that.
To learn more about STUDIO by flexx, or to talk with us about how to utilize STUDIO for your business needs, head to https://flexx.co/studio-by-flexxLearn More About STUDIO