Category Archives: Starting a studio

6 reasons to launch your own boutique fitness studio studio

If you are evaluating the prospect of owning a fitness studio, here are a few of the things I found attractive about this kind of business.

1) People become passionate about your place and in many, many cases you are making a real difference in their mental and physical health.

studio lobby2)  For most studios,  your hours are limited to the times there are classes, it is not a business where you need to be physically present for long consecutive stretches (like retail or restaurants)

3) The business model is a good one…..Financially, if you can reach a certain attendance level — extra revenue after that has low incremental cost associated with it.  Staffing wise, it is a simple model, cash flow is good because money is pre-paid by customers so  there are not significant receivables.

4) Your clientele becomes a close community.  Because of your business, they interact with you and with eachother in a wide variety of ways.

5) Virtually 100% of your customers pre-pay for services, and most of that payment comes online.  Thus, no worries about cash in the studio, and no billing or accounts receivable issues.  These models are great for cash flow.

6) Decisions you make every day directly impact the  success of your studio

There’s a revolution happening in fitness.

Yes, it’s a revolution. In 2005, my sister Alex and I opened the very first ’boutique’ indoor cycling studio on the east coast of the United States.  Aside from Yoga, there were virtually zero dedicated fitness studios in our community or in the entire metro Boston area.   It took a few years, but that cycling studio became highly successful and was the core model for a cycling studio franchise that has opened over 100 studios.  Not only that, but within 5 miles of our location there are now no fewer than 25 boutique fitness studios: Cycling, Barre, Bootcamp, Rowing, Pilates, HIIT, Yoga, Dance, Hybrids…and more.

A 2017 Trend Report Study by the Association of Fitness Studios notes recent explosive growth in fitness studios over the past few years and notes

  • Niche classes are a key trend driving growth
  • Independent studios are exploding in numbers fitness professionals explore becoming entrepreneurs
  • Differentiation and diversification are key
  • Technology and metrics are improving and driving growth
  • Medical connections and medical benefits are a positive impact

My own observations as a studio owner, franchisor, and long time participant  are that boutique fitness studios are having a profound impact on the way people view health, wellness and in fact lifestyle.   These places are no longer “gyms” to workout at.  Great studios are true communities that provide physical, emotional, mental and even spiritual nourishment.  Because of this…..more and more people are participating and the business opportunities are exploding.

Imagine having a fun, profitable business that makes people healthy and happy.  Here we explore the business issues around this idea.  Read up and let’s connect!

Bill Pryor

Questions asked before opening a SPIN® studio or indoor cycling studio

While helping “studio starters” around the country (and around the world) — there are certain questions that come up again and again.  When I answer these questions, I do not speculate —- I base my answers on the actual operating history of the many studios I have been directly involved with.   Surprisingly, very few people ask “how much money can I make on one of these studios” — though that is probably the most important question when determining how much time, effort and capital to expend.  More often, folks are passionate about moving ahead and really want to know about details that can help.

  • Do I need showers?  (surprisingly the answer here in more cases than not……is ‘not really’, for several reasons)
  • How do I find teachers ?  (this is tougher than you might think……but is an ongoing process and probably the most important thing you can get good at)
  • What kind of equipment should I get?  (3 words to be concerned with here:  durability, durability, durability)
  • What are the key factors in selecting a location?  (access to the right demographic market, parking issues, noise issues)
  • What are the best pricing models to consider (this depends, but a key is looking at other niche fitness studios in your area)
  • What is a solid “grand opening” strategy so I can get off to a fast start?

There are dozens more, and each of these have nuances that need to be considered, happy to discuss at your convenience: