If you talk to your friends or family (or a lender) about the idea of opening a cycling or other boutique fitness studio, something comes up that I call The Big Question. If you want to start a studio you better learn to answer it crisply, because everyone’s going to ask you, and it strikes at the core of the viability of this business.
“…Why will people pay-per-class for spin classes when they can join a nice big gym and get unlimited Spin® or indoor cycling, and other cool stuff along with their membership?….”
OK, there are several ways to answer this. If you want to be a bit fresh, you can answer a question with a question: Why are there a growing number of highly successful cycling studios around the country that are right near big gyms? Or Why are there THOUSANDS of successful yoga studios when you can do yoga in almost every big gym?
But actually, you can answer the question by citing several of the specific reasons:
People will pay to attend a well run fitness studio!
- the creation of a powerful and inspirational fitness experience (as opposed to just a workout) is something people love
- the convenience of an online reservation and purchasing system
- the ability to get in and out of a class without waiting or stressing
- the flexibility of “pay-per-class” options and not having to “join”
- the feeling of intimacy and community in a small studio
- the attention to quality and detail that a studio provides in every aspect both in and out of the class
These are the things people want and these are the things consumers have demonstrated they will pay for. (Just look at Soul Cycle and FlyWheel).
Yes, a studio can be more expensive but the reality is that the studio experience is often a much better VALUE. You can buy coffee at the gas station for 79 cents but people routinely go to coffee shops and pay $3 because the experience and the product are better. It is no different for a cycling studio.
*Note: Soul Cycle franchise? No such thing. FlyWheel franchise? No such thing. The top cycling studio franchise in the market today is CycleBar.