Tag Archives: fitness studio

6 Reasons a studio can “outSPIN®” big health clubs

There are dozens of examples around the country of successful dedicated fitness  studios. While there are differences in approach, pricing and style………these studios have survived, and thrived in the face of direct (usually lower-priced) competition from large “box gyms” and health clubs that offer spin as well as multiple other products.  These studios are classic “niche” businesses.  They are successful for their focus on some combination of the following factors.

1) Focussed Mission. A dedicated studio pays attention to the details and focuses on one thing:  the best  classes possible.  Equipment, sound system, decor, amenities, teachers………are the best available.

2) Convenience.  A studio is single purpose, “in and out”, simple, easy to reserve and participate.

3) Flexible payment. In a studio, you can pay “per-class” and when you don’t attend….you don’t pay, or you can often buy monthly unlimited passes if that seems economic.

4) Easy reserve. No waiting in lines, no getting “shut out”, no calling the night before to reserve.  You can easily reserve online, show up 2 minutes before the class, and enjoy!

5) Community. A small intimate studio encourages sharing and interaction amongst students if they so desire.  Instructors and students interact to optimize fitness, growth and enjoyment.

6) The little things matter. Quality sound, outstanding teachers, attention to detail, lighting, mirrors, equipment, announcing schedule changes and subs, personal touches, amenitites

If you are interested in learning more….in launching your own studio….or streamlining and marketing an existing fitness studio — click here to find out about our consulting services.

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

Over the past 6 months….since posting this blog and setting up to help “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 several studios I have been directly involved with.   Surprisingly, very few people ask “how much money can I make on one of these studios” — thought 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.

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

There are dozens more, and each of these have nuances that need to be considered, happy to discuss at your convenience:  781-254-3677  billpryor@comcast.net

Fitness studio website, energize it, optimize it.

Late last year, the websites for our studios underwant a radical transformation…….By switching over from a traditional static website — to a Blog, we dramatically energized our “google juice” (our search engine rank) and upgraded our online footprint.   While this was a radical change “behind the scenes”, we retained the established look and feel of our brand and for many customers, the change was invisible.

Today’s blog platforms like wordpress, blogspot, and squarespace are amazing tools for small businesses like our cycling studios.  In my opinion they are amazing for 2 primary reasons.  First, they are very easy to set up and manage — which alleviates the need to call an outside web expert once they get going….and second, they allow you to build a large archive of searchable content (blog posts).  This cranks up your google juice!  This biggest challenge is finding the time to keep cool content flowing into your blog…..you need a commitment.

If you would like to hear more about how Spynergy uses a blog platform to communicate the brand and find new customers—-cheap….contact me at billpryor@comcast.net

6 reasons to launch your own indoor cycling or SPIN® studio

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

2) You’re always around music!  Creating and presenting the musical mixes is awesome!

3) As a studio, 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.

4) The financial model is a good one…..IF you can reach a certain attendance level.  Extra revenue after that has no costs associated with it.

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

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

Using social media to market fitness studios

Are you using social media to help build your business?  Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other social media are growing in usage every day by your customers.  Using these media for marketing is a relatively new concept, but the potential is enormous.  Social media is the “next layer” of Internet marketing.    First you get a website, then you “optimize” it with words so people can find it, then maybe you buy Google search words.  The next step is to ENGAGE people.  To get your customers and prospects to interact with you and with eachother!  This does several important things:

1)  Gets you into a fun and interesting dialog online with your community

2) Increases your “Google – rank” in relevant searches in your area

3) Increases traffic to your website

4) Increases word-of-mouth and referrals

At Spynergy, we have experimented with a variety of social media marketing programs and found some things that really work.  With a minimal amount of time (and money) you can get this kind of thing going.  If you have an anecdote you would like to share, please let us know.  If you would like to brainstorm around these ideas, feel free to call Bill at 781-254-3677.

Online Scheduler and class reservations

Absolutely critical to the “studio” nature of your facility. Scheduling is not only a convenience and an amenity — if done well, it also has a subtle and powerful way of encouraging regular and powerful commitment to your classes. On a recent half-blizzard morning in Boston, 32 of 39 scheduled class participants showed up to an 8:00 am Sunday morning class. They had all made reservations, and viewed that as an inviolable commitment.

Important considerations in developing your online scheduler and reservation systems.
1) How far in advance do you allow reservations?
2) How close to a class are reservations accepted?
3) What is the specific cancellation and penalty policy?
4) How are late arrivals treated if walk-ins are waiting?

It is very important to get the answers to these questions solidified —- in your policies and in the minds of your customers.  Shifting or changing them causes confusion and stress for everyone.  This is not a minor matter when it comes to the studio model where attention to detail is so critical.

What the heck makes exercise doable?

No one disputes the value of exercise. We live busy but sedentary lives that are peppered with stress — then we sprinkle questionable eating and drinking on top. Normal? Sure. Healthy? Probably not.

It is what it is……and we all know that exercise is a HUGE antidote. How can we keep at it ? After a lifetime of experimenting with exercise we have determined 2 eternal truths:

1) Regular exercise takes discipline
2) The less interesting the exercise, the more difficult the discipline.

Example: Hiking the Appalachian trail in autumn is good exercise and little discipline is required to stay at it. Running on a treadmill alone in your basement is good exercise, but it’s HUGE discipline to do it often.

Here’s the thing about spin: great exercise of course….but more important, there are things about it that make the discipline less intimidating. The music, the teacher, the group energy, the darkness, the class structure, the variety — these things conspire to make the exercise (dare I say it)….Fun. If something is fun, it doesn’t take as much discipline to do it.

Love to hear your thoughts comments or examples….