If you viewed the fitness industry from 30,000 feet, you’d see two giant segments in our space:
- Big Physical Clubs (like Gold’s, LA Fitness, Planet, Anytime, etc. )
- Big Online Platforms (like Peloton, Beachbody, Daily Burn, FitBit, etc.)
Both segments suffer from their own “BIG-NESS!”
They are simply too big to “connect” on a “personal” level with their clients/members.
And, even with the best automated CRM systems their communications are not personal.
Instead, almost everything the “giants” do is watered down and “generalized” to the masses (just like Walmart, Amazon, Cosco).
For proof, just complete an opt-in form on any of them!
You’ll soon see what I mean by the automated emails you’ll receive.
BETWEEN THE GIANTS
However, small/mid-sized clubs, boutique studios and specialized online platforms are in between the two “giants” and are much better positioned to leverage the evolving fundamental shift in our industry.
Hybrids (small physical clubs/studios + proactive online services/products) are the real “sweet spot“
- With a physical facility you can still draw on a local client base at a higher margin – especially if you have unique and engaging programming.
- Technology has leveled the playing field. You have the same reach as the big guys – You can literally communicate with clients around the world.
- You can niche. The big guys are generalists trying to be “all things to all people.” So they continually discount.
RECOGNIZE THE CHAMPION WITHIN
Listen, to someone, somewhere YOU are his or her champion.
YOU are the professional who can really help.
Maybe it’s because you specialize in “women over 50.”
Or, perhaps you are the “guru” for left-handed athletes.
Maybe you are the “king” or “queen” of resistance band workouts specifically designed for traveling sales professionals.
I even know of a trainer who provides videos of “Cab Workouts” for long-haul truckers!
STAND FOR SOMETHING
Specializing in a niche doesn’t mean you shouldn’t provide generalized services/sessions for those who just want a workout.
That should be a “given.” It’s the common denominator for all fit pros and facilities!
But, to differentiate and be successful in today’s overly saturated fitness market, you really need to STAND for SOMETHING!
Otherwise, if the only competitive advantage is PRICE… well, it’s a race to the bottom.
And, that’s exactly what the big box clubs are doing with their legacy “low price/high value” strategies.
IT’S ALL ABOUT RISK AND REWARD!
None of this easy.
And, it won’t happen overnight.
And, it will cost money.
And, it will require your time.
And, most importantly, it will require you to THINK outside-the-box. Outside your comfort zone.
That’s exactly what Steve Jobs did with Apple computer. Twice!
At a time when people paid $.50 cents for a cup of coffee, Howard Shultz believed people would pay $2.00 for a “good” cup of coffee. And they did.
Phil Knight started Nike with a $500 logo… (today the brand, itself, is valued at $12 billion).
And, today, Elon Musk continues to blow everybody’s mind with his innovation and out-of-the-box thinking!
INVEST IN THE BEST — YOU!
But, at some point, all of the aforementioned entrepreneurs had to “pull the trigger” and invest in equipment, marketing and people.
What they were really doing was investing in their visions. Their dreams.
So, yes… being successful in our new evolving industry is going to require an INVESTMENT.
You are going to have to INVEST in YOURSELF.
Look, you probably already know how to run a physical location and offer memberships, group sessions, one-on-ones and maybe a few more services like nutrition and menu planning.
But, I am going to “pound-the-drum” for you to focus on three specific things:
1.) Identify a niche you can “champion”
2.) Increase your “online” offerings
3.) Make it a goal to scale your business
I can literally guarantee that over the next five years, the industry will shake out those who can’t keep up.
So, I encourage you to start now.
Put on your thinking cap…
You’re already in the “SWEET SPOT!”