At the end of the year I always like to look back and see what topics and questions I got asked most from all the business owners I spoke with... and I thought you might like to know more about this too!
So what's come up?
Well, this year, we have been way more focused on sales and pricing. Is this to do with increased competition? I think yes... is that a bad thing? NO! Most of the conversations I've had involved raising prices and implementing a sales process - both are good for your biz!
Other trends I have seen this year is a lot more attention on video, social media and outbound marketing. Hurrah! It's super important to be proactive about this 🙂
But, the biggest challenge for everyone? Keeping clients over the long term.
Retention is the foundation of your business - but not always the easiest part. It’s something you have to work on every single day - servicing your clients and adapting to their needs to keep them engaged!
What helps is a community of fellow business owners. So, if you have a business question or are looking for some extra business tips - get on over to the private Growing A Studio Business Facebook Group!
Or... check out the most popular articles from 2018:
5 Reasons Why Studios Lose Clients
3 Reasons Why Your Client List Isn't Growing
Let's Review Your Pricing
Why Branding Really Matters For Your Studio Business
How Often Should You Email Your Clients?
I hope you find something useful here and if you have a burning business question, just hit reply and ask away.
With warmest wishes,
Where is your business growth going to come from next year?
Where are you going to focus your energy, time and resources next year to make sure your revenue goes up year over year?
Where are you going to invest to ensure next year is better than this year?
Let’s say you could wave a magic wand and just like that you were in your world 12 months forward. What would be different? What would be the same?
How would like look 2 years from now?
Sometimes we get stuck in the past hanging on to things, or doing things that no longer serve us.
What will you let go of next year to allow space for growth?
These are all questions to contemplate as we come to the end of the year. And, if you’re anything like me you haven’t had a ton of time to think through the answers, but you may also be excited to explore what the future holds!
There is something really exciting about starting over with a fresh sheet of paper and some fresh ideas.
Not sure where to start?
Thats ok. I’ve got a tool to help.
Use my PATH TO SUCCESS worksheet as your step-by-step guide to plan your next best year.
But, before you start, there are somethings to keep in mind:
You’ll need space to think and be creative. Remove all distractions and be in an environment where you are comfortable and can focus.
Take time to do this. Read through the guide and you’ll see it’s something that you’ll want to spend more than 20 minutes on! Consider blocking out a morning in your calendar to work on this.
It can be helpful to talk through your ideas and opportunities with someone who knows your business and who can really inspire your thoughts.
Be ready to make a commitment to your business. This could be a financial goal or a project that finally get completed
It’s not about doing more but about doing more of what works. Look at your business objectively - what isn’t working and what is? Where will your revenue come from?
Over the past few years as a business consultant to fitness and wellness studios I’ve helped so many to think bigger and beyond the status quo. Over that time, I’ve also seen what has not worked quite so well. Here are the top mistakes I’ve seen:
Getting stuck on small tasks
It can be so easy to “just do it yourself” and not take the time to train and delegate to others. This will hurt you in the long run in so many ways. If you aren’t the one who is leading and strategizing over your next steps because you are also micromanaging schedules then you’ll find yourself on the road to no-where. Outsource, delegate or automate everything you can to free up your time for creativity and developing growth opportunities.
Promoting what you think your clients might like vs promoting what you want your client to buy.
You might think your clients want a discount on a 5 pack of classes or privates but is that what you want your clients to purchase? Is it better for you if your clients purchase a membership or a bigger commitment pack? Yes? Then promote that instead!
Not allocating time to working on new projects or ideas
New projects need attention to be successful. Something as simple as blocking out time in your calendar each week really, truly can make all the difference. So, if you are thinking about creating a workshop series, changing your pricing or investing more time in marketing then you’ll need to dedicate time to working on this and put it in your calendar!
Sticking to what is comfortable - because that is how “it has always been done”
Doing things a little differently or testing new ways of doing things can be exactly what sets you apart from your competition. If you keep doing the same thing over and over again you will see the same outcome. Be bold when it comes to trying new things in your business, that could be a new class, price point, system, sales process or even the hours you work! Remember, businesses evolve and change with time. It’s normal and part of the journey!
Thinking too small!
Thriving studios don’t get that way overnight. Someone had a vision that felt big and bold and had the dedication to take action toward reaching that vision. If you want to double the size of your business. - great!! Let’s make that happen! Things will need to change, you will need to do things differently, but that is how you grow. Don’t hold back on your dreams, This is your opportunity to make your business work for you!
So… what are waiting for, it’s time to build your vision for the new year!
Did you know that the 10 markets that make up the wellness economy are now worth $4.2 trillion!
Over the past 2 years this has grown 12.8% and represents a whopping 5.3% of global economic output.
These are big numbers. As you know - there has been a shift toward integrating movement and wellness into everyday life and this move towards prioritizing wellness is changing the shape of our industry and the habits of consumers.
So… what makes up wellness?
The Global Wellness Institute focused on 10 specific categories for their research:
Personal care and beauty: $1.082 trillion
Healthy eating, nutrition and weight loss: $702.1 billion
Wellness tourism: $639.4 billion
Fitness / mind-body: $595.4 billion
Preventive and personalized medicine and public health: $574.8 billion
Traditional and complementary medicine: $359.7 billion
Wellness real estate: $134.3 billion
Spa economy: $118.8 billion
Thermal / mineral springs: $56.2 billion
Workplace wellness: $47.5 billion
Spas, wellness tourism, and wellness real estate were shown to be the fastest-growing sectors over the last two years. But, many of the categories above blend together as the industry moves even more towards delivering a complete and rounded experience for it’s consumers. Just like you might have contemplated adding spa or nutrition services to your studio offerings.
The big players are doing the same.
With Peloton bikes inside hotel rooms and Exhale (barre and spa) being purchased by Hyatt Hotel group, fitness and travel are merging because of consumer demand and habits.
Another area prime for big growth is workplace wellness. Some large companies recognize the benefits (think increased productivity, less time off) of integrating fitness and wellness into the workplace, but there is so much more that can be done.
What we know is that people who engage with group exercise feel more fulfilled than those who do not by nearly 30%
You can relate to this - you know your clients feel this way about your business.
Regular group fitness participants also report closer relationships with family and friends, enjoying their work more and finding time for play and having fun.
We know that consumers are seeking a more connected and holistic approach to balance the stress and pressures of every day life - perhaps this is why Yoga has grown in popularity - the number of people practicing yoga has increased 54% in the last 10 years!
Let’s dive into some more details on the fitness industry:
The average age of Yogis is 36 and nearly 20% are male.
We know also know that a younger population favor more intense exercise with HIIT being the most popular amongst the millennial generation and a low impact spin class is a firm favorite across all ages.
The average American spends $87/month on health and wellness, but those who engage in regular workouts spend significantly more. Top spenders are CrossFitters spending an average of $187/month on health and wellness, Yogis average the lowest of those surveyed - but still spend $131/month.
The average income of those in the survey was $73k - with top earners choosing HIIT as their favorite workout and averaging $82k in annual income.
On the boutique business side, there is more really interesting data… 50% of boutique wellness businesses generate in excess of $300k in revenue every year with 16% making over $500k. The average revenue for boutique fitness studios was $289,000. Nice work folks!
What about spending? I know many studios spend $249/month or less on marketing - that makes up 18% of studios. But the average marketing budget each month is $783! On average in fitness, the marketing budget is 3.4% of total revenue. Perhaps that will help guide your budget for next year?
How about staff? These are the numbers that really surprised me… of those fitness studios surveyed, the average staff size was 14 in total, with around 8 full time staff and 6 part time staff.
One last piece of data for you - only 27% of American adults visit a group fitness facility regularly - even less visit 1:1 fitness services.
So, despite these big growth numbers, there is still plenty of opportunity to continue to engage with new clients and growing your studio business.
Of those who use the MIndBody app, 80% go to group classes 2-3 times per week or more. Making booking as simple and easy as possible really helps to get your clients to be more engaged in your business.
Personally, I love to see data like this. I think seeing the bigger trends can help us all understand consumer thinking and behavior across the industry and help drive and guide better decision making within business. It can inspire us all to create more innovative methods to help clients further engage with wellness and help you become an industry leader who stays ahead in this multi-trillion dollar industry!
What do you think of these numbers? Do they represent what you see? What questions do you have?
Sources: MindBody Wellness Index Survey 2018, Global Wellness Institute,
And so it begins…. the festive season is coming our way fast and with it, a great opportunity for small businesses to shine!
Yes - really! 🌟
You might feel like this time of year is tough to manage because of late cancels, increased travel and frankly, because you are probably quite ready some time off yourself!!
But, if you can plan early - you can get ahead of the game, stop being reactive to the challenges of the season and actually turn it around to make it work for you!
It’s possible that your teachers and your clients will be traveling during the holidays. Probably pretty likely actually. Start early and be proactive about finding out how you can manage teaching schedules. Communicate changes in class schedules early and consider adding in extra sessions or classes before or after your clients travel to even out the potential loss of revenue (and progress for your client)?
The goal for all your promotions at this time of year is retention, retention, retention. Your focus is on keeping your clients beyond the end of the year (in the new year your focus shifts toward those new clients!). So, what can you do to keep them coming back in the new year? How about an early sign up for a challenge or a bootcamp or special workshop event in January... perhaps 20 classes in 30 days? Or a 1 month unlimited special offer starting Jan1?
This is the time of year to give thanks to your team and loyal clients. Whether this is a gift, a hand-written note, a holiday card or a text! Invite your clients and teachers to share their appreciation of each other too. Actively cultivating gratitude will help reduce stress and strengthen the bonds of friendship and community inside your studio.
Help your clients take the stress out of their holiday shopping - and boost your business too! Gift cards can be a great revenue generator for your business (suggest your clients give the gift of wellness to their favorite friends!) or offer special bundles of classes and merchandise - such a neat way to help out your clients while getting your studio name out to friends of your clients!
Put in the effort to “seasonally brand” your business and you will be connecting with your clients and their friends. Dress up for Halloween and put an Elf on the shelf and your business will come alive oline! Don’t forget to show up on social media consistently - you don’t want to let the world forget about you. That extra nudge to make it into the studio will help your clients stay on track!
Throw a party!
Holding a staff party or even a holiday party for staff and clients is a great way to show everyone a good time. It could be themed, filled with games or a simple open house event in the studio. You decide!
Carve out some me time
Just like summer, December and January are unpredictable months. As a business owner, be conscious of your energy levels especially if you have big plans for the upcoming year (and I know many of you do). Be sure to build in time for yourself to rest and energize when your schedule allows. This is crucial to your ability to manage your team, your clients and your business!
What else do you do at this time of year to make sure you end the year strong and filled with gratitude?
Workshops and studio events are becoming increasingly popular for teacher training and clients alike.
I know that from many of my conversations with you studio owners like you that workshops and events are things that you’re thinking about doing or you already have lined up.
Hosting workshops or retreats are a fun and creative way to build awareness and buzz in your boutique fitness studio (or wellness business) as well as adding a little extra profit to your bottom line.
But a successful pilates workshop takes effort and planning.
To create a sell out event, you will need to be organized and prepared to market yourself and your business.
Want to plan a workshop in your boutique fitness business?
Here are my top tips:
Set the date well in advance. Depending on the type of event you will need to give yourself enough time to generate interest in the event and for your clients to plan accordingly. For an event you are hosting in your studio you will need 1-2 months to pull together all the details (and ideally you are lining up dates 3 months out) for an event where travel is necessary, you may need to plan further in advance.
Set your pricing strategy. Workshops are a premium service and typically are longer in length with a specific focus and structure the regular classes, so they should priced according to that value. That said, an early bird rate is a great way to get early sign-ups and create a sense of urgency in your promotions.
Market early and do plenty of it! You have to be ready to broadcast your event to the world. Don’t hide! Posters, social media, leaflets and flyers are a must. But it doesn’t stop there. If you aren’t talking about it, you can’t expect anyone else to either. So get chatting with your clients about what you have in store and get them excited too!
Make registration super easy (and have a system). What information do you need from the attendees and what do they need to know from you? Make a list of what’s included and what should they expect as well as what they should bring themselves. Do they need a mat, notebook or water? Put this information together well in advance so you can send details as soon as you get sign-ups.
Be ready to deliver an exceptional workshop. Your clients will keep coming back for more as long as they love the way you make them feel. Remember - it’s ALL about the experience!
I’d love to hear how your events have gone - what worked well and what didn’t? Hit reply and let me know!