It’s Not What You Think
So, what does a small fitness business or startup look like? From the outside, it might resemble any one of a variety of business models that have nothing in common. Inside it’s likely to be a different story. Your business probably has an architecture that fits into a format that any gym manager will recognize, a club with a subscription membership.
It’s a service business that has consumers for members. You have to deal with a competitive market, fight against lots of similar companies, and also contend with the giants that have unlimited resources. These key features define your business as a club.
The Fitness Business Architecture
Your fitness club might have a studio space, swimming pool, tanning beds, free weights and other equipment, or it might have none of those at all. It’s the links between you and the members that define the format of the business more than any other feature.
The architecture of a business is about the process of the interactions, the products, and the services. It all comes back to the customers and the need that your gym business fills. It just so happens that the need in fitness is for consumers to have access to the resources to work out and train with professional guidance.
The relationship is between one or a few professionals and many club members. The format applies to any subscription-based consumer service. You will need a particular set of business tools that support the group, the subscriptions, and the day-to-day operations.
Cloud Based Software Management Services
Businesses of all descriptions are discovering the subscription model. Subscriptions provide flexibility, foundations for relationships and the ability to scale. In the software industry, web and mobile applications allow members to replace expensive up-front purchases with affordable subscriptions.
Web-based services have been very successful for both consumers and business customers. Placing the computing power in servers like this is what IT people mean when they talk about the Cloud and Software-as-a-Service. Your monthly subscription to Gym Insight for member, club and payment management services is the perfect example of cloud-based services in action.
When Your Gym Is Like A Box Of Chocolates
People have a need for human connections, not just digital but in-person and face-to-face. Sometimes it’s a relief and a reward just to be around other people. That is the space that is at the heart of the gym business, you put people in one space to do things, many different things.
Beyond the interests and values that drive your membership, your business might be just about anything. If you can imagine a company that does anything with consumer subscriptions, you’re thinking about a case that Gym Insight has supported or can easily do so in the future.
Although we concentrate on fitness, we like to keep an open mind for opportunities to helps small businesses manage their customers and operations. In addition to fitness, Insight is installed in health organizations and medical centers, homeowner associations and maker spaces, and many other types of businesses that you might never expect.
Play It To Your Advantage
There are always something available to add to your business that will make it more profitable, securing your future better. If you start as a trainer, using meet ups to lead classes, you can up-sell personal training, either in homes or at a collaborating local studio.
Start your own studio. Add a store to the front of your gym; featuring convenience items, fitness and nutrition support functions. Find a white label supplier willing to put your brand on the products they supply. Do your branding right and earn a higher margin on branded sales, make your budget for giveaways and other promotions go further.
Reach out to the local business community and offer the unused capacity to have partners bring new customers in the front door. Get creative and see that any type of club that brings members together is like a small gym business.
While it’s safe to say that fitness companies look like organizations related to fitness, that covers an immense amount of ground. The software that you need manages people, accounts, and payment is a common element for many sectors of consumer businesses.
Fagan, Lawrence. 5 Insights Startup Gyms Need To Beat The Big Clubs. January 24, 2017. https://blog.gyminsight.com/4232-5-insights-startup-gyms-need-to-beat-the-big-clubs/ (accessed April 16, 2017).
Longanecker, Chuck. Why You Should Use a Subscription Business Model. March 19, 2015. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/243573 (accessed April 16, 2017).