Let me preface this article with this:
- These are only words and they are from someone in the same boat as you.
- This is a prediction based upon the past, I might be wrong!
- I apologize in advance, if you feel strong disagreement at some point.
- Before you leave though, please consider adding your point of view to the conversation ongoing each week at Pilates Business Pros Facebook
The boutique fitness business mid-2022 looks very different from before February 2020. We've learned a lot. We've known small disruptions of our businesses before. Uncomfortable and inconvenient, yes, but not game-ending before 2020. From a business point of view, pandemics are just larger scale disruptions of revenue. Caught off guard and unprepared meant game over for over 12,000 facilities in the USA alone between 2020 and 2022.
That was then. Now that we know about the threat, and can prepare for next time, it doesn't have to mean game over. We simply have to get strategic and plan for it. The best news is that if we NEVER get another major disruption, we’ll be even more successful because we're running our businesses in a way that compensates for our known vulnerabilities. We become more resilient by operating our businesses strategically and thoughtfully.
This article is Win-Win-Win thinking For the Boutique Fitness Industry
- 1You, your family and your business wins
- 2Your clients win
- 3Our shared industry wins
Who In the boutique fitness industry doesn’t want to win?
Predictions of How the Boutique Fitness Industry Will Look
Some will survive, others won’t. Then there will be those that thrive. What do you suppose will be the difference between them? That’s simple. Business is really much like a game. There are rules. You break them, you are penalized. There are playbooks with strategies and tactics. Practice them and start winning more. There are big plays like the Hail Mary pass in football or the 3-pointer in basketball. Mastering them takes practice. Do that, score more. Knowing when to use them takes understanding either through experience, or by thoughtful analysis of the wins and losses of the past. Mastery comes with knowledge and practice.
The next generation of boutique fitness industry champions will be;
In business, it’s the smartest that actually thrive under any conditions, and the boutique fitness industry like every other is a competition.
The boutique fitness industry is also uniquely suited to evolve under these new realities. There is an opportunity right now to do what independents rarely do -
Use it tactically as part of a strategy to position a handful of small boutique fitness players on a far bigger global playing field. One mindset shift is all it takes; just one. So why wouldn’t you make it? There are billions of dollars there compared to just hundreds of thousands in the traditional local playing fields we’re used to.
Intrigued? I hope so. Because if you are, you are already showing a characteristic that says you may be one of those handful that thrive rather than survive.
You may not agree with me, but let me invite you to stay with me. Ask yourself
Whatever you answer, the difference in those two mindsets are profound!
What Is Clear about the Boutique Fitness Industry after 2020
- 1Our businesses can be forced to close for public health reasons with little notice or knowledge of the duration expected.
- 2The service business model of money for your time is what makes us vulnerable. When the doors are closed to your nearby clients, the doors are closed to your primary revenue.
- 3True secondary revenue must come from a buyer profile that is not the one trying to get in your "sometimes closed" front door. It must come from a buyer who prefers to open a different type of door. A portal if you will, and they’ve been doing it for 50 years. In the 70s it was the VCR. Today, it’s the internet.
- 4Secondary revenue is NOT simply retaining existing in-person client revenue by using alternative methods to deliver your expertise.
3 Boutique Fitness Industry Groups Will Emerge
Group 1: The Boutique Fitness Industry Graveyard Group
This one has 3 subtypes:
- 1The “misguided adapters experts”. They executed toward what they believed to be secondary revenue. It wasn’t. They did it independently, and tried to become “the creator of massive amounts of content” expert. They realized too late the limits of their time, resources, expertise and reach, never achieving true and sustainable secondary revenue streams. Spending and working themselves until they couldn't anymore.
- 2The “did nothing to adapt expert”. They were either somehow unaware of the last disruption, or in denial about it, and the real possibility of the next one. They simply failed to take any action and had to quit.
- 3The “lifestyle experts”. They didn’t need the revenue because they have resources besides their fitness revenue. They had the luxury to quit at any time it suited them so they did, and moved on comfortably to other pursuits.
Group 2: Boutique Fitness Industry Strive to Survivors
This group will make up the vast majority of the active overworked and underpaid players.
These are the misguided adapters that survived but didn’t adjust their plans. They are surviving but just barely because;
Most of us looked like this for the first year from March 2020. We didn't have the benefit of hindsight so we made it up as we went along, many following the lead of others.
Those remaining in this group are staying the course.
Group 3: The Boutique Fitness Industry Thrivers
This small group will be the big winners in the next 10 years and beyond.
They are former misguided adapters from 2020. Now they have evolved. They realized their results relative to efforts were too small. So they stopped to do this:
The cooperative was important to them because it had:
I may be wrong but it's not likely. Here is why I am confident:
Even if I am wrong, and the worst does not happen again, the small thrivers group is going to be far more prosperous with a better quality of life than the 1st two groups. This is because of adherence to principles and planning for actual secondary revenue from a secondary client, not just a second form of revenue from the primary client.
Additionally, they don’t have to create massive amounts of content alone. Their collaborative group collection is a massive amount of content on an entirely different scale, and at a uniform and consistent quality that speaks the buyer profiles language. Best of all it’s marketed cooperatively and globally, on autopilot.
Whether you're a veteran or a freshman in the boutique fitness industry, the question you should ask yourself is this:
Do you want to survive or do you want to thrive?
Join the Conversation every Tuesday on the Pilates Business Pros Facebook page. Your opinion and lively debate is welcome.
We also welcome your comments below!
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