It’s no secret that the number of standalone boutiques and specialty studio spaces within large fitness facilities increased significantly in 2017. Studios aren’t just competing with the “big guys” anymore – they are competing with each other. As you prepare an action plan for the success of your studio space in 2018 – here are a few action items fuel your brainstorm.
1. Prep Your Staff
First things first, do you have enough staff to create the best member experience during the upcoming peak training season? In anticipation of the added volume of potential new members that will soon be visiting your studio, consider stacking the deck with a few more front-line staff members to make the best first impression. One or two staff members can cater to guests by giving tours and assisting with on-boarding paperwork, while additional front desk attendants can keep the check in process for current members moving smoothly and uninterrupted.
Now is the ideal time to recruit and begin on-boarding new staff members. By starting now, you will have 4-6 weeks to recruit, hire, and train new team members that will hit their work flow stride just in time for the January crowd. This is also a good time to meet with your existing staff to share the 2018 vision and goals for the studio. From programming to operations, if there are any changes on the horizon keep your team informed and empower them to help.
2. Update Your Schedule
The New Year is also a perfectly acceptable time to try a new class format or two. Data collected by several leading industry associations including IHRSA and the Association of Fitness Studios (AFS) revealed that while personal training/small group training studios remain the most popular type of fitness studio, there appears to be a growing acceptance toward studios offering two or more specialized disciplines. IHRSA goes on to report that the most popular training programs are HIIT, stretching, calisthenics/boot camps, dance/step choreography, and Yoga.
Adding a few classes to the schedule that cater to beginners is another way you can enhance member experience and set newcomers up for long-term success. New and current members may enjoy new hybrid or fusion classes such as spin + yoga, spin + sculpt, HIIT + yoga, etc. Since your members will have a renewed focus on their goals in the New Year, consider adding a few 30 min recovery classes featuring self-myofascial release, static and dynamic stretching. Benefits of expanding your class curriculum are two-fold – beginner classes are a built-in benefit for new members & existing members will enjoy variety and challenge of something new.
3. Equip Your Space
Now that you have determined what changes/additions you will make to your programming, it’s time to determine your equipment needs. High quality equipment in adequate quantities makes a tremendous positive impact on the member experience.
First, make sure you have plenty of your studio’s most popular essentials – dumbbells, mats, kettlebells, medicine balls, resistance tubes and bands. Then, determine what new pieces you will need to equip any new programs. Add more mats and foam rollers for a recovery class, or more dumbbells and tubing for your cardio + strength hybrids.
Finally, maximize your space and your investment with adequate storage solutions. Equipment racks provide organization, decrease clutter, and keep your accessories looking great for a long time. Not to mention the fact that adequate equipment storage can free up enough floor space for an additional 2-4 members per class.