07 Fitness Business Ideas for 2022

2022 is just a few days away. If you are a fitness business owner, here are 7 business ideas that can change the shape of your business in a new year.
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ew year signifies the motivation for many new beginnings. As the clock strikes midnight, a New year dawns upon the world and another 365-day journey begins. Though our life remains the same more or less we tend to believe that it is a new start. As the new year approaches, the optimism in the market and enthusiasm among customers also builds. The year provides freshness and stimulus to initiate, relearn and introduce. It is also a great opportunity for people who are already running a fitness studio or those who want to establish one, to experiment with new fitness business ideas and innovate.

In the fitness industry a lot has changed since the pandemic, the fitness industry saw a major slump. Gyms and fitness centers were flagged by experts as a “high-risk environment. Months of mandated closures increased interest in at-home fitness routines, and public apprehension about indoor workout facilities particularly hit the industry hard. Mass trauma of Corona made people apprehensive regarding going to the gym even after the pandemic was over.

At least three large fitness companies filed for bankruptcy during the pandemic, including 24 Hour Fitness, Gold’s Gym, and Town Sports International. But that was just a bad year, now when things are getting back to normal, the people are eager to return to gyms. Fifty-four percent of gymgoers in the United States said they missed the routine of going to their health club during the COVID-19-related temporary gym shutdowns. 85 percent said the shutdown of their gym caused their fitness routine to change with 42 percent said that said they missed working out with other people, and 36 percent said they missed the sense of community they got from their gym.

And though COVID was catastrophic for the fitness industry it also helped Americans become more health-conscious. According to research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of an AI fitness app Freelectics, 70 percent of those surveyed said that fitness become a bigger priority for them since the pandemic. Now, though the industry has experienced a setback further many more opportunities have been created. The popularity of VoD (Video on Demand), online fitness programs, and guidance and rise in sales of homework out equipment and apps highlight the same. Hence, the market is hot again with new avenues opening. If you are planning to open a gym to fitness studio, here is the complete guide to opening a gym in the post pandemic world of 2021.

Is fitness industry profitable?

The global fitness industry is worth billions, according to the database company Statista, the global gym industry is worth nearly $96.7 billion in 2020, with more than 184 million gym members in total. There are nearly 201,000 fitness clubs located around the world. Despite setbacks in 2020, the fitness market is evolving at an incredible pace, with new business models, training concepts, and trends emerging constantly. The sector has demonstrated how quickly it can adapt with online and virtual training now mainstream activities. App Annie’s State of Mobile 2021 Report estimated that in 2020 over 71,000 health and fitness apps were launched globally (24,000 in the Apple App Store and 47,000 in the Google Play Store). Among all the countries, the US is the world’s largest health and wellness market, with 41,370 clubs, and an annual growth rate of 4.5% (pre-Covid). Go through latest post-pandemic stats that are affecting gyms in America, as we continue navigating through the impacts of COVID-19.

Industry revenue is growing at a slightly higher rate of 8.4% and is currently estimated at $35 billion. Over 64.2 million Americans belonged to at least one health club, many holding memberships to both ‘traditional’ and ’boutique’ facilities. Hence, there are ample opportunities, at least the stats point same. Also, checkout few things you can keep in mind before starting a fitness business and consequently make it successful and lucrative.

Now, as we look at New Year, there are a few things you can do differently or experiment which that can help you to attract more customers, stabilize revenues, and expand your fitness business. Here we have compiled a list of 14 fitness business ideas you can implement into your gym business in 2022.

01. Go hybrid!

The term "hybrid" has become a catchphrase in practically every business. From automobiles to fitness and even genetics, there is something for everyone. A hybrid fitness model in the fitness business combines the best of both disciplines. A hybrid fitness business combines online classes with in-class experience. This is achieved by offering a live stream of a real-time class to members at home. Depending on local restrictions, you can offer some in-class spaces along with live-stream/on-demand spaces.

A recent survey conducted by TD Ameritrade found that 59% of Americans say they don’t plan on renewing their gym memberships once the pandemic is over. One cannot deny that many Americans are still apprehensive about returning to gyms. According to a survey, 40% of consumers are booking virtual workouts with studios they have never visited in person, indicating that a substantial portion of the market will be reached through first-time distant encounters. People have altered their fitness habits to meet the new standard throughout the pandemic. According to the 2021 Global Survey of Fitness Trends, internet training was found to be the most popular fitness trend in 2021.

Hybrid fitness presents a massive opportunity and little investments can bring great returns. You can easily switch to a hybrid model with help of modern and advanced fitness management software like Bookee app which offers many virtual tools, including video on demands, custom playlists all fully embedded in your studio website. You can either stream live classes through the Zoom app or upload pre-recorded videos. Learn how to setup a virtual fitness studio with live stream and video-on-demand options for your offline fitness studio here.

Case Study – DanceBody, New York

DanceBody New York-based studio which offers live streaming of in-person courses. Members can see which classes will be streamed on DanceBody Live and reserve their space. Anyone from anywhere in the globe can participate in DanceBody classes. DanceBody Live members can pay for a single class or a monthly online membership. Add-ons such as pay-per-view lessons or 30-day programs are available to members. DanceBody meets the needs of all of its members by providing such a diverse range of platforms.

Other than Dance studios, Yoga by Karma, a Yoga club shifted to the hybrid model. Most often Yoga studios struggle with space issues. When social distancing was introduced, the number of in-studio personnel was limited to eight. We all know that 8 people are a minimal number of people to keep a studio operating. As a result, most Yoga studios decided to offer both in-class and live online classes. This assured that participants could practice yoga in a socially isolated environment and the studio won’t suffer on revenues.

Also, as you buckle up to go hybrid, know about the best cameras available in the market to film your workouts and deliver the ultimate at-home fitness experience to clients.

02. Build your community through outings

Why limit you and your customers within the four walls of your studio? After all, there is a whole world to be explored. To build community, you can organize the trip to nearby parks, organize a handball match or go ice skating during winters or swim during summers. You can also take your members on a trek. Such outings can help you build a community around your fitness brand and also help members distress themselves. Everyone can bring their lunch and it can be an amazing way to bond, dialogue, and get to know your client closely.

03. Work out to take out – the fitness meals

Life is getting busier and schedules much hectic. We're all looking for a way to earn some extra time. Whether it's hiring someone to clean our house or ordering takeout for dinner, we're always looking for ways to save time. Many times, gym-goers have to worry about cooking meals after they reach home. Takeaways, on the other hand, may not always imply a healthy and balanced meal. As a result, an increasing number of people are turning to pre-cooked meal packages as a substitute. What could be better than providing your clients with healthy, freshly cooked, and tasty meals after a workout? As a result, it's no wonder that the meal kit industry is anticipated to reach $7.63 billion in 2025.

What you can do is make customized diet plans for your clients and then provide them with a variety of options for a meal. This can not only be a great marketing strategy but also bring in additional revenue. You can patch up with some caterer or open your kitchen. This is in keeping with the fast-paced lives we all lead. Members won't have to rush through their sets to make sure they have enough time to cook thanks to this option. This is a trend that is becoming increasingly popular. As a result, it's preferable to get on the bandwagon before everyone else. Being the first will allow you to grow your brand without having to compete with any major companies.

Case Study – CrossFit, New England

CrossFit New England is a great example of this kind of collaboration. Paleo Power Meals delivers freshly prepared breakfast, lunch, and supper to the gym twice a week. The club's fridges are supplied with a choice of nutritious, all-natural meals that members can choose from. Members can also order their favorite meals ahead of time and pick them up after their workout.

04. Host events and workshops

Workshops and boot camps are popular among members because they help them stay motivated and achieve their goals more quickly. These paid events provide a lump sum payment that improves cash flow immediately.

You can also organize speaker sessions where you invite fitness icons or fitness instructors or dieticians or people who have transitioned themselves physically. Periodic meditation or Yoga sessions can provide much-needed change to the members. You can also screen some motivating fitness documentaries to boost educate and encourage your customers. Here is the list of 8 best fitness documentaries handpicked and curated for you. Learn, educate and inspire!

But you need to think strategically about your company's and members' needs to hold such events. Examine the calendar for times when an event could be able to help you make some extra money during a seasonal slump.

05. Fitness challenges

Most often, as the New Year dawns, gym owners find it difficult to retain clients and engage members. Both member engagement and retention are crucial for every gym or fitness center. When it comes to engaging your clients and motivating them to keep coming back to your gym, a workout challenge is one of the finest techniques. Physical challenges for adults are also a great way to spice things up for your clients and can help in improving retention rates. Fitness challenges can be a great way to keep members motivated. Other than this, fitness challenges can generate more leads, promote referrals and encourage sales. It also maximizes loyalty as it builds bonds that motivate members to stay at your gym rather than looking for a cheaper membership fee.

Case Study – Gold gym’s 12 week fitness challenge

Gold Gym is a highly popular and world's trusted fitness authority. In 2020, as the fitness industry was experiencing a major slump due to pandemics, the brand came up with a 12-week fitness challenge in which the winner was meant to receive a total of $100,000 in cash awards for their remarkable and encouraging performance. Over 12 weeks the participants were made to work out, to improve their physical fitness and overall health while reaching new levels of inner and outer strength. Though the gyms were closed at that time, the participants were provided free digital fitness solutions to continue working out at home – including premium access to the GOLD'S AMP™ digital personal training app. This was also a great way to promote their fitness app. Discover some most unique fitness challenge ideas you can use to increase retention rate and keep clients coming back to your fitness studio here.

06. Provide additional services

A major challenge that fitness business or gyms often face is to stabilize revenue. The fitness industry is highly competitive and when opening a gym, one has to invest in a lot of things without the security of return of investment like rent, electricity bills, equipment, flooring, ceiling, and interior, etc. The inconsistent revenues not only remain an issue for new fitness businesses but even older and well-established fitness studios can face the issue. What you can do is – provide additional services like selling merchandise, becoming a home equipment retailer, selling protein supplements, fitness clothing, or even water bottles, etc. Stock essentials like earbuds, water bottles, and socks in your retail store to make sure members can get what they need.

If you’ve built a loyal following, invest in branded merchandise. This way you can generate additional income and it can help you cover up certain revenues. You can provide members discounts and lucrative offers. This way you are sure to fetch new customers and retain older ones. Another interesting thing that you can do is open the ‘childcare’ section in your fitness studio. If you have a lot of parents who come to your gym, you might want to think about offering daycare. A busy parent who doesn't want to miss out on gym time will gladly spend a little more to know that their child is happy, safe, and close by while they work out.

Check the legal requirements for your workers, facility, and business before introducing childcare services. While these services can bring in a lot of extra money, you'll need to prepare ahead to ensure that you're able to deliver high-quality care. Hence, be open to new things and don’t hesitate to step into something new.

07. Virtual reality is the FUTURE!

80 percent of health club members are millennials and Gen-Z. They also make up 89 percent of all online or app-based workout users. They are well-known for their enthusiasm for all things technological, including applications, social media, and wearables. So, going down the virtual reality path for your training center might not be such an absurd fitness business concept. Half of your fitness business success will come from understanding your target group. The next step is to bring that technology into the gym. VR fitness uses computer-generated settings to provide truly immersive workouts. Fitness brands have already jumped on board and experimenting with VR. One such brand is Viro.Fit

Case Study – Viro.Fit

Viro.Fit realizes that virtual reality is the future of fitness. Their business approach is upon providing gyms and health clubs with fitness gamification. Gamifying exercise has been shown to keep consumers engaged for longer periods. It is like making gyms cooler. If a person participates in an exercise for a longer period, they will undoubtedly experience better results. They also recognize that users are motivated by competition. As a result, a VR Fitness World Championship is held once a year. Virtual reality still has a futuristic feel to it. As a result, incorporating VR into your training facility would set it apart from the competition.

In 2021, things finally started coming back to normal and we hope as the dawn sets upon 2022, things will start getting easier and better. New Year will open doors to new opportunities and challenges, as you sail through the year, these 7 fitness business ideas will help you see out the year safely and successfully.

The new normal is far more tech-driven. You gotta watch out as these new-age fitness technologies have entered the industry to blow your minds. Check out this article for 8 fitness technologies redefined the fitness industry in 2021

Also, while you start New Year with a bang by implementing these unique ideas, here's a studio checklist you must to tick off before the holiday frenzy kicks in. Checkout 5 things studio owners should take care of before year-ends.

If you own a fitness club or gym, its time for you to switch your business to Bookee app. Bookee is the best fitness management software laced with industry best features and everything your fitness business might need.

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