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How To Open A Boutique Fitness Studio In 2022?

Customer Success Team
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Big-box gyms dominated the fitness industry about a decade ago. You received everything you needed to work up a sweat for approximately $50 a month. In today's upgraded world, boutique fitness studios such as indoor cycling, barre, boxing, and yoga have swept the fitness sector with their small setup and personalized approach.

Despite the high price tag (up to $40 for each lesson), boutique fitness studios are experiencing rapid growth. Traditional gym membership increased by 15% between 2013 and 2017, whereas boutique studio membership increased by 121 percent, according to the International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association.

Studio expansion is increasing as the fitness studios compete for a greater portion of the $25.8 billion fitness market and there are no signs of it slowing down. Check out our blog containing all the insightful post- pandemic gym statistics of 2021. In reality, a number of boutique fitness brands are making their way up to the top and have a significant share in the $25.8 billion fitness market.

Now, how do you take advantage of the boom in the fitness industry? You may start by brainstorming ideas for your own boutique fitness studio as they are more popular than big-box gyms these days. Then, ultimately carry out your plans precisely for effective implementation of your plans. But before you step foot into the fitness industry, check out these 8 must-know facts about the industry.

You must be wondering how do you do all of this on your own? Well, we are here to help you with various things you need to consider before opening up your own boutique fitness studio. So, take out a pen & paper and start making notes.

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How to start a boutique fitness studio in 8 steps?

Here are pre-formulated 8 steps to starting your own boutique fitness studio. Let's take a look at these individually for a better understanding.

01. Do thorough research.

Carry out in-depth research before you open up a boutique fitness studio. As a fitness entrepreneur, you must have a well-thought-out strategy. It will assist you in mapping out the details of your company and uncovering some unknown risks. You might have to pay anything from absolutely nothing to one million dollars in boutique startup costs itself, depending on certain factors. These startup costs include space rental, equipment, liability insurance, and other insurances along with the expensive process of staffing. The cost of your studio will be decided by your location, the sort of fitness regime you provide, and the equipment and gear you use. A reasonable medium ground maybe $25,000-30,000.

You must also ascertain the recurring costs of your business which may be related to utilities & rent and also keep a close eye on your competitors to give decent competition to them.  The next thing could be figuring out your target market, knowing their pain points and how much will you charge your members.  While you research, make sure you leave some space for a secondary revenue stream which could include setting up a smoothie stall or gym merchandise. Last, but not least, you would need a name for your boutique fitness studio. Think of a name that has the potential to grow popular among members and the one which exudes your niche in the best way possible.

02. Choose your business model.

Figure out your business model once you have a rough figure of your expenditures and revenues. Your business could be a fresh startup, purchasing an already established studio, or buying a boutique fitness studio franchise. Want to know which fitness studio franchises could bear the maximum profits?  Here's a comprehensive guide if you wish to know the top franchises to invest in 2022.

A boutique startup is for you if you want complete control over your firm and make your own decisions. Some costs may be higher if you're starting from scratch, and you won't have any brand awareness. A franchise studio, on the other hand, generally comes with an established brand name and training support already in place from the parent company. The advantage of buying an existing studio is that the brand is already well-known and recognized. However, for some businesses, this might be a more expensive alternative to take due to the higher initial investment. All of these models have their advantages and disadvantages, and the best selection will be determined by your budget and preference.

03. Fixate on a location.

Location is an important factor when you start your own boutique fitness studio. To fixate on a location you must know your target audience first. Since boutique fitness studios usually cater to higher-income communities, make sure your studio is in a location where there would be a majorly high-income group, thus it is important to consider their needs. If you're going after the higher income group, bear in mind that they'll arrive in big cars, so you'll need plenty of parking and perhaps a valet if you want to stand out. Accessibility and market research are two other factors to consider while you try to find a location for your studio.

Ensure that the demographics of your gym and the demographics of your target audience are compatible. Remember that a high-traffic, high-visibility site can help you attract more customers. In addition, the rent for the same place would probably be higher. On the contrary, there would be low-rent in low-visibility areas. It is best to open up a boutique gym in an area where there is little competition or if there are dissatisfied gym-goers in that area. Expect that clients won't just run to you from their own gyms. Although, some of the adjacent gyms' clients may switch to you if you have decent quality service.

04. Register your brand legally

When starting a boutique fitness business, choosing your business entity is a vital component of your business strategy. Given the nature of the fitness industry, you should choose a company organization that provides liability protection to you.

If your studio is at financial risk, forming a formal business entity such as an LLC or LLP prevents you from being held accountable personally. So, a limited liability partnership or a limited liability corporation would be the best option if you want to insulate yourself from your studio liabilities.

05. Set up your finances & business account

Understanding your studio's financial success requires keeping track of your numerous costs and your revenues. Make sure you maintain a complete business account to easily analyze your profitability over a period of time. Maintaining precise and comprehensive records also makes the annual tax filing of your studio much easier.

Before you can start your own boutique fitness studio, you'll need to register for a number of state and federal taxes also. There might be state-specific taxes that apply to your studio. To protect personal assets, it is necessary to use different banking and credit accounts.

If your personal and corporate accounts are combined, your personal assets might be put in danger if your fitness studio is at any financial risk.  This keeps your personal assets separate from the assets of your firm. You may also apply for a business credit card to make your credit standing stronger in the market, which would help in obtaining investment in the future for your fitness studio.

06. Obtain necessary permits, licenses & insurances

In your state and municipality, various business licenses and permissions may be necessary to run a gym. Check with the clerk's office in your town, city, or county to be sure you're following all of the requirements set out by your different regulatory authorities for opening a boutique fitness studio.

A certificate of occupancy is one permission you'll almost likely require. A certificate of occupancy attests to the fact that all building codes, zoning laws, and government restrictions have been followed. If you're renting the space, the landlord is usually responsible for obtaining a certificate of occupancy.

Insurance, like licenses and permits, is required for your business to operate safely and legally. In the case of a covered loss, business insurance protects your fitness studio's financial well-being.

There are a variety of insurance plans designed for various sorts of companies with various risks. If you're not sure what kinds of dangers your studio could encounter, start with General Liability Insurance. This is the most frequent type of coverage required by small businesses, so it's a good place to start.

07. Create your fitness business website

In the past two years of the pandemic,  the importance of your fitness business website has turned out to be immense and it has become the virtual persona of your fitness business. By 2023, the United States will have 317 million internet users. You're missing out on a lot of opportunities if you don't have a website. As a fitness business owner, you're part of a growing sector that caters to a rapidly expanding consumer. More people are looking for fitness services on the internet than ever before.

Your studio's website serves as a central platform for all of your information and services. You might want to send all of your potential consumers to your website so that they can learn more about your boutique fitness studio and purchase your services. Consider your website as an investment that will pay you in the long term. Your company's online presence is represented via your website. To enhance satisfaction and your revenue, offer your customers and prospects a means to engage with your business online which can be conveniently done through an interactive business website. Check out these 5 essential elements you must include in your fitness website.

08. Build a fitness community & pre-sell

Building a community and pre-selling your classes to them is a must when you are opening up a boutique fitness studio. That's what SoulCycle and Equinox have done. Their boutique fitness studios have taken fitness to the next level. These fitness businesses have evolved into lifestyle brands that foster a sense of community and belonging. You don't simply go to the gym; you dress up in your branded gear and brag about your sweaty SoulCycle exercise on social media.

Create an inviting environment for people to hang out and chill. Boutique fitness studios are flourishing for a reason. Members will return for more if you create a feeling of community with group exercise and your corporate culture. You may develop a physical community and an online community as well through social media. Now, create buzz on social media about the big opening day and sell your classes before even starting your studio.

Congratulations! You've successfully learned everything on how to open a boutique fitness studio. Half of the battle is won and now is the time to put your knowledge at work and start your own fitness business.

Top 5 Boutique Fitness Studios In America

Let us have a look at the 5 industry-best boutique fitness studios of the United States of America and see which approach of theirs led them to the top of the industry.

  • OrangeTheory Fitness

Orangetheory Fitness is a Boca Raton-based boutique fitness studio chain founded in 2010. Rowing, cardio workouts, and strength training are among the group fitness courses offered by OrangeTheory Fitness. In their fitness programs, trainers monitor the group exercise courses and guide the members through five heart rate zones: grey, blue, green, orange, and red. As they progress through these levels, the intensity of the workout grows. The aim is to stay in those zones for a set amount of time. This unique approach has led to a large member base of their studio.

  • SoulCycle

SoulCycle is one of the most well-known boutique fitness studios. SoulCycle is an indoor cycling studio where you must pedal stationary bikes for the duration of the session, as the name implies. SoulCycle is mostly a cardio training facility with the benefits of strengthening your leg muscles.

  • Pure Barre

Pure Barre is a boutique fitness studio that specializes in barre classes. Barre is a style of workout that combines ballet, yoga, and Pilates aspects. As a result, anticipate doing a lot of stretching, conditioning, and other low-impact but high-intensity exercises. Pure Barre is a fantastic studio for individuals looking to condition their bodies, but there is an obvious plateau, meaning that it can only help you lose weight and gain muscle to a certain extent.

  • Work Train Fight

Work Train Fight is a renowned boutique boxing gym in the United States. This is a high-intensity boxing gym that packs a variety of boxing techniques into each 55-minute session, including shadow boxing, mitt work, bag work, and high-intensity interval training.

  • Stronghold Climbing

Stronghold Climbing gym is an indoor boutique fitness gym. It is housed in a nearly century-old steam power station and has some of the greatest indoor climbing facilities in the US. Stronghold Climbing Gym offers a variety of cardio and strength-training equipment, as well as a wide choice of programs in a variety of disciplines, all with the goal of bettering climbing abilities.

Now, in opening up a boutique fitness studio, there's a lot of work that has to be done. All the above-mentioned studios have reached where they are with a lot of prior planning and strategizing. A fitness business management software is amongst the most important technology that you need to reduce your workload in the long run. Bookee is a modern fitness business management software that is integrated with top-notch features to carry out almost all the business operations for you. Wanna know how? Book a demo with us.

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