One of my bucket list items is to write a book and I’ve actually started doing just that. I’m writing about how to run a successful boutique fitness studio and of course, I’m drawing heavily from stories from my own experience owning Pure Barre Winston-Salem and Pure Barre Clemmons.
Since writing my book, I’ve come to the conclusion that owning a boutique fitness studio comes with some special business considerations. Just about every boutique fitness studio owner has encountered the following 5 problems:
- The perception that making money is “bad” in boutique fitness since making money is often associated with greed, miserly-ness and unjust corporate power—the opposite of the environment we’re trying to create for our clients to enjoy when they come to take class or workout.
- Lack of business experience or expertise. Many boutique fitness owners have no formal business training. They love the classes they teach and the studio environment. They are great teachers, but don’t know how to run a business.
- Lack of leadership experience. Many owners don’t know how to motivate employees or teach them how to sell.
- Most employees are part-time, dis-engaged and lack business savvy. Many boutique fitness employees float from job-to-job and often don’t stay at the studio long-term.
- Since teaching and taking class literally requires the owner to work to exhaustion, finding time to work on the business is difficult or limited.
It’s the first problem that I’d like to delve into with this post. There is a perception that making money is “bad” in boutique fitness since making money is often associated with greed, miserly-ness and unjust corporate power—the opposite of the environment we’re trying to create for our clients to enjoy when they come to take class or workout.
The goal of every business, even in fitness, has to be to make money. If you’re not making money, you’re going to be forced to close your doors pretty quick. Unfortunately, your landlord, utility companies and employees need to be paid. You need to be paid too!
But is it bad to want to make money? Is it greedy to want to make more money? Is there such a thing as making too much money? No! And here’s why…
No Money, No Growth: Growing your business requires money and the ability to qualify for credit. If you don’t have any cash reserves, you won’t be able to expand your service offerings, buy new equipment or hire more employees. If you don’t have a solid business plan that shows a profit, you won’t be able to get credit from a bank to make bigger investments, like adding another location.
This Thing Called Inflation: Ever notice how everything gets more expensive each year? That’s called inflation and it effects everyone including your business. If you can increase your business earnings you can help mitigate the hidden costs of inflation.
If You Don’t Make Money, Your Competitors Will: Competition in fitness is fierce. The industry is by definition, competitive. If your clients don’t pay you for classes or access to workout in your studio, they’ll pay your competitors. Those who are health conscious will stay focused on health and working out. If they don’t pay your studio, they’ll just find somewhere else to spend their fitness dollar.
Money Can Do Good: At my studios, a huge part of our business is helping our clients discover how strong they really are. This involves encouraging them to work hard in classes, but it also means teaching them to get away from saying things like “I can’t” or “That’s too hard.” No, it’s not! You just have to try. Or come up with a plan to get there. Helping someone reach their fitness goals is extremely rewarding. And it’s no small task. Maybe it’s time to change the way you perceive making money and think of all the good things you can do with it including, helping your clients and providing jobs in the community. Both of these things are pretty admirable.
So, no, it’s not bad to make money at your studio. Making money doesn’t run counter to the atmosphere you’re trying to create for your clients when they chose you to work out. In fact, making money can help you do some amazing things in your community beyond helping clients and creating jobs.
Beyond ensuring I have enough to live on, feed the dogs and retire comfortably, I have 2 really big money goals that I’d like to use my businesses to help me reach. I’d like to donate to create a scholarship for a student-athlete interested in majoring in business at Wake Forest. That will take $100,000. And I’d also like to reduce all food insecure children in Winston-Salem to 0 (zero). I currently support the Forsyth County Backpack Program to help make this happen. I have no idea how much this will cost, but I’m sure there are a lot of zero’s. I’m going to have to work hard with other individuals and businesses in Winston-Salem to make this reality. I think it’ll happen. Why? Because “I can” and “It’s not too hard.” I just have to keep working at it and make more money to make it happen!
I’ve been working on some things with my studios that are taking longer than I thought. Nothing is happening fast enough for me. Next week, I’ll talk about staying positive, even when things don’t seem to be going your way.
Until then, stay on your toes!