We’ve come to accept phrases including “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” and “A rising tide lifts all ships” as standard truths. And while these sentiments might very well be true, business is an all-out competition—one business is going to be the best, one business is going to be the worst, and a whole bunch are going to be fighting it out somewhere in the middle in various degrees of mediocrity.
Competition can either challenge you to rise to the occasion taking your business from good to great. Or it can crush your business if you allow others in your industry to define your shortcomings.
The fitness industry is by definition competitive and since clients are always looking for the “next best thing” to improve their workouts and overall health, fitness business owners are constantly hustling to retain their membership and stay relevant.
In the book, Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Galdwell defines the “10,000 Hour Rule” and argues that it takes 10,000 hours of intense involvement and practice to become an “expert.” After 5 years of being in business and owning my two Pure Barre studios, I have reached this milestone having put in over 10,000 hours of practicing, teaching, training, and operating my studios.
As I reach my expert status, as defined by Gladwell, a few competitors have entered the market and boutique fitness in general has seen tremendous growth on a national level. Barre fitness in particular, is a growing trend and according to the American Council on Exercise, barre fitness has grown by over 177% from 2013-2016. Am I worried? Nope. A letter to the competition …
Thank you for having the courage to compete with my business. It’s no small task. It takes guts to start something new. I know because I opened the first barre fitness studio in the area over five years ago and then I opened the second 3 years ago. On our opening day, we had 42 brand new clients taking class. In March 2017, we averaged 140 clients taking class every day in 2 locations. That kind of growth didn’t happen by accident. Much like getting fit, it was the result of committing to doing one thing over and over again, day after day, year after year. But I’m not talking about opening the doors and teaching barre classes.
Here’s the thing that you just don’t get. I’m not in the barre class business. Sure, we offer the best barre class in the area (as evidenced by the number of clients purchasing packages and taking class at my studios). But, we are actually in the client experience business.
Every morning that I wake up, I do so with the intent of providing every single person walking into my studios the best possible experience. I have an amazing team of 20 teachers and front desk associates that is also committed to this very same ideal. I’ll admit, sometimes we fall short of this very high standard, but what’s the point of going into business only to strive for mediocrity? It’s about the experience and community that you build for your clients. It’s about the pride that you have for your business and how that pride is transferred to your clients making them committed supporters of your business.
While you think we’re competing, we really aren’t. Because every day I work to be the best in the client experience business. Can you say the same?
I wish you best of luck.
Carolyn, Owner, Pure Barre Winston-Salem & Pure Barre Clemmons
If you’ve experienced increased competition since opening your business. Take a closer look. Maybe the competition isn’t even in the same business as you.
I’ve been cooking a lot more and in my next post, I’ll share some of my new favorite cookbooks, healthy eating blogs and gadgets.
Until then, stay on your toes!