Your boutique fitness product is everything. This, along with your fitness team, are your most important assets of the business. Remember, a boutique is ‘niche’ in its offering. It picks a discipline and not only ‘rolls with it’ but ‘masters it.’ A boutique should be an example of absolute excellence in their chosen field. Be it Yoga, Boxing, Indoor Cycling…it doesn’t matter—be the best at what you sell. And don’t overcook your business by picking too many of them!
I often compare boutique fitness to the restaurant industry.
A good steak restaurant will only ever sell steak. They are the best at steak and they know it. It’s where the money is and it’s what makes customers happy. Their top management don’t sit around talking about how to introduce Pizza on the menu because that’s not why their loyal customers follow them. They talk about how they can improve their existing steak offering. Remember: no one likes a one-stop shop. Do not be a jack of all trades and master of none.
It’s also true for your boutique fitness team. Don’t give them too much to focus on. For many, a fitness class is a fitness class. But for a real professional, it’s like asking a soccer player to start playing rugby. It is a completely different discipline. You can’t expect them to be the best at everything! In order to master any discipline, there cannot be any other distractions. Keep it simple—your team will develop much faster.
From a brand & marketing point of view:
As fitness operators, we have an authority and therefore a responsibility to our customers to give them everything they need for them to hit their goal. Often, multi-discipline venues end up cannibalizing and confusing their own market by having competing concepts! What’s important is you’re communicating clearly to your customer why you’re selling what you’re selling. Note: ‘to fill a gap in the market’ is not a suitable answer!
- Does your fitness team have too much to focus on/are they distracted by having to stay on top off too many disciplines?
- Are your customers clear on why you’re selling what you sell?
- Do you specialize in a discipline or are you a one-stop shop?
By Lewis Parkinson, Owner, Fuel Works