By Bob & Terren Burson, Special AFS Contributors
Independent fitness studios are no different than any other businesses - in at least one important way. They are always looking for new ways to create revenue, and preferably ones that do not cost a lot to implement. So we have compiled a list of ways you can add revenue to your studio without a lot of investment.
Start a retail shop on site
Selling retail items is a simple and easy way to add revenue to your business. You already have space and you already have a way to process payment, you just need items to sell. What your retail shop will look like as well as the type, style and quantities of items will vary depending on your facility’s set up, but this option can prove to be quite lucrative. According to one study, the profit margins for retail sales inside a studio can average 16.5%, no small thing to ignore.
You can start small with a few items and watch/track what works (and what doesn’t). This feedback will help you to decide where you can scale from there. It is important to remember that whatever you decide to sell, the items should be in line with your studio’s message. If your facility is a holistic yoga studio, selling large containers of protein powders might not align and would most likely not sell.
Rent out your space during your downtime(s) to independent fitness pros.
Your space costs you money whether you are using it or not so why not let it create revenue for you when you are not using it. According to AFS research, 66% of independent studios are open for less than 80 hours a week. That leaves (on average) more than 14 hours a day that could be used to increase your bottom line.
An online marketplace, like GOFYNDER, allows independent studios to rent out their space(s) by the hour to other fitness professionals. The process and set up is very similar to Airbnb. Listing your space is free and a commission is only taken after the space has been used.
Health & Nutrition Coaching
Are you or is someone on your team a real wiz when it comes to nutrition? If so, this can be the ultimate low-cost option for bringing in new clients and keeping them engaged in your studio’s offerings. You can take your existing knowledge and monetize it. Today, information overload (and misinformation) about proper nutrition and lifestyle choices are big issues your customers are struggling with. Your business can be their guide to a happier and healthier lifestyle.
We recommend offering services and packages that you can add to your existing services as upsells. Simple upgrades to something your clients are already paying for will make the sales process easier for you. Remember your clients are already intimidated by the topic, so you want to be their guide who will make it all simple and easy for them.
Partner with local businesses for events
Getting your studio’s name out into your community is key in getting people in the door. Participating in your local community in an effort to connect with people, support other businesses and make a positive change in the world will give your studio a bigger purpose and will also bring positive notoriety to your business. This will boost new-client interest and solidify current client confidence in their ongoing membership.
Partner with another business in town to host an event, sponsor a health festival or offer to donate a service to a charitable cause, or even collaborate with another like-minded business owner to create a workshop or class that would benefit you both. The promotion for this event will be advertising for your space and will stir up interest in your studio.
Create a video membership site
Does your studio teach group classes or have personal trainers working with clients? Maybe you specialize in a certain kind of exercise and are working with clients and are seeing great improvement or positive changes in using your method. This is all information that can be shared on a larger scale to drum up interest in getting people to your studio or to bring in additional side streams of revenue!
Record your classes/sessions (with everyone’s permission of course) and offer them online. Share your information in a larger platform to bring visibility to yourself, your training, and your studio.
There are many online platforms to choose from. Some online platforms allow you to create a custom site with your videos and training with the option to simply charge clients a low-cost membership fee to access. Sites like Memberful or the mobile app Playbook allow you to create a subscription-based account for users to access your offerings.
Bob & Terren Burson are the co-founders of GOFYNDER.com, the online marketplace where health and wellness pros can rent great fitness spaces by the hour. Both avid fans of fitness, Terren has been teaching yoga professionally for over 12 years (and is the inspiration for GOFYNDER) and Bob has a masters degree in sports management.