We’ve consolidated our videos, guides, webinars and more into the AFS Business Learning Center. Browse the resources, and use the concierge service if you need help with any topic.

The list of personal trainers in Orlando is immense. How could I stand out from the crowd and create a fitness brand that is unique among a sea of others? When I started my business in 2014, I was determined to set it apart in every way possible way.

I have always had a passion for art and, in fact, my first job was as an assistant production manager at Walt Disney Animation where I contributed to films like Lilo and Stitch and Beauty and the Beast.

Blog, Marketing, Website

Reading the news can be dangerous, indeed, especially if runaway or otherwise poorly driven vehicles end up “parking” in your studio.  In recent weeks, several such incidents occurred in precisely that way.

The Little Gym in Roxbury, NJ, was the “victim” of a 78-year-old woman who crashed her car through the front window of the fitness center. Police said the woman mistook the gas pedal for the brake. 

Blog, Insurance, Operations, Finance

Harvard Business Review blogger John Coleman writes that great leadership starts “incommunity,” that great leaders act “not in isolation but with community,” and the “most inspiring leadership is that done for community” (“Leadership is Not a Solitary Task,” 2/5/14 blogs.hbr.org).

As a fitness studio owner you not only have the opportunity to create a community for your members, but to create a community for your staff. 

Marketing, Retention, Operations, Human Resources, Strategy Articles, word of mouth, community

Fitness is an industry with constant churn in terms of people coming into the mix to workout and those who fall out of fitness – for a variety of reasons.  Even with more and more research showing the health and wellness benefits of fitness, many people who would benefit from it, simply don’t start. 

As businesses this leaves us with the pool of people who are actually willing to make it into a gym/fitness studio/etc. The good news?  Once they start, it’s easier to get them back if they fall out. 

Blog, Marketing

It is a well-known fact that one of the biggest challenges facing businesses today is building an engaged and dynamic team. In my experience working in this industry, it’s the power of engaged teams that have proven to facilitate long-term business growth more than any other factor. 

In my years of leading teams from smaller spans of 6-8 people up to larger spans of over 50 people, I have discovered a few universal truths that I believe are the cornerstone of success.

Blog, Operations, Retention, Human Resources

How do you change the world? I used to think it was through teaching people how to have a healthy lifestyle because if everyone understood the benefits of exercise and eating nutritious foods we’d have less disease, everyone would feel better, have more energy, live longer and be able to contribute more…you get my point. 

I’ve since realized we actually change the world through marketing because it doesn’t matter what incredible information you have to share with the world if you don’t know how to share it with the people who need it.

Blog, Marketing

Fitness studio owners and personal trainers often give very little attention to their liability waivers or hold harmless agreements because they feel they are not going to protect them from claims and they don’t want to pay for legal advice.

The truth is, state laws determine how effective a waiver may be in court, but it is important to always have a well-written waiver in every state.

Blog, Insurance, Operations, Video, Quick Answers

We all know that we need to measure success right? Depending on your current set-up in regards to software programs, your access to data could be extremely complex or very simple. This blog is centered around making you think about what you should be measuring according to your studio goals.

Let’s take a step back first and look at key numbers in terms of what you are trying to grow within your business. From there you can decide what key metrics you want to measure.

Blog, Finance, Operations

Running a fitness studio isn’t easy. Programming and making sure your members are taken care of comes first, meaning your studio’s equipment isn’t something you want to be worrying about. 

AFS and Precor have created this comprehensive guide because we want you to succeed.

How-to Guides, Equipment, Fitness Accessories, Business Start-up, Design, Operations, Strategy Articles

If anybody is wondering why the indoor cycling phenomenon continues to grow at a seemingly non-stop pace, they need look no farther than the numbers. 

Based on research from the Association of Fitness Studios (AFS) 2016 Marketing Best Practices Research Report, indoor cycling studios generate 55% more revenue than other types of fitness studios.

Blog, Certification, Equipment, Finance

For the last 10 years as technology has expanded into and taken over other industries our industry has seen its share come and go.

There have been some solutions we expected to change the industry, others that were the next big thing, and so many that have saturated the market without much positive impact anywhere near the scale we need it to be.

Blog, Operations, Software & Technology

No matter how you slice it… it comes down to two things: getting members/clients, and keeping them as long as possible.

Blog, Retention, Marketing

Market research offers studio operators valuable information that can change the trajectory of their business.

Research can provide thoughtful and impactful insights into a multitude of critical elements that influence how a studio performs.

Blog, Operations, Business Start-up, Marketing

The competition between Boston Market and Chick-fil-A heated up in the 90s.

In a famous Chick-fil-A leadership meeting, executives discussed a variety of strategies to grow bigger and faster to overtake the market. Truett Cathy, founder and former CEO of Chick-fil-A, sat back quietly and listened to the entire team build their case to grow bigger to reach the billion dollar mark by 2000.

Blog, Operations

Once upon a time, you could be a generalist trainer. All you needed was a general knowledge of physical health to run classes and train people. It’s been this way since the beginning of the industry. But that’s all gone.

Take a look at some of the fads from decades past and you’ll easily see how far we’ve come in our knowledge and expectation from our trainers.

Blog, Operations, Marketing, Retention

How much is a client retained worth? Let’s just say it's much easier to retain a client than it is to find a new one. It’s quantifiably more efficient, productive and mutually beneficial to both studio operator and client when the two form a long-term relationship.

In the business world, retention is defined as the ability to keep workers or customers from leaving a company. 

Retention, Strategy Articles, word of mouth, referral, onboarding

Having a strong digital presence is critical to the success of any brand, and that’s even more true in the incredibly competitive fitness industry. The biggest fitness brands not only have polished and professional websites, they also use social platforms to engage with customers to build their digital brands.

One of the key elements to maintaining a strong digital brand is the ability to run effective online promotions. The beauty of the digital age is that you can target and communicate with your core customer base with incredible ease.

Blog, Marketing, Website

AFS partner Schwinn recently sat down with Jeffrey to gain insight on the indoor cycling community, talk about current trends and the future.

You have been in the industry over 20 years now, how has it changed since you got your start?

Jeffrey: The cycling category has changed a great deal over the last 20 years. Much like Step, it started out very conservative and then progressively got faster and more complicated. Choreography and experimental techniques were created to keep riders engaged, but over time, people came back to the fundamentals because of the experience and rewards.

Blog, Equipment

While there is always a danger of spreading your services thin by chasing every market, if you have space and your studio could use some traffic in the after-school time slot, then a martial arts program for kids may be something to consider.

The majority of students in a martial arts school are under age 12 and their parents are paying $149 - $249 per month for two classes a week. As tempting as that may seem, there is some complexity in reaching and keeping this market.

Blog, Marketing, Revenue producing programs

All of us at AFS are extremely excited to be working closely again with the Club Industry Show to bring top-notch education to the fitness industry.  

As in years past, we thrive on the opportunity to educate those in attendance on everything from the trends we're seeing to the systems necessary for success.