What Can You Learn from Boutique Fitness Studios?

boutique fitness studios

I took a step outside of my comfort zone this weekend and tried Pilates.

Insert an audible gasp that I’m writing about Pilates on a blog geared toward Affiliate owners. But I think it could do you some good to hear about my experience. And don’t worry — I’m not giving up CrossFit for Pilates just yet (or ever… I like dropping weights too much).

Walking into the studio, I was greeted with a clean atmosphere. Each piece of equipment had a home. It was organized and well kept. The hand weights were all facing the same way. The springs on the Reformers were at the ready. I didn’t see a smudge on the mirror or stains on the machines — granted, it’s a new studio. The pro shop was full of smartly branded gear. Although I am not an avid Pilate’s fan, I found myself browsing over the shirts and water bottles. I mean, I could use that stuff for my CrossFit workout, right?

I know what you’re probably thinking: “That’s not the feel we’re going for. CrossFit is rugged and down to earth. We’re not made of money like Pilates studios.”

You’re right: CrossFit is different and original. I’m not trying to compare it to Pilates at all. However, the way the studio was run and organized is something I think an Affiliate owner can learn from.

If your piles of weights are disorganized or toppling over, how does that make your space look? If the same chalk stains grace your floor for two weeks, what does that say about your cleanliness? If your brand and logo change on every shirt and product you sell, how is anyone going to recognize your gym’s name and feel? It should be distinctive from a mile away.

So I’m not saying become a boutique fitness studio. But, these studios are the majority. We’ve begun to seen numerous CrossFit gyms decline or worse, close. And if I look at which ones are thriving, they have some serious similarities to boutique fitness studios, namely organization, cleanliness and clear branding.

Maybe it’s time to go visit a few of these studios. See what they are doing. CrossFit is still so much more personable than many of these places; you have solid coaching and a fitness regimen that works. But it can’t hurt to brush up on some of those other pesky business aspects that just might make or break your Box.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at heather@peakemedia.com.

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