Running a fitness studio is no small feat. Success requires the constant juggling of different business functions, time management and pure grit. But with the right tools and knowledge, you can lay a foundation that keeps your business thriving throughout your first few quarters and beyond. These guidelines will teach you how to run a fitness studio business and prepare for the demands of day to day management alongside those of small business ownership. See a sample of what you’ll get below.


Get the full e-book on how to run a fitness studio:


Operations

Your fitness studio is only as good as the classes you offer, so your top priority is finding – and retaining – excellent fitness instructors. Think of it this way: fitness classes are your main product, and instructors are essential in getting this product to market, from research and development to sales and customer service. With the right crew, your studio will be greater than the sum of its parts.

Finances

Cash flow

Put simply, cash flow is all the money coming in and all the money going out. It’s good practice to maintain a 2:1 cash flow ratio; in other words, revenue is double that of any debts and liabilities you need to pay. Positive cash flow is a sign of good business, showing that enough revenue is being generated to pay expenses, reinvest in the business and future-proof for financial downturn. Historical cash flow can also become an important metric for your business, helping you plan for seasonal fluctuations in demand. Once you have a January on record, it will be much easier to plan investments for the next new year. If you’ve typically seen upticks due to fitness resolutions, you might invest in more staffing. Or, if your studio is in a small college town, you might see a downturn in the summer, so you can create lower operation costs.

Customer Lifetime Value (CTV)

CTV is a metric used to gauge the total profit a member is expected to bring to your studio over the course of their visits. Average the revenue from clients over the course of their visits to your studio, and subtract the cost of servicing them. This number is especially important for a business model built on client relationships, like fitness studios. It not only helps you measure growth in customer spending, but it’s also applicable to customer acquisition, helping you budget the right amount for advertising or marketing. Read more about other key business metrics to track.

Marketing

Attract new customers with data- 3 driven techniques. Marketing is about more than getting the word out – it’s about setting your studio apart. It’s about more than finding customers – it’s about defining your brand and tailoring your message. We also put together additional tips on creating a fitness marketing plan.

Branding

Don’t dive into a marketing strategy until you’ve thought about branding. While marketing might appear in a wide range of channels, which all communicate different messages, you should still have a unified identity that helps potential customers recognize and remember your business. Branding can be literal, dictating everything from the colors, fonts, and photo filters you use. It can also be more figurative, describing the type of language used in messaging, or the “vibe” a client should feel when they enter the studio. However detailed you choose to get about your brand identity, it’s a good idea to develop some written guidelines that you can share with employees or contractors, especially those working on your marketing channel.

Customer Experience

Give the best visitor experience through dynamic programming and 4 thoughtful services. Clients are consumers first and foremost, and they’re looking to spend their hard-earned money on a studio that helps them achieve their fitness goals, with a great experience to boot.

Programming

Your classes are what truly define your studio, and while instructors play a large role in shaping the flow of any session, the genre and style of programming is in your hands. Like any product in the marketplace, you’ll want to update and diversify your offering to stay relevant and appealing to consumers. Discover your programming opportunities by monitoring class attendance rates, reading online reviews, and asking for feedback from your instructors and clients. Find out the most popular classes that clients love, and work hard to keep frequent flyers on their toes with new moves and techniques, new music, or even new scheduling. Take note of any unpopular and under-attended classes, as it might be time to scrap them and try something new. It comes as no surprise that 6pm is one of the most popular class times, but test often to make sure you’re providing the right classes at the right times.

Get more insights with these tips for crafting your class schedule. Checking in with your community of clients, instructors and variety-seeking guests will also give you insight into bigger growth opportunities, like adding new fitness genres or exploring themed classes. It’s natural for your programming to shift and evolve towards your client needs and trends in the industry.


Want to learn more about fitness or wellness business management? Don’t forget to subscribe to the After Class newsletter for updates on facilities management, business owner insights and more. 

Become a ClassPass Partner and get access to more resources. Learn about how you can grow your business as a ClassPass Partner.

Ready to increase your revenue? List your business for free on ClassPass, the largest global fitness and wellness network.

Ready to increase your revenue? List your business for free on ClassPass.

Get started
ImageImage