Why switching to ‘always-on’ studios is key to your gym’s future success

Wexer Blog

2 November 2021

Over the past 10–15 years, we’ve seen a whole raft of companies spring up as if from nowhere – AirBnB, Uber and TaskRabbit, as well as the lesser-known but still hugely successful Fat Llama and the once Ubiquitous – and they have one important thing in common.

That thing is this: they all use technology to capitalize on the down-time of things.

Digitalization has changed the game of supply and demand forever, disrupting industries from accommodation to transportation, employment to music to household items and far more besides. Got a spare room or house that isn’t permanently lived in? Rent it out on whatever nights you aren’t using it. Got a car sitting on the drive and want to earn a bit more cash? Become an Uber driver. Got a valuable skill and a bit of spare time on your hands? Offer your services through TaskRabbit.

 

Address your down-time

So, what about fitness? Where do we stand on all of this? Do we have any down-time we need to be capitalizing on?

Over the last 20 months, we’ve already seen things change radically in our sector, with operators across the globe using online to fill in the gaps of enforced physical down-time.

That’s already happening, so rest assured, I’m not going over old ground here. I’m not talking about going online, or having a digital gym that utilizes your talented trainer pool and creates connections with your members via online content. Because you’ve been there and done this already, right?

What I am talking about is the fact our sector is still so heavily invested in real estate, and that – even with changed visit patterns, whereby on- versus off-peak is less pronounced than it was pre-COVID – we still have notable down-time within our facilities.

Sure, we’re doing OK as a sector. There’s been encouraging growth over the last decade, and right now gyms are bouncing back pretty strongly from lockdown.

But we can’t get away from the fact that fitness centers, health clubs and gyms are highly cyclical and competitive businesses. Boutiques have entered our sector and flourished. Online, fitness options are now served to us at a rate of around one in every three Instagram posts.

We simply cannot have a bricks and mortar offering and rest on our laurels, assuming we have it right and that, now we’ve built it, they will come… They might, of course. But they might not.

And even if they do, it’s likely you have pockets of down-time across your facilities and services. Especially if you operate any type of group training, with dedicated studio space, you’re most likely not using your resources to their full capacity.

This is something we need to address as we shift back to in-club, turning our focus to making the most of everything we have within our four walls. And just as in other sectors before us, technology is the key to capitalizing on that down-time.

 

The power of in-club Virtual

So, let’s talk about your studios, which is where Wexer specializes. You might be using these spaces for live instructor-led group training for perhaps 10–20 per cent of your opening hours (always assuming you can even get instructors at the moment, with the great talent shortage that’s sweeping through all industries).

But what about the other 80 per cent of the time when those rooms lie dormant, collecting dust and costing you money?

What if you were able to put these spaces to work around the clock, using them to cost-effectively provide members with even more opportunities to achieve their fitness goals – and doing so in a consistently high-quality way to boost retention, loyalty, perceptions of value and your business’s bottom line?

I am, of course, talking about Wexer Virtual classes, offering your members some of the most beautifully curated fitness content ever produced, on-demand, all at a scroll and the swipe of a touchscreen.

The research is irrefutable: Virtual works to increase participation in clubs. It also drives member satisfaction, retention, revenue opportunities and club performance.

And with Wexer’s already market-leading content and technology constantly developed to ensure it remains best-in-class, you need look no further for your ideal partner in addressing the latent capacity in your group exercise rooms, turning them into ‘always on’ training areas.

 

To discuss how Wexer can help eradicate down-time in your club, contact us at info@wexer.com

 

 

AuthorJake Shand

Head of Business Development, USA