The ultimate goal for studios is to fill class spaces organically and independently. So why does signing up for discount apps to fill those empty spots leave you feeling a bit underwhelmed? Services that are aggregators or drop-in solutions, like Groupon or ClassPass, provide studio owners ways to fill seats at a low discount but with little control over their reach to a greater demographic or over membership conversions. In addition, the cost per unit conversion can be much lower than the studio's overall rate, making any type of profit margin almost non-existent.

The wellness industry as a whole grew by 10.6% from 2013-2015 while the global economy went down 3.6% during the same period. That means interest has peaked, yet pennies are being pinched more than before.

Most individuals who sign up for these services are looking for a cheaper way to maintain their fitness routines. Discount apps and fitness class aggregators have enabled gym-goers to gain more leverage over what they can purchase and where they can attend. This leverage is not equally shared with the studios, as services like these tend to take a healthy cut of the revenue.

This is not an uncommon pattern for industry disruptors, like ClassPass, Uber, or Groupon. Depending on your business model, it may make sense to use aggregators as a way to increase traffic or visibility in the short term, but when looking at the long term, it doesn’t add value to the business when it comes to sustainable growth. In addition, these services make it difficult to sell your product or service at full price in the future. They can devalue your offering in the eyes of your consumer, and moreover, with so many studios utilizing them, the perception of monetary value becomes skewed.

With all of these concepts in mind, why are studios still using these services? It’s likely that they are being used as a marketing tool. Maybe a studio has first opened and wants to improve brand visibility in a new market. However, there are certainly other ways to get the ball rolling.

So, how does a studio fill seats while getting a fair portion of revenue and greater access to attendees? By expanding their marketing to reach an entire industry as opposed to just the end user. Corporate wellness programs can be key in not only filling those empty spots but also by gaining new members.

 

Take advantage of flexible fitness.

Taking part in a corporate wellness network offers a powerful partnership to studios, eliminating the two main issues that using an aggregator entails. When tapping into worksite wellness dollars, it may be that employees’ access to studios is limited on a monthly basis, which equates to a greater chance of membership conversion for studios, if they take initiative on their part. This is in comparison to the individual who has chosen to repeatedly use discount apps and has almost unlimited access to do so.

With Peerfit credits as a ‘fitness currency’, studios get back over 50% of each credit spent for their classes. This flips the revenue direction aggregators normally provide and offers studios the greater portion of the deal, with the goal of reimbursing studios as closely to their member rates as possible.  

 

Reach health-conscious companies.

Secondly, tapping into corporate wellness dollars also means you have the ability to connect with companies who are already invested in wellness. What does that mean for studios? The opportunity to access a greater amount of people versus one individual at a time, and for an extended period of time.

Corporate wellness programs provide studios flexibility and control over how they accrue potential gym-goers. There are several ways to improve your traffic outside of discount apps, especially within the context of worksite wellness.

  • Involving your local fitness community is a huge way to have an impact on potential clients.
  • Hosting or participating in community events that let employers know you are included in a corporate wellness network is a great way to leverage a partnership.
  • Empowering fitness instructors at your studio to increase their outreach via social media is a great way to increase attendance numbers.
  • Getting to know your community may be the difference between stagnant growth or being able to incorporate more employers into your corporate wellness network by connecting with a gym-goer who is eager to nominate their employer.

The bottom line? Aligning yourself with workplace wellness allows you to work with the community and employers simultaneously, thus allowing you the potential to access entire companies who are more motivated (at least financially) to engage, versus the sole individual choosing to pay for classes at a discount.

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