The Group Exercise Business Journey Series

My journey over the ‘pandemic years’ has been harsh yet enlightening. I am sure there would be a few people who that may resonate with. It was harsh because it felt isolating, and pressure filled. I was really only capable of doing the necessary tasks to try and keep my business afloat.  However, it was enlightening because it gave me clarity on what lights me up in my career and what gives me true purpose. It was enlightening because it highlighted everything that I loved about our industry and gave me a push to want to try and change things for better. 

One of the challenges I faced was an abundance of information. It sounds like it shouldn’t be a problem, but there was real fatigue from searching through this information to find what was relevant for me. It led me to this question – do you wish you had an easy to access library of information to continually grow your group exercise business? I read a lot of blogs and articles from amazing contributors in the fitness industry but it felt sporadic and only answered some of my questions. So instead of searching, we at Exercise to Experience are going to create this resource for you. We are going to bring you 17 articles delivered once a month that take you from start to finish in your group exercise business. We have teamed up with the amazing humans at Active Management to bring this to as many people as possible. We want to be the supportive, intelligent best friend for your business to grow because that is our passion. Our purpose is to get more people in the world engaged in group exercise, so we need you to have classes booked out for us to reach our goals. We want to help you create unforgettable group exercise experiences everyday. 

Where does one begin on this epic journey that we are to undertake? We begin with asking yourself the hard questions. How well is my group exercise business operating? We start with a broad question for a broad industry. The reason this question came up was after a conversation with my friends at MindBody. We were looking, or should I say trying to look, for some generic statistics in the group exercise space and found something incredible. Many businesses are not analysing and measuring their group exercise businesses correctly or at all! These statistics were non-existent or only being measured in a few businesses, which meant we can’t use these statistics to show you how group exercise is performing as a whole. 

This was mind blowing to me! Currently in boutique fitness, small group personal training and mixed fitness small businesses, I cannot share relevant statistics surrounding key factors. Some of what we were looking for was; average retention of membership/subscription, monthly class attendance averages, penetration (for those in mixed businesses) amongst a whole host of other key reports and measurements. Franchises who do measure these statistics hold onto them and very rarely release information for fear of giving their competitors an edge. 

I truly believe that as a business, and as an industry, we will not truly be able to tap into the 80% of people who aren’t engaged in gyms and boutiques if we aren’t asking ourselves these questions and collectively using this information. 

This article is designed as a wake up call for every business owner to tap into their CRM’s and discover the potential of all those reports that you may have never used before. If you don’t know the capabilities of your CRM do not fear, think of this as a new beginning of growth for your business. Dial into the customer support and be prepared to take a deep dive into the information that your CRM can provide you. 

Group exercise businesses are an incredible way to get more of the population moving. We know how incredibly transformative exercise is particularly when coupled with a great culture and community. How do we know if we are getting that right if we don’t measure and analyse? 

Most CRM’s have an abundance of information about your business just waiting for you. We want you to go ahead and download those reports. Figure out what you do know and didn’t know; what you may have an understanding of, and what you may need some help with. The first step for any type of growth is to understand your current situation and create your baseline. You don’t need to do anything with that information yet except to collate it and soak it in. 

You have an entire month to have a look at these reports and get a grasp on them before the next step in our journey. If you want some help before then we are ready to be your supportive, intelligent best friend with killer advice; just reach out. The beautiful thing about finding your baseline is that it usually confirms things you already know or ‘have a feeling about’ in your business. Seeing the statistics and reports can prompt action that you have been procrastinating on or trying to avoid. And please please share these reports and stats with your CRM so as a fitness industry we can gather relevant and useful statistics around the group exercise industry. That way this time next year when we write an article on the state of group exercise businesses we don’t have to guess, or go off an ‘industry feeling’ we can give you the data. 

Together we can grow the industry to be twice as big then it currently is and we don’t have to ‘compete’ for a slice of the same pie. Your businesses are a representation of your purpose and passion in life and now is the perfect time to grow and prosper. 

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