I have written a lot about Stages lately so I don’t want to bore you with it; so I thought I would turn my attention back to why there is still an opportunity for the boutique studio. One thing that I am finding very evident within this market is that you need the ‘passion’ to succeed, to stand out from the crowd.
Because with ‘passion’ comes that attention to ‘personal’ detail. The desire to create a better experience for your member, after all this is how boutique was born. People no longer just wanting to be a number in a big fitness chain, to be recognised to feel valued. Some people are opening boutiques as a business model, a chance to make a quick buck, but with this they are failing to encapsulate that personal touch. Anyone with money can put in chic changing rooms and great studios. But it is the small things, the attention to making your riders or members feel special on every visit. Time and time again.
As the big chains begin to respond to the boutique threat it is now, more than ever that these small details are taken advantage of. I have not seen this displayed anywhere more acutely than at Pelotone. Karen the owner of the studio is so passionate about indoor cycling and making sure her riders have an amazing experience, that even after 18 months where some of the small details may of begun to wane, she still maintains a high level of consistency. From personal motivational quotes inside the lockers, to fruit infused water for that refreshing drink, not to mention my favourite; ‘mouthwash’ in the changing rooms. Which came in handy after I had onions in my salad at lunch. She will be cursing me now as I ribbed her continuously throughout our ‘Stages’ training as she said it was there for people to use if they had been ill during or after the class.
Pelotone has obviously raised the bar further by being the first studio in Australia to install the Stages bike, but it is evident that her passion has rubbed off on her instructors who spend ages working on their workouts and help promote the studio and are loyal to the brand. Another advantage of boutiques being able to build up a team of not ‘average’ but ‘great’ instructors. We definitely have a #fitfam right here. Big clubs always talk about customer experience and service but they can only dream of the level of service that a boutique studio can provide.
Remember your passion is your fire and with that fire you can stimulate, motivate and educate your riders or users. With your fire you can make your riders legs burn. If there is no fire, if you are seeing a studio as a fast buck you better employ a studio manager with that fire or you could be missing out on that spark to set your boutique studio alight.