One of the more interesting things about market research is the little pebbles of information that stimulate thought. Sometimes they’re not all that earth shattering, but often they’re worth contemplating for greater meaning. And the nuggets of good stuff can come from any report in almost any year.
Once such little jewel can be found in the AFS 2014 Industry Research Study, the first-ever research project to uncover basic data on fitness studios. Early in the study AFS asked where studio owners got the money to open their own studio (answer: they used their own money). Understanding that some respondents might not yet own a studio, AFS offered the option “still have the dream of opening my own studio.”
Here’s the nugget: 27% of respondents checked off the “still have the dream” box. And then the study came and went with focus on other, financially relevant data points that made that report a game-changer for the fitness industry.
How Did You Raise the Money to Start your Business?
27%!! So, let’s see. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports there’s a little more than 250,000 personal trainers (seems low, but let’s accept it). And Zumba and Zumba-style certifications (aka Group X instructors) can add another 250,000. Plus the yoga, Pilates, martial arts folks and cycling teachers – there’s gotta be at least 700,00, maybe more. Let’s call it 700,000, and that was two years ago.
That means that roughly 189,000 trainers are out there, poised and eager to start their own studio. So eager, in fact, that they took the time to fill out a survey about studio ownership! And given there’s “only” about 100,000 U.S. studios (of all training disciplines) in business now, well, you get the point. There’s going to be a lot more studios popping up before there are fewer!
If one of those dreams-that-comes-alive studios is yours – be sure, be absolutely sure, that you do your homework. Study, plan, ask, join, investigate, research, and otherwise do what’s necessary to develop your business plan, raise your funds, and have the resources to make your dream come true – to help as many people as possible enhance their health.
Somebody once said, “nobody gets healthy in an out-of-business fitness studio.” And whoever said it was right.
About the Author:
Chuck Leve is a 40-year veteran of the fitness industry and proven successful developer of fitness industry associations. Currently he serves as the Executive Vice President of Business Development for the Association of Fitness Studios (AFS).He’s been involved in the creation and development of some of the most successful trade associations in the history of the fitness industry. For more information on AFS visit afsfitness.com.