The Benefits of a Saturated Fitness Market
By Coach Manny Alayon
My post today isn’t super related to fitness. But every now and then I like to share my “business thoughts” with the world. I am very transparent about how I run NorthEast CrossFit and I think it is an important part of my relationship with my members and staff. I hope this post helps or inspires others who own micro-gyms or any other type of businesses that can relate. Or really just for anyone curious as to why NECF operates the way it does. If you are still interested continue reading…
There’s a new gym in town, should you be worried or should you embrace it? It is very common for a lot of box owners to blame market saturation as the cause for their lack of success. But truth be told, market saturation isn’t the problem. Failure cannot be blamed on the bootcamp, the Orange Theory, the other CrossFit gym or whatever type of gym that just opened up. The truth hurts and I am going to let you know what it is. The problem is YOU, not the market.
If you believe you are the best gym in your area, you shouldn’t fear another new shiny gym. Harness the market saturation! Doing this allows you the opportunity to showcase why your gym is the place to be. If everyone had this mentality, instead of blaming, market saturation can also lead to elevating everyone’s business. It is a reason to keep sharp, hustle and just step up your game. The added competition will force you to put out the best service you can, which is difficult to do when there is no competition. Another upside is that saturation spreads awareness. I believe it is senseless for gyms to compete over the same, say 500 people. It is my belief that the more gyms that come onto the market the more word spreads. The more word spreads, especially in a concentrated area, the more local awareness there is. The more local awareness there is the more likely someone is to walk through your doors looking to better themselves. Turn 500 people into 5000 people by simply spreading the benefits of health and fitness. Remember, there is only a small slice of the pie that is actually exercising regularly. The majority are either sedentary or going to Planet Fitness (which is almost the same thing).
There are also other ways to use the saturated market to strengthen your brand. My favorite is to leverage the tasteless tactics of the weaker gyms as examples of how you do not want your place to run. As annoying as it is to get undercut by another gym, use it as an opportunity to showcase your value and prove why you are worth it. There is always a market for people looking to invest in themselves. Always. My advice is to never subject yourself to price matching, low balling, undercuts etc. I have seen the nasty effects of market saturation when all involved no longer focus on providing a superior service, but they fight on “whos got the cheapest deal”. Over time this not only causes social dysfunction, but bills will not be paid, staff will never have the opportunity to advance their careers and equipment will stay broken. I have literally seen dozens of micro-gyms close down because of this and of course the blame is put on the “new gym down the road”. The race to the bottom is the most common downfall of a micro-gym.
The funny thing is I have never seen a gym that offers a superior service and higher prices, ever complain about a new gym coming to town. The leaders of the industry are proof that concentrating on outputting the best service and matching that with the appropriate pricing will be the key to giving your members and staff the best experience. Overall, always remember that “you get what you paid for”.