Cycling studio market research from Spynergy Consulting

Screen shot 2010-12-30 at 5.23.39 PMEarlier this month Spynergy Consulting, a leading adviser to more than 80 cycling and Spin® studio startups, conducted a survey of studio owners to learn about their experiences.  43 studio owners responded to the survey and preliminary results were published at the Spynergy blog.  Perhaps most interesting, 29% are profitable or highly profitable and meeting expectations,  40% are roughly breaking even and meeting expectations, the remaining 31% are unprofitable (though only 1/3 of those described themselves as “concerned”).

Other interesting results from that survey:

  • Most important success factors:  Studio location and finding great instructors
  • Most effective marketing:  Search engine optimization and social media
  • 65% of studios were exclusively cycling / Spin®….. 35% had another offering
  • 50% had more than 20 bikes
  • Classes per week were between 15 and 45
  • Revenue per month was between $3,000 and $90,000

studio shotFurther results and analysis from this study will be published at Spynergy Consulting over the next few weeks.  In general, it is fair to say that the older studios, with more bikes and more classes were performing significantly better than recent startups….this is to be expected.  Owners identified their most significant challenges as “finding great instructors” and “getting the word out”.  Several noted competition with low-priced local gyms, a few mentioned concern with the big chains coming to town (Soul Cycle and FlyWheel).  For questions on the study, or on studio start-up assistance, contact Bill Pryor, bill@spynergyconsulting.com

 

About Bill

Studio owner since 2004 and active in business plan and marketing plans for multiple cycling studios around the US and Canada. Devoted outside and inside rider, father of 3, teacher of 3-5 classes per week.

3 thoughts on “Cycling studio market research from Spynergy Consulting

  1. Bill I’d be interested to know exactly what studio owners are looking for when they say: “finding great instructors”. What exactly defines “great”?

  2. Great question John…..remember, a cycling studio business is successful or unsuccessful based on only one thing: class attendance. A “great” instructor (from a purely business standpoint) is one that fills classes. What skills make an instructor fill classes? In my experience it is someone that has a unique knack to combine music, drills and great personal energy…..to engage and motivate a class to an effective workout. There is no one way to do this, and in my own studio, different “great” instructors have differing styles. The ability to truly engage a group is a common thread though. There are lots of opinions on this topic — mine is based purely on what I have seen work at my own studio. Would love to hear from others!

    1. I like the way you put this, Bill. A “Great” Instructor is one who fills classes… As a participant, I looked for the energetic, enthusiastic instructor who somehow helped pushed me past my comfort zone. They use great music and creative workouts that change frequently. They set the stage from the time you walk into the facility to the time you leave. They learn about you, call you by name, know your wife, kids, or dogs names, and they always seem to say your name at the point in the workout when you most need it… Hell, they even recognize when you are wearing new workout clothes. As an Instructor, I modeled myself and my classes after what worked for me as a participant. As an owner, I stress the importance of building relationships. It is important to be sound in technique, coaching, and enthusiasm, but my best instructors develop a sense of loyalty with the participants. They build a relationship, they are prompt and prepared, and they create an entire experience that people want more of, and better yet, they tell their friends about.

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