There was a time when I thought the hardest part of opening a new cycling studio was finding the right space. Now I understand that after finding the perfect location, recruiting and retaining quality Indoor Cycling Instructors is your next major challenge.
ICI/PRO is sponsoring a series of informational webinars, featuring industry experts from the leading companies in our industry. These live events will be invaluable for Studio Owners, managers and anyone planning a Indoor Cycling Studio.
Our first is entitled: Clients, new and old: How to keep them all engaged is scheduled for September 16th at 3:00 Pacific / 6:00 Eastern.
Clients, new and old: How to keep them all engaged
When it comes to attracting new clients, effective marketing is often the difference between surviving and thriving. Join us to learn how to develop a marketing plan that will bring new clients in all year long—and turn them into dedicated clients, too.
Strategies for every stage of client interaction, from the first visit to the first year and beyond
The numbers that matter when it comes to increasing your client base
Loyalty programs: how to create your own, and what to encourage your clients to do
Pre-registration is required and you can register here and we’ll send you reminders so you don’t miss the event.
We’ll be recording this webinar and it will be available exclusively to everyone who’s registered – so please register even if you can’t make the live webinar.
Presented by Michael Goldsmith, Senior Regional Sales Manager at MINDBODY Online
Michael Goldsmith is one of two MINDBODY Senior Regional Sales Managers, leading a team of over 40. As a”recovering” attorney with thirty years of business experience, Michael relishes coming to work every day to help MINDBODY’s fitness clients run their businesses more smoothly.
It began as the dream of many Instructors – starting your own fitness business. Charles (Spook) Hilgartner made his dream real by opening the first dedicated indoor cycling studio in the Baltimore Metropolitan area. It was very sad to hear that InSync Cycle Studio closed last month.
Spooks final note from their website…
On a personal note:
For the past three years, I have enjoyed the challenge of creating and operating InSync. I have had the pleasure and privilege of meeting and greeting hundreds of riders and making some special friends.This, I will really miss.
But what happened in the studio, during class was really incredible. We have had the best instructors! Their teaching skills and unique styles, music and personalities created an amazing cycling environment that all of us have enjoyed. I thank them for that.
It’s the combination, of instructors and dedicated riders, that has made InSync Cycle Studio a pretty good place to ride.
Some of Spook’s Instructors created this very touching video as a good-by.
I’ve known Spook since before InSync and appreciated his agreement to be interviewed on the Podcast. Our intent is to help other existing (and potential) cycling studio owners. We discuss his thoughts and feelings about what he did right… and what he did wrong.
Two main points surfaced during our conversation:
Spook’s experiences reinforced the absolute importance of having quality Instructors + a bench of available substitutes.
He feels he would have benefited by having a partner with complimentary skills to his.
I wasn’t previously aware of this regulatory issue > Depending on your studio’s pricing model, your state or city may require you to secure bonding to protect customers who purchase ride cards with future expiration dates. Spook explains this need for bonding during the interview.
Looking for a used studio sound system? You can contact Spook 444-722-5433 or Spook@indoorcycleinstructor.com
I just replied to this post over at pedal-on from a new studio owner looking for ways to market his studio in the off-season. I thought you may also be in this position, so I’m posting it here as well. The best advice I’ve heard for marketing your studio during the “off season” is to go where your potential customers are in the summer months. Stop at your local whole foods and grab the free community papers in the entrance. These papers include listings of all the fitness related activities in your area; 5k’s, bike rides, triathlons, tuff mudders, etc. Go to them and do some guerrilla marketing to get the word out.
Offline marketing at local fitness events is like shooting fish in a barrel with hundreds, if not thousands of fitness enthusiasts (your potential customers) all in one place.
Do the Burma Shave thing. Measure the grade of the hill/climbs and post it on a sign on the side of the road, along with words of encouragement + your studio’s name and logo on it.
Here’s a short video showing how to measure grade of a road I made a few years ago.
Chalk the street at key places.
Print up “post it notes” with some special offer. Then find some help and stick them on the driver’s rear view mirror of cars parked near the starting line. “Why the rear view mirror’ you may ask? If you just stick a sheet of paper under the windshield wiper people will see them on their way back to their car and will already have decided to throw away the one you placed on their car, before the get there. Your sticky note won’t be noticed until they are in the car.
Consider becoming a sponsor of the event or, if $$ are tight, offer to provide the event with a bunch of volunteers (or something else of value) in exchange for some form of promotion.
My favorite example – a business hired a bunch of high school cross country teammates to run a race wearing the businesses T shirts. Their stroke of genius was having them start near the back and politely greet & encourage the hundreds of slower people they passed. Then they all got together at the finish to cheer on the finishers. With every kid on the planet on Facebook, I’m thinking this would be super easy to do.
What cleaver guerrilla marketing ideas do you use?
I hadn’t experienced an Indoor Cycling studio that offered reserved seats before. It had me feeling like a VIP when Amy and I visited CB Cyclebarn, Karen Casler’s studio last month. Very Cool 🙂
The website system she uses integrates her Mindbody account with the class rider data collected by Performance IQ. I thought you might like to see the string of conformation and followup emails the system creates automatically.
First let’s reserve a spot in the class. I didn’t think to take a screen shot at the time so I’m showing tomorrow’s schedule.
Next you select your bike – just like picking a seat on an airplane or at a concert. The image is for Bart’s 11:00 am class. Note how you can pick a bike that has your type of pedals.
Once you’ve completed your purchase you receive a conformation email – all this happens automatically.
A friendly reminder is appreciated by scatter brains like me.
After the class I checked my email and saw all of my performance data. I wasn’t wearing a heart rate strap in this class. If I had that data would show as well.
Amy and I were very impressed by this system and feel it will really get your participants excited about training with power on a consistent schedule! The website integration system is offered by LiveEdit and will work with these Indoor Cycles with power; FreeMotion S11.9, Spinner® Blade Ion and the Schwinn AC Performance.
Disclosure – Amy recently joined LiveEdit as a representative, specializing in helping new Indoor Cycling Studios. She would enjoy answering your questions. Amy.Macgowan@getliveedit.com or feel free to call her 612-805-7644
It was the Podcast that launched dozens of new cycling studio startups. Our February 2010 interview with Indoor Cycling Studio consultant Bill Pryor (Podcast #88) presented the idea that a passionate Instructor could open a successful studio. We’re aware of dozens who did and Bill has assisted over 200 entrepreneurs around the world plan and operate their new fitness business.
That was three years ago and there’s been a lot of changes in our industry as it affects independent studios; all the new indoor cycles with power/watts, MyRide+ big screen virtual ride offerings from ICG and others, rider metrics displayed and captured by Performance IQ & MyZone and the ascension of SoulCycle, Flywheel and the new Peloton studios that have interjected an enormous amount of buzz in our market.
If, after listening to this, the wheels start turning and you’d like more information about starting your own studio – you can contact Bill at spynergyconsulting.com