– Dual fitness offerings – boutique cycling studios are now combining TRX, Pilates, personal training, yoga, etc. The ideal studio space required to provide these amenities is running 3000 sq ft. and above.
– Ambient features are now included in the start up budget…no longer an option but a must have on opening day. Even the big box gyms are installing LED lighting and promoting the entire mind/body ride concept. If the corporate giants are starting to figure it out, boutique studios must stay ahead of the game and keep adding more….video, performance tracking, etc.
– Benefit rides are all the rage. If your studio doesn’t offer yearly at least ONE cancer/special olympics, etc. ride with proceeds going to a local charity, you’re missing a HUGE opportunity to recruit new members and establish yourself as a forward thinking fitness organization. My studio hosts 2-3 benefit rides per year….I have tons of resources if anyone is interested.
– SPD’s required…no longer an option in many studios. The shift has been strong in 2012 for clips only. As you know, I’m working with Pearl and others to provide dealer status to studios. Stocking rental shoes is the accepted norm now.
– Studio Logo/Names – The swoosh image on a bike has seen its day and new designs for studios are clean, more Euro, and less nosiy…..very clean. simple.
– Websites – look impressive. No longer are GoDaddy “do it yourself” websites cutting it. Clients are sinking tons of money into edgy website experiences….check out my latest project: kor180.com
And puh-leeeese, studio owners! Hire a consultant to check your site for grammatical errors, incorrect usage of cycling terms, and red flags that shout “little details don’t matter” to your customers. I’ve found so many spelling/punctuation/redundancy/inaccurate info on cycling sites. Studio owners are cutting back funds and creating the text themselves…or worse, they’re plagiarizing from other sites.
– Studio names. Guys, if your don’t trademark, anyone can use your studio name…it’s up to you to protect it. I’m aware studios in different cities with the same name. I asked one why she had not trademarked for protection, and her reply was, “haven’t gotten around to it….” Please Include legal fees in your startup budget.
– Branding…..it’s the name of the game. Everything from clothing to bumper stickers…studios are blowing it up with marketing and creating a buzz with super cool gear with a logo recognized immediately. Friday night wine tasting after a ride, guest celebrity chefs, fitness lectures…etc. We are creating a community, not just a cycling studio. See me for more info.