Outdoor fitness classes have always been a growing trend, but have become more popular recently due to a surge of people wanting to maintain their health in an environment that offers benefits not found inside. You burn more calories, gain more exposure to vitamin D, your blood pressure is reduced, the endorphin rush is greater, and you explore parts of your city which adds to your sense of community and feeling of being ‘at home’. Every single benefit adds value to your exercise experience.
Of course, outdoor fitness classes themselves are nothing new, but what they offer has been rediscovered by many who as recently as 2019 (pre pandemic) were much less likely to think about venturing outside of their local gym to workout. This change in perspective offers greater potential for anyone with the will to make the most of it.
In this blog, we offer seven effective tips for starting and ultimately growing an outdoor fitness business. Like starting any business, it requires hard work. Also, you’re dealing with groups of people, so it leads to A LOT of administration with various challenges to grow your business. You won’t be a fitness business guru by reading to the end, but you should have some great pointers to guide you through the launch and running of your new enterprise.
Tip #1 – Price yourself competitively
The fact that an outdoor fitness company can be set up for a nominal investment means that the marketplace is a competitive one, so if you want to get off to a good start by wooing customers, your pricing needs to be attractive. That doesn’t mean that you have to be the cheapest by any means, but somewhere in the middle is good.
Tip #2 – Ensure you’ve got the right insurance in place
While your local park is a great place to launch an outdoor fitness business, you may need council permission to operate there. Also, it’s vital that you have professional liability insurance to protect yourself and your clients – if anything were to happen without it, your business could be over before it’s had a chance to really get going.
Tip #3 – Schedule your classes to suit your ideal demographic
Consider carefully who your target audience are. When is the best time for them to exercise? Are they typically free during the working day or not? By advertising your outdoor fitness classes at the right time of the day you’ll naturally attract the right customers.
Tip #4 – Run an introductory complimentary class
There’s nothing more compelling to potential long-term customers than experiencing your classes first-hand. By running a complimentary community class, you get the chance to showcase your skills and swell your class numbers at the same time, which always results in a better experience for everyone attending.
Tip #5 – Get the right equipment
Depending on the type of exercises you base your outdoor fitness business upon, some equipment may need to be sourced. It doesn’t have to be large or cumbersome, it could be simple and light, such as ankle weights, skipping ropes or bands. Also, getting clients to bring their own mats will allow you to operate lighter.
Tip #6 – Have a back-up plan for bad weather
The British weather rarely behaves in the way you’d like, so you might face frost, sleet or even snow on a day you have a winter class. Rather than chalking it off as a lost day, you should have an alternative. Scope out areas with bandstands or overhead coverings, or offer an online solution when bad weather is forecast. Missing a class will damage numbers and confidence. A recent megastudy showed that if a client misses a scheduled class it can kick-start a series of future no-shows. Be resilient and adaptable and you’ll become scalable.
Tip #7 – Leverage the power of social media
Word of mouth is powerful, but social media can spread the word exponentially fast. By running active social media profiles, you can promote yourself and be easier to search for online. Social media, the BUA feed, and the BUA messaging platform allow you to interact easily with existing and potential clients. Use multiple channels to increase your reach. Don’t forget to ask clients to review your classes, and remember to take photos of the squad during or after the class for great social media content.
There’s a great deal of potential out there
As we can see, there’s a lot that needs to be considered when trying to manage your own outdoor fitness company and we’ve only just scratched the surface. We will release more tips and tricks at a later stage this year so stay tuned. The great news is that there’s a world of potential out there for anyone wanting to tap into this exciting and dynamic fitness industry niche.
At BUA FIT, we offer you a technology (and a lot more support) so that you can create a range of outdoor and online fitness classes aligned to your brand in a matter of seconds to help businesses just like yours succeed. We’re able to reduce the risk and time associated with running your outdoor fitness business whilst helping you minimise costs. Fundamentally we give BUA fitness partners the space to focus on what they do best – training and coaching.
If you’d like to enquire about becoming a partner, all you need to do is enter your details on our Become A Partner Page and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
As always, stay fit, happy and healthy.
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