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Attract the best personal trainers to your gym and keep them
Keeping instructors happy and engaged is a challenge over the long-term in any fitness space. However, respecting your rockstar personal training team and giving them what they need to develop over a decade is more than most offer.
Below, you'll find personal and practical advice from Barbara Chancey of Barbara Chancey Design Group, explaining what gym design secrets you can use to ensure you remain relevant both now and in the future.
Stop history repeating itself.
“Think about this... Marketing people understand this and fitness people don't. Brands like Oreo go from new, to improved, to improving. It just goes on and on and on. Fitness is the same, the same, the same, and then they wonder why their classes are half empty. Your audience is inundated by this in the marketplace, and they come to your studio and it's the same.
“The instructors are smart. Sometimes owners don't respect that, and I do. When you have an instructor that uses three syllable words and they're brilliant and have this great music, reward them.”
The reward from an architectural and design perspective comes in the form of ensuring that any facility can truly stand the test of time. A lot of that comes down to appealing to personal trainers, in the long run.
Hidden studio secrets to stay relevant for years.
“Why not put invisible TVs in the mirrors so that you could use them when the day comes? What about if you're having a graduation party, fundraiser or celebration where you rent the studio... Why not use those screens to show footage? You don't need them in a rhythm class because it's old school; you don't need technology, just like in yoga.”
It's not just about screens, either, as BCD Group hides things in the walls so that, when the rockstar instructors do come knocking, operators can provide them with everything they need to keep them interested and keep classes exciting.
“We line the walls with support structures so that, if you wanted to add TRX or aerial yoga, we've already planned ahead for the future. We put outlets in the ceiling so maybe you want to have a snow machine or a bubble machine, I don't know! It's just that creativity and consistency is there.
What's blocking the path to success?
“Consistency [or lack of it] is why most studios and gyms fail, and why there are empty seats or empty mats in any class.
“Think about Starbucks. Same latte in Dubai, Denver, Dallas. The creativity is in the location, the architectural design, the smile, but the same product. In a studio, if you're giving out chilled towels and that's part of your brand, but you only do it once in a while, that's inconsistent.”
What kind of boutique fitness studio are you?
“If you're an inspirational studio, when you walk in the client sees this beautiful smile. They don't see clutter behind the desk, or cables, or their phone. Just this smile. If you're competitive, you've booked bike 16, you have locker 16, you book bike 16, it's all about numbers. If you're rebellious – bad ass with a good ass – shoes are on benches. Just get a pair of shoes and get to the class.
“That's very simple, but it's just one of the 100s and 100s of points that we think of when we ask: What do you believe?”
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