Last week pop-icon Madonna made headlines again but it wasn’t about her music, her model boyfriend or her clothing line. Instead, it appears that the Material Girl is muscling her way into the health and fitness industry by opening a fitness club of her own.
The first club titled “Hard Candy Fitness” will open this month in Mexico City with a 30,000 square-foot space. The gym is packed with top-of-the-line equipment, personal viewing screens, a juice bar and cafe and spa-quality locker rooms with saunas and steam rooms. The clubs will also feature a variety of classes including yoga, Zumba, cardio kickboxing and capoeira.
Take one look at the 52-year-old Madonna and you’ll notice her impressive biceps and rock hard body. She is known to be one of the fittest and best-trained celebrities out there and she’s worked out in hundreds of gyms around the world during her many concert tours. So perhaps it’s only fitting that she’s venturing into the fitness-club world but where does that leave you, the small business owner in the health and fitness industry that being overrun by big chains catering to large audiences?
Let’s face it; you probably don’t have the necessary funding for a 30,000 square-foot club with state of the art equipment that will please yoga fans and body-builders alike. For the average small business, the success lies in finding yourself a niche.
Catering your business to a specific group of people will not only make you stand out among the competition, it also allows you to work with the group of people you feel most passionate about. Additionally, it will make all of your marketing efforts so much easier.
An example of a great niche in the fitness industry is Curves. Curves caters specifically to women ages 30 and up with a special circuit workout. With this special niche, Curves has become one of the most successful franchises in the industry.
Another example is sport-specific fitness. In Portland, OR and Seattle, WA cycling has become an incredibly popular sport and people in the health and fitness industry took notice. You can now find instructors that offer “yoga for cyclists”.
Having a niche however, does not mean you shouldn’t continue training a larger demographic but it helps to create an identity for your business and set you apart from all the fitness chains out there.
So ask yourself the following questions to find your niche:
– What sets your business/service apart from everyone else?
- Do you have specific knowledge or education that makes you different from others? Perhaps you have experience with coaching or counseling or training a lot of swimmers. Perhaps you have experience working with people with disabilities. These are factors that make your services unique.
– What demographic do you prefer having as your clientele?
- Be honest with yourself and ask what type of people you enjoy working with most. Kids or seniors? Athletes or people overcoming obesity? Women or men? What is their income level and/or careers? Can they afford your service? What are their hobbies?
– Finally, look at your competition.
- How does your service differ from theirs? What are their strengths?
You probably don’t have the resources to cater to a mass audience like Madonna’s club or 24 Hour Fitness but you can offer specific services that a niche market has been waiting for. What’s your niche?