WHY NOW IS A GREAT TIME TO GET INTO THE FITNESS INDUSTRY
Whilst the world has changed forever, some changes which we have been forced to make across the fitness industry will be for the better in the long run. I’m a firm believer that the fitness industry has a very exciting future, especially once COVID eases. In hindsight, we will look back at the incredible new innovations and upgrades we have made to our products and services and really appreciate this heavy-handed opportunity we had been served due to this global pandemic!
Now is a great time for switched-on, entrepreneurial-minded individuals to capitalise on what could be the best opportunities the fitness industry has to offer. Whilst these are really difficult times, we—the insiders and operators—are very optimistic about new opportunities that exist. I mean, really, the current situation cannot and will not last forever. And people will, and have, already begun to get back to their ‘as normal as can be’ lives.
We are seeing more exciting strategies put in place by the best brands in the fitness industry that will see them benefit from the predicted spike in demand for higher quality fitness facilities and services.
Reported surveys have been continuously revealing the real facts which will shape the future of the fitness industry. These surveys have shown a surge in fitness products consumption. Fortunately for the fitness industry, which was one of the hardest hit sectors during the lockdowns, we were able to re-open our doors with projected revenue as our business is membership based, with low overheads.
Here in NSW, post-lockdown we have seen a very positive response towards fitness from consumers who are keen to return to normality, which includes training in our studios. The current climate has highlighted the importance of health and fitness, and as a result, fitness facilities are experiencing substantial growth with more and more existing and new members returning to their beloved fitness community or becoming a newbie. From personal experience, reopening ZADI was more exciting than our initial grand opening! Our members were ecstatic to get back into the studio and from day one after lockdown our allocated sessions were booking out.
Another reason why now is the best time to get into a fitness business—despite some of the unfounded misconceptions about its future—is due to the ongoing and worsening retail challenges. An overwhelming number of retail stores are closing down. New fitness studio owners will have greater choice of high-quality sites to choose from to open new facilities. Prime locations will add to the convenience and success. Landlords will be determined in finding long-term tenants and will provide much better deals to secure them. Part of our franchising COVID package at ZADI is to assist our franchisees throughout their site selection and negotiations with landlords phase, helping them get the best deal possible.
The best supported and well-backed brands and fitness centre owners will not just survive, but thrive, during this transitional high demand phase. We know this and have really stepped up the planned support, training and recourses to support our franchisees.
Along with many others, I am predicting there will be a very lucrative fitness industry comeback. We have to remember that, pre-COVID, the fitness industry had already been enjoying tremendous and steady growth. This is not surprising, as the demand is a direct result of the growth in fitness consumers. This growth has also been dialled up by a fast-growing demographic which had not previously been a focus in the fitness industry: gen Z and millennials.
Fitness consumers will want only the best. They now expect more high-service clean and hygienic spaces, supervised, controlled environments and specialisation. Nobody will want to see gyms go back to the ‘old normal’ where wiping down equipment was merely a suggestion. Packed and overcrowded group sessions will be a thing of the past. After experiencing a global pandemic and its huge impact, it’s safe to say fitness centre patrons will expect to see their facility to continue to have a ‘hygiene marshal’ equivalent and some form of social distancing to stay in place making personal space in a controlled environment the ‘new normal’.
I have led ZADI during COVID in the same way, focused on making sure our members feel safe. We take a very stringent and detailed approach to every action throughout the member experience and have made necessary changes to achieve two key outcomes: The first is to stay true to the ZADI experience that members love while helping them achieve their goals, and the second is to make them feel safe and looked after.
The hygiene process has been crucial. Our members are not only being told that our facility is safe and hygienic via signs, posters and a barrage of COVID-safe emails, it is apparent via our continuous and consistent daily actions.
Now is a great time for a savvy investor to recognise the opportunities and capitalise on them. Many fitness franchisors, like we here at ZADI, have a plan to help franchisees become more successful than ever before.
Adala Bolto has excelled in her career as a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and club manager (later franchisee) of leading female fitness brand, Fernwood. Adala saw a gap in the Australian market for a bespoke fitness program targeting women who want a more specialised approach while training with likeminded strong women. In 2017, Adala launched her first two ZADI studios in Sydney. ZADI has a strong reputation for its unique badass member experience and a strong ethos to ‘Get Sh*t Done’. Adala’s vision for ZADI is rapid growth locally and internationally while continuing to build authentic and innovative systems, company culture and community of extraordinary women.