Most owners and operators focus, by necessity, on the day-to-day business of running their clubs. It’s hard to find time to think about, or reflect upon, what the future might hold. All too often, they’re working in their business—rather than on their business.
To give you a sense of what’s out there—of promising possibilities you may not have heard about or yet explored—CBI spoke with a select group of club professionals and industry experts, and asked them what you should be thinking about. Our sources, all first-time presenters at IHRSA’s 35th Annual International Convention & Trade Show, in Orlando, FL, offer some brand-new ideas and fresh takes on old ones.
David Long is the cofounder and CEO of Orangetheory Fitness, a fitness franchise based in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and he clearly knows something about rapid growth in competitive times. Since it was founded six years ago, Orangetheory has shot to more than 300 units in some 32 states, and achieved a three-year growth rate of 1,147%. At IHRSA 2016, Long spoke on “Building Multi-Million Dollar Fitness Businesses”—which seems appropriate. In 2014, Orangetheory booked $10.4 million in revenues.
“In general terms, I can see several trends that offer great opportunities for growth,” Long said. “There’s a rapidly growing demand for special group fitness, such as yoga, Pilates, group cycling, and, of course, Orangetheory. Heart-rate training and wearables are also continuing to emerge at a quick clip. There’s now a significant demographic population that wants objective data on their fitness regimen, and gravitates toward results-based programming. Having said that, there’s still a huge marketplace for traditional fitness offerings, but consumers continue to demand a higher service level and ease-of-use with technology—something that every operator needs to be aware of.