Elevate Your Fitness Studio Business Strategy at BFS @ IHRSA

As a part of IHRSA 2023, BFS @ IHRSA offers a full day of programming specifically tailored to boutique studio owners and professionals.

An additional day of programming specific to boutiques and studios, brought to you by Boutique Fitness Solutions (BFS), has been added to IHRSA 2023! A one-day track with eight impactful sessions, BFS @ IHRSA aims to help adapt your boutique or studio business and scale to new heights.

On Thursday, March 23, in San Diego, studio owners, executives, managers, suppliers, and aspiring owners are encouraged to attend BFS @ IHRSA to discuss proven methods to launch, manage, and scale their businesses. Additional IHRSA 2023 content is tagged as a “STUDIO” learning track to offer knowledge and resources each day specific to our studio operators and staff.

Overall, IHRSA 2023 offers an incredible opportunity for studios looking to grow their business by accessing expert insights into innovative ways of managing their operations. Nicole Johnson, director of global memberships at IHRSA, shares, “These sessions provide actionable tips that allow studios to stay ahead of trends while taking advantage of new technology and opportunities within the industry."

Boutique Fitness Solutions is a network full of “both educators and fitness enthusiasts who are zealous advocates for small business owners,” says Julian Barnes, co-founder of BFS. “We believed that by combining these interests we could help boutique fitness studios implement proven business methods that will help them launch, manage, and scale successful businesses that have a positive impact in their communities.”

Boutique and studio businesses possess challenges and opportunities separate from larger health clubs, gyms, and other fitness facilities. Therefore, tailored programming and sessions can better guide these specific business models.

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Julian emphasizes that studio consumers typically want more than just a place to work out—it’s all about the full-service experience. “The studio fitness consumer is one who thrives in a communal environment where everyone supports each other in a nonjudgmental manner.

“The key element of ‘boutique’ is ‘guided instruction,’ which can be delivered either in a group format, in small groups, or individually,” says Julian. “Boutique fitness studios provide this guided instruction to its clients in a welcoming and communal environment and with an emphasis on delivering a premium client experience.”

Addressing Business Challenges for Boutiques & Studios

“IHRSA studio owners seem to be responding to the growing trend of convenience and personalization,” Nicole shares. “IHRSA and BFS are similarly providing opportunities for personalized health and wellness advice to IHRSA studios, so they can keep their clients and members motivated and engaged in their fitness journey.”

According to BFS survey responses, the top three challenges for studio owners are:

  1. Consumer acquisition

  2. Consumer retention

  3. Developing a growth strategy

Although overall wellness is top of mind for the majority of consumers, businesses need to outline a strategic plan to acquire and retain these consumers. Luckily for studio professionals, BFS @ IHRSA sessions provide knowledge, resources, and expert insight on all three of these areas in just one day of programming.

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Julian says, “Studios will learn proven tactics to address their major challenges—how to build a strong team, how to connect with and sell to new clients, and how to keep those clients for the long term. They will also learn what is happening across the industry and hear from successful business owners to inspire and empower them to keep growing and scaling!”

Session topics range from sharing trends and shifts, advocacy, member retention, building a successful sales team, and so much more.

BFS @ IHRSA is a separately ticketed event from an IHRSA 2023 registration. Included in BFS @ IHRSA registration is access to the:

  • IHRSA 2023 Trade Show, taking place Tuesday and Wednesday,

  • exercise classes on Tuesday and Wednesday,

  • early morning workout on Wednesday,

  • CEO Fireside Chat on Wednesday,

  • IHRSA Among the Stars Reception on Wednesday, and

  • BFS sessions on Thursday.

Don’t miss IHRSA President & CEO Liz Clark’s session on Thursday, March 23, from 10 - 10:45 a.m., Making Fitness Essential Through Local and Global Advocacy. When it comes to advocacy, every sector of the health and fitness industry must be represented and heard. Studio professionals will gain insight into current advocacy and policy efforts as well as how to get involved.

On March 23, BFS @ IHRSA also offers a special invite-only BFS CEO Summit, reserved for owners or executives with a growth mindset who are ready to lead the boutique fitness industry into the future. To find out if you qualify for the CEO Summit, submit an application. For more information about the events or to register, visit ihrsa.org/convention.

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HFA Staff @HealthFitAssoc

This article was a team effort by several HFA experts.