Are Your Boutique Fitness Studio's Monthly Costs Weighing You Down? Here's How to Find Out

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Are Your Boutique Fitness Studio's Monthly Costs Weighing You Down? Here's How to Find Out

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Running a boutique fitness studio can be an incredibly profitable venture. However, like any other business, it requires careful financial management to ensure long-term success. One of the essential aspects of maintaining a thriving boutique fitness studio is to keep a close eye on your monthly costs. As a consultant, I even coach fitness studio owners with an impressive top line, the total revenue coming in but nothing left over at the end of the month. No one wants to work for free, so let's dive into how to determine if your studio's monthly costs are too high and what steps you can take to optimize your expenses.

1. Conduct a Comprehensive Financial Audit:

The first step in assessing your studio's monthly costs is to conduct a thorough financial audit. Review your monthly financial statements, including profit and loss, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Identify all fixed and variable costs, such as rent, utilities, equipment maintenance, staff salaries, marketing expenses, and other recurring costs. Calculate how much it costs to operate per class (total expenses/number of classes) and compare that to your goal revenue per class (total desired revenue/number of classes). What is the discrepancy between those two calculations? A clear understanding of your financial health will help you identify areas where costs may exceed your budget. Click to read more on KPIs. 

2. Benchmark Against Industry Standards:

To gauge whether your studio's monthly costs are higher than average, compare them with industry benchmarks. Although "average" varies dramatically based on your location and modality, most boutique fitness studios aim for a profit margin of twenty percent, although franchises tend to see about half that. Contact an industry consultant or fitness industry coach if you need clarification on your target benchmarks. They can give you valuable insights into areas where you might be overspending compared to similar businesses.

3. Evaluate Staffing Costs:

Personnel expenses often constitute a significant portion of a boutique fitness studio's budget. Review your payroll to ensure your staffing levels are right-sized for your studio's total members and ideal schedule. Are there any roles that could be combined or outsourced? Are there opportunities for part-time or freelance staff instead of full-time employees? Conducting a staffing analysis can help you find potential cost-saving areas without compromising service quality. Your total staff expense should be less than thirty percent of your total expenses. If you're in an urban city, that figure is higher; expect payroll to be about forty percent. 

4. Red Line Operating Costs:

Utility bills and operating expenses gradually increase, leading to inflated monthly costs. Perform an audit to identify areas where you can save on electricity, music streaming, or cooling costs. Are there any unnecessary expenses, such as subscriptions or services you rarely use? Negotiating with vendors or exploring alternative suppliers also helps you reduce operating costs.

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5. Check Your Schedule:

Determining if there are too many classes on your fitness studio's schedule is crucial for maintaining a well-balanced operation. First, closely examine class attendance reports over the last six months and record the following:

  • What was your average class attendance?
  • What was your average class utilization?

Look for patterns and classes that regularly have only a few participants, which could indicate that certain classes may not resonate with your clientele or that too many options are competing for attention. 

  • What was your total class revenue?
  • How many waitlisted spots were there for the quarter?
  • What do your highest-performing classes have in common?

Additionally, consider the availability and demand for specific class types. Offering a wide variety of classes can be beneficial, but if some classes have consistently low enrollment while others are always full, it may be a sign that the schedule needs adjustment. 

Compare your current revenue per class to your total revenue needed from above. If this calculation is in the red, it's time to reduce your class schedule or increase your prices. Ask your teachers for their observations on class trends and survey your clients to help you decide what classes to keep or cut. 

Ultimately, the goal is to balance offering variety and maintaining high attendance rates. By regularly evaluating class performance, seeking input from both instructors and members, and being willing to adapt the schedule when necessary, you can ensure that your boutique fitness studio's class offerings are aligned with your client's needs and preferences, leading to increased engagement and better margins.

6. Reevaluate Marketing Strategies:

Marketing is crucial for attracting new clients but can also be a significant expense. Analyze your marketing efforts to determine which campaigns yield the highest return on investment. To do so, you'll need to ask each new client how they heard about you and keep track of that data. You'll accumulate a report card of ROI on your marketing channels at the end of each month. For example, if most new clients say they found you on Google, focus more energy and budget on that marketing channel while eliminating or modifying less effective strategies. As a consultant, I often hear studios asking, "How did you hear about us?" but they forget to use that collected data to help them make smarter marketing decisions at the end of the month.

7. Use Your Resources:

If you find it challenging to identify areas for cost-cutting or need guidance on financial management, don't hesitate to seek advice from a financial advisor or business consultant with experience in the fitness industry. Their insight can help you make informed decisions to improve your studio's financial health.

Maintaining a successful boutique fitness studio requires diligent financial management. You can ensure that your monthly expenses are in check by conducting regular audits, benchmarking against industry standards, and optimizing classes. Reducing unnecessary expenditures leads to increased profitability and creates a stronger foundation for the growth and sustainability of your fitness studio for years to come. 

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About the author:

Niki Riga
Industry Expert
Limitless Studio

Niki has been a client, a studio owner, and a coach in boutique fitness for over a decade, and she can’t think of an industry she'd rather be in. Her favorite part about coaching and studio ownership are the same: she loves supporting clients as they push past their limits and achieve their goals. Niki became a coach because she was regularly asked, “how did you do that!?” by other studio owners who were drowning in the day-to-day responsibilities of business ownership but didn’t have the support to grow their studio to its potential. She created Limitless Studio to partner with owners who have a vision for their business and are ready to implement systems to build the studio of their dreams.