About the author:

Alen Debensason

Alen Debensason

B.A in Computer Science and Economics. Alen is leading Arbox strategy, collaboration with partners, creating global connections and expand the company worldwide.

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The Fitness Business as a Startup

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In one of my previous posts, I wrote about the connection between sports and fitness businesses and how we can learn from professional athletes and implement it in our daily business lives. We know and appreciate the sports businesses but we can’t really ignore the fact that the most growing businesses nowadays are the tech businesses that started mostly as small startups and became multi-billion dollar companies. As a startup founder and executive, I would like to provide some insights on how you can benefit from the experience gained in tech companies. 

Big Risk – Big Opportunity

If there’s something that definitely mutual to young startups and new fitness businesses it is the risk involved in that. While the origin of risk in fitness businesses is mostly the awful statistics of these businesses’ survival (mostly because of bad management), in tech companies the main risk is mostly the ability of the business to implement their technology successfully, with a solid business plan. There’s a positive way to look at that – where there’s a big risk, mostly there’s a big opportunity. The thing that we can take as a practical lesson from that is that our fitness businesses’ biggest challenge is the risk management we do, like any startup. 

Subscriptions

Many startup companies (altough not all of them) work in a similar way like gyms and fitness businesses. They expect people or companies to buy packages, with different features and options and pay for them on a monthly basis. Also, these companies mostly focus on creating a lot of up-sales and cross-sales beyond the basic package. It’s just like your gym! Why should we learn from the startup companies? They analyze these numbers obsessively because they understand that this is the essence of their business. That’s something gym owners hardly do and they should. Numbers like churn rate, Life Time Value, CAC, etc are the basic and you should know yours. 

Staff

Every startup starts with a small founding team that believe they can do something that nobody else can do well as they do it. At first, like in your gym, the small team does everything by themselves but when things getting bigger, they mostly understand they need professionals for any aspect of their business – marketing, technology, sales, finance, etc. Actually, as in the fitness business – staff building, managing and making decisions should be the main thing the owners do – and that’s a great lesson.

Branding

We live in a world where almost everything was already done by somebody – that’s the truth. 

I recommend reading the book “Purple Cow” by Seth Goddin about it. What startups companies understand very early is that a big part of what they do is positioning themselves in the market and what difference do you have as a gym owner? If you do CrossFit or Yoga, probably there are several more places in the same street.. What will make people come to you instead of the next one? That’s something you should emphasize on. 

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