Four Tips for Embracing Wellness in your Fitness Business
Today's consumers aren't just looking for places to workout. Many are now focused on a larger imperative, namely, wellness. With the global wellness trend growing at historic rates, fitness businesses which respond to changing demands will position themselves to come out ahead. Here’s a closer look at the wellness trend, along with four tips for incorporating wellness-forward initiatives into your fitness business strategies.
The Wellness Imperative
The wellness industry spiked by 12.8 percent between 2015 and 2017, according to data from the Global Wellness Institute (GWI). It’s now a staggering $4.2 trillion global industry accounting for more than half of the total global health expenditures. Growth in this industry is also outpacing global economic growth by nearly two times the rate.
This begs the question, what aspects fall under the “wellness” heading? The GWI includes mind-body alongside wellness, as well as traditional and complementary medicine; preventative and personalized medicine and public health; healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss; wellness real estate; workplace wellness; wellness tourism; spa facilities; thermal/mineral springs, and personal care, beauty, and anti-aging.
GWI senior research fellow Katherine Johnston of the phenomenon says of the phenomenon:
“Once upon a time, our contact with wellness was occasional: we went to the gym or got a massage. But this is changing fast: a wellness mindset is starting to permeate the global consumer consciousness, affecting people’s daily decision-making -- whether food purchases, a focus on mental wellness and reducing stress, incorporating movement into daily life, environmental consciousness, or their yearning for connection and happiness.”
Four Ways to Get In on the Wellness Action
Wellness comprises a breadth and depth of markets, some of which may be outside the realm of feasible for your fitness business. However, others may not only be possible but are also filled with potential when it comes to building your business. Consider the following tips.
1. Employ experts.
Just because you don’t currently employ any credited wellness professionals doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t. Adding qualified wellness professions to your team can help amplify your offerings, which can boost member retention and recruitment.
2. Outsource to a boutique.
You don’t have to expand into another segment of the wellness market to benefit from it. You don’t even have to expand your team if now isn’t the right time. Instead, many fitness businesses are renting out space within their facilities to boutique wellness studios. From mind-body programming to nutrition, there are many different ways to get new members in the door while keeping current members coming back.
3. Set up partnerships.
Don’t have space or resources to add to your permanent on-site programming? Partner with external organizations with expertise in wellness areas instead. For example, invite a medical professional from a local hospital to lead a seminar or conduct health screenings. This is a win-win for you and your new partner.
4. Consider worksite wellness.
As more companies seek to promote wellness among their employees, working with local fitness businesses is a natural solution. Gyms can offer a number of programs and services, including on- and off-site group exercise classes, access to professional expertise, and special pricing.
Concludes Johnston: “Wellness, for more people, is evolving from rarely to daily, from episodic to essential, from a luxury to a dominant lifestyle value. And that profound shift is driving powerful growth.” For today’s forward-thinking fitness businesses the message is clear. Take steps to leverage the wellness trend into business benefits or risk missing out and falling behind.
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