John, I feel we need an official organization of Cycling Studio Owners + an annual conference where we can all meet and learn from each other.
I've heard this dozens of times from Studio Owners, including this past IHRSA and last month at our Full Psycle/PRO PIQ training in Chicago.
That's a great idea, I would say repeatedly, followed by; So who's going to organize it?
Well… you are John – always said with a big smile 🙂
There's a simple sales technique that's called; If I could… would you? The purpose of this exchange is to confirm if a person's question (do you have this in blue?) is conveying actual interest. Your open ended response is designed to understand more, keep the conversation going and possibly gain an early commitment (if I could get you one in blue, would you purchase one today?).
An example of using this at your studio:
Customer question; do you offer a “beginners” class for new riders?
Your response; If we could offer a “beginners” class… would you come?
Notice how responding directly; yes, we have a beginners class, doesn't have the same effect? That response ends the conversation and now you're left waiting for your customer to offer more.
An alternate response to this (if you have an existing beginners class) might be; yes we do – Wednesdays at 9:00. If we have an open bike, can I count on you being here to ride it?
So back to the original question:
If we organized a meeting for Cycling Studio Owners…
…would you join us?
Now I understand that isn't nearly enough information to say Yes, or No. You'd need more detail. This would be open to Owners, Managers and prospective fitness entrepreneurs. We have some early interest from a number of potential sponsors and have scouted a possible location. Here's what we've found:
- At an upscale hotel in Stamford, Connecticut > very close to NYC and LaGuardia airport – the east coast has the highest concentration of boutique studios.
- Rooms are only ~$110.00 a night.
- We're thinking about meeting over two days, during the third week in August > that dead time, after youth sports and long before Labor Day.
Having hosted two ICI/PRO conferences, I know that events like this are a huge undertaking and will be very, very expensive. Beyond your tentative Yes/No, I probably will/won't participate, I have a bunch of additional questions for you:
- What are the best days of the week for this?
- What should the format be?
- What would you like to learn, see, experience?
- Does it make sense to establish a formal Studio Owners organization?
I've created this survey to collect your responses.
If, or how, we proceed will depend on what you tell us!
John is a member on the AFS (Association of Fitness Studios) Advisory Council.
Holding certifications from; Schwinn, Heart Zones, Team ICG and Life Time Fitness, John's held regularly scheduled cycling classes between 1998 and 2015 when he moved to Florida.
When the weather permits, you'll find him riding and leading outdoor groups by himself or with his Tandem partner (wife) Amy.