Boutique fitness has become a source of lifestyle and fashion trends for exercise devotees everywhere. Successful studios leverage their beloved fitness brands to sell everything from iPhone cases to leggings to skin care products — and the clients keep buying.
Not only does selling branded products create a new revenue stream for your business, it also provides priceless promotion. But how do you know it’s the right time to launch your own product line? Here are five signs to look for.
1. YOU KNOW HOW PRODUCTS CAN SUPPORT YOUR BRAND LIFESTYLE.
If you are considering branded apparel, take note of what type of clothing your clients wear to and from your studio. For example, if you run a hot yoga studio, a chic sweat-wicking scarf might make be perfect for clients to throw on as they leave class. Find out what products your clients wish they had and could easily incorporate into their routine. You should also determine if products made from organic or sustainable materials are important to your brand message.
2. YOUR CLIENTS ARE FANATICS.
Before you consider if you are financially ready to tackle the costs of producing and promoting your products, you have to be confident that the market for your line exists. You can gauge interested by doing market research in your studio. Ask clients what products they would be interested in buying and what price points they can afford. Create a small line of promotional items and measure the buzz. Post pictures on social media. If people are asking where they can buy your products, you know that, with some additional marketing, you could have a retail success story ahead of you.
3. YOU FOUND A PARTNERSHIP THAT FITS.
You are a fitness expert and most likely will need a team of pros to handle manufacturing, distribution and marketing details. Whether you are considering selling branded yoga mats, scented candles or a line of signature athleisure wear, finding the right partner is key to success. And don’t just hook up with the first company that shows an interest in your brand. Interview and get to know several potential partners. Once you think you’ve met your match, call your lawyer. A healthy due diligence process will shed a much brighter light on your potential partnership and help give you clearer expectations about your responsibilities and financial obligations.
4. YOU HAVE TIME TO RUN A SECOND BUSINESS.
Managing your instructors, promoting your studio, servicing clients and handing the business end of your studio is an incredible responsibility. Having trusted and reliable employees to take on some of those responsibilities is key to your success as a retail brand. To launch a line of branded apparel or other fitness related products, you can expect to spend nearly 20 hours a week overseeing the sales, following trends, investing in new products and tracking inventory.
5. YOU HAVE SUFFICIENT SPACE FOR RETAIL
Creating an in-studio boutique requires a lot of space. If you want to make the space inviting to shop in, you can’t cram a corner with racks. Presentation is everything. While there are clever and attractive display solutions available, retail should be placed in a well-lit space that is central to clients walking in and walking out. Don’t forget to calculate all the storage space for your inventory.