In the U.S., an increasing number of people are seeking out the advantages of a gym membership. In fact, 39% of Americans have gym memberships of their own. Whether it’s for getting up and moving after a long day of desk work, relieving stress, or simply taking some quality “me” time, adults go to the gym to boost their physical and mental health.

If you are a fitness lover or just want to open an in-demand business, then you should consider looking into health and fitness franchises. Don’t know what kind to look into? You can start by researching a small gym franchise. We recommend boutique fitness franchises in particular. They can be more fun and inviting than the typical gym.

What Is Boutique Fitness?

boutique fitness location

Boutique fitness is physical activity that provides one or two specific types of exercise and takes place in a smaller area than your typical gym. When comparing studios for boutique fitness vs a gym, you’ll notice a difference in the range of equipment available. Boutique fitness studios usually offer a narrower selection of equipment due to their focus on specific types of workouts.

Some of the different types of boutique fitness classes out there center around:

  • Barre
  • Boxing
  • Cycling
  • Dancing
  • High interval intensity training (HIIT) workouts
  • Pilates
  • Rock climbing
  • Rowing
  • Yoga

Because boutique fitness classes are more specialized and require an instructor or trainer of some sort, they tend to charge two to four times more than other gyms.

How Big Is the Boutique Fitness Industry?

The boutique fitness industry is large and is expected to grow. According to Zippia, 42% of the 64.19 million active gym memberships in the U.S. are to boutique fitness studios. Between 2023 and 2025, the industry should grow by 17%. To put it into perspective, let’s take a look at how much the boutique fitness industry is worth.

The popularity of boutique fitness makes it a lucrative industry—as of 2021, it was worth $49.3 billion globally. Its compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is expected to be 10.6% between 2021 and 2028. A lot of this industry-wide growth can be attributed to the fact that most boutique fitness members have increased their spending in the industry over time. In fact, 72% of participants have increased the amount they spend on boutique fitness classes and products by 25% or more in the past two years. 

Not only do these statistics indicate that the number of memberships is on the rise, but the amount that each member spends is also on the rise. If you’re interested in a boutique gym franchise, there’s a good chance you’ll find success as long as you do your research and listen to the parent company’s recommendations.

Why Is Boutique Fitness So Popular?

Boutique fitness is so popular for several reasons:

  • It builds a sense of community. In a class style, everyone participating will arrive and leave at about the same times. That means participants have time to socialize with classmates before and after workouts. Depending on the boutique fitness studio, participants may even have partner exercises where they can interact with others during class. This engagement gives people the opportunity to connect and build friendships with other members.
  • People can do what they enjoy. Boutique fitness studios are extremely niche in their offerings. Individuals can find a hobby or workout style that works best for them and then do that regularly for their physical activity.
  • Participants receive guidance in their workout. Have you ever been to a traditional-style gym and not known what to do or where to start? Participants at a boutique fitness studio don’t have to worry about that. Trained instructors lead them through workouts so that they don’t need to come up with their own. This guidance is also helpful for those trying a new movement or exercise because the instructor can correct form as needed to promote safety and the best possible results.
  • There’s flexibility with membership. Many boutique fitness studios offer flexible payment plans. For example, people may be able to pay per individual class, per month, or per number of classes. Members who attend class regularly may find more cost savings in a monthly or annual membership, while those who attend less frequently may find it more affordable to pay per class.
  • It’s more efficient than going to the gym. Depending on how busy a traditional gym is on a particular day or at a particular time, it might be difficult for a member to get a good workout in. The machines or equipment they want to use may not be available when they need it. Members of a boutique fitness studio, on the other hand, typically have to sign up for classes beforehand, so they can rest assured that they will have access to all the equipment they need when they need it.
  • The studios are cleaner than other gyms. Because boutique fitness studios are smaller, there’s less foot traffic—and fewer people using the equipment. With designated class times, too, employees have more time to clean equipment before more members arrive.
  • Members get the accountability they need to reach their goals. Because boutique fitness studios build community, they also build a sense of accountability among members. Other members as well as instructors can hold individuals to their goals and encourage them to keep pushing themselves during each class.

All these reasons that people are attracted to these types of gyms make it a great time to start a boutique fitness franchise of your own.

Are Boutique Gyms Profitable?

Yes, boutique gyms can be profitable—if run well and located in an area where the population wants them. The typical profit margin in the industry is 20-40% compared to the 5-8% in the fast food industry and the 10-28% in the cleaning services industry, so the future of a boutique fitness franchise owner is bright. According to ZipRecruiter, the salary for a fitness studio owner in the U.S. ranges from $32,500-$165,000, but the average is $99,629. These numbers will vary depending on your franchise’s location as well as demand in your area.

What Are the Benefits of Boutique Gym Ownership?

In addition to the industry’s size and profitability, other benefits of investing in a gym franchise of this style include:

  • Member retention and loyalty. A strong sense of community not only attracts members to boutique gyms, but also fosters longer membership retention by providing a supportive and encouraging environment. If your customers retain their memberships, you’ll earn more profits. To understand how important retention is in a gym atmosphere, here’s a good stat for you: traditional gyms typically need to have 1,000 members to break even, while boutique gyms typically only have to recruit a few hundred.
  • Lower overhead and investment costs. Because boutique gyms are smaller than box gyms and require less equipment, it costs less to buy supplies and pay rent. Boutique gym owners can turn a higher profit and invest that money back into the business to improve the overall experience for their customers.
  • Multiple revenue streams. Like with other gyms, boutique gyms give you several ways to bring in money. In addition to membership fees, you can also sell merchandise—and even snacks and drinks—to earn additional income.

In addition to the benefits of owning your own boutique gym, there are also several reasons to buy a franchise instead of starting your own business.

What Are the Benefits of Franchising a Boutique Gym?

The benefits of franchising a boutique gym include:

  • Drawing from an established customer base. Parent companies have already put in most of the work to establish their brand and get their name out there. That means you won’t have to worry about brand awareness too much and can hit the ground running once you open your business.
  • Having a business plan and marketing materials to use. Many franchisors will provide franchisees with a business plan to follow and marketing materials to use. This will guide you in running your business so you don’t have to waste time with trial and error trying to figure out what to do. The franchisor will usually also provide you with information on where and what kind of equipment to buy for your gym.
  • Receiving training. Parent companies want to see you succeed. After all, your bottom line affects their bottom line, too. That’s why they will often provide franchise owners (and sometimes even location employees) with training to teach them best practices and will even run them through the workouts that owners will offer to customers.
  • Getting help when you need it. If you have questions or need advice on how to run your business, the franchisor is there to help.
  • Obtaining a loan more easily. When you apply for a loan for your franchise, you have a franchise-worth of success to include in the application. Lenders will have more confidence supplying money to a proven business strategy than a brand new business.

What Are Some of the Top Boutique Fitness Brands Today?

According to Entrepreneur, these are some of the top boutique fitness franchises of 2022:

  1. F45 Training: This franchise combines interval cardio and strength training into 45-minute class sessions. Members train as a team to burn fat and build muscle. No workout will be exactly the same. The initial investment for this franchise is typically between $313K-$485K.
  2. Burn Boot Camp: This franchise provides members with 45-minute workouts that include both cardio and strength training. Each workout will target a different muscle group throughout the week. The initial investment for this franchise is typically between $182K-$448K.
  3. Club Pilates: This franchise boasts of giving members the workout without the hurt. Classes in these boutique fitness studios work to build strength, mobility, and stability. The initial investment for this franchise is typically between $179K-$368K.
  4. The Exercise Coach: This franchise provides members with 20-minute workouts twice a week. These classes take place either in partners or small groups. The initial investment for this franchise is typically between $130K-$352K.
  5. Pure Barre: This franchise offers members low-impact, full-body workouts consisting of moves taken from pilates, ballet, and yoga. The initial investment for this franchise is typically between $202K-$462K.
  6. 30 Minute Hit: This franchise combines boxing, kickboxing, core training, and self-defense moves into 30-minute workouts. The classes are built for women. The initial investment for this franchise is typically between $109K-$249K.
  7. SPENGA: This franchise borrows moves from spin, yoga, and strength training to build members’ strength, flexibility, and endurance in 60-minute sessions. The initial investment for this franchise is typically between $289K-$849K.

To find more boutique fitness franchise opportunities like these, use Franchise Opportunities.

Find Boutique Fitness Franchises for Sale at Franchise Opportunities

Franchise Opportunities is the place to go if you want to find a franchise that’s right for you. On our site, you can filter opportunities based on:

  • Investment level
  • State
  • Industry

For more ideas on which boutique fitness franchises to consider, here’s a list of five of the most affordable ones on our site.

  1. 9Round™ Kickboxing Circuit Fitness: This franchise splits 30-minute workouts into nine rounds of different exercises. It stands apart from other boutique fitness studios because there is no set class time; you can start at whatever time you want! The minimum cash required for this franchise is $50K.
  2. Body20: This franchise gives members electro-muscle stimulation (EMS) suits to use during their 20-minute training sessions to cut down on the amount of time it takes to see results—no heavy weights required! Each session is one-on-one with a personal trainer. The minimum cash required for this franchise is $65K.
  3. Upgrade Labs: This franchise uses adaptive technology and biohacking to accelerate the time it takes for members to see improvements in their strength, cardio, and oxygen levels. They also offer recovery services, such as immune system strengthening and detoxification, to improve your overall health. The minimum cash required for this franchise is $65K.
  4. StarCycle: This franchise provides members with a full-body workout and a 360°-focus on each member. Classes are 45 minutes of a dance party on a bike. The minimum cash required for this franchise is $80K.
  5. YogaSix: This franchise is the largest yoga branded franchise in the world. It takes away the intimidation that may come with trying yoga for the first time. The minimum cash required for this franchise is $100K.

See even more fitness franchises by clicking here.

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