How Industry Reports Help You Run a Better Fitness Business

6 min read


Woman with hair in bun using laptop next to brick wall

Woman with hair in bun using laptop next to brick wall

Quick question … who taught you how to run your boutique fitness business?

Did you:

  • Take an entrepreneurship class?
  • Get a business degree?
  • Learn from a family member?
  • Go in on a business with a friend?
  • Teach yourself how to be a business owner?

These are all viable paths to fitness business ownership. And we’re here to remind you that you can achieve success no matter your background, even if it feels like you’re falling behind or making mistakes.

Why Industry Reports Matter

Blue pen pointing at report

Because there are so many different approaches to business ownership, especially within the boutique fitness industry, every owner has their knowledge gaps.

That’s why it’s important for you to broaden your focus and explore what’s happening in the larger fitness community from time to time.

Industry Reports Are a Fitness Business Owner’s Best Friend

Let’s say you do want to improve your boutique fitness business.

But you don’t know what changes to make. And you don’t want to throw money at the wrong business solution and hope for the best.

What’s the best way to get those business insights?

Ask other owners what they’re doing.

(Kind of.)

You could spend hours upon hours:

But when you want specific answers, sometimes it’s easier (and more efficient) to read an existing fitness industry report from an organization that you trust.

Tips for Reading Fitness Industry Reports

Pretty much any person or company can create an industry report. So if you’re going to base your business decisions on this report, you’ll want to make sure the data you’re reading is legitimate.

Here’s what we recommend when evaluating the validity of a fitness industry report. 

Tip #1: Try to find recent data

Generally speaking, you’re only going to want industry data from the past 1-3 years. Just think about how irrelevant pre-pandemic data is to your fitness business right now. So much has changed the boutique fitness landscape, including the rise in popularity of virtual classes, relaxation-focused exercises, and smaller class sizes.

Tip #2: Look at the survey sample size

The larger the sample size, the more generalizable the report findings are. You don’t want to make crucial business decisions based on survey responses from 50 small fitness businesses.

Their responses may be interesting, but the data simply isn’t strong enough.

Tip #3: Investigate the scope of the survey 

What location are the survey participants from? What types of fitness businesses have been surveyed?

A survey targeting martial arts schools in the Northeastern United States is going to be far less helpful to you than one that got responses from boutique fitness business owners from multiple countries. (Unless you run a taekwondo school in Massachusetts, of course.)

Where Can I Find Boutique Fitness Industry Data?

OK, so we’ve got good news and bad news.

First, the bad news: There isn’t a lot of robust data out there for the boutique fitness industry.

Larger fitness clubs have the IHRSA reports, while small fitness businesses are limited to more sporadic data. However, we do recommend The State of the Fitness Industry 2021 from Two-Brain Business. (We participated in this one!)

Notably, Athletech has also recently created a new fitness industry report, The State of Fitness 2022: Insider’s Outlook.

Now, the good news: Zen Planner has some existing industry data to offer you, and we’re looking to collect more.

Boutique Fitness Industry Reports About Pandemic Recovery

Our parent company, Daxko, has conducted an ongoing Insights x Impact Report since the pandemic began to give you insights into how the fitness industry is recovering.

These reports cover the boutique, club, and nonprofit markets. We highly recommend looking through the boutique fitness data and exploring our Re-Opening Playbook for business recovery resources.

The 2022 Boutique Fitness Benchmark Report Survey

Zen Planner has also conducted several Benchmark Reports that share information specific to the boutique fitness industry.

We took a brief pause after our 2019 report in order to collect Insights x Impact Report data that was more specific to the pandemic. But we are now reviving our existing Boutique Fitness Benchmark Reports and expanding upon them with even more questions with extra help from our companion solutions, UpLaunch and SugarWOD.

Participate in the Benchmark Report Survey

Take our 2022 Benchmark Report survey: Zen Planner, UpLaunch, and SugarWOD

Want to:

  • Help your fellow business owners?
  • See how your gym, school, or studio stacks up against the competition?
  • Know what metrics you should be measuring to evaluate your level of success?
  • Be entered to win a $50 Visa gift card?*

Consider participating in the 2022 Boutique Fitness Benchmark Report survey. We’re collecting fitness industry data so you can run a better business.

Thanks so much for taking the time to help out! 

*Every participant who fully completes their Boutique Fitness Benchmark Report survey by April 15, 2022, will be entered for a chance to win one of twenty $50 Visa gift cards.

About the Author: Kelli Sweeting

I'm Coach Kelli, a devoted CrossFit gym owner with 15 years of experience managing my facility, along with owning yoga studios and wellness centers. Beyond the fitness world, I have a passion for cooking, cherish moments with my children and family, and find joy in spending time outside. Having experienced the highs and lows, I'm dedicated to leveraging my expertise to help you grow and succeed on your fitness journey.