McDonald's spent $300 million recently on a tech acquisition, Spotify has purchased three podcast companies, and even warehouses are joining in on the fun by adding "tech-like" amenities to stay ahead of the competition.
While some industries have to move at a rapid pace to even tread water, some industries don't move as fast. One of those is the fitness industry. The fitness industry has typically been such that you head to a brick and mortar location to exercise by yourself or in a group class.
In fact, more than 71.5 million consumers used U.S. health clubs in 2018 according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. The number of individual members totaled 62.5 million, up 2.6 percent from 60.9 million in 2017.
However, there's another key piece to the equation. While physical health club growth was 2.6 percent, that was a drop compared to the previous year in 2017 which saw a 6 percent rise in growth.
One of the big reasons for this drop is due to the rise of virtual fitness classes and individuals working out at home as pointed out in a recent Wall Street Journal column.
While fitness programs such as Peloton and Mirror are trendy, they're also useful, motivating, and address two valuable areas that entrepreneurs must continually take stock of to stay relevant in the future.
Here's how you can take a page out of a fitness disruptor's playbook and do the same in your industry, no matter which it is.
1. Optimize time and the customer experience.
Driving to the gym in traffic, waiting on machines, showering, and then heading back to work is time-consuming.
Time is an expensive currency. One good thing the virtual fitness wave has done is to remove a lot of the tedious and inconvenience around the gym experience.
As someone who used to operate in the fitness brick and mortar space, I noticed that the biggest issue wasn't getting people to sign up for memberships. But instead, it was membership churn as around 40 percent of new club members lapsed within the year often due to various inconveniences (scheduling conflicts being one).
While you may not be in the fitness industry, the core principles addressed can apply to your business.
For example, how can you further smooth out the process of using your product while keeping it highly convenient and time-efficient?
As someone who predominately operates in a one-to-one service segment, I utilized this idea by incorporating more of a concierge high touch approach where the individual solely has to show up and execute on the plan--everything else is taken care of.
2. Leverage technology for maximum effectiveness.
One of the big reasons for the success of Flywheel and other boutique gyms is the social component and ability to be guided by a professionally trained instructor.
The social component brings along accountability, which is beneficial since humans tend to do better when they have some sort of moral support.
Virtual fitness programs such as Peloton and BeachBody are effective because they're providing the option for people to train at home while staying connected to professional trainers. Also, virtual programs are succeeding because they can still bring along accountability and support by creating groups where members share their progress along their journey.
How can you apply this to your business?
Look for gaps that exist within your particular industry. On an overly simplified level, Peloton combined Skype, spinning, and having access to an expert to create a beneficial service.
As you look to grow in the future, sometimes all it takes is to marry today's technologies with an issue in need of a massive facelift.