I'm not going to lie. I haven't worked out in ages. And don't tell anyone, but I also started a low carb diet. Call it low-carb, call it Keto, I don't care. It might be trendy, but what I do know is that it works.
So, when I heard of a new concept fitness establishment combining three of the latest workout trends all into one, I had to check it out. Are they relying on the trendiness of three trends, or are they building something for long-term success?
The workout studio is called Studio Three which is aptly named because it offers high-intensity interval training, cycling and yoga all in one location. You can either subscribe to one workout or subscribe to all three.
I sat down with co-founder, David Blitz to learn more about what advice he can give to other entrepreneurs who are looking to create a new concept, especially with those who want to open a physical location.
Get the sign up before you build anything.
"The first thing we did, was put a massive sign with our logo on it where the construction site was. We knew we couldn't wait until the building was finished before we started building our brand, " says Blitz.
This is a common mistake I see startups make. They think they need a full functioning app or website before they can start talking about what they are building. This is the same for physical businesses.
If you have a tough time talking about something before it's fully built, then you are missing out on a lot of opportunities. You've missed out on getting feedback about your business before it officially launches and you'll lose a lot of momentum.
I've also heard feedback from a lot of people that they are worried someone is going to steal their idea. You mean, someone is going to steal your idea, and then dedicate the next four years of their life trying to convince others their product is the next best thing? It's a lot of work to build something even if the idea is the greatest idea alive.
Don't worry about anyone stealing your idea.
Get the sign up. Build buzz immediately and get feedback.
Build brick by brick.
This might be the Chicago in me talking, but I'm a big believer in building a business one step at a time. If I take outside funding, it must really add value to what I'm building and not just a way to hire more people.
"It's the only way we know how," said Blitz. "Of course, we have a vision for what this can become, but we're focused on building the best experience we can one brick at a time."
If Uber built this business, they would probably have 100 locations and losing a million dollars a day, and then considered that to be growth. I prefer one brick at a time.
If you're building a product, whether it's digital or physical, remember to build brick by brick. The more you can learn as you go, the better off you are.
It's ok to dream big, but you must act small. Make iterative improvements.
The best marketing strategy? Hire the best of the best
One of my marketing mentors, Seth Godin, said something great that I'll never forget: "Everyone works for the marketing department. If you think it's only the marketing teams responsibility, then you're doing something wrong."
And as someone who has run marketing teams for the past five years, I can relate to this quote wholeheartedly.
What Studio Three did great when building the buzz is to first focus on hiring nothing but the best fitness instructors in Chicago.
This strategy worked for two reasons:
- It allowed the buzz to build from the fitness instructors who were well-respected and connected in the fitness world.
- Customers have a better experience and are more likely to not only come back, but to also tell their friends.
Can't beat that marketing strategy.
What I've learned from marketing is that sometimes the marketing team is absolutely useless if the product isn't great. Marketing teams are often left on silo's to go ahead and "do marketing" but they are doing it with their hands tied behind their back. It's a team effort starting with the CEO.
If you're opening up a physical location, then the people who work for you and interface with your customers are essentially in charge of marketing. One bad experience will lead to a nasty Yelp review, which will then diminish the ability for you to market your business.
See how that works?
Studio 3 is following their own advice as they open up a new location Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. They are going to hire the best of the best, in the best location, and build it one brick at a.time.