When you have a business in a crowded market, creating a point of difference can be paramount to your success. And it may be much more simple than you think! There are specific actions you can take to stand out from the competition, and it has everything to do with building community.

With a big focus on creating communities, BFT has grown to over 230+ studios worldwide. We now have over 51K members and in addition to launching all over Australia, NZ, Singapore, the US and Canada, we are now opening studios in the UK. Whether your business is in fitness or finance, these tips will apply to membership-based businesses in any industry. 

Get involved with the community 

The best thing businesses can do is to get to know the locals. Everyone in the community is either a prospective customer or someone who can refer you to one. 

Customers are discerning and spoilt for choice but one thing that hasn’t changed is, people buy from people they know and like. Don’t underestimate the value of getting out into the community and building relationships, especially if your business is in a space like the fitness industry. Gyms can be intimidating to go into, especially for those who are joining for the first time or those who are returning after a long break from their fitness. Building relationships with your community can make walking into the gym less daunting if they know a familiar face. Some of the things you can do are, sponsor a local event, participate in markets or fairs, and host a welcoming party to launch your business. And you don’t have to limit community engagement to face-to-face. Look at finding locals and engage with them through Instagram or TikTok. If you need a place to start, look for hashtags that are popular within the community, and engage with those who use those hashtags. 

Encourage community in your space

Look at the most popular spots in your neighbourhood and observe what they have in common. It’s likely you’ll find a space that encourages a community spirit. Whether it’s an inviting communal space, seating that entices conversations, or just an inviting entryway, consider if someone would feel welcomed in your space and what you can do to encourage people to connect better.

Community culture starts at the top

Community vibes begin with the people that manage the space. For us, it’s our coaches. It’s so important for a business owner to foster a great team culture between staff, who are the people your members will see every day. This team culture will flow down to their membership base. 

Build relationships with your members 

While it’s important to grow your customer base, it’s always important to remember that your best customers will always be your existing ones. When your business is membership-based, building customer relationships creates brand loyalty. Not only will your customers maintain their membership but they may also send referrals from their friends and family. Ensure you have the best onboarding programme for new customers and have a system in place to check in with your existing customers. One simple way we do this is to partner new people with our most welcoming members – that way they have an awesome first experience and have already made a friend on day one!

One of BFT’s values is to ensure everyone who walks through its doors feels valued. We help them see progress and make it our top priority. 

When it comes to building a membership-based business, the community is key. It’s a long-term investment that will help you stand out from the competition and create longevity for your business.