The fitness industry has always been large. In many ways, this is because barriers to entry are low. Not everyone can launch the next Planet Fitness or Virgin Active, but many, many entrepreneurs have opened small private gyms over the years, and franchises like CrossFit make entering the market even more accessible.
That’s why the truly successful business owners in this space need to bring something special to the table, which is exactly what Taryn Morris, founder of Raise the Barre, is doing.
Born during the Covid-19 pandemic, Raise the Barre is a fantastic example of proving there’s a market for an idea before launching a start-up.
Prior to the lockdowns, Taryn, who has a dance background, instructed two barre fitness classes a week at a studio in Cape Town. When the lockdowns hit, she soon had class members asking if they could continue the classes virtually.
Taryn is passionate about what she does and she loves helping people, and so saying yes was one of the easiest things she’s ever done in her life. Hosted on Instagram Live, the classes soon had hundreds of people joining them each week and Taryn realised what she had: the potential for a business that really spoke to her purpose in life.
Treating her Instagram Live sessions as a minimum viable product (MVP), Taryn began investing in an online studio platform and post-pandemic she opened a physical studio in Sandton as well. Today, Raise the Barre has members Cape Town to London and Hong Kong – and it just keeps growing.
These are Taryn’s top lessons:
Have a purpose. When you are passionate about something, you’ll naturally put in more effort and find a tribe who needs (and wants) what you’re offering. Taryn’s desire to help women feel better about themselves led her to being generous with her time – and that has led to a great business foundation.
Believe in what you’re selling. The attention to detail in Raise the Barre differentiates the business from many other competitors in the market. This is because Taryn and her team love what they do so much that they really go the extra mile, from how they design classes to the playlists they put together.
Deliver solutions that suit your clients’ lifestyles. Raise the Barre could be an online-only business or a studio focused business. Instead, live virtual classes are offered, as well as on-demand recorded classes and in-person classes. Clients don’t have to fit into Raising the Barre’s solutions – the solutions are designed to suit their needs of the moment.
You can support Taryn’s business by:
Watch the full video here: