Tips for Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Fitness Brand 

Even before I signed on as a franchisee with TITLE Boxing Club, I knew creating a diverse and inclusive community within my clubs would be a top priority. I was initially introduced to the brand after my wife and I joined our local club as members as an alternative to marathon running. Immediately I recognized the diversity – I was surrounded by people from different backgrounds, socio-economics, regions, and so on. This is still one of my favorite things about TITLE to this day.
With my wife owning another fitness concept, I was comfortable with the business model and industry, but was really inspired to make my TITLE location especially inclusive for the community. I want our members to feel comfortable and supported in our clubs and constantly work toward building an environment that offers that through three main practices.

Diversify Your Portfolio to Reach a Broader Audience
Frequently seen in the fitness industry, consumers are attracted to various types of workouts. They often try out different types of exercises, from boxing to pilates to HIIT, depending on where they are at in their fitness journey. Capitalize on this wide range of interests by diversifying your business portfolio.
Expanding your business can be a great first step to ensure you connect with individuals from all walks of life. However, success isn’t solely based on the expansion of a business, but rather in an unwavering commitment to fostering an atmosphere where members feel motivated and genuinely supported in their fitness journeys. 
As a franchisee, I specifically cater to broad audiences with varying fitness goals, whether that is someone looking for stress relief by hitting a bag or a weekly cardio workout. Becoming a multi-unit franchisee gave me the opportunity to engage with a diverse range of members, each possessing distinct fitness goals and preferences. 

Empower Members by Meeting Their Specific Needs 
Providing members with tailored workouts and trainers that understand their goals is paramount in creating a comfortable environment. Having the ability to attract and retain a diverse membership base is near impossible if you don’t have services that cater to them. 
This can be as easy as providing modifications for certain exercises during group classes or ensuring you represent diverse communities with the trainers you hire. At TITLE Boxing Club, regardless of location, not all members are experienced boxers. In fact, many people walk into our doors with no prior boxing experience. It’s important to have approachable trainers that can break down the workouts for members with different levels of experience. 
You can also find success in partnering with other organizations to expand on the services you offer for members. One organization that TITLE has a longstanding relationship with is ‘Rock Steady Boxing’, which provides a non-contact boxing-based curriculum for people with Parkinson’s disease. This is one way we are able to attract new members, and empower the folks with more specific needs. 

Actively Position Yourself as a True Community Member 
Community involvement plays a pivotal role in creating a diverse and inclusive environment. Actively seek out ways to engage with your local community and all those who are a part of it. This will help you establish genuine connections and gain a better understanding of the individuals in the community you serve. 
A simple way to do this is by hosting regular events for current and potential members. This will naturally build bridges between people from different walks of life, and increase your brand’s visibility among consumers.
Through active involvement, we as owners of fitness concepts can better understand the diverse backgrounds, challenges, and goals of each member. This awareness will allow you to cater to a wide range of individuals, ensuring that everyone feels welcome and represented. 
Applying these tips in you club or studio will create a diverse environment where your members feel comfortable and supported in their fitness journeys.

Bill Lulis is a Chicago entrepreneur and owner of three TITLE boxing clubs in the Chicago-area. He has a vast background in the finance banking industry and decided to become a TITLE franchisee to fulfill his passion for fitness. As he continues to expand Bill is driven by his love for boxing, passion for fitness, and commitment to building a strong and supportive community. He is living proof that combining business acumen with a genuine passion can lead to fulfilling and successful ventures.