Business plan Essay

II. Introduction Description of the Business Track Fitness is a high-end boutique fitness club located in Forest Hill, Toronto. With a passion of advocating for a healthy lifestyle in the local neighborhood, Larry Track - who has been in the fitness business for over 20 years - opened Track Fitness. At the start of his career, Track provided private training services to clients in their homes. In 2005, as Track began to gain a growing list of clients, he expanded his thriving business to the current storefront in a neighborhood where the majority of his clients live. Today, Track Fitness has undergone three major expansions and now has three-floors, covers over 10",000 square feet, and holds a retail boutique and six distinct exercise studios. To accommodate the rising demand for Track’s personal training service, Track Fitness has a one-on-one training studio built exclusively for those clients. This studio locates on its own floor, has an exclusive changing area and shower, and provides higher-end equipment. Track has improved his facilities while promising to always maintain his professional and personalized service. As a number of Track Fitness’s clients described, the club is undoubtedly “very clean”, “spacious”, “adequate with equipment”, and “very professional”. What is noteworthy is that Track Fitness is one of the few clubs that has permission from Lululemon Athletica, one of North America’s leading fitness apparel brands, to add its own logo on the Lululemon Athletica merchandise it sells. According to Track, Track Fitness has a built a great business relationship with Lululemon Athletica through years of collaboration. Moreover, Track Fitness is collaborating with Greenhouse Juice, a juice bar that encourages healthy living, in order to promote a healthy lifestyle for individuals and advocate for a greener community. In the past years, Track Fitness has recruited more than fifteen reputed trainers, including former athletes. These trainers have many dedicated clients of their own and therefore brought in client flow for the business. As well, Track Fitness has expanded its range of services to increase diversity in their service and to attract clients of different levels and interest. Track now offers more than ten types of various classes and personal training programs, such as Circuit 60, boxing, and boot camps. Description of the Community (Economic, Geographic, Demographic, and Socioeconomic) Track Fitness does not have a specific target customer group, but their customer base shows similar economic, geographic, demographic, and socioeconomic characteristics. For the purpose of this study, the community of Toronto, Canada, specifically the Forest Hill neighborhood where Track Fitness sits, is examined. Economic Factors The most populous city in Canada and the Provincial Capital of Ontario, Toronto is a large and growing market for various businesses and has a prosperous and stable economy. Moreover, Toronto is an important financial hub for Ontario and Canada as it contributes to the Canadian economy at 20% of national GDP. Forest Hill, where the majority of Track Fitness’s customers reside, is one of the most affluent and wealthiest neighborhoods in Toronto. According to the census data from Statistics Canada, compared to the $40",704 average income in Toronto’s Census Metropolitan Area, the income for all households in Forest Hill averages $101",631. Geographic Factors Approximately 90% of the customers and visitors of Track Fitness come from the city of Toronto, and specifically Forest Hill South, where the store is located. The city of Toronto is one of the cities in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). It is the provincial capital of Ontario and is the is the most populous city in Canada and the fourth most populous city in North America. The Forest Hill neighborhood is located in the north of Downtown Toronto along with other neighborhoods such as The Kingsway, Rosedale, and The Bridle Path. Demographic According to Statistics Canada, the estimated population of the city of Toronto is approximately 2.8 million, and the metropolitan region GTA has a population of 5.9 million. Based on the data collected in the 2006 census, 49.9% of the Toronto population was foreign-born, making Toronto one of the most culturally diverse city in the World. In 2006, 17.5% of the population was 14 years old and under, and 13.6% was 65 years old and over. In Toronto, the female population significantly outnumbers the male with 52% women and 48% men. Forest Hill has a population of approximately 72 thousand, and Forest Hill South has a population of 11 thousand. As of 2011, the top five ethnic and cultural groups of Forest Hill South are Jewish, Polish, English, Canadian, and Irish. Socioeconomic Living in one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in Toronto, the general population of Forest Hill South are highly-educated and have an above-average income. According to the 2011 census, 69.3% of the population has a Bachelor’s degree or higher, and 46.6% is full-time workers, significantly higher than the Toronto’s average. Compared to Toronto’s median family income of $83",000, Forest Hill South has an median family income of $183",000. Overview of the Business’s Current Corporate Social Responsibility The core value and mission of Track Fitness is are promote a healthy lifestyle in the local community and to provide a healthy zone for people who desire. At the early stage of Track Fitness’s development, with advice from early customers and visitors, the owner Larry Track decided to adjust its opening hours to satisfy the busy community. Today, Track Fitness opens at 5:30 in the morning to provide service to those who don’t have time to exercise during the day. Moreover, Track Fitness is collaborating with the healthy juice bar Greenhouse Juice to satisfy any needs related to the customer’s health. Track Fitness has also provided lots of help to students in the neighborhood. For example, it collaborates with students for their school or personal projects and helps plan related events. Currently, Track Fitness fulfills their corporate social responsibility mainly by donating classes to charities during their silent auctions annually. For each donation, Track provides a bundle of five classes that worth more than $100. Up to today, Track Fitness has donated $10",000 in total to more than 35 charities of various types, for example, rehabilitation institutes. III. RESEARCH METHODS USED IN THE STUDY A. Description and rationale of research methodologies selected to conduct the research study Primary Research Research Method: Interview and Visit at Track Fitness Description: An interview with the owner of Track Fitness, Larry Track, was performed on October 25th, 2018. The interview lasted for approximately 30 minutes during an off-peak hour of the business (at around 4 pm) where the customer flow is at its lowest. Questions regarding the company’s values, visions, and current operational status were discussed during the meeting. Track Fitness sits within the Forest Hill area, which is classified as a middle-upper class neighborhood located in Midtown Toronto. During the visit, reception areas and the facilities on the first floor of the business was thoroughly observed and noted. Rationale: It was essential that an interview with Larry Track was performed since he is the founder and owner of the company Track Fitness. The interview provided critical information about the company’s values, in which the proposal must embody. The interviews also helped with clarifying questions regarding the company’s involvement in the local community, the specific types of promotion currently in play, and Track Fitness’s reputation within the industry. Research Method: Survey in Track Fitness Description: Clients at the Track Fitness were surveyed either before or after their morning training session on December 19th, 2018. Each client was asked six questions which are all specifically tailored to provide information regarding their clients’ demographics, association with Track Fitness, and opinions toward Track supporting a social local cause. Over thirty responses were gathered. For a complete list of questions see Figure 1.1: Figure 1.1 1. What is your gender? 4. How often do you train at Track Fitness? 2. What age group do you fall under? 5. Which type of social cause should Track Fitness support? 3. Why did you choose Track Fitness? 6. Would you purchase store merchandises if the sales contribute to a good cause? Rationale: The survey was conducted during the peak hour of Track Fitness. According to Larry Track, weekday mornings is the time where the working population has time to exercise and therefore most likely for them to come in and train. Since clients tend to visit Track Fitness multiple times a week, the survey was only conducted once to avoid repeated data collection. This survey gave insight on the key social cause issues which clients were attracted to, as well, it provides an answer on whether the general idea of supporting social causes is attractive for the clients. Secondary Research Research Method: Online Articles and Reviews Description: Track Fitness has been interviewed and reported in more than 20 local and national news articles. These articles are published in well known presses including The Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, and Metro News. Most of the articles in relation with Track Fitness promotes a healthy lifestyle, lists tips for fitness, answers questions as an expert in the field, and promotes the gym to a bigger audience. Rationale: With an easy access to these articles right through Track Fitness’s main website, people are likely to visit features and reviews of Track Fitness when they consider joining the gym. As well, since it is highly likely that a wide audience base is reached via promotional public press medias, reviewing articles published online will provide an insight into what stance Track Fitness takes on certain topics, what type of reputation Track Fitness has, and other information that make up the full image of the business in the public eyes. B. Process used to conduct the selected research methods Research Method: Interview and Visit at Track Fitness 1. Questions were prepared to address the visions and values of the company. 2. A meeting was scheduled to be during an off-peak hour of the business 3. Interview with founder Larry Track was performed and notes were taken. 4. The storefront of Track Fitness was visited and observed. Research Method: Survey in Track Fitness 1. Suggested time to visit for a survey was confirm by owner of business, Larry Track. 2. Six questions were prepared before hand and printed on to halves of full sized A4 paper. 3. Each respondent was approached personally and asked to fill out the survey 4. Thirty responses were recorded and later transferred into graph form for analysis. Research Method: Online Articles and Reviews 1. Thorough research of all available sources online that ties to Track Fitness. 2. Notes were recorded for the types of media published and types of topic discussed. 3. Notes are analyzed by grouping and comparison. IV. Findings and Conclusions of the Study A. Findings of the Research Study Primary Research From the conducted interview with the owner of Track Fitness Larry Track, Jella Consulting gained an initial idea of the company’s corporate identity as well as customer behavior. It was stated by Track that the main mission of the company is to provide neighborhood residents a convenient place where they can make efforts to their goals regarding to health and wellbeing. Track felt that it is critical to promote a healthy lifestyle to a neighborhood with a busy lifestyle and distractions such as unhealthy restaurants. Hence, Track rented the neighbouring storefront to Greenhouse Juice, which has the same value. Track also stated that price is not the main concern for his current customers, and therefore he aims to provide the best and most professional service for its relatively high price. In addition, Track mentions that Track Fitness does not employ large-scaled promotional activities and obtains loyal customers through word of mouth marketing. Track also provided insights in regards to customer behaviors. It was claimed that the peak hours of Track Fitness is early in the morning, at approximately 6:30 am, and late in the evening. It was also said that a large portion of the current customers is very busy during the day and has already developed a healthy habit of regular exercising. According to Track as well as the survey, also said that most of the customers train at Track Fitness repeatedly and frequently: more than 65% train more than twice a week. From the visit, it was also observed that Track aims to package and present Track Fitness as a professional and high-end store that creates a friendly and engaging atmosphere. The organization and decoration of the store are minimalistic, and the employees at the reception area appear to be very enthusiastic. The gym equipment has a variety and is professionally and well maintained. The resting, changing, and shower areas are all spacious and clean. In the survey for a randomly chosen sample of customers, it was discovered that the majority of the customers chose Track Fitness for the reason of its convenient location and eminent reputation. As mentioned in the interview with Track, around 64% of the current customers were referred by friends or were attracted by the trainer reputation. (Figure 2) (Figure 3) It was also found that 57% of the customers have an age of 41 or above, which provides Jella Consulting a good understanding as to the target group that the cause marketing campaign should be tailored to. An observation made from this set of data is that there is a lack of young customers, which is a group that can be targeted in the campaign as well. From the responses to the questions regarding the customers’ willingness to purchase store merchandise that contributes to a good cause, it was found that over 95% of the respondents answered “yes” or “maybe” and showed interests in purchasing merchandise for a good cause (figure 5) (Figure 4) (Figure 5) In the question where the surveyees were asked to choose one or more charity type that they believe Track Fitness should support, the most voted charity type is “rehabilitation institute”, and the second most voted is “human rights”. Secondary Research In online articles from reputable publishers such as The Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, and Metro New, it was observed that Track Fitness has a good reputation in the fitness community, especially in the local area. The articles are generally about experiences of training at Track Fitness, Track’s answers to fitness-related questions, and tips on fitness and healthy lifestyle. Moreover, its collaboration with Lululemon Athletica is often mentioned and strengthens its authority. However, no association between Track Fitness and philanthropic activities was found. B. Conclusions Based on the Findings Based on the Findings from the interview with the owner of Track Fitness Larry Track, customer survey, and online articles and commentary, it can be concluded that Track Fitness _____. Currently, Track Fitness has a stable and loyal customer base who helps spread its good reputation to a growing group of potential customers. One of Track Fitness’s strongest competitive edge is its locational advantage: it is located at the center of the Forest Hill South neighborhood and therefore provides great convenience for the customers who live nearby. Moreover, since Forest Hill is a fairly affluent neighborhood, customers who are from here are more likely to agree with Track’s value of receiving high-quality service for a relatively high price. Track Fitness’s collaboration with Greenhouse Juice and Lululemon Athletica also helped it gained more customers and a better reputation. Although the high price is not a major concern, it does potentially stop Track Fitness from attracting to certain customer group, for example, the students. Another weakness of Track Fitness is that compared to larger gyms in Toronto such as GoodLife Fitness and Big Hit, it is relatively small and cannot offer a large number of personal training sessions. However, there are many opportunities that Track Fitness to take and benefit from. Two schools, Upper Canada College and The Bishop Strachan School, are located at walking distance from Track Fitness. This is a big advantage as the location of Track Fitness could be very convenient for many students who don’t live in Forest Hill. Moreover, it can spread its reputation through these students to other regions other than Forest Hill. Another opportunity Track should take is that it should let more people know about their philanthropic activities, which would form an even better impression to their existing and potential customers.

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