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Last year, we were amid pandemic and club shutdowns. Many fitness business owners were unsure about what was next for their businesses and for the industry.

Technology was a lifesaver in many ways allowing operators to offer online membership, digital payments, touchless access, data collection on club usage, and even technology that allowed temperature checks at front desks. For many years, technology has been growing increasingly important in the industry. But the pandemic accelerated the trend.

With hybrid fitness merging of online and in-club experience, we see members moving seamlessly between the club and app, club and social media, and the app and social media. They’re also beginning to expect seamless service experiences across all three touchpoints – club, mobile device, and computer. This seamless experience will be a defining characteristic of 2021 and will help push consumers into new service experiences that focus on helping them achieve what they came to the club for becoming healthier.

Fitness businesses want to be equipped to give members more value while achieving greater operational efficiencies. However, let’s face it – not all fitness businesses are fairly equipped to run the show. Some lack technology resources, while some struggle with having a robust infrastructure in place. Suppose at all both the capabilities above are there in the system. In that case, there is a high probability of failure due to the lack of experience and expertise needed to build, manage, and optimize technology solutions for your fitness business growth and innovation.

BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) Model: Hybrid Principles at Work in Fitness Business

It’s typically an engagement model in which a fitness business can enter into a contract with a software development services provider to build, manage and run a technology infrastructure on its behalf. Later, the services provider transfers the entire operational process or program to the fitness business eventually.

Unlike traditional outsourcing models, the BOT model involves establishing technology operations subsidiaries of your fitness business in offshore locations.

So, what’s happening here is an expert software development company like DX Factor builds a complete software development setup (with insourcing or captive center) and incubates it until it reaches its functional proficiency. Once the program starts delivering as expected or the contract gets over, it’s handed over, deployed, and transferred to be operated by the client at the offshore subsidiary. And, the service may go on until the client adapts to work with the solution and achieves a self-sufficient role at serving its goals.

Things to Consider Before Selecting the BOT Model

Whether the BOT model is the right option for your fitness business or not, considering the following factors will help you make the right decision.

  • Do you have access to essential IT skills?
  • How is the size and operational complexity of your fitness business?
  • Can you take the risk for your business?
  • Which one do you prefer – an offshoring or nearshoring business model from the standpoint of data security of your fitness members?
  • How soon do you want the BOT model to be set up?
  • What’s your estimated cost of this project?
  • Do you want your fitness business’ work culture to be adopted at the remote location too?

Arguably, the fitness industry is considered a laggard when it comes to technology adoption. However, the COVID-19 outbreak has pushed many health and fitness businesses to embrace technology to revitalize their operations, improve engagement, drive retention, acquire new members and stay competitive.

But, Why Choose the BOT Model?
  • Complete knowledge of the technological stack of the service provider: As a fitness business owner, you must embed new technologies in your fitness business.
  • Shared risk: Enter into a contractual agreement with the services provider. This agreement will outline the responsibilities of both parties in the project.
  • Time to market: The BOT model accelerates technology programs. It can have a direct positive impact on time to market.
  • Reduce initial costs: Using the BOT model, you can minimize project costs associated with hiring and establishing the office.
  • Corporate culture: Team hired remotely adheres to established work processes and operates in the same corporate culture.
  • New business segments: If you plan to enter new markets and business segments, the BOT model is the apt choice by establishing a remote software development center.
The Future Ahead

Let’s call it – the post-pandemic era.

The use of technology has become an integral component of the success of fitness businesses. Businesses that adopted technology at the start of the Covid say that it has helped increase member engagement, retention and attract new members. However, you must now be wary about letting potential go to waste. The need to punch up your engagement, retention, acquisition and growth levels at this point is paramount. Given the new competition in the hybrid era, you should constantly find new ways to use that technology to improve member experience, drive business growth, and get a competitive edge.

Are you convinced about the utility of the BOT model? Let’s talk.