Hip-Hop Fit with Gene Hicks is a husband/wife-owned fitness studio delivering a unique total body workout through a blend of basic hip hop moves and calisthenics, all set to a hot hip-hop soundtrack. Hip-Hop Fit started working with SBDC during their June 2014 launch. Today, Hip-Hop Fit works closely on strategic marketing issues with Doug Voegtle, a Program Specialist of the Illinois SBDC at College of DuPage.
Hip-Hop Fit co-founders Gene Hicks and Kate Ryan are pleased with Doug’s guidance over the last two years. “We appreciate how Doug looks out for us, informs us of potential networks and grant opportunities, and advises us on how to best tell our story through social media,” says Gene Hicks.
When Doug first met the client in 2019, Hip-Hop Fit was located at a less-than-ideal building with low visibility. Memberships were declining. “We are savvy and scrappy marketers,” says co-founder Kate Ryan, “but we were making just enough to pay the bills. To make the most of our marketing, we needed more help.”
Doug and Hip-Hop Fit initiated a deep dive into how they market and to whom. They reviewed past promotions, mapped out a calendar of seasonal highs and lows, and analyzed customer journeys. Based on their talks, Gene and Kate went to work on differentiating and leveraging their reputation as a wellness and entertainment brand, plus they reevaluated the effectiveness of their Facebook, YouTube and Instagram advertising.
Hip-Hop Fit also pivoted to diversify their portfolio mix beyond individual memberships to include corporate clients and livestreaming. As a result, Hip-Hop Fit secured Comcast Xfinity as a corporate client. “When we put more energy into virtual-like revenue such as digital and online workout videos, we were able to secure a non-exclusive digital distribution agreement with Body in Balance TV as well as monetize the digital workouts on our own website,” says Gene. “So going into the pandemic we were actually better positioned to grow into the next version of our economy, because we had added these additional modalities of accessing our workouts.”
During the 2020 pandemic, Hip-Hop Fit relocated again, this time to the Promenade Mall in Bolingbrook IL where they completed a build out in their new space and leveraged a special use permit. Today, Hip-Hop Fit enjoys more foot traffic, visibility and an improved revenue stream from diverse products. Kate Ryan sums up their appreciation, “The SBDC has always been there for us, and we know Doug really cares about our small business.”
To learn more visit hiphopfit.net or check out their new space at The Promenade Bolingbrook, 639 E Boughton Rd #150, Bolingbrook, IL 60440.
Business Development Center
535 Duane Street, Office 233
Glen Ellyn IL 60137
Jean Lin, Center Manager
Phone: (630) 942-3041
Fax: (630) 942-2606
Monday through Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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