We love when small businesses think big. Bougeotte et Placotine (site in French only) was named a Runner Up for the Offline to Online category in the 2020 Tales of Triumph contest. They inspired us with their resilience and creative adaptation of their business model – quickly shifting from brick and mortar to online during the pandemic.
Founded by kinesiologist Sarah Baribeau, Bougeotte et Placotine offers physical fitness programs designed for pregnant women and new mothers. Participants can rest assured knowing that their programs include complete and detailed instructions based on scientific data.
Success came quickly. After just three years, the business had attracted over 400 participants who took part in in weekly workshops and activities. Today, Baribeau’s customers have access to three fitness rooms and two franchises.
Adapting during uncertain times
“At the start of the pandemic, I had to ask myself ‘why did I start this business, what are my values… do I want to continue?’”, says Baribeau.
She knew she wanted to continue, but also knew she would have to adapt to a new reality. She began by creating online fitness classes, allowing her customers to engage with each other and find a sense of community in confinement.
Want to try Bougeotte et Placotine’s classes or learn more about their company and services?Visit their website (site in French only)
Going from brick and mortar to online in a hurry
Almost 1,200 customers were registered when everything shut down and the company was forced to close its five branches. The challenge became how to provide the same quality service from a distance.
In just one week, the company shifted its operations to a digital model and began offering pre-recorded online fitness classes. Great results followed.
Prioritizing quality over quantity
“The most important thing for me was to make no compromise on the quality of our services,” says Baribeau.
Customers were offered unlimited access to 20 online fitness classes per week in time slots that worked with their schedules. Classes were branded with a consistent background. Basic kits were provided to moms so they could train at home.
“My biggest challenge was to keep the brand’s DNA intact by developing the right tools and training the right people,” says Baribeau.
Getting the word out
To promote and support their new online fitness experience, a complete communication strategy was deployed on social media.
Reaping the rewards
It was a lot of work, but the response was overwhelming: 400 new customers registered in the first month.
Their shift from brick and mortar to online was truly a win-win. Bougeotte et Placotine can now work with more customers without increasing rental costs and can extend their reach virtually anywhere geographically – while their customers can work out in a classroom or online.
Growing beyond borders
Bougeotte et Placotine’s new online presence enables the company to extend their reach beyond Québec and across Canada. Baribeau doesn’t intend to stop there – she’s considering partnerships in Europe to offer online fitness classes in different time zones and is designing equipment that will make training at home easier.
Bougeotte et Placotine is a small business that thinks big. Despite the challenges of 2020, the company managed to gain new market share and position itself as a leader in the world of perinatal fitness.
We’re back for another year – stay tuned!
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