I am not sure that there is an answer for your question. Small specialized studios are getting their reputation and momentum usually from the instructors teaching there. You could envision three studios side by side but only one of them being successful. Having similar studios in the same proximity does not have to be bad at all because it will attract traffic with people interested in your specialty into this area.
I would try to scout out, though, how those other studios are doing. Find out as much as possible about their pricing structures and membership and/or participants. If most are struggling even with good instructors, then this may be a red flag.
Wish you success.
If you were to open a studio it would behoove you to offer something that the others don’t offer, make yourself unique in some way, create a niche.
Research your population and establish a relationship with other business owners in the area, join your Chamber of Commerce, participate at town meetings etc.
I suggest that you rent a space before opening your own studio, this way you can take time and figure out if it’s worth the effort.
Both Karin and Susan have some great suggestions. Renting a space to hold a class before opening one of yours would is a good idea. This way, if there is no traffic (or not enough) coming thru your doors then you’ll know if it’s a good idea for a permanent location. Scouting the other studios would be another way for you to scope your competition. And at the very extreme, maybe you could start teaching classes at these studios to get an inside information and feeling about their customers and the traffic that comes through their doors.
And sometimes you just need to go with your gut feeling…it you have second and third thoughts about it, it’s probably not the right place for you to open your studio :-).
5 – 6 concentrated in one mile radius? None of them operating across the river in Cambridge?
You ladies like your Barre over there… never been there so…
1. Offer $ incentive to not cross the river but to stay in Cambridge
2. Canvas your neighborhood hot spots and friends for fitness enthusiasts who may be willing to try different & closer to home.
3. YOU HAVE TO SCOUT THE COMPETITION!!!
a) why they are busy/not
c) individual locations & busiest times for each
d) who are they servicing?
Universal Law says you have to give to get. You are doing research, sacrifice your time to OFFER people something SHORT TERM for next to nothing. If response is minimal you MAY have your answer or more artillery moving forward to answer the ultimate question for self