So you’ve trained up or you’ve been teaching for other people for years. And now it’s time to take the plunge and open your own business!
If you’re going to open your own studio then you should know that you will need to widen your skills set, as this will require much more than just being a good teacher. Opening my studio was one of the best things I ever did, but it’s not for everyone and it can bring stress at times!
Here’s a few things to think about before you take the plunge:
Location, Location, Location
Above all, I would say this is up there with one of the most important things to consider. Somewhere easily visible, that gives you access to passing trade will make your job a hell of a lot easier and could make all the difference between having to advertise frequently and not having to advertise at all.
What Sets You Apart?
What’s your USP? Do you teach dynamic group classes, purely classical, or do you focus more on private tuition? Is there anything that makes you really different to the rest? Maybe not, but if there is, then that could be a good selling point.
What’s Your Local Competition?
Sometimes competition is a good thing, but if you’re planning on opening a studio on a high street already saturated with established Pilates or other fitness studios, then you might be setting yourself up for unnecessary failure. Find out what other Pilates studios there are in your area and find out what kind of classes they teach, who their clientele are and how successful they are.
What’s Your Demographic?
Who are you aiming to target? This will depend on the style of pilates class you want teach, but ideally it should represent the majority of the locals. So, if you’re living in a quiet village where the average age is 85, then perhaps dynamic style Pilates may not go down so well! Get to know your area and the locals if you don’t already. This will also give you an idea of your pricing point.
Do The Math
Be as prepared as possible and start with a detailed business plan covering absolutely everything and every possible eventuality. (If you’re stuck on how to write a business plan you can get templates online) You won’t be able to give accurate figures of course, but do your best to estimate your potential earnings and show the worst case scenario as well as the best. You need to know that you will be able to cover yourself if things don’t go as well as hoped, which in the first few months may be the case.
What Is Realistic For You?
How many classes do you want to teach per day/week? Do you want to get other trainers to teach for you? How much can you afford to pay on rent. My top advice would be not over stretch yourself with huge outgoings, especially in the early days. Start small, build and establish your business/brand and then expand. The whole thing will be a much more enjoyable experience if the stress is minimized.