7 May 2021
Studio Pilates

How To Open a Pilates Studio

Have you ever considered opening a Pilates studio but not known where to start? Take a look at this guide and handy checklist, and you’ll soon be well on your way to making your dreams a reality and becoming a studio owner.   There are many things to consider if you’re hoping to open a Pilates studio. The first decision to make is whether you want to go it alone or buy into a franchise. If you want to read more about the reasons to consider a franchise take a look at our blog Ten good reasons to choose a franchise. Or click on the button below to find out more.  But if you’ve decided that striking out on your own is the route for you, we’ve put together a shortlist of things you’ll need to consider and plan for in advance.   Franchise with us   We’ve broken down your action plan into a few major categories. Of course, it isn’t an exhaustive list, there are many, many more things to consider but this will certainly get you on the right track, and spark a few ideas. Many of these things will need to run simultaneously, to get you up and running smoothly and in the shortest possible time.    Business planning  
  • Work up a business plan. Think about your longer term goals to inform your short term decisions
  • Think about all the things your business will need to get off the ground, and the expenses you’ll have to cover before you start to make a profit. Will you need finance or can you fund yourself?
  • Develop a marketing plan
  Location Location Location  
  • Decide whether you want to lease or buy, share a space, be in the city or the suburbs.
  • Find a great site.
  • Check what permits are required to operate a Pilates studio from the venue
  • Negotiate the lease making it subject to permit approval
  • Get your permits
  • Sign your lease
  Fit-Out  
  • Draw up building plans, equipment layout plans and interior designs
  • Buy your equipment early as there might be long wait times for delivery
  • Engage a building contractor
  • Manage and complete the build-out
  Talent  
  • Establish a recruitment plan
  • Advertise for instructors 
  • Get professional advice to see if you need something like an employment contract
  • Interview/audition & hire your instructors
  • Establish an instructor & staff onboarding process
  • Provide any customer service or technical training if required
  Pre Launch  
  • Decide on how people are going to buy classes and what’s on offer
  • Establish a payment gateway i.e how do people actually give you money? How do you collect it?
  • Ensure you have a cloud-based booking system so customers can book online
  • Ensure you have a bookkeeping system/accounting program so that you can track expenses and revenue
  • Set some pre-launch and opening goals
  • Market and promote your business in your local area and on social media
  • Brief your team on what you want them to achieve
  • Plan out your opening day and week
  • Plan out your initial roster of classes and instructors
  • Build a database of interested people before you open if you can
  Launch Day  
  • Make it special, wow your customers, give them a great workout experience and incentivize them to come back for more
  • Follow them up after the class, see if they liked it
  • Sign them up to more classes and make money!
  Of course there are many more steps, both small and large, involved in opening a Pilates studio. Remember, this checklist just gets you to your first day in business, there’s then the ongoing plan for every day after that’s centered on how you’re going to make your new business a success. However, if you have a solid plan for each of these elements, you’ll definitely be ahead of the game.    If this all seems insurmountable, don’t lose heart. There is an easier way to achieve your dreams of opening a Pilates studio and working for yourself.   Independent v Franchise   Plenty of people decide that being an owner as part of an established brand network is a more achievable and less risky route than running their own independent studio. Read what Tom and Julia had to say about making the move from independent studio owners to franchisees. If you’d like to exponentially increase your chances of success and plug into a tried and tested business system, click on the button below to learn how Studio Pilates International supports you and gives you the entire playbook on opening a Pilates studio. Read more blogs about opening a Pilates Studio here.
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