6 June 2022
Studio Pilates

How To Open A Studio Pilates Franchise In A New Country

There are many benefits to investing in a franchise, most notably that you’re buying into a brand that’s already established. While Studio Pilates has sold sites in studios in 5 countries including Australia, New Zealand, Asia, The US and The UK, wherever you are in the world, we’re always open and eager to discuss franchise opportunities with you - our mission after all is to change the way the world works out. While opening a Studio Pilates studio in a new country might sound really daunting, just know that you have so much guidance and support both from the global Studio Pilates Support Office and as well as many other franchisees who have gone through this process themselves. We caught up with Marisa Fuller, who launched Studio Pilates in The US to find out how to open a Studio Pilates franchise in a new country.

Why did you choose Studio Pilates as the franchise to invest in despite there being no presence in The US at the time? 


I was at a turning point in my life and realized that it was time to put myself first and control my own happiness. I had always dreamt of opening my own reformer Pilates studio but from someone that had done Advertising Sales for 20+ years, I didn't have the faintest idea where to begin but I knew that being part of a franchise would be the best way to make this happen. I started to google ‘Pilates Franchises’ and spoke with so many but none of them clicked or felt right. I eventually came across Studio Pilates International and felt so drawn to their story. Co-founders Jade and Tanya happened to be in The US at the time and we were able to meet for breakfast. Hearing Jade’s vision and mission really stood out for me and I knew I wanted to be part of it. It was exciting to me to be involved and to have the opportunity to open the first Studio Pilates in the US.


What was the main unique selling point about SP that really sold you? 


For me it was hearing how committed Studio Pilates was to providing a safe, efficient and effective workout experience. Not only backed by physiotherapists, the way they use technology through the digital screens and voiceover in studios gives the instructor more opportunity to spend 1:1 time with each client as well as helping to streamline a continuous workout.


What was the feedback from clients and the community like when you opened? 


New York was amazing! I opened during the height of the pandemic and had no idea what to expect when the doors opened. I was a nervous wreck, the rules were constantly changing and the nuances were so fine, it was hard to know each day what was and wasn’t allowed. From day 1, the community was supportive and they were all so eager to move their bodies in a safe space and connect with likeminded people again. We are now 1.5 years old with 14 reformers, over 40 classes a week, utilization continues to grow and we are seeing over 20+ new faces a week! The google reviews from our clients speak for themselves :)


How soon after opening your studio were you cashflow positive?


In less than 4 months we were on the right side of the business and growing in the New York market. Every day, we are continuing to learn more about where to invest to drive more clients while remaining in the black.


Why did you decide to open a second studio? 


After hearing the success stories from other franchisees during my first franchisee conference, I knew 1 studio was no longer going to cut it, so I decided to open 3 studios. A critical part of this decision was that being the first in the US gave me a clear view of what the opportunity was. If I did this right we can really build something strong together here in America. Every business success story needs an idea, capital and the front person to make it work. My goal is to bring those three together here.


What advice would you give to others looking to open a Studio Pilates studio in a new country? 


Be ready to understand that this is a journey and there will be ups and downs - it’s not a straight line. The great thing is, the support system that Studio Pilates Support Office has in place as well as the support from your fellow franchisees is there to give you guidance along the way. You are not alone in this journey. We know that profitability is important for a successful business, but when there are tough moments, the success stories from our clients is what is the most rewarding part of all of this. Helping people get over back problems where they have been going to a chiropractor for years and never feeling the results they have been getting from the Pilates workouts. To helping moms through pre and post natal to being there for clients celebrating their milestones and birthdays. The community that SP helps to cultivate is truly the best!


For more information on franchising opportunities with Studio Pilates International, please contact John L Scott, Franchising Director joinus@studiopilates.com.

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