27 July 2021
Studio Pilates

Key Steps to Opening your Pilates Studio

You may be thinking about a Studio Pilates franchise but feeling nervous about the process. If so, don’t worry you’re not alone! On our regular webinars, we often get asked to outline the main steps in the process of opening a Pilates studio.


So, in this blog, we’ve aimed to give you a brief outline of the key steps in the application and approval process.


Step 1: Reserve your preferred territory


Step 1 is reserving your preferred territory to make sure it’s on hold while you do your planning. All our territories are pre-mapped, based on analysis against our target demographic. If your country, or region, hasn’t been mapped out yet you can ask us to look at this for you. You can check the territories available via our web based mapping tool.


Then you can reserve your chosen territory by putting down a fully refundable deposit (AU$2,000 in Australia) while you undertake your due diligence and research. There is no obligation with a reserve deposit, but it gives you 60 days to do your research and check the opportunity. It also allows us time to get to know each other, and for us to interview and approve you.


Step 2: Research


So what does the research process consist of? The key steps within the research and due diligence process are:

  • Completing your application form online

  • Providing your Resume, CV or LinkedIn profile

  • Taking a free 2 hour Griffith University course on franchising

  • Joining us for a 1 hour assessment interview online

  • Beginning the Franchise Agreement signing process for your chosen territory

  • Taking your own legal and financial advice along the journey


Part of this process will be putting together an outline business plan. If you need to secure funding, you will certainly need a business plan, particularly if financing through a bank. You should be able to demonstrate that any repayments are well within your means, and you should budget to live from your own funds for some time, rather than from the business.


We are often asked whether we can help potential owners with their business plan. Well, the straight answer is that we can give you input, and review your final version, but we can’t actually do it for you - it’s a legal thing.  However, we will supply you with a business planning tool which will enable you to work out the potential viability and profitability of your Studio. All the elements from calculating sales to inputting rent, rates, operating costs, royalties and marketing contribution insurance etc are covered.


Part of the ‘getting to know you’ stage includes speaking with current franchisees about their experiences, and we’ll put you in touch with any owners you wish to speak to, or provide suggested contacts based on what you most want to know.


Meanwhile you can also explore the interviews, videos and testimonials from some current owners in our blog section and testimonials section.


Step 3: Property Search


Although you reserve your territory at the very start of your franchise journey, your property search will only kick off once you’re approved as a Franchisee.


You can then either conduct the search yourself, or use a professional service to find your property and negotiate your rent with the landlord. Although there is a fee for a professional service we strongly recommend this route, as a good negotiator can save you tens of thousands of dollars and reduce your cost of entry, making back that cost many times over.


Even before looking at the interior of your chosen space, you need to consider the surrounding area, the immediate vicinity and the external aspects.

  • What are the demographics of the neighbourhood, will it be a good source of clients for your studio?

  • Check out the neighbouring tenancies, whether there are vacancies, whether there are any direct competitors in the immediate vicinity. Are there major retailers nearby that will bring footfall and exposure?

  • Does the site have direct external access, visibility from the street and signage opportunities? Is there parking for clients, how close, how many spaces? Is there access to nearby public transport systems so that non-drivers can reach you with ease?

  • Are there conveniently located toilet facilities for clients?If not you’ll need to factor these into your studio layout.

  • Are there restrictions for hours of trade?


A typical studio operates from a 120 – 140 sqm location, which is visible, accessible and offers parking, located near our key demographic of 25 – 45 year old females.


Step 4: Studio Fit Out


Of course we will  supply specifications and plans to fit out your studio - all of this is provided along your journey. But some of the aspects of the site itself that you’ll need to consider are: the overall floor plan and ceiling heights, whether there are any internal features that could affect the layout, such as AC unit position or firehoses, and whether there is sufficient width of access for Reformers.


The aim of the design and layout of Studio Pilates International studios is to maximise the workout space while still creating a welcoming space for clients to enter and one that is easy to move about. All studios will follow similar layouts. A reception and waiting / merchandise area, leading into a workout space with team rooms and client facilities adjacent.


Step 5: Training


As part of your agreement we provide you with all the info and training you need to run your studio. You will receive: Operations and Administration Training; Business Training; Marketing Training; Management Training; Instructor Training & Anatomy.

Your training will ensure you are comfortable with all our business systems including monitoring of data and key metrics for your business; a comprehensive internal communications system; centralised marketing and brand support, and an online advice and sharing portal.

No prior qualifications are needed before studying to be an instructor with Studio Pilates International. We give you and your instructors all the training you need via our world leading education program. Our comprehensive ‘Platinum’ training course will train you to Pilates instructor standard.


Step 6: Launch


The minute you sign your lease, the marketing of your location begins, with personalized support to set you up with all means of generating website traffic and memberships. Our expert central team design and deliver your bespoke digital Launch campaign,  and ongoing digital campaigns for your studio. You receive training and ongoing advice from experts to market the business in your local area and access to template marketing materials that are proven.

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