5 July 2022
Studio Pilates

Why Many Studio Pilates Owners Start Out as Clients

One of the most unique points of difference about Studio Pilates is the sense of community, both across the network as a whole and within each individual studio, and this is exactly the way co-founders Jade & Tanya Winter designed it. For this reason, it’s far from a coincidence that many of our Studio Pilates franchisees started out as clients, and after experiencing the magic of Studio Pilates firsthand, they knew they wanted to be part of it, in the hope they could help share this magic with others. 

One example is Lynn Kraus, owner of Studio Pilates Crows Nest and recently opened Neutral Bay. Lynn started out as a Studio Pilates client, and during her very first class, where she was captivated by the interiors and technology, she knew she wanted to own one. On top of running two Sydney based studios, Lynn also has a hugely successful corporate career and a family. With her Neutral Bay Studio recently opening, we caught up with Lynn to find out a little bit more about her Studio Pilates journey. 


Age: 50 years young :)


Occupation: CEO, Australian Payments Plus (aka eftpos, BPAY and National Payments Platform)


Favourite quote: Never grow a wishbone where you should have grown a backbone.


When did you buy your first SP studio? I built my first Studio Pilates Crows Nest studio during COVID in September 2020 and we opened in November 2020 when NSW came out of lockdown.


Who referred you to Studio Pilates initially/ how did you find out about it? I was interested in taking up reformer classes after having had a private lesson away at a health retreat. Studio Pilates came up on my search when I returned home and I signed up immediately. 


What was the catalyst that inspired you to buy your first franchise? I knew during my first class that I wanted to buy one. The space felt special, the use of technology to keep the class moving and the small community feel were things I loved and I wanted to bring to others.


Had you been a business owner before? No


How do you juggle the demands of owning studios with your corporate career, motherhood and general life? Some weeks are easier than others!  You invest in your team - whatever that team is - your work team, your studio team, your family team. You build trust, communication and transparency and you have to acknowledge that sometimes it won't be perfect. One you let go of the need for perfection, you can manage through anything.


Why did you choose Studio Pilates? Why did it stand out to you against other franchise businesses? At the advice of my friends (who are now clients) I did test the market for other options. I wanted to be part of a brand that was Australian owned, that was focussed on growth and where the people that you would deal with would treat you like a person, not a number for their own KPIs. It mattered to me that the person who was working with me through the process, was also a franchisee and had her own studio.


What was the process like when you opened your first studio? It was difficult during COVID to say the least as we had to fully train the team remotely. Studio Pilates didn't really have much of a presence in NSW at the time so recruitment was tough and there wasn't a go to builder or relationships here to get the site ready. I had great support from the Head office team and the other two local franchisees really supported me through.


How soon after opening your first studio did you decide to open your second? I always knew that I would do two. Timing was dictated based on COVID shutdowns.


How did the business fair during the covid pandemic? And at any point did you fear you might lose the business? It was difficult being closed for so long but I had a good landlord, applied for NSW covid relief grants and tried to support those team members who were in need of the income as best as I could. We had huge support from our clients and I never feared we would lose the business. That may have been a naive view, but I believed in the brand and our loyal clients.


Do you have a passion for Pilates or was this something you saw more as an investment opportunity? I had a passion to build a community and create employment for others. I love Pilates and the brand of SP.


What's your day to day involvement like with Studio Pilates? I am an instructor on the weekends and have two full time studio managers who oversee the day to day. The three of us connect at least once a week to go over everything happening in the studio and I am on call for help whenever they need it. I organize the team social events and try to catch up one on one with my instructors when possible. I also try to get in for a work out as often as possible to ensure I stay connected to what our clients are saying.


What do you love the most about Studio Pilates? It is a formula that works!


What would you say to anyone who is on the fence about buying a Studio Pilates studio? First of all, become a client!  Think about location, do your research on the financials, think about your strategies for hiring and engaging a team and then, leap in!


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

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