As the coronavirus swept across the world last year, the majority of the UK government responded by issuing lockdown and stay-at-home orders to help reduce transmission. While few—if any—industries remained completely unscathed, the fitness industry was hit especially hard.
Faced with sudden forced closures for an unknown period of time, fitness business owners were left scrambling to transition to digital offerings in order to stay afloat, while consumers were left looking for new ways to exercise from home in order to maintain both physical and mental health.
The Silver Lining
One silver lining of the pandemic is that people are significantly more health-conscious since the COVID-19 outbreak began. Activity data showed a meaningful increase in healthy activity since the onset of the pandemic in early March 2020, and that gym closures haven’t held people back from being active—in fact, daily exercise minutes actually increased by 43% according to activity data.
Considering that many people had to figure out new ways to exercise while being under lockdown, it’s no surprise that low-intensity steady-state (LISS) activities—for example, Pilates and yoga—have seen a resurgence in popularity. The transition to digital fitness offerings, paired with consumers’ heightened interest in full body health and wellness routines, has generated a lot of new business opportunities in the fitness landscape.
And while the market is ripe with opportunity—especially for yoga and Pilates business owners—there are a few key things you need to know before opening a Pilates studio.
1. Start with a business plan
Before opening a Pilates studio, you’ll need to have a business plan in place. A business plan is a comprehensive written document that outlines all pertinent company information, goals, and strategies. Business plans will vary by company, but typically include the following sections:
- Executive Summary
- Business Description
- Industry Background
- Competitive Analysis
- Market Analysis
- Management Summary
- Operations Plan
- Marketing plan
- Financial Plan
- Attachments and milestones
Essentially, an effective business plan should serve as a blueprint for decision-making based on company goals and the target market. And although a great business plan doesn’t guarantee success, opening a Pilates studio with a solid business plan and framework in place will set you up for success by keeping everyone involved with your company on the same page and moving in the right direction together.
2. Find the right space
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a location for your Pilates studio business. To help you identify a space that will best suit your needs, consider the following:
- How many classes or sessions will you offer every day?
- How many people will be in each class?
- Will you run sessions simultaneously?
- What kind of equipment do you need?
- Is there adequate parking?
- Do you want your own space, or would you consider leasing space inside an existing facility?
Leasing from an existing facility can be a great way to bring in new clients, but you’ll want to ensure your potential space is removed from noisier activities like basketball and racquetball. A quiet, peaceful environment is required for a successful Pilates experience.
3. Hire the right Pilates instructors
The quality of your Pilates instructors will have a direct impact on the success of your studio, so you’ll want to hire a team of instructors who have a thorough knowledge of Pilates, as well as experience teaching group classes. Because the nuances of Pilates are significant, your Pilates instructors also need to be able to modify exercises to meet the needs of participants.
4. Get the word out
A multi-faceted marketing plan is a must-have when opening a Pilates studio. After setting up your website and social media channels, you’ll also want to consider paid marketing efforts like direct mail, print promotions and online advertising.
If you don’t have a huge budget, don’t worry! There are a lot of inexpensive ways to market your studio, too. A few examples include:
- Utilise your social media channels to reach your target market directly
- Create a blog to establish your brand and share industry expertise
- Use email campaigns to keep in touch
5. Have a management system in place
Opening a Pilates studio will require you to wear many hats and juggle various roles, so you’ll want to have a management system in place to help simplify the day-to-day of running your Pilates studio business. Running any business takes a lot of work, and necessary functions—for example, tracking employee hours, payroll, scheduling, and membership management—require a huge time investment if you’re trying to do it all yourself.
Utilising a yoga studio management software like ours can help you save time and money by reducing operational expenses, automating billings and collections, simplifying member management, and more.
Opening a Pilates studio is an exciting journey that offers many great rewards, but running your own business will also require a lot of planning, responsibility, and ongoing management. From facility scheduling to employee management, point-of-sale, invoicing, online registration and more, EZFacility‘s robust set of tools does all the heavy-lifting so that you can focus on the high-level needs of your business.
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