As Pilates and movement teachers, it’s fair to say we’re not business people by training. We know bodies: give us an anatomy book and we feel right at home, but something like Marketing Tips 101 makes for a much more challenging read.
But challenging or not, when it comes to running a studio, success depends on honing your business skills. Hard work, dedication and endless hours are all requirements, but at Absolute Center (our Pilates and movement studio in Lafayette, CA) there are also three key elements that have helped us thrive: communication, teamwork and new ideas.
Every week we meet for an hour to discuss the weekly business happenings. We review things like our client retention and attendance, and discuss any updates from our staff on continuing education and client management. Of course, we use the tools in MINDBODY to help us stay on top of our numbers, decide how best to market our business and see where our revenue is coming from.
We also use tools like Evernote and Dropbox for sharing ideas and projects, all of which help us to better communicate on a daily basis. Our weekly meetings are necessary for us. Without them, we get off course and the business suffers.
The workload gets heavy. Having someone to lean on is crucial. At Absolute, there are three of us managing the business; over the years, we’ve changed roles and responsibilities to keep us fresh and on task.
Right now, one of us handles most of the bookwork, payroll and general business tasks; the second handles staff intake, operations and our handbook. The third focuses on marketing and social media.
Often, our roles overlap, which requires even better communication to avoid repeating each other’s work. But for the most part, we all benefit from having one another to share the load. This is what our business partnership is all about.
To say that we never have a shortage of new ideas is an understatement. Our creative force as a trio has kept us moving forward, held our attention and always keeps it interesting.
The core of our work has stayed the same: personalized training, group classes and instructor training. However, over the years we have created fruitful new programs and every new venture has created a valuable learning experience. Our latest new idea came from our partner Claudia Moose, the founder of Primal Pilates. Claudia presented the idea; we loved it, so we just divided the responsibilities and ran with it. With her help, we’ve created an instructor certification program (complete with a manual and continuing education credits) and we’ve begun sharing the program with instructors and clients.
Ultimately, the success of your studio depends on your ability to change. Whether you’re analyzing the numbers to guide your future spending or brainstorming new class offerings, the most important thing is simple: always think about how to improve.
On Monday, October 12, I’ll be at the BOLD MINDBODY Conference in Santa Monica to lead attendees through an invigorating Primal Pilates™ Challenge – the perfect start to two days of business education, networking and inspiration.