5 Smart Tips to Upgrade your Pilates Business
Fitness and well-being activities have revolutionized over the last few years - not just within the industry but also as necessary concepts. Since 2020 saw ‘viral’ shockwaves spread across the world, vaccinations, safety protocols, and physical fitness regimes and the fitness world particularly have been seen as the defending forces against these ongoing mutations! While hitting the gyms during the immediate ‘lockdown’ measures during both the waves wasn’t particularly an option, other forms of keeping fit seemed to be a natural choice for people. Fitness forms such as Yoga and Pilates witnessed a notable rise in demand.
Because of its wide demographic appeal, Pilates studios saw a swarming turnout of attendees even when most classes went virtual. Known to be an excellent activity to get the body moving while improving core strength, flexibility, and posture along with mental wellness benefits - that too with a comparatively lesser reliance on heavy equipment, it is hard to not believe so!
To throw in some quick figures: According to a global report, the market size of the pilates and yoga studio sector was valued at just $87,926 million in 2017. It is now projected to reach a massive $215,811 million by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 11.7%. Evidently, the number of pilates professionals has also grown over the years to cater to the rising demands. A Statista study shows that in the US alone, the number of employees in pilates and yoga studios reached over 159 thousand in 2020. The number is only expected to grow further.
The fitness landscape - including Pilates studios, among others - saw a paradigm shift and from now on, it will keep evolving. The conscious adoption of technology, a gradual transition to hybrid activities, and the use of wearable fitness activity trackers have led to a sea change in the world of fitness and wellness. Well, this brings both good news and challenges for pilates studio owners, pilates instructors, and practitioners. As pilates studios everywhere would gear up to adapt in every possible way, it is only wise to keep an eye on the upcoming trends and best practices to best survive and shine among competitors. Here are a few smart tips to upgrade your pilates studio in the foreseeable future.
5 Tips to upgrade your Pilates Business
- Deck up your Studio
- Customize your Classes
- Bring flexibility in Bookings and Class Scheduling
- Manage Memberships better
- Go Hybrid
1. Deck up your Studio
When you already have a working studio, the best thing is to start with a bit of refurbishing. Try to make your studio as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Do your best to ride the ongoing trends. You can also place your fitness logo in and around the studio to familiarize your members with your brand.
Also, people prefer neat and open spaces rather than cramped ones when they are back. So make your studio the place to be! Keep your windows open and make the space well-ventilated. Want something that is great for the indoors? Add some Golden Pothos or Chinese Evergreens for air purification and mood improvement!
If you have a large enough studio space, you can avoid keeping reformer apparatus in the room for classes like mat pilates. This room can solely be designed for group sessions and mat exercises. Arrange another room that is the equipment studio dedicated to the reformer or contemporary pilates class. Keep all your apparatus collection to address recovery from injuries such as Cadillac, ladder barrel, wonda chair, wobble boards, rotation discs or spine corrector, and more. If you have just one hall to manage all types of classes, start with a few reformer machines and schedule different classes at different times. Try creating your classes that are perfect for smaller groups or one-to-one private sessions.
Get the crowd pouring in by making your pilates studio as accessible and convenient as possible. Enough parking space outside your studio, clean changing rooms and washrooms, secured lockers, wheelchairs, and barrier-free access for ease of mobility speaks a lot about your studio. Because in the end, it is all about creating the ultimate client experience, and that starts even before someone enters your pilates studio!
2. Customize your classes
On the one hand, Pilates workout for beginners is a gentler form of training, and on the other hand, it could be a lot more challenging in the advanced classes. Many prefer mat classes because apart from providing a low-impact exercise for core strengthening, and recovery from injuries, it also includes mindfulness and stress reduction. Hence, Pilates is a unique blend of exercises that fit all ages and abilities.
As a pilates studio owner, always remember that one thing which never goes out of trend is ‘listening to your clients.’ The all-embracing nature of this fitness form attracts people from all walks of life. So tailor your classes according to the requirements of your clients and keep on offering specialty classes to your local community.
Map out the concerns of most of your clients. What are they looking for? Is there a post-natal woman out there for diastasis or pelvic floor instability? Is there a group of elderly clients looking for a chair pilates solution to arthritis or osteoporosis? Or do you find your studio attracting a good number of marathoners willing to build greater core strength and balance for better spine support or glutes and inner thighs? How about a popular flow pilates class if you got a huge group looking for a powerful calorie-burning faster-paced workout?
Try to raise awareness of the different kinds of solutions and benefits that Pilates brings with it by adding specialty classes for your customer base.
Knowing what people are looking for will naturally help you design your classes better. You could customize your classes accordingly, even arrange the best timings for your client personas. Give them the option of a morning class, an outdoor class or a special weekend class, or a special clinical pilates one-on-one session for someone with a medical history of injury or chronic pain, and also arrange a physiotherapist to give the best feedback!
3. Bring flexibility in bookings and class scheduling
As a pilates instructor, you understand the significance of flexibility in body mechanics and life in general! With the right booking and scheduling system or a Pilates Studio Management Software in place, you can ensure flexibility at your workplace and on your clients' part. This might not exactly be a way to upgrade your pilates classes, but it indeed is an upgrade to the way your clients and prospective leads look at your pilates studio!
While creating tailor-made sessions keeping your clients' requirements is a huge plus. A scheduling system allows you to plate those customized classes in a highly accessible manner. No more getting bogged down with weighty administrative paperwork, client bookings, invoicing, and more!
Upgrade the process of booking and scheduling pilates classes with more precision on your part, avoid the risk of double-bookings and ensure higher flexibility to your clients who can easily sign-up for a class of their choice and time. In a business, accessibility is key if your clients can navigate and access your offerings better and effortlessly fit in their fitness routine even during a swamped day. What better way to impress than a relaxing and seamless way to check in!
4. Manage memberships better
It is no shocker that services and training-based businesses go a long run only because of loyal memberships and die-hard members. Apart from giving a guaranteed foundation to your revenues, it is primarily the recurring income that’s steady and predictable in running your studio. According to a study, one member in a fitness studio is worth an average of $517 to a facility each year.
So, upgrade your membership offers with exciting discounts or customized packages for your clients to help facilitate a growing business. Innovate with membership options. Do enough groundwork on your clients’ needs like mentioned before, and try selling them classes in attractive packages they can’t deny. Adopt measures like easy walk-ins, easy check-ins to any pilates class of their choice, whenever they want, or even a free class as a loyalty reward!
The basic and better idea is to get your clients to choose the option of membership over mid-term packages like class packs or a monthly subscription. Let them understand the value of your annual membership plan, that fitness is an ongoing process, and with a proper membership in place, your clients can achieve their goals a lot better. Include appealing offers such as specialized personal training sessions, special dietary and physiotherapy consultations, monthly body assessments, or maybe a wide range of free virtual sessions, just in case they miss a class!
Loyal memberships have a huge impact on the performance of your business and your return on investments. After all, as John Key said-
"You get out of life what you put into it!"
And you should yield as much profit as you invested in those memberships.
5. Go Hybrid
Let’s not miss the fact that the future is hybrid. With offices, schools, recreational centers, and fitness - everything is going hybrid. Don’t just look at this paradigm shift as a missed opportunity but capitalize on it as much as you can. Being open to virtual classes is a good thing and does not mean shutting down your brick-and-mortar studios. Consumer preferences have evolved in these two years. Live Streaming workouts have been the life of the fitness fraternity during the Pandemic and somehow made this option quite doable and fitting for many who would otherwise not have participated in a virtual class at all.
At a time when people have broadly learned to integrate with technology, it is not a shot in the dark. In fact, reports from a global study predict that the virtual fitness market will witness a significant 30% growth for the period between 2020-2026.
Actually, virtual fitness is no more a topic of debate today. More focus should be put on creating a better digital fitness experience for your clients, than your fellow competitor studio. To truly succeed in this aspect, therefore pilates studios need to ramp up their digital coaching and virtual fitness experience with the right adoption of technology and aesthetics. Look out for upcoming trends in this area and power your pilates studio with the best adoption of AR and VR technology to deliver a virtual yet real workout class.
Going virtual also means that you are no longer striving to get a local client base but rocketing towards creating a global clientele. Make sure you keep your classes as interactive as possible, even if it is long-distance. Hence, the virtual studio experience must be equally holistic, even via a computer or tablet screen! Don’t just limit yourself to live-streaming, but also offer filmed classes for anyone to access the best of virtual studio training whenever they want.
The only thing that will help your pilates business shine is staying right ahead of the trends, super-forecasting on ways to remain as relevant as possible in the ever-evolving and dynamic world of fitness. If you are not scared to take risks as a pilates studio owner, adopt and integrate your services with technology and be as flexible as possible as a pilates business like the art of pilates suggests itself, there is no stopping you.
As the market size of pilates is on the rise, pilates businesses need to adapt to newer trends. Read this blog to find out how a few smart tips can help upgrade