The Business of Pilates
Cara R. & John M.
Discussion 2504

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Drea, To answer your questions.
1. I increase my staff's pay when I can and always when our prices go up as they get at percentage cut. But I think giving raises is wonderful as long as you can pay yourself first and take care of all the operational costs with ease.
2. I think empowerment is the best way to keep your staff interested and working.
3. Yes we try to manage the floor, too loud and not enough equipment available is not fair to the paying clients. So we do manage that.
4. We keep a small Buddhist bell called a Rin in the studio, we ring it when it gets to loud to remind everyone to be mindful of the noise.
Cara and John, I think Drea just outlined the topics for the next business of Pilates video(s) no? The two of you together are so good for all of us!
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As a studio owner since 2004 I've had struggles and think all the models paying teachers I've tried. My intention is to pay well. Its been difficult to have the right system, from experience there is not a one that fits all. I've found you have different types of teachers. Some want to build their own tribe, their brand, their client base - for them the 50% split works. You get the teachers who just want to teach world class classes with no stress or selling. For the last year I have been testing out the 50% split model and this is working really well. I allow the teachers to decide what model they want. I have some on the 50% and some on the hourly rate. For the 1-1 Pilates sessions i have the teachers taking the payments off the client and they teachers pay me a £10 room booking fee - which I think is pretty fair - but I would be keen to hear your thoughts on this for those that have different set ups. Thanks everyone! SJ
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Cara when you are doing your % split with your teachers do you have this across all areas - so 1-1 and group classes? We use Mind body - think you do to, do you just set it up this way to run from there?lastly when you run a groupie promo do you pay the % from the % you get of the promotion company i.e. groupon?
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I just want to say thank you for sharing you wisdom Cara. This is very timely as I have recently expanded my studio and have delved into the adventures of becoming a boss to employees. it bounces between exciting and terrifying!
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As a new instructor this video made me even more exited to be in the industry !! thank you so much Cara !!!

Lots of love from Sydney
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I love this! Thank you Cara and John the more people who can help Instructors see the beauty of the business side of Pilates the better. xx~LL
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I hope that I didn't miss the window for questions. First all, I enjoyed both discussions very much and I want to thank you for sharing this valuable insight. My question is more from the first discussion. Cara, you mentioned the need to keep overhead as low as possible and to pay yourself first. You also mentioned the importance of a storefront location. In larger metropolitan areas, storefront is extremely expensive and it is nearly impossible to secure a space without some sort of loan in the beginning. How do you balance these two? I tried the cash-only approach that you suggested but I have no visibility. So, I would be interested in your thoughts on this. Thank you again!
Eurona, I would personally put store front second to borrowing big sums to get up and going. I always believe that word of mouth is the best of all advertising. If you find the visibility issue is too significant then I would reconsider at that point. Does that make sense?
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Thank you, Cara! That makes perfect sense and I feel as if I am at the point of reconsidering. Lack of visibility is like fighting an uphill battle and my studio does well with word of mouth. Being a "hidden gem" only takes you so far. In my area, it seems as if the more visible and accessible studios do much better, even when compared to those with great reviews.
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