Discussion #4097

Managing a Studio Remotely

60 min - Discussion
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On March 26, 2020, we held a live webinar with Katie Santos to learn about how her studio, Absolute Center, is managing their business during the global pandemic. She shares the advice that she has given her employees and other teachers as well as what they are doing with waivers and keeping their connection with their clients. She also talks about the risks of loans and what you should consider before borrowing money.

Links and Resources

- On nomi

- Zoom Tutorials

- Cory Sterling and Conscious Counsel

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Mar 31, 2020
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Um, I'm John master and I'm the cofounder of polarities anytime it's a 10 year old business and we've been making videos here in Southern California for that time and streaming them all over the world. And Katie is one of the teachers that we have worked with over the years and she and I did a really interesting discussion around some of the legislative changes that are going on in California that otherwise known as AB five. I was stressed that we do not have the answers to everything, so I'm sorry, you know, but um, we'll do our best to share what we know. The format today is we do 30 minutes of us discussing things and then we'll answer your questions for 30 minutes. Uh, if you need help from PyLadies anytime, then, uh, please reach out to us and geo, we'll put the email in the chat here, but it's support at PyLadies anytime and we're happy to try and answer. Tell me, where are you then, Katie, where is it that you're based? So Bay area, um, Contra Costa to be specific.

So not in San Francisco but over on the the East Bay side, little town called Walnut Creek. That used to be a tiny little place and now it's not anymore. Cool. And tell me about what is it that um, what sort of studio do you have? What is the business that you do? So we have a lot of irons in the fire so to speak. There are three of us business partners and we've settled on this description of we are a [inaudible] based movement studio.

So we do teacher training of our own, we do classes in privates. We also do a teacher training in partnership with balanced body. And then um, I also are actually, we also have a mentoring program as well, teacher mentoring. But I'm also a business consultant for mind body online for Evernote and for something called work the system, which is a good book to pick up right now if you've got time on your hands to kind of look at your business from high above and start to write some systems and processes. Cool. I have to follow up. Tell, tell me a little bit more about work the system. I've never heard of this. So I picked this book up about five years ago and started to read it and it, and I kind of got overwhelmed with them. I'm too busy.

I can't write processes and procedures right now. I'll just do them all myself. I picked it up again about a year and a half ago and I read it front to back and it just resonated with I think really well with our industry because it's not as technical as writing something for say, um, opening Google's doors, things like that. So it allows you to look back at your business from high above and go, okay, what is the business stand for? What's our operating principles? What are our, not necessarily mission statements, but how do I want my staff to act and how do I want to project the business to the, to the greater world. And then from there to write policies and procedures that support that. So it makes it really easy.

Interesting. I think we can have a whole conversation that, but let's, let's keep it another day here. We have done so big as your studio. So we're 40,000 square feet. Um, at our biggest, we have about 17 teachers on staff. We've got all employees, um, lots of reformers, lots of traps, lots of chairs, studio room, that sort of thing. So it's a big, it's a big place to support, but we have a really good team. We're fortunate about that. Fantastic. So tell me, you know, what's happened in the last, you know, before virus if there's such a thing as BV, but what's happened with your business over the last few weeks? So we started to contract down a few weeks ago when all this was happening.

We contracted down the classes. We didn't feel that there was value in having people, not that we pack them in by any means, but there was just, you know, a drop in attendance. We also called our older clients and recommended, you know, if they weren't comfortable to stay home. We kept checking in with our staff and saying, you know, how you feeling today? Are you okay coming in here? Are you worried about things at home? Do you feel guilty seeing certain clients? And if so, perhaps we should consider, you know, telling those clients not to come in.

So we, um, frankly the planning though, day in day out and all the kind of, I call it war gaming, what we were going to do was just exhausting everybody. So when the mandate came down to close, it was a bummer and sad. And I finally cried, which I rarely do, but it was like, Oh, I can stop planning stuff we're going to say. So that was a relief. Yeah. So when did you close in the end? It was on Monday the 16th, which is when the, the, um, local mandate for Contra Costa County came down.

And it was kind of a weird eerie day. I'd been checking in with clients to ask them, am I doing the right thing by staying open? What do you feel? And we got almost unanimously, yes, please stay open. But then we started to think, eh, it's not the right thing. So in this frantic planning, I finally stopped at about 11 o'clock and I thought, you know, I can just sense that something's going to go down, so I'm just going to stop spinning for a while and wait to see what the County says. And sure enough, that's what happened.

Yeah. We closed a couple of days before that we closed our office and our filming studio, um, on the 11th of March. So the previous Wednesday before that. It's a tough, tough decision to make. So now that you've, uh, closed, you know what, what's happening? What's happened to your teachers? What are you, yeah, so that was our primary concern, right? I mean, we all know, I don't need to tell anybody out there what it is like to be a [inaudible] teacher. Fortunately, they're all employees. So before we closed, even, we had three teachers that chose to take leave. Um, a couple of them had family members that they were worried about and one was worried for herself. And you know, we, we kept saying to them, if you want to do that, no harm, no foul. It's okay. You do what you need to do.

Um, once we closed, we gathered up the staff and said, okay, now what? We're going to try this virtual class thing. So those of you that want to stay on and do privates or classes, you're welcome to do that. Those of you that don't want to do that, you're welcome to take on employment. So we had about half and half with that. Um, fortunately now I think they got in at the beginning of the queue so it wasn't too, too bad for them to navigate that and now they're going to end up with a little bit more, more money. Um, $600, I think instead of four 50. Um, but they've, you know, we've stayed in connection with all of them and they've really gone above and beyond. We have a couple of that have stepped up and helped with our social media. Um, my daughter in law, bless her heart who's on unemployment and because she's my daughter in law, she through work anyway, she's really killing it, sending out emails and things like that. So we, we trust this team and we're really tight with them and we're so grateful.

They've just really gone above and beyond. And I have to say this little aside, which I told John in a past conversation I'm in because I'm a mind body consultant. I'm in lots of different verticals so to speak, and their discussions, you know, from yoga to pole dancing to you name it and without exception, I hear from all of those verticals from owners saying, I'm worried that my teachers are going to come in and steal my clients or steal my information. And I have never heard that from a [inaudible] studio owner. So there's something really magical, I think, and I give myself chills. There's something magical about being in this industry that there's that just desire to do good and to do desire to serve the community and to help each other. That I'm so glad I'm a part of. Yeah, we're very fortunate. Uh, what's the advice you've been sharing with your teachers in this time?

You know, um, primarily just to take care of themselves more than anything else. And if they're still working, I'm still saying to them, you know, if you feel like you need to talk, you need to cry, please reach out. And they're doing that. We bought them all, um, Headspace, which is a online meditation app. So there's a little hidden away in their works, a Headspace for work, I think it's called. So they reduce the, the yearly price down. So we bought that all for them. I think they're using and I think they like it.

Yeah. I think, you know, we focus sometimes just on our bodily health and not necessarily our mental health. And this is a, a period with a lot of stress in it and a lot of uncertainty. Like nobody knows what's about to happen here. And I'm a news junkie and I've had to stop. I just, my husband listens with his headphones on and I'm like, LA, LA, LA, LA LA. No, not that I'm not informed. I do read, but I'm just not going to listen to the, the inflections in people's voices. You know, what's happened with your clients, the clients that come to your studio. So, uh, we're fortunate, right? We're fortunate because a [inaudible] business is, uh, for the most part, a well-heeled group of people.

So we do have a few that are still paying us regardless. That's awesome. We have as many though that are frightened, frightened, and stepping away and we're trying to reach out to them just to say, we're here. Do you need groceries? You know, we've got a lot of clients that have lots of issues that I'm sure most [inaudible] teachers do. And most of them are well taken care of. There are a couple that do need a little bit of help. And we're here to do whatever we need to do. I'm, we're gonna work on, now that we've finally gotten over the hump of offering online classes, which we'll talk about, is now we've got a little time to reach out to those clients that are special to us and the ones that we haven't talked to for awhile and say, how are you doing? Are you considering doing some virtual training? Can I get you groceries?

Anything? [inaudible] so you're asking your teachers to reach out to their individual clients? Yeah. Yeah. And you know, we need to, we all need to gather up and change the tone of what our conversations are with them, what our marketing looks like. We have to be much more empathetic. It's a, we're approaching a totally different person than we did a year ago. Right there. Their desires are different, their pain points are way changed. So we have to tool our conversations to what they're telling us they need.

Yeah. How are you staying connected with the [inaudible] that people are ringing up? Is it, but are you using email and social media? My phone has never run out of juice so quickly. Ever like text after text after text and yeah, so there are a lot of them do text us. We are sending out newsletters weekly. There's a lot of social media posts.

Um, Louise is killing it. And then Stephanie or my, um, one of our teachers are just killing it on that front. So they're fielding a lot of messages via social. But I don't think you can touch your clients too much. You know, they're getting a lot of stuff, like less anthropology. But how much stuff can I get from you right now about what you're doing to support, you know, it's more coming from our community, I think is what's going to be important for our clients. They want to hear from us, not necessarily Wells Fargo. That's my opinion.

I think it's a lonely, I think everybody's stuck at home and you know, there's uncertainty about the outside environment. It's a great time to reach out. You know, I personally, I use zoom too after I finish my work day. I use zoom to socialize with my friends and, um, we've been doing on Nomi, which is the Japanese words for online drinking. So we have a little drink party at 8:00 PM every night and I've had a drink with people from all over, all over the U S I love it. Uh, it's kind of fun and it anyway, and um, I don't necessarily have to be drinking alcohol for goodness sake. You know, it could just be a drink, drink a cup of tea. It's true at eight o'clock at night. How and British, I'm not saying it's always a cup of tea, you know. So, um, are you doing a newsletter still? Are you doing email?

Yeah. Newsletter, um, emails to individual clients. Um, we're going to do a similar to you, a little virtual happy hour after one of our classes here in a week or so. Our teachers are coming up with such great ideas for us and sometimes it's a little bit like a fire hose. How about we do this, we do this, we do this. And I'm like ah, but you know, tap into your teachers. They're a wealth of information.

They're going to have ideas that you haven't thought of. One idea I have is we're going to do a virtual family dinner on Sunday. Um, next door to us. We have one set of children and then Palm Springs is another and pleasant Hill is another. So we're going to do this with the Palm Springs people cause they're a little bit more out there and a little more game. So they'll cook, we'll cook, we'll set up the computer at the dining room table and I'm trying to figure out how to play Ellen's danger word game. You know w I, I'm going to have to send them a box of it, I think to get them to be able to do it. So yeah, maybe we'll put it in the chat, but we've got some online games that are really good.

They're not particularly expensive that you can do and you know, they involve, you know, you use the TV screen to have the questions and then you answer on the phone anyway, we'll put it in the chapters. Yeah. Ellen Ellen needs to get on that. She's the gamer person now. Ellen degenerates is cool. Well, we're going to talk a little bit now about online classes. How are you doing it? What's your rig setup like and everything? So we um, we got really lucky. We have set up in our studio.

Um, Louise and Stephanie went in far apart and set up a camera, um, on our Mac laptop and then we've got lights back behind. We've got really beautiful windows that sadly now we have to close because we did have a visit from the local police. I don't know if my business partner knows that or not, but the local police came by because it did look like we were open. So, um, rightfully so. Someone called in and said, Hey, absolute still going. And so I called him up. Fortunately he's a friend and he said, no, no, I'm fine with what you're doing. After I explained there was one person at a time in the studio filming, so we're doing live classes through zoom. Um, and there's a whole process. We're recording them. They're up for 48 hours.

We send out the link afterwards so the class attendees have 48 hours to take the class. Then what we're doing is pulling them down, putting them unlisted into YouTube and then sticking them behind a membership page on our website. So there's all these moving pieces. Um, mind body is supposed to come out with a little something in the next couple of weeks. This was supposed to be nine months down the road and they're rushing it through really quickly. So wait and see, it may be coming, but that's how, that's how we're doing it. So if I got the process right is you register through mind, body online and that's how you're taking the money and then you're manually sending out the zoom link. Is that, did I get that right? Yeah. So we've had, we had to go back into mind, body and change our registration things to describe what was going to happen and that you would get the zoom link 30 minutes before class.

And Denise blesser, my, my daughter in law front desk manager person, she's sending out that email at the last second with the unique link because zoom has zoom has two different choices. Those of you that are going to try it, you can either have a static meeting number or a, um, a different meeting number every time. And so we're doing this different meeting number every time, which is better for safety as well too. So she sends that out, they get all hooked up. We've done actually a couple, we're doing another one on Friday called test your tech. So we're inviting students to come on for free. They can fiddle around with the placement of their computer or their phone or whatever. Check around with levels, learn where all the controls are. Everyone comes in muted and no video.

So that way they have a choice to be seen or not, which I think is important. Yeah. Yeah. It's working really well. But why do you leave up the videos for 48 hours after the class? Why do you do that? I don't know. Originally it was going to be 45 days and then I realized, Oh well we will run out of storage up there on the zoom cloud.

So we just thought it was a nice little service. And we've told our students, you know, this is a work in progress. We in fact sent out in place of the cardio bar. Um, something came out about Railey's discussion with Louise and that's what got sent out. So you know, there's little hiccups along the way, but as long as you prep your people for, for the disaster that may yet come as far as your zoom recordings, then they're okay. Yeah. I'm looking at these question and the thing there are, the platform that Katie's using is zoom and with zoom you have the ability to hit record and they will automatically save it on their cloud. And you can share that link with everybody. And just while we're kind of talking about that, we also record this webinar, um, because we're in the production video business, we then edit it, we download it, edit it, take off the chitchat of Katie and I at the beginning when we're talking about where's everybody from and things like that.

And then we publish that to [inaudible] anytime. So we have a different workflow, but everybody else, it's really not that hard to do that. And if you wanted to use zoom to record it, download, it automatically sends you a link where that video is. And then you could put it up on YouTube, for instance, if that's what you wanted to do. Right? But if you start publishing content, then you really have to get into the business of waivers to tell people that we're using your image. So it's not just, you know, Pilati is potentially dangerous, but also we're using your image and doing those things. So, um, yeah, so we've, we've just now today, um, sent out, we're changing all of our pricing options to contracts even though like we have a $10 drop in and we have a monthly um, membership, we weren't making them contracts, but the problem was then people weren't signing their waivers. So the work around now it's every time someone buys anything, it's essentially a contract and they have to resign the waiver every time because it is specific to this online work.

And then second and really important is a model release that your staff signs and it releases you from a release is to you the rights to be able to use any of their content that they film for you, both their photos and then the intellectual property. So whatever comes out of their mouth. I'm fortunate enough to have one of my, one of my clients that I have still is a world renowned intellectual property attorney, so I'm like, Oh, you're handy. Yeah. But it's, the other thing that we've discovered too is that there's a chance that some of these, um, liability companies are not covering online. So it's important for me, for us to make sure that our teachers also have their own liability as well. So we did get that. Okay. Let's expand on that a little bit further.

You're saying your teachers should have their own liability insurance. It's just a double, yeah. Kind of double coverage. So one of our attorney buddies said, you know, it doesn't hurt to have them get that as well, just in case there's a lapse or a discussion in your studio liability and whether it covers virtual training or not. He said the fact that they're doing it in your space should help, but we won't know on the end of this, you know, how effected those companies will be in what they'll try to do too. Get out of paintings, right.

Yeah. A couple of days ago. Um, I think it was with Jared Kaplan's talk. Uh, we were talking about the, that the PMA has issued as a sample and that is linked in the is anytime website. So if you want to take that and download it, I'm short geo, we'll put a link in the chat too. Thank you Jay for everything. Yeah. Um, so it's just, uh, show you where that is. Yeah. And it's important, you know, even if we have a sample state to state, country to country is different. It's, it's important that you get, um, uh, a lawyer if you can, to just have a look at it. The problem is that sometimes opens a can of worms and they go from two pages to nine, but it's not a bad thing. There's also a reference. I don't know if I'm, JIA can type this in there for me because I have too many things happening right here. But, um, Cola, Corey Sterling from conscious council. Dot. C a is a Yogi. He's a kick.

And he's also an attorney who has relationships with attorneys in almost every state. So he's written a yoga preneurs, um, law book and he also gives out really good advice. You follow him on Instagram? Shout out to Corey. He's gonna love me. No, there you go. Thanks to you. And um, he's been really great and very helpful to the whole industry and you can also find him on mind body one as well. If you're not a part of that. If you are a mind body person, jump onto mind, body one. There's a ton of information. Cool. Yeah. When we send out the link to the video, uh, the page on is anytime I'll have all of these ref, you know, links and resources, um, to help out on that.

Can you just talk about what you have as a camera set up? What, how do you do the camera? How do you do the audio in the studio? Yeah, so the camera is just our webcam that I have on my desk and we've taken that and put it on top of our Mac and it's an older Mac so it doesn't have enough, um, storage to download the zoom videos directly on there. It's, we bought, um, Nora, Nora, st John had this really cool setup. It was kind of a dual table, so she had her projector here and her laptop here. So we've got something similar. We've got the laptop sitting there and we've got, I think we've got the conference microphone in there.

I actually haven't been in, it is actually taped down so that teachers aren't tempted to wiggle it around. And then the mats are set the right distance away just for that camera configuration. And again, they're, they're taped off. We're not sharing mats, but they're taped off where you place your mat and it works out really well. We're also using wireless headset. Just one earbud works really well if you're using a Mac, if you're not, then another wireless headset, preferably not the kind that goes around your neck, cause that's gonna flip off your head as you're doing rollovers, but you don't have to go expensive. There's, there's quite a few inexpensive mikes out there. So what Katie has filled me with today, just so you have a sense, is that she's got an iPhone and she's using the, uh, the, the airbeds from Apple. So that, that is a simple, uh, a very elegant, that's as simple as it can be. As you can tell. It works.

And you can see that Katie's, uh, iPhone has a better camera than my computer here and I'm using it at home. So she's, she's looking great there. I've also got a light up there too, so that helps. So let's talk about business. Yeah. For a second, Katie. Um, what's your advice to studio owners? Mmm. You know, I think what the future is going to hold is completely unsure. Um, now is the time for us to step back and really start to think about what is my business?

What is it about is it's an opportunity for me to retool things a little bit and change and pivot, create, get creative, expand your horizons. You know, there's lots of online training content now that was once offered at full price that's now either free or greatly reduced. So there's animal flow. There's, um, GMB, which is gold metal bodies. Their programs are reduced. Um, one of the guys that we follow in Boston who is a PT whose name now escapes me. Um, Claudio will remember and maybe she'll put it in the chat for me, but his, um, online training program is now free. So that's really great. There's lots of body weight works stuff out there to follow, but, um, you know, you, you have to have the hard conversations with yourself right now.

This may be the end of the road for some of us. I mean, we've, Louisa and I have had that conversation. Um, Claudia happens to be out on, on leave right now, but she's been thinking about it as well and you have to decide what does your business look like? How Mike Reinhold. Thank you, Claudia. Um, what is your business going to look like when this is done? If it stretches out, as long as John and I are thinking, you know, June or July, is it worth it? How much support are you getting from your landlord? Can you hang on? Um, think about what message you can convey to your people right now about what's coming down the road. Can you be Frank with them? I'm, we're Frank with our team. We're not as Frank with our clients obviously, but I really want people to think about, you know, everyone's jumping on the conversation of, Oh, there's these SBA loans, so think really, really hard. Is that going to be worth it for me? And everyone's convinced they're going to magically turn into a grant that you don't have to pay back. And I'm not convinced that that's going to happen for us.

It may happen for Boeing, but maybe not us. So you want to think about what's going on in your life. Do you want to saddle yourself with 30 years worth of debt? And it's not to be doom and gloom, but I think it's also a real opportunity to retool yourself. I'm convinced on the other end of this that studios will be the things that prevail better than anything else in the fitness industry.

So I don't know about you. There is not anytime soon where I want to catch myself in a big club with a big class and a sweaty person on the bike next to me, not happening. But they will come back to studios that they know and trust whose owners they know, who, whose processes they know. And they understand that those studios are looking out for their best interests above all else. So I think that's how we can really succeed as Palladio's businesses.

Yeah, Jake, there's a risk with these, uh, these loans that have been announced in the U S that they will be more like us student loans, which are kind of, you can't go bankrupt and lose them. You know, you're going to have them for life. Yeah. We don't know. I got the text of this. I'm not yet to be passed law today. It's 247 pages. So I haven't read through the whole thing yet. But again, I'm not convinced.

There's a lot of caveats with that about making sure that you're taking care of your employees. So if you don't have employees, if you've got independent contractors, that might be the end of that discussion right there. But there is talk of them including provisions for gig workers and things like that. So don't lose all hope. There is also the SBA funding. Can they get the banks on board? Do the banks want to take these on? What happens? You know, if you get this through the SBA and then it's sold to bank of America and then it's sold to capital, whatever, and suddenly your loan is moving around like we all have mortgages, you know how that happens. Like who's this guy? So the terms can change and it's, it's not terribly cheap.

So I would wait till I'm a bit, if you can, before jumping on those loans. I know there's grants. Facebook has a grant program ready to ready to be unveiled. It's not ready to go yet, but they're unveiling that. Yeah, we talked about some of the grant programs, um, with Jared Kaplan on Tuesday. And, uh, we geo put those in the description of his video.

And if you haven't looked to that, that there's various various links there that you can go to to just kind of see what's available. I'm absolutely sure there's changes country by country around the world in terms of what everybody's government's doing. Um, what's available. But, you know, putting a lots of data, you know, borrowing money, sometimes it's chasing, you know, good money after more good money and, you know, do you want to dig a deeper hole? It's a tough, tough place to be. Have you talked to your landlord at all about what's going on? Oh yeah. Well talking with them, communicating with them as one thing, but we're, I'm fairly sure that we won't get a break. Um, they've been, we've been in the same place for 17 years and talk to them a number of times and they've just been kind of, so we'll see. That said, we are their anchor tenant, who knows magic may happen. Um, we're talking with the lawyer tomorrow just to see, do we just not pay next month? I've never done that. We're fortunate. We've, we've got enough reserves to hold us. I know what our runway is both paying rent and not paying rent. So we've got a substantial runway that we can, that we can focus on.

But what I'm going to do is develop a whole new business plan and I suggest if you haven't done it ever, or even if you've done it a number of years ago, now's the time to do a whole new plan, change maybe your model completely. I mean, I think like I mentioned earlier, people are going to be a little reluctant to come back quickly and we don't know if this is going to wax and wane over time. I suspect it will. Um, so plan for all those different little things and again, step back and go, is this really what I want to do? Yeah. I don't know. Yeah. Yeah. When we were talking earlier in the week, we kind of, you know, encouraging people to really understand what all their expenses, what's the biggest expense was the second biggest expense. The third, what are the things that can be deferred, renegotiated, maybe not needed in today's world? You know, things like, do we need as much cleaning service as we needed before? Just as a, as an example? Well, we've, we've eliminated, we were paying, um, an online service, not QuickBooks online, but our QuickBooks was housed on an online service. So I've stopped that. I've gone back to doing the bookkeeping.

Um, we stopped her towel service and, and remember you're closed. Check your mail. Like I've got up, haul myself down to the post office, which believe it or not scares me to say where is my mail because I know I'm getting some of these unemployment forms and, um, I stop your subscriptions, you know, nine 99 for iCloud and five 99 for this and 99 cents for this. I have a whole income tracker that you can, um, take a look at and just start writing these things down. One of our financial advisors even went as far as to say, reissue all your debit cards and your credit cards and tell them, tell the bank why. Because that will stop the automatic subscriptions that are happening.

And you'll be surprised at how many people call. I can't get, I can't get your money anymore. How come Comcast is giving some relief? Um, Google is upping its Google suite. Um, access mind body is upping its access to the full suite and they're giving relief for at least a month. But I do recommend if you're, if you're calling any of these big utilities or even big companies to change anything like this or to drop a phone line, make sure that you're not getting automatically put into a term or a contract with them because that can easily happen. You're just trying to get through the hour long call and you miss the part where they go and this locks you into a term for 12 months. You don't want to do that. Yeah. Yeah. I just wanted to clarify the cleaning. This is our office. So this is the plot is anytime office that we are no longer cleaning with. We haven't been going there for two weeks.

So it's not something that I don't mind if it gets dusty while we're gone. Well, we did have a cleaning service too, and I actually asked the landlord to stop it because I didn't want to more people in the studio and in the middle of the night schlepping around on their phones, supposedly cleaning and sanitizing. I'm like, I'm not buying it. I've watched you guys. So I said, can you just stop the extra people in our space? So she, yeah. Yeah. Cool. So I'm taking away from some of this is, you know, really understand you where your money's getting spent and think about your business plan and play around in different ways. You know, if I didn't pay the rent, how long would I be in business if I did pay the rent? Look at the different options. And you know, payroll and Rams are probably the biggest expense for most people.

And they're, you know, they're supposedly the other thing to keep track of all your expenses related to this you would not normally have had and keep track of. Where were you on March 26th of last year versus March 26th of? There's my sister March 26th of, um, this year. What's the difference? Um, if you're negotiating with your landlord, make sure you have that figured because if they don't give you total relief, perhaps you can come back at them and say, okay, well you either change my term, we just signed another five year lease or will you take it as a percentage of the revenue that I'm taking in if you're doing online classes. So at least have those extra little bits in your pocket to throw at them if they say no.

Yeah. If you were to make a wild guess here, I mean, I'm going to ask you an impossible question here, but what do you think, what percentage of your revenue do you think you can get back through offering online classes compared to what you are doing in person right now? It's the first week. We're just, like I said, cobbling this together and we haven't made a big push as far as contacting clients. So as it stands right now, um, we are at about 25%, which is not bad. No, it's for week one. Um, yeah, but that's also memberships that are gonna extend 30 days. So ask me at the end of the month, we'll come back and do this. So that's not bad. Alrighty. Let's try and do some of the questions over over here. Um, the first one is for Mariana.

Did you lower your prices or are you planning to do we did a little bit. We did not for private training, so we're doing our private training through FaceTime if people have it. So we didn't lower the prices for those. We did have one client that asked, so on a case by case basis, I gave that to her. She's somebody that she and her daughters both train, all trained twice a week. So it's like I'm down with that. Uh, the classes did go down with the caveat that they're going to go up as we get more on the schedule. So we, um, right now we're at $10 to drop in and $69 for 30 days. And we've got about eight classes on the schedule right now, hopefully next week about 12. [inaudible] are you going to increase the $10 for the dropping?

Probably. I want to review, you know, how many drop-ins we're selling. If we're selling a lot, wisdom has it take it up. Yeah. But we also wanted to make it achievable for somebody that didn't have a lot of money. Yeah. They need to move to [inaudible]. Cool. I hope that answered your question Mariana. Uh, D what country are the majority of people on the attack doing online classes? Well, I'm going to, I don't know. I don't know the answer to that, but what I'm going to do is I'm going to relaunch the poll about where people are and I'm just going to ask if everybody who could answer this.

Yeah. Could just answer it in the way that is. I'm doing online classes and I'm in this country and I'll try and answer these question that way. So if you're not offering online classes, don't, don't complete the poll. I'm using a poll that it's not meant for this to do something, but we'll see what it comes up with. Cool. Thanks everybody for answering that. I just share the results. Uh, D it looks like about 80% of the people that are doing online classes are in the U S but there's people in Canada, Mexico, Australia, everywhere.

It looks like everywhere there are people doing it. So we actually have a few people from my, my other business partner is from the UK, so we have a few people that have joined in from the UK depending on the time, obviously. So there's that constraint. I think that's what she meant, but I'm not positive. Cool. Uh, this is from Lee. Uh, why'd you leave them fly for 48 hours? I think we addressed that. I think that was just your first attempt to that. And you're using zoom to stream and zoom to store. Um, I'm sure there was other platforms. I haven't looked at other ones. We've been using zoom for our business for the last two or three years. So yeah, it's been super, it's been fabulous.

And they're working like crazy behind the scenes. Like I'm trying to add capacity and they're doing a really good job. It's only broken down a couple of times. So it makes sure that when you're doing this that your wifi is really good. And your, your, um, student's wifi is as good as possible.

Yeah. One of the things that we have found is that, um, if we put too much, you know, two things at once on the same internet connection from people's homes cause we are as an organization just working from home. So if they have a child who's doing video games at the same time, it just chokes. And uh, that's the, so if you can you try and make sure nobody else is using your bandwidth at the same time. But what do you do with those children when you're trying to work out and you have to do some things with them? Well, I think there's also an opportunity and perhaps this is something people can consider is, you know, work out with a mother daughter workouts. You know, maybe that's the solution for teachers is to bring their child in because there's a lot of people trying to do at home childcare and it's not that easy. So, um, you know, these with your kids, teach that, bring your daughter into the sitting room or wherever you're filming from and encourage your clients to do that. Maybe it's just one class a week, but I, I think that's a cool idea.

No, we're going to, we're going to be doing kids' classes cause you know, at least my three grandchildren across the street there, they have a PE mandate that they're supposed to complete. So that'll help them. And I did want to say that the pricing that we're offering, since we can't control it anyway, we're making it very clear that that pricing is for the household. So hopefully they're not sharing it with all their friends, but you know, it is what it is. Yeah. Uh, next question for Michelle. Are you concerned about liability with posting online classes? Uh, are you able to give feedback on their form?

Yeah. So Michelle Wiki, when people come into the class, we have chosen to make it so their video's not available and we mute them. Both. It, it causes too much confusion. If everyone's not muted and we don't want the responsibility of showing them on a video anywhere, if they don't want to be seen, because if they reveal their video, then everyone else can see them. So they can do that by choice. We have a little disclaimer at the start of every class to say that.

So if they choose to unveil themselves, then we can make corrections as good as as we can. We are getting up to about 35 40 people in these classes though. So you know, sorry, don't, don't send a Polonius please to me, I know we're not supposed to have big glasses, but you know, we're just trying to help people move a little bit. So liability wise, you know, they've signed the liability waiver, we've warned them at the start of every class, please make sure your coffee table is out of the way so you don't bang it while you're doing a leg circle and hope for the best. Yeah, I think that's a good point, right at the introduction to your class. Just say, you know, you're going to need this much space. You know as well as you're not going to need props or you are going to need prompts.

We just make sure that they think and conscious of like the last thing you want is anybody to bang their head. I think, think, I hope that answered your question Michelle. I'm just gonna go onto the next one. It's a different Michelle, our state just put the small business administration disaster loan application online, have owners and other States applied for disaster assistance. Yet there have been quite a number. I'm in these um, owner groups, so there's quite a number that have applied. I do know that, uh, I don't know if it's state or federal, but I found out before I got on this call that suddenly the online, um, application went away. And so you have to pull the forms down, fill them out and upload them back up. And I'm not sure if that's the federal or state by state. So again, you know, just be mindful. Yeah, you probably feel like you really need it, but what's, what's the future going to hold and how does it look if you're stuck with that loan? And no studio. Okay.

So I'm going to use this polling question. It's just, is the PLA, the studio where you teach or practice closed? It's just a yes. No. So I'm going to relaunch this and asking the question. It's just yes, no. Have you tried to renegotiate with your landlord? Okay. So the question here is have you tried to renegotiate with your landlord?

So it looks like over 50% have tried to renegotiate with their landlord and um, I'm curious. So the 12% that didn't, is it a reluctance to, you didn't need to, I mean, we don't have to ask this question, but or, um, are you afraid to, the answer is they're going to do it this afternoon. Oh, yay. After our call, Katie, they got, so we've got three things we want. We want to ask them for full, um, relief for at least a month or two. If that doesn't work, then we're going to say, okay, will you take it on a percentage of sales? And if, if I shouldn't say he, they say no to that, then you're going to come at him with number three. Okay. Let's talk about changing the term. So there's three little tips.

If anybody else has gotten other ones, let me know. Yeah, good luck to you. I'm, I'm in the process of doing the same thing talking with my landlord. I want him to understand what's happening and uh, yeah. See what, see what's possible. You know, he has a business. I have a business. So can we do together, um, what is the mind body online, what is mind body online talking about monthly fee relief. At least for one month for subscriber. We'd been with them for 10 years.

I think you touched on this but let's cover it. Yeah. Yeah. So they are giving you, if you go into the help menu, you have to be in your owner login, but you go through the help menu. There is a whole COBIT relief. Um, I think it might even be on your pop up, but if it's not, it's in that help menu and you can fill out a form there. They are really backlogged. So do be patient. Even though the text says it's going to take you two days, it's going to take them more like a week. And they're, they're really doing a great job. So it's full relief for a month, two months if you decide to sign on them with them for a year.

So again, be really mindful you're, it's changing your term. So if you think there's a chance that you're not going to survive this, don't do the two months, you don't want to get yourself locked into paying my body for another 12 months. So I want people to understand that. I know they seem like a big behemoth and they are a big company, but I've been with them since they were in their garage and I know them personally and I know that they're doing the best they can. I even called them out a couple of times and said, you need to get to my emails out to people right now.

Cause they're scared and they were working on it. So they've taken a big hit too and they're doing the best they can. The, the, you know, a lot of furloughs are going out to employees there. So they're a little short handed, like we all are. Yeah. Um, how are you managing health insurance for your employees? I have tried desperately over the years for us to be able to offer that to our people and we can't, it's just not possible. By way of example, I'm 62, I pay $891 a month myself. Self-pay.

If I went onto a group policy, it'd be $2,100. It's just not realistic. But they are employees. They have sick pay, they've got workers comp, they've got um, uh, the disability if they need it. So at least I can give them that. Uh, don't ask the question about, tell me more about your YouTube membership. Curious how you think you can profit from it. So it's not a YouTube membership. We run our memberships through mind, body.

The videos are hosted on YouTube and then the thumbnails are carried into our Squarespace website, behind a member portal. Does that make sense? So the, the videos can only be seen if you have that link. So you can only see them there. So there are various settings in YouTube that allow you to have a bit for public. You have to have the link to be able to see it.

There's various levels of privacy. So Katie has set that sort of pretty high level of privacy. So the only place that you'll be able to find that is to go to her website and be caught because it's behind the paywall. You have to log in. You can only see it if you log into the site. Did I get that about right? Yeah.

And we do have some free content that's on our YouTube channel that's public. So there's three listings in in YouTube. Public means it goes out anywhere. Unlisted means it's essentially behind. They have to have the link to get to it, but anyone that has the link can see it. And then there's private, which is problematic. And I wouldn't even use it if I were you.

It just doesn't port anywhere very well. Cool. I'm going to come back to your question, Debbie. I'm going to go to the next one here. How are you paying your teachers that are instructing your live classes? Are they still employees? Is it flat rate? How are you doing there?

They're still employees and they're still being paid currently at the rate that they were when they were in studio. So we don't have a large studio. Um, at the time we were open we could take maybe 15 people or so in a class. So we pay a flat rate up to four people and then, or excuse me, up to three people. And then from that, from that up, we're paying them by the head. So you can set that to be ad Infinium or you can set mind, body to cap. So right now we have most of our teachers kept, not all of them because we are opening these classes to a hundred people. So that's a lot of Dota payout if I didn't cap it. Cool.

Are the virtual classes taught without products? What sort of props are you using? So, um, we are using bands, our bar teachers using balls, squishy balls and things like that. And she's giving alternatives. We're also doing lightweight, so we're giving alternatives to that. But mostly prompt lists are privates. We have, we're lucky enough that a number of our clients have equipment at home, whether it's reformers or chairs. So if they do, um, some of my teachers have, have equipment at home as well. If they don't, then they can block off the studio and say, um, Jamie's coming in to use a reformer to teach Molly one-on-one via FaceTime.

Cool. But you know, there's, there's a lot of equipment out there that, um, I know that spry and optp I think are giving some discounts right now cause they, they know they can prevail in this market right now. Interesting. Um, for your online classes, do you only have your current studio members or do you get new members from other locations? We got a lot of new members, um, in our Tuesday bar class, I think there were five brand new people out of the 35 that were there. So that's not bad. We don't know where our reach is. Right. I mean, until we try. Yeah. That's amazing.

As Sarah shared that a friend of hers uses Hiscox insurance and that was the only one that she could find that had coverage for this online stuff. I'm an optimist. Clever ones. She's a fellow bound balanced body master teacher. So she runs a really tight program. She knows where if she speaks. Cool. So our last question today is the million dollar question. Uh, you mentioned juvenile July. Do you think Pilati studios will reopen in June, July, and why? Oh my goodness.

That is such a tough question. What I want here. So I have a, my good friend works for Thermo Fisher scientific, which is busy trying to make these tests and she's, they're killing it. But I would like to see if we can get a test and find out who has had it and who has immunity and therefore is relatively safe to go back and to the community. Now we don't, they don't know. I shouldn't say we. They don't know what that, how long that immunity is for. But at least that might buy us a couple months to get us in the economy up on our feet. Right. If that doesn't happen and I think it will, then it's going to be longer because getting those tests out first to the healthcare providers that need them then to patients that need them and then finally to those of us that are, knock on wood, it's still healthy.

That's going to be a longer battle. So it's, I think it's a, that's my view. I think it's up to those two things. And I want to add just, I hope it doesn't run us over if this, if this gets lifted right, and magically the doors open and we can all go out. I think we as Palladio's teachers have a moral choice at that point. Do we go out there and reopen because we don't have the CrossFit people that are, you know, rage and healthy 26 year olds. We have people with issues and Louise and I discussed this and I don't know if she talked to our other partner, but it's like, I don't know that I'd be comfortable opening up again and inviting that situation into our space and onto our client's lives.

So that's something to think about if things happen prematurely. Yeah, I think, yeah, my view on this is it kind of depends what's going on in your community, your country. You know, if you look at some of the ways that the flattening of the curve has happened in different countries that have had different policies about how successful they are by you know, having the transmission of the disease in their communities. You can see that if they're really strict about that interaction, you can really flatten the curve and the thing can die out within a relatively short period of time if you're not. And here in the U S we were looking at the media of people down into spring break down on the beaches in Florida, all those people are in a position where they can transfer the disease and that disease will continue to spread further and further through the population. So that, that is, to me, the wild card in here is how well can societies, countries, regions, cities around the, around the world deal with all of this, know the contagion that goes with this.

So it could be as early as June, July. But if we have, you know, a lot of spread of the disease in the community, it could be a lot worse. Yeah. And then my heart goes out to Baton Rouge and, and um, new Orleans because they're getting hit bad right now because of Mardi Gras. I think so I'm thinking about them a lot. Yeah. I wish I knew the answer to your question, Debbie. It's something that I think about all the time. Um, for my own business planning, I have a couple of cases, I'm assuming they're kind of good one where we're backed by, you know, my birthday's on star Wars day, which is may the fourth has in may the fourth be with you. Um, so I'm hoping that uh, we'll be back in the office and we can interact with each other by may the fourth. That's my most optimistic kind of scenario.

And then I have other business planning that is thinking about much, much later in the year. And I'm kind of thinking about the pros and cons of business decisions for all of those things. And I encouraged you to have a couple of different, maybe three different scenarios about know how do I survive if it's, I'm back in business in June or may or whatever. And then later in the summer and then a particularly dark scenario of really late in the year. But yeah, and I think if you, I looked a little bit at the Spanish flu, the two 1918 one you know, hit during the first winter and then dropped off in the summer and then hit again even worse the following winter. So I, I don't know, there's a lot of things to kind of think about in this. And I wish I knew Debbie. I so wish I knew what the answer was and it would reduce my stress and my, my concern about this, it is disheartening to hear all this, but I have to say from my personal experience, you know, we are, humanness adapts to these challenges over over hours and days and time.

And you know, had you come up to me last week and said, okay, we're going to close you down until July, I would've come unglued. But now that we're getting this information and it's like humans are very adaptable creatures. I think we can make it through and like John says, game this out for yourself. What does it look like if I do that? What if I, what if I do this? What if this happens? And two, I'm somebody had a question about saturating the market. You know, remember that we all each have our own communities and that community of students and clients that you have, they want to support you and they love you. We got a couple of of comments when my business partner taught the first class this week from students who said it just felt so warm and fuzzy to hear her voice again and to see the studio, you know, in its place. Then they felt more grounded and more at peace and more at ease. So don't underestimate the effect that you as a teacher have on your community. Don't listen to all the other noise and the free this and the, I'm teaching this and that and looking all beautiful.

We have our scene just like we did when we were out in brick and mortar. Yeah, no different. I, I'd consider you know, the, that connection between these people that have been in your studio, the, that your students and you teach them on a regular basis. If you think you're lonely, that other person is just as lonely as you are, just as isolated by this. Um, but later on tonight, it's my, in our business we always have a happy hour on a Thursday night at four 30. So in a couple of hours we're going to have a happy hour with all the employees. Just the same as usual and we're going to gather and tell stories and do those things. We won't be in person, we'll be online, but I would consider using zoom to do much the same with your, you open up your studio to a virtual eye in a wine and cheese, whatever is culturally appropriate in your community or with your folks and just invite them in and chat and hear what's there.

Because I think that the loneliness of this disease is one of the, of this virus is one of the really underrated kind of things. There's a big concern here. Yeah. Yeah. Um, we've reached three o'clock. I went over, I'm sorry I went over a little bit here, but apologies. Uh, we will be back next week. So look for our website where we'll have a link to the speakers that we're getting. As I said earlier, we are hopefully going to Australia and we are going to the U K and I'm trying to book third person for next week. So, uh, Jake just put it in the chat plot.

He's anytime I've got live, live, but if you have ideas of I'd really like it if you got on the on zoom and talk to fill in the blank. Email us, tell us because we're looking for your ideas and if there's a subject that you'd really like us to talk about, we'll find the best we can. We'll find an expert on that subject and we will bring them on and have a great conversation with them. But I'd like to wrap up here and thank Katie. Thank you, Katie. Thanks John for doing this. We recognize that you, you know, you're doing this from your heart and we're all very, very grateful. Oh, thank you. But thank you for everything you do to Katie. And, uh, I will see everybody on Monday and I think if we get it together, we'd be live with Australia. So I'm excited about that. Thank you everybody. I'm going to wrap this up. Uh, you'll get the video in your email in a couple of days time, probably Monday.

Um, but we'll see you soon. Thank you everybody. Thank you Katie.

Comments

Thank you so very much John and Katie! These discussions are so helpful and informative. Pilates anytime has been my grounding and inspiration to keep my clients energized and moving taking a moment before and after class to chat and share our homes with each other in this difficult time. A precious resource that I am grateful to be part of. ❤️🥰😻😘😍to all!
You are such darlings thank you. I teach in England and we are all in this together. Pilates Anytime was my lifeline before but now even more than ever. Such a fantastic site sharing wonderful knowledge, love and energy. 
Thank you both!  
I'd like to request Katie Santos to come back because there's so much change in the area of the SBA Loans and the CARE Aid since this initial post…I'd love to hear what Katie says for sole proprietors in the USA. Thank you very  much.

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