Is it the End of the Community Pilates Studio?

Fit4Real_IsIttheEndFor as long as I can remember, I have been working on becoming a better Pilates instructor. But I have to level with you. Lately I’ve been in a funk. Heavy with doubt and uncertainty about my chosen field. Why?

With all the competition in the San Francisco Bay Area fitness industry it has felt like I’ve had to move faster and faster just to not get left behind. I can’t think of a better way to describe this feeling than by referencing Indiana Jones & the Raiders Of The Lost Ark. Jones snatches the gold treasure, replacing it with a bag of sand. He thinks for a minute that he’s successful and then the ceiling starts to collapse around him. He runs faster and faster and the boulders behind him are bigger and bigger.

The fitness trend is nothing new: don’t work out more, workout more intensely and it doesn’t matter if you’re doing it right, just do it. But, this time around this trend is different. Why is it different? Because this fitness trend now has all the backing of big companies which have big money and technology. The result?

High level Pilates instructors are being treated as commodities.

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Welcome.

Fit4Real is a resource for inspiring and seasoned Pilates pros to learn skills and strategies for building a more successful Pilates career. I’ve been studying Pilates for over two decades. And I absolutely love helping teachers and entrepreneurs reach their potential.

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9 Insanely Easy Ways to Increase Your Pilates Class Attendance, Part 2

So, in a recent post “9 Insanely Easy Ways to Increase Your Pilates Class Attendance” we looked at how you could increase the attendance in your Pilates classes without much time and in ways that you could repeat for every single class. Now, let’s look at how your manager or mentor may be able to help you.

9InsanelyEasyWaysToIncreasePilatesClassAttendanceP2
6 | TAKE A LONG, HONEST LOOK

I truly believe that when someone really enjoys your class, typically they commit with their wallet.

In my experience, if someone loves a class they commit by purchasing a package or signing up for the next week. No need for a big sales pitch. All you have to do is make it easy for them to purchase and signup (i.e. tip #5). If they’re on the fence at all about the class, they do not purchase additional classes on the spot. And once they have walked out the door they may never try again. Read More

9 Insanely Easy Ways to Increase Your Pilates Class Attendance

In keeping with the title of “insanely easy” I want to keep this information short and sweet. And not overwhelm you with too much all at once.  If you like what you see here, be sure to read Part 2.

Now let’s get to it.

9 Insanely Easy Ways To Increase Pilates Class Attendance

There’s one goal every business has in common: to make a profit. A Pilates studio is no different. After all, money keeps the business afloat, pays the bills, allows you to take home a paycheck, and most importantly allows you to keep doing what you love — teaching Pilates.

Whether you own a studio or work for one, it’s critical you do what you can to increase your class numbers.

BEGIN WITH A GOAL

A starting goal would be to try to fill at least 65% of available class spots. Finding your ideal utilization rate is important for setting growth goals and managing budgets. Some days and weeks there will be a higher attendance rate, others lower.  However, a good place to start is with 65% of the entire studio’s available spots utilized.  The 65% average utilized might not work for your studio so it’s important to figure out what will work for your business (or ask your manager). Read More

Why Pilates instructors are more like Narwhals than Unicorns

Ah yes, the magical unicorn stands as a fabulous yet distant symbol of our modern obsession with a magic pill that will “fix” you. The lore around unicorns stretches way back to the ancient Greeks. Nowadays we see it everywhere with double rainbows coming out of its eyeballs. If you find your magical unicorn and possess the mystical candy canes, its special healing powers will heal its rider.PilatesUnicorn

We all want our unicorn to fix our aches and pains. But the problem is, where do you find a unicorn?

My suggestion is to instead, look for a narwhal. Unlike unicorns (and Santa, sorry kids), narwhals really do exist — in the Arctic waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia to be exact. Narwhals aren’t lacking in legend or lore, and have been called the unicorns of the sea. Narwhals are symbols of imagination, deeper awareness, freedom, discovery, and beauty.

I believe great Pilates teachers share some of these characteristics with the sea-unicorn and the best part is they may be working in a Pilates studio in your very own city.

A good Pilates teacher can offer the promise of a better life. A better life without pain, tension, and with all the good stuff you want to do like sit, stand, pick up your child, run, golf, dance. Whatever it is you want to do, no matter the point you are on your life path, Pilates sees where you are and can take you where you want to be. Read More