So what are the Top 5 Mistakes Pilates Teachers Make
We are going to take you through the top mistakes Pilates teachers make during their business journey. Everybody makes mistakes and Pilates teachers are no exceptions to the rule, we are only human after all. There are times when I look at the posts I’m writing and I think OMG that was so me. I did exactly that….. and that’s how I have come to know what the mistakes are!
And apart from that – I have spent thousands (and still do spend 5 figures a year on business coaching)…. to learn what I know now.
And I would NOT have the business I have now had I not invested in myself, my family and my business…
So No 1 is probably one of the most common ones…
No 1 – Are you treating your business as a hobby or a business?
We can get very relaxed in our approach to how we run our “hobby”.
But how you treat your business will also show your clients how they should treat you.
If you’re not serious then their approach is going to be relaxed…
Start taking ownership of your business and how it’s run. Are you keeping up to date with your accounts? Are you consistently marketing? How do you see the money that comes into your business – as spare change or is it an income? I’ve often heard you can’t make money teaching pilates…
We’ve had our business for 5 years and we’ve been in our studio in just over 3 years and we are already bringing in an income of over £85k. It cost us nearly £30k to renovate the studio so a lot of our income goes back into the business… BUT the sales are there and once the business loan has been paid off that will be money into our bank account!
No 2 – How often do you do any marketing?
I used to do it ad-hoc. A poster here or there! LOL Now I”m all over facebook like a bad rash – facebook is my best marketing tool and I’ve used Facebook for the past 3 years and it’s my number 1 go to. I can schedule my ads, I can check how much I”m spending and keep an eye on whether or not the ads are working.
I kid you not, there have been times when I’ve stopped adverts because the response was so good….. I’ve rarely done flyers because our results from Facebook are always pretty good, but as long as you know HOW to design your flyers, they can also be a very good source of new clients!
No 3 – Not Asking For Business
You have a new person in your class. After the class, they say they really enjoyed it. You say oh that’s great. Bye
And you never see them again…
ASK FOR THEIR BUSINESS.
I went to a very enjoyable aerial yoga class in Exeter. It was a tad out my way, but I would have been happy to drive up for a course.
I went to a taster session and after the class, the teacher had no information on courses, classes/costs or how to sign up.
I also did not get any email follow-up. Although I did get a text about a week later, by which time “LIFE GOT IN THE WAY”
She lost the sale. This process is called CLOSING THE SALE, and if you’re like me – selling is NOT my strong point.
Teaching Pilates is my strong point….. BUT … if you’re going to grow your business and bring more money in… then you need to at least have a system in place to make it easier for people to join you.
This is STILL a work in progress for me and we’re forever trying new things. But, we get more sales because we’re asking rather than just letting them walk out the door and not following up with them. (Not everyone will join you. That’s okay, you are not everyone’s cup of tea and neither is the client! We’ve purposely not offered someone a membership because we didn’t get a good energy from them….it works both ways!)
No 4 – Offering “Pay as You go”…
Now I have written this in caps.. to emphasise… NO NO NO NO NO NO NO! Do not do this…. and I know ‘EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING IT”
and that included me…
BUT how on earth can you run a business and know how much money you are bringing in if you have no idea who is going to turn up on the night and that’s if ANYONE turns up. I’ve sat many a night in a hall on my own – like billy no mates – and no one turned up.
Guess what – YOU STILL HAVE TO PAY FOR THAT HALL!
So you need to make sure you’re getting paid in advance so you know what is coming in.
At our studio in Devon, we run monthly memberships and we deduct payments automatically on the 1st of every month and I know I can go look at the projection forecast and get an instant figure of how much is coming in on the 1st of the next month.
Maybe monthly memberships are still a little too scary for you to offer and that’s okay.
Your next best option is to offer a block pass of 4 classes to use over a period of 6 weeks.
Why 4 classes and not 10?
Well you can offer 10 classes so you get more money up front, BUT it’ll be a good long while before you get your next payment from that person… so if you have a 4 class pass then you know it’ll be 4-6 weeks before that person will be paying for their next block, so you know you’ve got money coming in rather than waiting 3 months …. it seriously does feel like you’re teaching for free when you only get paid once every 3 months.
No 5 – Self Doubt
I see this all the time with new teachers. I often get emails/text with teachers almost in tears because their numbers have dropped or no one has turned up for a class – THIS IS COMPLETELY NORMAL.
As I said earlier in the post – I haven’t got enough fingers or toes to count the number of times I had an empty hall with no clients.
I used to hide behind a wall in one venue I used because people could see me. I thought they’d know I had no clients turn up LOL… At that time, I was so embarrassed and it knocked my confidence.
It took a long time and lots of internal work to overcome this. My mentor was a rock and helped guide me.
When I look back now – those empty classes are what makes me a better teacher today.
I love having full classes and I still don’t like low numbers in my class. However, I now use that as motivation to always be the best teacher I can be and to ensure my marketing is running all the time!
When people don’t show up to your classes it has nothing to do with you. People have lives, children, dogs, goldfish and whatever else. Even when they stop coming to your classes permanently it’s their business. It really has nothing do with you – they are doing what’s right for them.
The sooner you can learn NOT to take it personally the sooner you’ll be able to keep your focus on the people that ARE there. In turn, you can then give THEM the best service that you can.
It may sound easy, but I understand it is far from it. Over several years, I’ve grown to be confident enough in my own skills as a teacher AND a business owner to be able to say that and actually believe it.
If you want to learn Pilates best practices and how to avoid mistakes that Pilates teachers make, then look into our course details here.
Lots of Love from Devon
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