Entries in Business Ideas (67)
In February, we launched our first “Pilates on Call” segment with Siri Dharma Galliano and asked for your suggestions for future expert Pilates hosts. Thanks to an enthusiastic nomination, this month we’re bringing you Matt and Carrie McCulloch, owners of the new Kinected studio in New York. This dynamic husband–wife duo will be here over the next few weeks to answer your questions about opening and running a Pilates studio in these challenging economic times.
Matt and Carrie share a commitment to bridging the gaps between movement and medicine, which led them to create the FAMI Workshop, an anatomy program for fitness professionals. The pair always envisioned opening a studio together, and in 2008, they came across a studio owner who wanted to sell her space (thanks to an ad on Pilates-Pro.com). After doing some research, they decided to take the plunge. Since then, they’ve renovated and transformed the studio according to their vision and are happy and thriving in their new digs, despite an unforeseen recession.
So if you’re wondering about buying or starting studio, the research you need to do beforehand, renovating, how to staff up, how to handle a transition with existing employee and clients, working with family members or anything else, leave your questions in the comments section below or email email@example.com. Matt and Carrie will get to them as quickly as possible, but might need a day or two to respond.
About Matt and Carrie
Matt McCulloch, a Pilates and GYROTONIC instructor, has been studying Pilates for 20 years and has trained instructors for both STOTT Pilates and Pilates on Fifth. Carrie McCulloch, MD, is a physician and STOTT Pilates-trained instructor. She co-created the award-winning living anatoME™ program, which incorporates Pilates and yoga into the teaching of anatomy in medical school. This summer, she will begin her medical internship, followed by a residency in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at New York Presbyterian-The University Hospital of Columbia & Cornell. Matt and Carrie met and started dating through Pilates, teamed up to start the FAMI Workshop in 2006 and are co-authoring the upcoming textbook Gray’s Anatomy for Fitness Professionals with other medical professionals. They opened Kinected in 2008, where they look forward to fostering a center that serves the comprehensive health and education needs of clients and instructors.
By Amy Leibrock
“Returned from 60min Pilates! Instructor from abroad, he has an accent, sounds like Arnold Schwarzeneger…very entertaining! I’ll be back!” —overhead on Twitter
Do you Tweet? We do…Pilates-Pro.com just set up a Twitter profile this month. (You can see our Tweets and follow us at twitter.com/Pilates_Pro_com.) If you’re not sure what Twitter is all about, you’re not alone. For all the press it gets, the social networking site Twitter has yet to reach the critical mass that Facebook has. But if you like Facebook, LinkedIn or MySpace, it’s worth checking out. You can connect with friends, clients and colleagues, promote your business, get breaking news, follow the moves of your favorite celebs and brands—and just waste time—in 140 characters or less. We’re still learning, but it’s been fun so far.
There are some other fun things you can do on Twitter…like eavesdrop. That’s how I found the quote above. Without even being a member, you can search by any term and see what people are saying about it in real time. We searched by “Pilates instructor” and “Pilates teacher.” Here’s more of what we found…
On setting a great example…
“Looks like I’ll be taking Pilates instead of yoga since I met the 75 year-old instructor”
“best pilates class ever! this lady instructor was keep calling Dr. Pilates Uncle Joe… -_- But she had the most amazing arms as a 50 y/o!”
“wonders if pilates is a waste of time? looking at the instructor… probably not.”
…and a little criticism
“wishes her Pilates instructor didn’t talk so much about her recent colonoscopy.”
“the problem with the pilates class I go to - teacher is quite good but never adds new challenges so no real progress made”
“most inspiring teacher-Mary Bowen- “Body, what do you WANT to do today?” at Pilates Method Alliance Convention Nov 08 -first gen.are amazing”
“Just back from pilates…my instructor made a routine for me to do on the road, + insists I check in w/ her on FB daily <3 accountability :)”
“I do pilates daily, and it makes me feel like the Queen Of Health!!”
“Pilates = so not boring. Especially with the right instructor.”
To Learn More
For more information on how to use Twitter, check out these resources:
Twittering Tips for Beginners from David Pogue of the New York Times
Twitter for Beginners - 5 Things to Do as a New Twitter User from Problogger.net
Mashable’s Twitter category
Join Pilates-Pro.com on Facebook and LinkedIn
Here at Pilates-Pro.com, we’re always on the lookout for the newest trend in the Pilates industry. Even though the economy has been sour lately, studios around the country are reporting a growing demand from pet-crazed clients for animal-adapted Pilates exercises for pets of all kinds, including Hubie, an American Short Hair Guinea Pig.
Have you ever sent a personal note to a client, maybe thanking them for signing on for a schedule of privates, or as an “anniversary” note of gratitude? Or maybe a client has disappeared for a while and you’d like to let her know that she’s welcome back anytime. A quick, handwritten note is a great way to give special clients the personal touch that will make them feel appreciated and keep them engaged with your business.
Pilates clothing company WE Pilates recently launched an adorable new line of Pilates- and yoga-themed note cards which are perfect to add to your stationary stash. Our favorite of the five designs is shown here. (There’s also a Spine Stretch and Teaser, among others, and the paper stock is nice and thick.) Each design can be ordered in a blonde or brunette version and comes in packs of 10 for $17. WE Pilates will also customize orders with your name and a different hair color, hair length or ethnicity on orders over 50.
Holiday Gift Ideas for Pilates Clients
The Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) recently announced plans for its annual Pilates Day® activities, scheduled for May 2, 2009. Instead of focusing on a national event as it has in the past, this year the organization is providing more support and resources to help its members host their own grassroots Pilates Day events locally.
Held each year on the first Saturday in May, Pilates Day was created by the PMA to create awareness about Pilates, its health benefits and its history. It’s an opportunity for PMA members to educate their communities about Pilates and attract valuable local media attention to their businesses.
So, now is the time to get creative about your Pilates Day plans. You could hold a free workshop, host a day-long open house, teach a mat class in a park or community center, partner with other studios or health professionals for a bigger event, get kids involved—the sky’s the limit—as long as it’s accessible and fun.
To host a Pilates Day event, you must be a member of the PMA and submit an online application. The PMA will then send you an official event kit, a helpful electronic package which includes event ideas, planning tips and a sample time line and budget. To help members promote their events, the kit also includes advertising and PR tips, a sample media alert and press release, production-ready Pilates Day 2009 logos and customizable posters, postcards and business cards. Your event will also be listed on the Pilates Day website.
We can’t wait to see what kinds creative events people come up with. If you’re hosting a Pilates Day event, be sure to take pictures and email us a few. We’ll choose the best ones and post them on Pilates-Pro.com. You can also post them to the Pilates-Pro.com Flickr pool or our Facebook page.
New Column! During February, Pilates-Pro.com is hosting an open Q&A with Siri Dharma Galliano. Siri will be “on call” all month to answer your questions about teaching Pilates and running a business. If you have a question for Siri, please leave it for her in the comments section of this post and she’ll answer soon.
Siri has started things off by answering a few questions sent to her lately by studio owners. After the jump, you can read her responses to whether to buy new or used equipment and how to discourage clients from wanting to wear shoes in the studio.
About Siri: A protégé of Romana Kryzanowska, Siri Dharma Galliano is also certified in Kundalini yoga and the owner of Live Art Pilates Studio in West Los Angeles. She has sold over $1 million in Pilates equipment and has set up studios all over the United States, Europe, Australia and Russia. She travels to studios as a consultant, has been used as an equipment expert in liability court cases, is a trainer of teachers in the Traditional Method, and is producing the Second Big Bear Pilates Intensive, August 21-23, 2009, in California.
10 Social Networking Tips for Pilates Instructors
By Amy Leibrock
First things first—Pilates-Pro.com is now on Facebook and LinkedIn! If you’re a member of either, we’d love for you to become a fan/group member. Use the links or log on to either site and search for “Pilates-Pro.com” to find us.
If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, read on. Social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and Twitter might sound intimidating, but they’re actually quite easy to use. They each work a little differently, but basically they all provide ways to interact with friends, family, colleagues and clients on the Web. Social networks won’t make or break your business, but they are great ways to spread the word about your studio and creatively market your services (for free!). And they’re becoming more and more popular every day.
This article is by no means a comprehensive guide to using these new technologies. Consider it a gentle nudge to give in to the cyber pull of social networking sites and start experimenting. If you’ve already had success using these sites, add a comment about how you use them. If it’s all new to you, grab the nearest teen or 20-something for a quick tutorial. Or, just read our tips, create a profile and start networking.
As the economy continues its downward spiral, we’re still seeing stories with bright spots, like Health Businesses Hope to Stay Fit, which reports on the slowdown’s effect on fitness businesses in Riverside, CA. Kristy Goldstein owner of Sixth Street Pilates, says her business is holding steady. And Boom Times for Barter looks into the trend of swapping services to save money—Los Angeles Pilates instructor Erin Huggins trades Pilates services for housecleaning and bodywork as well as branding and image consulting worth about $30,000.
And we’re still seeing positive stories about new businesses starting up—Studio 500 Pilates in the Cincinnati area, a wellness center in Memphis, and a yoga/Pilates business in Billings, MO—and many Pilates studios are doing their part to give back to their communities even in this tougher market. Here are some great fundraisers we’ve come across lately:
•Pivotal Motion Pilates: Donate $40 to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and get a free private
•Fusion Fitness Studio: Free class with food bank donation
•Pilates Plus: Free class with charity donation
•Core Pilates & Yoga: Free class to benefit autism
And, just for fun, we thought this Pilates haiku might brighten your day.
Contort your body
While emptying mind of thoughts
Visit the blog Desultory Politics & Erratic Haiku for more.
While you’re busy shopping for your loved ones this holiday season, don’t forget about your beloved Pilates clients who have supported you all year long. In today’s challenging economy it’s even more important to treat your loyal clients well. Consider it money well spent—they’ll appreciate the gesture and will be even more likely to spread the word about how fabulous you are.
Elisa Bluming of Bluming Studio in Brooklyn, NY, has been giving to her all her active clients for several years. “I am grateful every day for the best client base I could imagine,” she says. “I opened my studio right before 9/11, and while much new potential business quickly disappeared, I would not have survived without my client base that followed me and continued to scrape together money to continue their training. I think it really helps my business by making people feel that they are a welcome part of the studio community.”
Some of the gifts Elisa has given over the years include a pair of super-soft bamboo socks, a “Bonger” massage tool and a stainless steel water bottle. “I wanted to stop using disposable water cups at the studio and wanted to promote that my clients conserve as well so I put stainless steel cups in the studio and gave everyone a stainless steel water bottles with the studio logo,” says Bluming.
Bluming suggests spending around $5 per client, including shipping, so it pays to find wholesale or bulk pricing for the gift you choose. Look for items sold in pairs that you can split (that’s what she did with the Bongers, which are $9.50 per pair wholesale). Check the sale sections of some of your favorite vendors’ websites or turn to businesses in your community that may cut you a deal in exchange for promoting their product.
Still looking for ideas? We’ve rounded up a group of in expensive gifts that will leave your clients smiling. [Note: All of these items also make great items to sell at retail!]
At a Pilates workshop in New York recently, I listened as Kathy Grant recounted stories of her training at the studios of Carola Trier and Joseph Pilates. Suddenly I realized that Grant, Trier and Mr. Pilates himself all had home studios. After all, they lived in New York, so space was limited; and Pilates wasn’t intended to be a big moneymaker. For the last decade though, Pilates has gained notoriety and popularity, inspiring large studios all over the country. But many Pilates instructors, for a variety of reasons, still teach at home to a small and loyal following, steps from their kitchens and bedrooms. A few such instructors offered their insight and advice for anyone interested running a Pilates business from home.