Do you own a Pilates studio? Perhaps you’re a Pilates instructor? In this article, you will learn pro tips for running your Pilates business right from your phone. Pilates is super popular in the fitness industry. Pilates instructors can and should take advantage of all of the latest apps and tools so they can spend more time with clients and less on paperwork (still using pen and paper, eh?)
Most independent Pilates instructors are fighting against erosion in demand from:
– Pilates apps
– Big gyms that offer pilates classes
With more people than ever discovering the benefits of Pilates, there is a huge opportunity for professionals who want to create thriving businesses. This cannot be done using traditional methods in many cases. There is too much competition in the marketplace, and modern clients expect a seamless experience that may be beyond the capacity of a small studio.
Here are some of the areas of improvement for typical independent Pilates instructors:
Automation – Get each part of your studio organized and well coordinated
Ease of new client sign-up and onboarding – Forget paperwork! Add students to the app of your choice or have clients book themselves online using your booking site – and all the data entry work has been eliminated, just like that. Presto!
Filling classes – Choose an app that allows you to book multiple folks into one slot
Getting rebookings and retaining clients – It’s hard enough running the business, but now you need to try to get one-time clients to rebook and also try to keep your clients from ghosting. How is it possible to do all of this and still have a life? Answer: Technology! You can use Smart Campaigns to auto-text clients, encouraging them to rebook. You can also auto-text your current clients to follow up with them regarding their experience (and offer them incentives to book additional classes or refer a friend or family member!)
Collecting recurring payments and setting up regular appointments – This is a hassle and a nightmare for beginning business owners. Use something that allows you to automatically track and manage recurring bookings, including charging your customers. Ideally you’d want something that can do all of this from 1 mobile app (no desktop needed!)
Tracking client progress and client management – This usually falls by the wayside because of the litany of other tasks occupying your time. Fortunately, with PocketSuite each student gets their own profile where you can track all the most important info for that student. No more rummaging for paper files or looking up client files on your laptop – just pull it up on your phone in 15 seconds.
The overarching solution that I’m advocating is to invest in the right app that keeps everything in one place. In most cases, this kind of app is not easy to find, especially an all-in-one.
Fortunately, PocketSuite allows Pilates instructors to run a full-fledged Pilates instructor business without the need to take on more expenses like additional instructors on your payroll or tons of new, confusing software.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways that PocketSuite gives Pilates instructors a chance to focus on their core competencies without losing out on any new client opportunities.
Taking Your Studio to a New Level
The traditional way to expand business is to first increase the capacity of that business to take on new clients and automate some of the paperwork.
In most cases, this means hiring new instructors. You probably have to give them a salary instead of just having them be commission-based, which can really cut into your payroll expenses.
One of the biggest opportunities that PocketSuite provides to small Pilates studios is the ability to automate the paperwork and admin work without hiring new people.
Furthermore, Pilates instructors do not really have time to handle everything needed for a growing business. In order to build and maintain a great practice, Pilates instructors must stay ahead of the latest techniques and sequences. This involves research, taking up time that you would normally use on all of the paperwork for your business.
How exactly does the app help Pilates studios expand?
PocketSuite has the ability to give a small studio the full range of appointment booking options. Similar to how instructors have a number of different kinds of appointments, including private individual appointments, group sessions, first-time drop-in classes, and series classes.
In many cases, clients find their new Pilates instructor through social media. Social media management can be extremely difficult for a single Pilates instructor that doesn’t have a team already and hiring a social media expert can be prohibitively expensive for a solo practitioner.
Some instructors are even responsible for coordinating recurring appointments and there is always the responsibility of making sure you charge for late cancellations and no-shows.
In some cases, Pilates instructors do not have the time to follow up and collect their fees, including late fees. This can lead to lost income and puts your reputation at risk – if clients do not feel as though they have to show up to their appointments that instructor loses respect and is not considered a reference-able business.
PocketSuite automates all of the above appointment types and more. You as an independent Pilates instructor are no longer personally responsible for booking appointments with clients. (Imagine that!)
Clients and prospects can be categorized into various groups and you can send an email or SMS to them for marketing purposes – automagically! The app integrates with Google Calendar and iCal, ensuring that all scheduling for your students is done efficiently.
Using PocketSuite, independent Pilates instructors can also eliminate the burden of having to follow up on late paying customers, late cancellations, and no-shows. All of this is done automatically and on a recurring basis by the app so the “nudging” and “reminders” are always in progress. At the same time, you as the Pilates instructor are freed up to sign up the next batch of students, grow your business, and keep your 5 star reputation.
Strong, consistent onboarding of new clients is a hassle that many Pilates studios have trouble with. Most instructors are usually using a crude paper and pencil onboarding process or hiring an assistant to do the job, which cut into their profit margins. This expense, however, may not always pay off. Pilates studios do not necessarily receive a steady volume of new clients activity everyday. Yet, regardless of your client activity, your employee has to be paid consistently.
Do you see how this may become a problem?
PocketSuite has the ability to automatically book new clients. Not only are you as the instructor relieved of the pressure of collecting client information to book them, but your clients can also choose which class is best for them and book ahead of time online (or even from your Instagram or Facebook page!)
The consistency of the booking process is also super important. Using PocketSuite, you will easily be able to tell if your marketing efforts are working without having to become a professional marketer.
Part of the onboarding processes includes collecting deposits from new clients. This can be an awkward stage in the relationship, especially if the prospect has not fully committed to taking your Pilates class. Delegating that interaction to an app is such a relief! It makes the choice to pay a deposit a more natural and expected next step for the client (as opposed to an awkward request from you).
No longer does a Pilates instructor have to moonlight as a professional salesperson or bill collector – this is now the responsibility of the PocketSuite app (which never gets nervous or scared about asking for deposit money!)
Another huge part of expanding your Pilates studio is offering the right promotions. The challenge is how best to offer promotions to the right people at the right time. If you have to offer a discount to everyone at once, you cut into your profit margins because you are offering discounts to clients who can and have paid full price.
With PocketSuite, you can offer promotions one at a time or all at once. You can send messages to specific groups of students who love you and will pay anything to keep working with you. You can send different messages to other individuals or groups who may need a little more prodding to stick with it and keep attending classes. The bottom line is that you have the power to personalize your marketing message and target your communication to specific client audiences.
You can run your promotions through PocketSuite using your social media. You can keep the entire process in a single marketing funnel as well (instead of having to take your prospect through different processes and tools). Once your prospect agrees to take an individual class or group class, you can have the app immediately collect the deposit and confirm the appointment for that specific class. Should that customer need more nudging, you can schedule and send them a personalized message.
Running the Business
As a Pilates instructor, you are responsible for the wellness of your own studio. However, you are also responsible for managing your team. Your team expects you to be professional and three steps ahead at all times, no matter how much extra work is on your plate. On top of that, you have to maintain your position as the people leader, maintain your skill set, and complete the other million things that are required of you in your business.
When do you actually have time to practice your own Pilates alongside teaching and running a business?
This is exactly what PocketSuite was designed to help you do. Not only do you have the ability to automate onboarding and marketing, but you can also easily schedule and manage your Pilates classes.
If you need to get your team together for a group meeting at the drop of a hat, you can do this through PocketSuite. You can keep records of business income and your office calendar to let people know about upcoming changes quickly.
Your team also needs to easily access client information. Depending on your current tools, you may be the only person with total access to client info. Ideally, you should be able to coordinate your team member’s calendars as well as give them access to accurate client info. PocketSuite is the answer here as well.
Creating a bigger, smarter, and better Pilates business is much easier when you have the right tools on your side. PocketSuite is the ultimate marketing, scheduling and client management tool for you if you are looking to grow your business and maintain your reputation as a 5-star Pilates teacher!