I am starting my own Pilates studio, how do I recruit clients - I just moved to this state!
I'm in Southern NJ, so people KNOW about pilates here, but there is only one studio in about a 30-45 min radius from my house. I'm newly certified and ready to strike out on my own after shadowing a master instructor for over a year and a PT for 4 months.
Congratulations on your new business adventure! You should have these details in your business plan before you open any business. Help us help you.
Do you have a business plan?
Michael is right in saying that you need to think about this before you 'strike out on your own'. While you do not necessarily need to 'overthink' this, you need to consider the following questions:
Location: where is the studio? If you plan to train people out of your own home, are you compliant with zoning laws? If you plan to rent space, you NEED a detailed and formal business plan because you will have monthly cost no matter your income.
Insurance: you need professional liability insurance if you have your own business.
Exposure: this was really the question you were asking. Since you are new to the area, teaching classes at a well-regarded fitness club will give you great exposure to potential clients. Creating a professional image through a web site or using this portal here with IDEA FitnessConnect is another way to get yourself 'out there'. You talked about a master instructor and PT. They may also be sources for referrals. Get shirts made with your business name and wear them wherever you go. Never leave the house without a business card.
Getting started is a challenge. Try to keep your operating expenses as low as possible until you have your feet on the ground on the income side.
I wish you good luck.
These are some simple, yet effective ways to get your name out there and to hopefully get business.
I hope that this helps.
Put flyers up wherever you can and have a GRAND OPENING party: order a banner for your space that is highly visible.
Offer Intro discounts
Offer discounts to other businesses
Facebook is great
Target the local schools and ask them if they would distribute flyers or coupons for the kids to take home to their parents
Join the PTA
Sponsor an Athletic team
Wear your T shirt with your name /logo on it always!
Create an Pilates Event:
Sign up for business Expos and Health Fairs
Make sure all promos are for a limited time. Once you have started your grass roots marketing schedule the grand opening, there is power in numbers, work with your local businesses to be apart of this event. Try to schedule it along with an event that attracts your customer base ie. farmers market. Attend this a few weeks consistently advertising your grand opening and the activities / give aways you will be having. Consumers like coming to events that are interactive!
Congratulations and good luck!!
Bad news- most entrepreneurial businesses such as yours will take time to build a client base. 9 months is usually what it takes, but if you're starting up before the winter/new years crowd you'll be ahead of the game.
You have many good ideas to try. Take the chance to speak up any time the topic or related topic comes up, so potential clients know what you do.
Is that radius driving, bicycling or walking time? That will work to your advantage to bring people in your door. Make new friends for the word of mouth power.
Good luck to you.