What problems do you see with a studio-for-rent model for a group exercise facility?
I am considering opening a fitness facility that caters strictly to group exercise instructors. Rather than structuring the facility as a club, my thought is to rent professional exercise space and equipment to instructors on flat rate basis. I am thinking that this sort of arrangement could be advantageous to instructors as long as rental rates could be kept affordable. I am trying to run various issues out with this approach, but am curious whether this sort of studio-for-rent model is prevalent anywhere. I live in a very fitness conscious area and am not aware of any facilities using this sort of model. Is this something that has been tried and abandoned as unworkable already? What problems do you see with this sort of approach?
the challenge I see is that many group classes use some equipment. That's easy for an instructor if it's just bands but anything larger presents a problem. Even classes usually thought of as no equipment such as yoga and Pilates need a few things. Some of those, the students will bring themselves (such as mats) but an instructor would need to carry an awful lot of stuff. Classes with balls would be all but out of the picture.
And if you provide storage space, you'd run into the problem of guarding it.
My thoughts .....
to me personally, such a concept is very appealing. MELT classes attract many participants, equipment is minimal, and space is the only requirement. A fixed rate for renting space per hour would definitely be attractive.
If it was my studio I would charge by the time slot. So 6PM is more expensive than 3PM.
You also should understand that you are responsible for keeping a check that instructors are up to date on training and certifications.
Also, consider giving some of the off peak time slots to training instructors to build their confidence. For example, a 1PM slot to someone who is training in Body Pump but needs a few more classes to feel confident. That way you are helping them and it shows you offering more classes.
It seems to me one of the most attractive things about this arrangement would be that instructors could remain free-lancers (self-employed), not to mention, as the owner of the studio I would not bear the responsibilities that go along with being their employer. This is on my list of questions to put to my attorney, but curious whether people on this forum have run into this in the past.