I am managing a pilates/yoga studio. Our Pilates Reformer room can only fit 5 machines, limiting the size and income of the class. I am considering replacing the reformers with chairs in order to increase the capacity of the class. Would clients who do regular reformer classes be happy to switch to regular chair classes?
I have a good idea how it would go down in various places I teach, but how it would be in yours will probably be driven by your membership, your location, etc.
From what I have seen people who pay a premium to do the small sized or individual reformer classes want those classes. Remember that if they have the income to afford that they will also likely be supporting other mat and yoga classes. If they want reformer and you stop having that they are likely to move to another place that offers what they want.
Of course, if you have a really strong teacher who kind of anchors a group of students it may not matter.
And if your rates are very affordable they may stay and do the new thing. Not knowing where you are it is hard to judge, but I haven’t seen reformer or other equipment classes that do not charge more than the mat classes, precisely because of the cost of the equipment and the difficulty of having enough people there to pay the instructor (whose certification for those equipment is more than the cert. to do mat and more expensive).
I would have to say I rarely see any group who is happy for any change, as people feel comforted by what they know. However, they do like to try new things, but generally like to be the ones who get to choose rather than having something taken away.
students rarely react positively to change, and if this class it typically full, you will probably have a fight on your hands. Will the participants have other options to take a reformer class or will they be replaced entirely? That would make things worse.
The only suggestion I have is to involve the regular participants in the decision-making process so that they can ‘own’ the change.
Good luck with that one.
Zayd, I’m curious if you ever replaced your reformers with chairs, and if so how the switch went. I’m looking at investing in chairs rather than reformers, due to space constraints. So I won’t be taking making a change, it’ll be adding something, but I’m curious about the popularity of the chair versus reformer.