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.
Hi Elisabeth. Congrats! Once you’ve taken care of your ‘business organization’ details, getting clients will be a matter of EXPOSURE. Getting your face and name out there is key to getting business. Offer a free community class. Partner with local businesses to offer a joint marketing event. Produce flyers and distribute them. Write a short article about the benefits of pilates for a local publication and of course include your contact information in the article. Create a “Press Release” for your local newspapers and send it to them.
These are some simple, yet effective ways to get your name out there and to hopefully get business.
I hope that this helps.
I would suggest joining your Chamber of Commerce. If you have a local TV Cable station, check out their advertising packages or offer Pilates as a trade.
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
Get to know your local businesses don’t go at it alone. I have found that personal relations work better than media marketing for a start up since air time can be expensive. The majority of your market is within 10 minutes walking distance don’t waist time outside of this area. Potential customers are attracted to FREE but keep in mind you attract those looking for a “deal”.
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!!