One important consideration is what types of similar facilities have been successful/unsuccessful in the past 5 years in the area where you are considering opening your studio. Also, what would likely be the best type of marketing/advertising method for the population(s) you’d like to target.
Here are few more to consider:
-Access to your location can be a factor (trains, busses, parking, etc.). If it’s difficult to get to your studio many people might have seconds thoughts.
-How safe the area around your business is, could be another factor (close related to the access one) especially for women.
-How much competition exists close to your studio…the less the better.
-Demographics such as age and income are important and close related.
I hope it helps.
Find out what times people would want to work out, if most people work they may want a 5:30 am class
Is there a demand for a studio?
Can you rent out a space as an independent contractor and build your base that way?
Once you get a following you can then open your own studio
Studio ownership is very challenging!
Rent presumably, and other expenses, will be on the high side in Cambridge, but you have population density on your side. I agree with Harris that aspects of access are very important (mass transit, parking, safety, etc). And yes, absolutely, a review of your competition is helpful. Make sure to look at other stand alone studios, as well as health clubs. And if you are in a student heavy area remember to see what other options are available for them. See if you can get some data on residential/business in your area. A residential area that has a high median income will have more possibilities for mid morning classes, while an area with lots of businesses might make lunch classes a draw.
Do you already have a following in the area on which to build? The most successful Pilates/barre studio I know was started by two women, one of whom was one of the most popular teachers in the area already, and had the following in a demographic that had plenty of money and a readiness to follow her to a space where they would pay more for her class. Even if the demographics are all right having a ready base is really helpful when you move out into your own space.
Most definitely, your overhead. Can the prices your propose, and the participation that you project, support your overhead. A very important threshold issue/question to consider.