I own a small gym and group fitness studio that has recently opened. I have two yoga instructors who get paid per student for their classes. They are not gym employees but independent contractors. If no one shows up to a class should they expect to be paid? I want to be fair but I do not want to take a loss on the classes. I want them to have incentive to bring students in, but so far all the students have been gym members. They also get free gym membership as instructors. One instructor has told me that she gets $10 for a class where no one shows at another studio, but that is an established studio that does classes only, where as we have only had three classes so far. The first one, no one came, the second we had two students and the third we had one. Our class max is five, due to the small space.
With only 3 classes so far, it’s hard to tell whether this is going to be a successful class or a “no go.” If you have a 5 person maximum, do you consider 2 people to be good, acceptable, or poor (based on what you charge and how much you pay out)?
Since you have an independent contractor, you may not legally have to pay them, but if you genuinely thing that instructor, class, and time have potential, you may want to pay at least a small amount to cover their gas and time. Establish a policy that they can go home after waiting 15 minutes (or whatever you agree is fair) and will be paid a nominal amount.
I’m in a situation like this now, where I have a very small class in a studio that I LOVE, but I’m losing money as a contractor. Paying at least my gas would make it financially neutral for me and “worth it” to stick around and grow the class. But as it is, I have some tough decisions to make soon. Yes, you’ll lose money if you pay the instructor when no one shows up. But, the instructor is already losing money if no one shows up. So they’re getting the short end of the stick.