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?
Katie touched on a subject that I am hoping others might weigh in on, namely the idea that, in order to ensure competent and professional instruction, and to establish a credible reputation for the studio, it would be wise to set minimum requirements (e.g. recognized certifications and up-to-date credentials) in order to rent the studio space. I am wondering if setting such requirements would raise legal issues. Would this behavior constitute controlling how instructors do their business and thus push the studio across the line from being a landlord to being the employer?
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.
I think the session idea is great. It can be hard to share time equally and you do not want one person getting more time than another.
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.
You bring up a good point, Katie. Thanks. I had been thinking I would need prime time vs. off time rates, but maybe more than just two levels would be in order. But you have also got me thinking about how to handle situations where an instructor wants to lock up specific day/time slots for an indefinite period of time. May need to consider breaking a year into ‘sessions’ and allowing slots to be reserved only through the end of a session. Other ideas?
The first potential problem that I see is group exercise instructors fighting for time slots.
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.
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.