Before you can get your yoga or Pilates program off the ground, be sure to study your front-end costs–the amount it will take to get the program up and running–and the back-end costs, which will sustain your program. Consider the following categories as part of the cost of doing business and include them in your pricing.

Front-End Costs

1. Staff Education. Structure your budget to cover either some or all of the cost of instructor training, without expecting reimbursement from your staff. (My preference is to pay only a portion of the cost in order to create a sense of value in the education.) In addition, draw up a contract with your instructors that includes a repayment clause, in case they decide to quit within a certain time period after their training is paid for. Be judicious in selecting candidates for training. Often, a facility pays for an instructor’s training only to find that the trainee cannot commit time and energy to the program because he or she is too busy in other areas of the company.

2. Equipment.
This expense should include all accessories and shipping costs. Also, time spent researching equipment is often overlooked as an expense in this category. Include in your calculations any time–or the financial equivalent of the time–that directors or managers have spent on the phone with equipment company representatives, at conferences and so on.

3. Room Preparation. If you have created or remodeled a space designated for mind-body fitness within your facility, include all costs, down to the smallest detail (special flooring, carpeting, painting, lighting and music, for example).

4. Marketing. This category includes internal signage as well as print and radio ads. If you have marketing staff, and they worked on creating a campaign, include the cost of their time.

Back-End Expenses

1. Labor Costs. How do you pay your instructors? If you need your staff to help with marketing the program, it may work best to give them a split of the program’s income. Giving your instructors ownership and financial incentive to make the program succeed can provide ongoing motivation to promote it. A potential downside of sharing a percentage with instructors is that if the program really takes off, you will “lose” a portion of the profits. You can always start your program by profit sharing and adjust accordingly. When the program grows, consider giving new instructors a flat rate per session. Keep in mind that labor costs should never exceed 60% of gross income.

2. Equipment Maintenance. Most mind-body programming requires limited equipment, with the exception of Pilates. Pilates equipment is surprisingly low maintenance, but it does require regular cleaning. Include weekly equipment cleaning in your instructors’ job descriptions. Regular maintenance is not only crucial to client safety; it will also help minimize breakage and downtime.

3. Equipment Add-Ons and Accessories.
In the happy event that your program realizes wild popularity and profit, you’ll need to consider equipment “add-ons” to keep sessions feeling valuable and challenging for participants. Expense planning can include new items like yoga blocks, mats and foam rollers.