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How to start a solo Pilates business and make great money, with Jean Campbell and Raphael Bender

By March 20, 2022July 5th, 2022Make more money

Being a solo-preneur is a dream for many Pilates instructors. The independence of being a small business owner is appealing, but without calculating the cost correctly, you might be setting yourself up for more hours with less pay than if you remained an employed Pilates instructor. Today we’re joined by Jeanne Campbell–a yoga teacher who has been perfecting her low-cost, minimal hours solo business model for the past two decades. With so much crossover between the yoga and Pilates industries, her advice is highly applicable to anyone looking to start their own solo Pilates business without losing money and working too many hours. 

What You Will Learn: 

  • A blueprint for a low cost solo business model with almost no overhead
  • Common myths about the cost of running your own business
  • Tips for optimizing your website specifically as a movement professional
  • How to get more clients without pressuring them to come to your classes
  • How to retain clients with commitment agreements and requiring self-practice

The Real Cost of Running a Solo Pilates Business

Starting a small business can be stressful when you put all the figures together, only to realize that you just don’t have enough money. But Jeanne’s blueprint minimizes startup and long-term overhead costs in a way that allows solo-preneurs to work minimum hours and love what they do. She and Raph go through the calculations of starting a solo practice in a realistic way. That means, planning for the worst case scenario. Cancellations, sick kids, and parking issues… these situations happen all the time, so you’ve got to charge an appropriate fee for your classes. If you feel funny charging more, it may be because you lack confidence in your skills. Jeanne and Raph touch on imposter syndrome and confidence issues, and why you’ve got to change your thinking if you want to decrease overhead and increase profit margin.

Commitment for Retention

Jean has a somewhat rigid structure of commitment which she requires clients to adhere to. Sticking to casual drop-in classes and allowing roll-overs seems like the nice thing to do, but it’s also encouraging clients to avoid commitment. Ultimately, it means less bodies in your studio. Jean also shares how she gets clients to commit to coming to classes and doing at-home practice. Ultimately, it lands more money in your pocket, more clients in your studio, and real results for clients. You’ll learn what a commitment agreement looks like, and how to enforce it. It’s tough love, but everyone wins when clients see results and you improve your confidence in your skills… and make more money, too!

Common Mistakes that Stop You From Making Money

Jean goes through the math of owning your own studio with her yoga teacher trainees, and shares what they usually think of as good ways to make money. They often think of teaching at a gym, renting space, and covering other teachers’ classes. But when she reveals the overhead of these endeavors, students are shocked. The most common ways we think to make money as solo-preneurs usually are not the best ways. Jeanne and Raph break down the math of running a brick and mortar studio, website costs, scheduling software, equipment, and more. They offer alternative ways to run a Pilates studio–such as online practice– that save you time, money, and stress. 

Resources mentioned in the episode:
  • Jean’s Business Models here
  • Example of private yoga sessions here
About Raphael Bender:

Raph believes everyone deserves the opportunity to transform into a better version of themselves. His main strength as a teacher and movement professional is the ability to distill complex research findings into a simple, science-based approach to help people move fearlessly, thoughtlessly, and painlessly. He LOVES running, weights, cycling, and Contrology.

Raph holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology (Rehabilitation), a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science, Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy, and STOTT PILATES full certification.

How to Connect with Raphael:

Purchase Raph’s new book:

  • Strengthen The Person Not Just The Body Part here
About Jean Campbell:

Jean designs and teaches Yoga trainings, courses, and workshops to help practitioners and teachers in their personal practice and teaching. Her anatomy courses and workshops combine practical anatomy with postures and sequencing, to provide knowledge in 3 areas: how to progress in asana practice, injury prevention and recovery from injury.

Over the last 27 years, Jean has taught classes, workshops, and trainings in various locations: Malaysia, China, Germany, Switzerland as well as my home country Australia.

Her qualifications include Certificate IV in Yoga Teacher Training (1200 hours), ERYT 500 (Yoga Alliance), YACEP (Yoga Alliance), Yoga Therapy (Ganesh Mohan, Svastha Yoga) and Pranayama and Yogic Mindfulness studies with A.G. and Indra Mohan.

How to Connect with Jean:

  • Find Jean online here
  • Find Jean’s Dynamic Anatomy Courses here
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