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How to Legally Protect Your Fitness Business, with Cory Sterling

Episode 53:

Protecting Small Businesses: How to Legally Protect Your Fitness Business

Do you understand all the legal mumbo-jumbo surrounding your Pilates Studio? Probably not, but Cory Sterling makes that easy to solve. In today’s episode, legal counsel Cory Sterling answers questions about protecting small businesses and whether or not fitness instructors need to be certified on each piece of equipment to teach it and why it’s important not to overreach your scope of practice. We discuss the roles and responsibilities of employees and contractors and how they differ legally. Cory also explains whether teaching online is different from teaching in person from a legal perspective, and we get the low down on non-compete clauses, and how binding they actually are.

What You Will Learn:

  • Protecting small businesses in the fitness industry can easily be achieved
  • The importance of transparency and honesty in the Pilates realm
  • How to find out more about local legislation around Pilates
  • The difference between a contractor and an employee and why you need to be clear which one you are
  • How to create transparency with clients to ensure positive ongoing relationships
  • What a non-compete agreement is and how they work for Pilates instructors in practice
  • Factors to consider when you move from in-studio teaching to online teaching

Looking After Yourself and Your Clients

Cory joins us to share his insight and experience working as a small business lawyer in the health and wellness industry. He describes why fitness professionals should consider looking more closely into the differences between being an employee and a contractor, as the signed contract is only one piece of the puzzle when determining if someone is actually an employee or contractor.

Training and Certifications

On the show, we dig into whether it’s necessary to be certified on each piece of equipment in order to teach exercises on it. Cory explains how to check who the regulatory body is in your area and why it’s important to represent your competencies accurately to clients. The discussion also goes into the details of the differences between training and certification in practical terms.
Communicating Openly

One easy tip for protecting small businesses is ensuring there’s always an open dialogue with employees, contractors, and clients. It’s all about transparency and communicating openly to create a culture of honesty. The key to having great relationships in the arena of fitness instruction is having clear agreements, both with your clients and your studio so that everyone knows where they stand and can feel positive about the relationship.

protecting small businesses

About Cory Sterling:

Cory Sterling is the founder of the heart-leading law firm Conscious Counsel, a lawyer, small business owner, group fitness instructor, and yoga teacher. He wrote The Yoga Law Book and has served hundreds of clients in the health and fitness space worldwide, the majority of whom own or operate a fitness/health studio.

Cory won the award for “Highest Rated Session” at MindBody Bold, amongst a field of the health and fitness leading minds and best presenters. He is the only lawyer who has completed the MindBody Business Consulting Program to learn overall best business practices for studios.

How to Connect with Cory Sterling:

About Raphael and Cloe:

Raphael Bender, CEO, Breathe Education

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.

Cloe Bunter, Trainer, Breathe Education

With 8+ years in the industry, both teaching Pilates and nurturing new instructors, Cloe is passionate about empowering new and seasoned instructors to think critically and move fearlessly. Empowered instructors empower their clients, and in turn, change lives.

She finds great joy in building connections with clients, students, colleagues, and the broader movement and rehab community. Co-hosting the Pilates Elephants Podcast, with Raphael Bender, has provided an incredible platform to bust common Pilates, movement, and rehab myths whilst creating a worldwide community of critical thinkers who are elevating health literacy.

Cloe is fascinated by movement in general, and its ability to enhance our lives, at any age. Her own movement practice includes Contrology/Pilates, running, weights, and kettlebells. She has a Diploma of Clinical Pilates, Cert IV in Pilates, and Cert IV in Training and Assessing.

How to Connect with Raphael and Cloe:

3 Myths About Posture in Pilates eBook:

  • You can find the eBook here

Stop Faking It & Really Know Your Stuff Pilates Q&A:

USA (PDT): Every Tuesday at 6pm
Australia (AEST): Every Wednesday at 11am

Please join us for our Stop Faking It & Really Know Your Stuff Pilates Q&A weekly open-mic Q&A all about helping Pilates instructors become masters at their craft.

We will kick it off with 5-10 minutes of debunking a myth within Pilates or teaching a slice of Breathe Education’s latest insights that you can take and apply with your clients today.

Then we’ll go open-mic to answer all of your questions around tricky questions like disc herniation, arthritis, stenosis, joint replacement, abdominal separation, shoulder impingement, and many more. Click here to register.

Pilates Instructor Training Resources:

Our Pilates instructor training is 100 percent online, so you can study from anywhere in the world.

Earn recognition: Your Breathe Education Pilates qualifications are recognized by the Australian Government, Exercise & Sport Science Australia, and all major insurers.

Build your skills: with our pilates instructor training, you’ll learn the original Contrology exercises created by Joseph Pilates. Plus, you’ll learn the most current, science-based ways to cue and program those exercises, how to work with injured and pregnant clients, and nurture beginners.

Gain confidence: Learning is fun and easy when you engage with our state-of-the-art eLearning system, filled with straightforward, relevant content and structured to guide your training as you build skills and confidence.

Feel supported: You’ll learn world-class problem-solving skills, not just a list of answers. Our student success team and trainers will provide you with all the guidance, challenge, and support you’ll need to become what you want to become.

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