If you own a pilates (fitness, yoga, dance) studio, you need Studio Shape Up!
I have to start this review with a confession. Chelsea Streifeneder sent me an advanced reader copy of Studio Shape Up back in January. Yes, January!
And I actually read it right away, because I know that Chelsea never does anything half-assed and expected this to be great (which it is). But I am just now officially reviewing it at the end of May. No excuses, because life always happens.
That said, this book is truly indispensable for both new and veteran studio owners.
Short, simple, and to the point
This is 144 pages of gold, and I do not give out praise like this lightly.
This book starts with a list of questions. Hard questions, like, “Are you okay with not getting paid?” and “Can you handle face-to-face confrontation and not-so-happy clients?” Basically, you should know the bad as well as the good.
Streifeneder then continues with an exhaustive studio start up checklist – including everything from proper payroll set up and liability waivers to studio supplies and marketing materials.
She then moves into your meetings with clients (“Let’s be honest. A first session with a trainer is like a first date – for the client and the trainer.”) and growing and managing a team.
The customer is the focus here, and Studio Shape Up reminds us to show them thanks in myriad ways, from the basics of being on time and ready to focus to birthday and holiday gifts, contests, referral bonuses, and community building both within your studio and with other businesses in your area.
Streifeneder even walks you through specific client scenarios, like “Clients balk at new pricing” or “Our substitute teachers get a grouchy reception,” offering responses for each.
Self-care for studio owners
Pilates teachers are notoriously bad at self-care. We work a lot and tend not to focus on ourselves as much. But I am always reminded that if my well runs dry, I am in no position to serve my clients.
Streifeneder reminds us to replenish our own energy reserves by making time for our own workouts, as well as taking regular time off and getting enough sleep. She also outlines some basic quick Pilates workouts, because sometimes we forget. After all, there is always something else to do in any studio that seems more important than exercise.
So Many Great Ideas
If you implemented even 30% of what is in this book, it would be a win. I try to only learn from people who I know for a fact are successful, and Chelsea Streifeneder is one of those people. If you either own a studio or are thinking about it, get this book right now!