You may have found an extra hour in your schedule and want to fill it up, but starting a new Pilates class can be exciting and frustrating at the same time. Before you get your advertising out, consider these four points to make sure you’re prepared and have thought things through. This will give your new class the best chance of success.
Decide if there is a need for the class.
If you are holding other classes that are full and you have clients on a waiting list each week, adding an extra class during that time, before, or after is likely a good idea.
Also, if you have had a lot of requests for a specific class type, day, or time, consider that as well. If people do request classes, it is a good idea to add their name and contact info to a list. This can be on a fancy app, Excel spreadsheet, or even a page in a notebook. Make note of the day(s), times(s) and what type of class they’ve requested so you can follow up with them in the future when you’re ready to run it.
As a studio, this is simple enough to set up. However, if you’re an independent contractor working out of many locations, you may want to suggest this to the studio or community centres you’re affiliated with. You can even offer to follow up with clients and help to promote the class when they do offer it in the future.
Think through your potential attendees.
Who will likely attend the class? What will they expect from a class? Is there a main focus for the class? When would be the best time for them to attend?
Each population has different needs. If you make wise choices, they’ll be more likely to show up.
For example, if you decide to hold a class for older adults, their main concerns are staying mobile, maintaining strength and keeping their balance. The class can be challenging, but a Bootcamp is probably out of the question. Include a lot of exercises for ankle mobility, spinal mobility where appropriate, activate the upper-mid back, and strengthen the balance muscles to make them feel great walking out the door.
On the flip side, a men’s-only class would have different concerns. Men want to maintain strength, power, posture, and some flexibility. They have stronger upper bodies and tighter hamstrings than many women. A class like this might include extra push ups, planks, downward dogs and resistance work on machines or with small apparatus. Moves would be simple but powerful, and repetitive to make them feel worked.
Determine the day, time, type of class, where it will be held (which studio space if you have multiple), who will teach, etc.
If you put on a class for post-natal women, a daytime class makes more sense. Late morning to early afternoon is a great time: this can help them spend less time travelling because you avoid rush hour times. Also, it gives them time to pack their babies and get out of the house after their husbands and other kids leave for the day.
Alternatively, if you are putting on a class for pre-natal women, evening or weekend classes make more sense. Many pre-natal women continue working to the last month or even few days before they give birth.
For both these populations, it is important to make sure a properly trained pre/post natal instructor is teaching. Just like every special population, it’s important that the right types of exercises and adjustments are selected to make the class safe and enjoyable for all participants.
Consider the time of year.
You’ll have to do your own homework for your business and local area. At Body Harmonics, the best time to launch classes are in the spring (March/April) and fall (mid-Sept/Oct).
What else do you consider before launching a new Pilates class? Please share in the comments section below.