The key highlights of our conversation:
- How Jennifer’s background as the lead instructor for Club Pilates helped her on her journey
- Her strategic approach to establishing a successful studio from day 1
- The tactics involved in generating 5-figures in pre-sales and launch sales, with 50% coming from recurring memberships
Jennifer has been teaching pilates for 10+ years and worked as the lead instructor for Club Pilates in Vancouver for four years.
Jennifer’s deep industry experience and expertise helped her on her journey to starting 100 House Reformer Pilates. She used all she learned from Club Pilates, including the importance of using pilates studio software from the start, and brought those learnings to Salt Spring Island to start her business.
Since Jennifer was the lead instructor at Club Pilates, she had the opportunity to work with other instructors directly and understand what works in the industry. Her key takeaways from her time working at Club Pilates:
- Using a platform for administrative work and teachers is necessary. Jennifer chose to invest in StudioGrowth.
- Free intros and promotions work if you have a solid strategy to convert those users into members.
- Showing pricing online is unnecessary, especially when customers still do not realize the value of the offering. Jennifer used the feature in StudioGrowth to hide pricing online and only make it available at request.
The Beginning of 100 House
Jennifer always loved teaching but never wanted to start her own business due to the administrative work involved. Additionally, like most entrepreneurs, Jennifer had fears about starting up – teaching v/s operating a business is very different.
Given her lack of experience in starting a business, Jennifer worked with a coaching company. The coaching company helped her prepare for the launch of her studio. They specifically covered vital areas such as launching, messaging, and running promotions and marketing. Here, Jennifer learned about our scheduling and member management platform – StudioGrowth.
Starting at Salt Spring Island
Jennifer and her family were looking to move away from Vancouver, and Jennifer adopted a strategic and measured approach to finding her new home.
Jennifer analyzed the demographics of the various islands, and Salt Spring Island stood out due to several factors:
- The majority of the population of the island is 50 years and over. The 50+ years customer segment closely aligns with Jennifer’s ICP (ideal customer profile) since they would benefit the most from reformer pilates.
- The location of the island makes it easy to get to from other surrounding islands. So Jennifer would not be limited to customers solely from Salt Lake Island.
- Limited competition on the island
Once she had identified the ideal location, Jennifer started preparing for the launch.
The Launch of 100 House Reformer Pilates
When coming up with the name “100 House”, Jennifer focused on the theme of longevity. Many teachers who worked with Joseph Pilates continued to teach till old age. Additionally, everyone starts with the hundred exercise in pilates.
Jennifer began working towards the launch by implementing the strategy she identified at Club Pilates: Free intro classes, promotions, and showing value before discussing pricing.
Jennifer used StudioGrowth to create and publish her classes and appointment schedules. She used local ads and offered free classes to the community. Over 100 people came to the opening in launch week.
The key learnings from launch week:
- Have StudioGrowth in place to manage members and payments. The excellent support, integrations with Mailchimp, ease of use, and features such as notes and injury tracking are indispensable.
- If offering free classes, have a robust messaging and proposition to convert the free users to regular customers.
- Design your class packs and memberships so that the decision to purchase becomes a no-brainer.
During the launch week, Jennifer generated five figures in sales, with 50% coming from monthly recurring memberships. Additionally, Jennifer implemented a referral mechanism to drive more sales.
Jennifer is now operating a successful and extremely busy business, as you can see from her 100 House class schedule. Initially, Jennifer felt that the duets and privates would be the most popular sessions. However, group classes have become a big hit. She plans to bring additional teachers to her business as the demand grows.
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About the author
Naz Ahm is the founder of StudioGrowth and has spent a decade growing start-ups and venture-backed companies. He writes about sales, marketing, and growth, especially in the yoga, fitness, and wellness industry.
Naz has an MBA from IESE Business School and started his journey in the wellness industry when he set up an on-demand wellness business. Naz currently splits his time between the U.K and the US.