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Why Hosting Pilates at Your Facility is Smart

By Kerrie Lee Brown as published in STOTT PILATES, 2008

Pilates is booming and clubs are choosing to host Pilates workshops due to customer demand. Here’s how you can increase traffic – and profits – in no time.

The demand for Pilates programs in fitness facilities has grown rapidly over the past decade with 10.7 million North American participants a year. This is an extraordinary increase of 602% since 2001. Members want to enjoy their experience at a fitness facility and be able to get all of the services they want in one location.

More and more clubs are realizing that the “one-stop-shop” theory is what the market is demanding. With the documented increase in people interested in Pilates, many clubs are jumping at the chance to offer Pilates programs as well. Owners are already reaping the benefits of running successful equipment-based Pilates studios in their clubs with monthly gross revenues as high as $30,000 per month.

For a successful Pilates studio, you need the proper equipment, quality instructors, and fresh programming. Pilates education doesn’t stop after certification. It is vital to make sure that your instructors are attending continuing education courses and workshops at specified fitness venues or you can host workshops at your new facility to keep programming fresh therefore retaining members.

Hosting provides an excellent opportunity to educate your staff while aligning yourself with the leader in the industry. Instructors can enhance their Pilates expertise and owners will retain their best assets – their instructors!

HIGH-CALIBER EDUCATION

STOTT PILATES® offers over 100 workshops for continuing education annually: from rehab for back care and breast cancer, to pre- and post-natal workouts, to athletic conditioning, Pilates for golf conditioning, and more. All of these workshops can be accessible within your facility for your staff.

Lindsay G. Merrithew, President and CEO of STOTT PILATES feels that for the company, and the fitness industry as a whole, adding value to the professional lives of instructors and developing their career paths are the biggest challenges and the greatest opportunities. As part of that effort, STOTT PILATES assists health clubs in growing and managing successful, revenue-generating Pilates programs including hosting all over the world.

Working toward STOTT PILATES Certification indicates to members that instructors and facilities are serious about fitness and professionalism. A Letter of Completion and Continuing Education Credits are provided for each course completed. STOTT PILATES Certification is awarded only upon successful completion of each course, plus a written and practical exam. Exam material is cumulative so students may take an exam at the end of each course or series of courses. Exams must be taken within six months of the last course completed.

INCREASE CLIENT BASE

“Creating a full-fledged, permanent Pilates studio in your facility has more benefits than a storefront Pilates studio,” explains Carol Tricoche, Global Sales Director, Full Solutions™. “A club offers additional cardio programs, childcare, locker room amenities, and other fitness programs such as cycling and kick-boxing – so why not bring that Pilates experience into your club and treat it as a business within a business?”

Hosting provides the opportunity to increase your client base as a result of all-new programming in one of the fastest growing areas in the fitness industry. You can create a ‘wow’ factor for clients and expand their strength, conditioning and functional fitness programming with Pilates. By adding Pilates exercise to their existing regimen, your clients will be able to enhance their mind-body awareness and potentially renew their interests in fitness once again. They will be excited about learning new ways to a healthier mind and body.

INCREASE STAFF LOYALTY

As a host site for a Pilates program you pay a flat fee to accommodate up to 12 instructors resulting in paying only a fraction for the cost of normal individual tuition. You can choose to subsidize your staff’s development, encouraging long-term loyalty and commitment – and your instructors can train with no additional expenses for them to travel to another location. Your instructors know your clients the best and they also know the community in which you situated best. So utilize your greatest assets by training your own staff to teach Pilates with focused programming.

PROFITS FROM HOSTING

Furthermore, as a hosting site, you set the enrollment prices and will typically break even with six participants when using STOTT PILATES’ standard individual tuition prices as a guide – or better yet, you can earn even more with a full course of twelve participants. If you open up the course to non-staff participants, you have the potential to cover the cost of training your own staff. Adding workshops to your training schedule allows you to generate even more revenue.

“Another point to remember is that it’s important to customize your programming to meet the needs of new audiences,” adds Tricoche. Pilates improves performance in sports such as golf, skiing, skating, tennis, rowing and many others; so by offering Pilates at your facility – you will see new members coming through the door. Hosting onsite Pilates workshops will give your staff the Pilates tools that bring new programming options to attract new clients. 

Moreover, it is important to also focus on boomers with a ‘delay the onset of aging’ program. By hosting an onsite STOTT PILATES workshop to train your staff on Pilates solutions for the active aging market – you will be reinforcing the fact that you value your staff and their fitness expertise.

STANDARDIZED TEACHING METHOD

You will also have one standardized teaching method at your facility which will benefit both your staff and client membership. Tricoche points out that standardized teaching is essential to a successful, well-rounded, reputable Pilates business – and that high-caliber Pilates courses can be adapted to weekday or weekend modules to fit participants’ busy schedules. “It’s easy, cost-effective and convenient!”

READY, SET… MARKET!

STOTT PILATES recognizes that a strong marketing program with fresh ideas is the key to building a successful Pilates business. For that reason, we offer comprehensive marketing support to help you promote your STOTT PILATES hosted course.

As a Hosting Site, you receive the following items and services to boost enrollment and build your Pilates program’s visibility:

  • A web page on www.merrithew.com that outlines all the courses and/or workshops offered at facilities
  • Promotion of your course in our monthly e-newsletter sent to more than 80,000 fitness professionals and retail clients
  • Press release templates to promote your course, workshops, classes or equipment
  • PR tips to help you garner press coverage
  • Customized flyers in PDF format to promote and market courses to prospective students
  • Access to STOTT PILATES logos, images and other marketing tools to maintain professional, consistent branding

The STOTT PILATES Full Solutions™ service is a valuable resource that will help you implement and run a profitable Pilates program. Receive customized advice and ongoing support to help you achieve success regardless of your facility’s size or budget.

IN SUMMARY

The STOTT PILATES Hosting Program allows you to deliver STOTT PILATES’ world-renowned instructor training, certification courses and workshops on-site at your facility.

Whether you train your own staff or open courses up to the fitness community, the opportunities to generate revenue are endless. You simply handle the course registration, promote the course with our assistance – and we’ll do the rest.

Since the demand for Pilates is growing faster than there are Pilates instructors available, creating your own Pilates staff is the solution. STOTT PILATES has trained over 20,000 instructors in 94 countries worldwide. Hosting provides an excellent opportunity to educate your staff while aligning yourself with the leader in the industry. STOTT PILATES Certified Instructor Trainers will travel to your location to offer our curriculum, workshops and continuing education.