Starting your own Pilates studio

The Complete Guide To Start Your Own Pilates Studio: Everything You Need To Know

If you’ve decided to take your love and passion for Pilates to the next level, you might be considering opening your own studio. Starting your own Pilates studio can be incredibly rewarding, personally and financially.

According to 2023 figures, it was estimated that over 1.1 million people aged over 15 in Australia participated in Pilates, making it a highly lucrative industry to explore commercially.

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to start your own Pilates studio, from understanding the core principles of Pilates to establishing a solid business plan, finding the perfect location, designing a welcoming space and selecting the right equipment.

Five core principles of Pilates and its benefits

If you’ve experienced the transformative experience of Pilates for yourself and want to pass it on to others by starting a Pilates studio, it’s important to start with the basics. Pilates is a system of exercises designed to improve physical strength, flexibility and posture. The core principles include:

  • Concentration — Focusing on each movement ensures that exercises are performed correctly. This level of concentration can also help an individual achieve a sense of balance and mindfulness.
  • Control — Every Pilates exercise is done with complete control to prevent injury and maximise effectiveness. Moving through this flow can strengthen muscles and improve stamina.
  • Centering — Strengthening the core muscles is central to Pilates, providing stability and balance. A strong core can help you perform and maximise the effectiveness of other exercises, like weight lifting, and minimise injury.
  • Flow — Movements should be smooth and graceful, transitioning seamlessly from one to the next and providing an all-encompassing workout routine.
  • Precision — From strengthening your arms to your glutes, each movement has a specific purpose and precision in execution.
  • Breathing — Proper breathing techniques enhance movement and focus. Participants can then incorporate these breathing techniques into other aspects of their lives to achieve a sense of calm and centredness.

Five benefits of performing Pilates regularly

There’s a reason why people become hooked after just one class! Pilates offers participants a range of physical, mental and emotional benefits, such as:

  • Improved flexibility and strength — Pilates enhances overall muscle tone and flexibility.
  • Better posture and balance — Strengthening the core helps improve posture and balance.
  • Reduced stress — Focusing on controlled breathing and mindful movement can reduce stress levels.
  • Injury prevention — Pilates emphasises proper alignment and muscle engagement, which can prevent injuries.
  • Enhanced athletic performance — Many athletes incorporate Pilates into their training to improve performance and prevent injuries.

Establishing a solid Pilates studio business plan

With industry revenue expected to hit a whopping $678.3m in 2024, starting a Pilates studio can deliver impressive results. But before you can open the doors to your new investment, you’re going to need a business plan. Here are a few steps to get started:

  • Research and market analysis

How much can you make owning a Pilates studio? This isn’t an easy question to answer, as it will depend on your studio's location, class offerings and pricing. How much do Pilates studio owners make? According to Studio Growth, the average Pilates studio owner can expect to make $69,600 annually, with studio profit margins ranging from 5% to 30%.

  • Business plan components

A detailed business plan is essential for securing funding and guiding your business. Some of the key components you might want to include in your Pilates studio business plan include:

  1. Executive summary — Overview of your business concept and goals.
  2. Market analysis — Insights into the Pilates industry and your target market.
  3. Services offered — List of classes and services your studio will provide.
  4. Marketing strategy — Plans for attracting and retaining clients.
  5. Financial projections — This refers to estimated startup costs, revenue forecasts and profitability timelines.

How to start your own Pilates studio — location, leases and layout

Now that your business plan is sorted, it’s time to start location hunting. While you may have your ideal location and building, it’s important to maintain a business mindset to ensure you make a decision that aligns with your goals.

Finding the perfect location

Choosing the right location is essential for the success of your Pilates studio. Consider the following factors:

  • Accessibility — Ensure the location is easily accessible by public transportation and has ample parking.
  • Visibility — A location with high foot traffic can attract new walk-in clients.
  • Demographics — Select an area with a population that matches your target market.
  • Competition — Analyse the competition in the area to determine if there is enough demand for another studio.

Negotiating a lease

When negotiating a lease, consider the following:

  • Lease length — A longer lease can offer stability but may be riskier if the location underperforms. Ensure you select the option that strikes the right balance between affordability and term length.
  • Rent and expenses — As a new business owner, it’s important to ensure the rent is affordable and factor in additional expenses like utilities and maintenance to maintain a healthy cash flow.
  • Flexibility — Try to negotiate terms that allow for modifications to the space as your business grows. IBIS World identified a growing preference for equipment-based sessions as the driving force behind Pilates participation, which means studios must be able to keep up with consumer demands.

Layout and design

The layout and design of your studio should create a welcoming and functional environment. Consider the following tips to achieve a space people will want to keep coming back to:

  • Reception area — Create a welcoming reception area with comfortable seating and friendly staff.
  • Studio space — Ensure the studio is spacious enough for group classes and equipped with mirrors and proper lighting.
  • Changing rooms — Provide clean and comfortable changing rooms and restrooms.
  • Ambience — Use calming colours, natural light and soothing decor to create a relaxing atmosphere.

Selecting the right equipment is also essential for a successful Pilates studio. While you will expand your equipment as your studio grows, some essential equipment and accessories to get started are mats, reformers, chairs, resistance bands and barrels.

Build your Pilates studio from the ground up with Pilates Direct

Starting your own Pilates studio requires careful planning and execution, but with the right approach, it can be a fulfilling and profitable venture.

For high-quality Pilates equipment and accessories to set up your studio, look no further than Pilates Direct. We offer a wide range of products to meet all your studio needs, ensuring your clients have the best experience possible. Explore our offerings online or visit our Sydney showroom to get started on your journey to owning a successful Pilates studio today.