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Tips & Tricks, Industry Updates

A specialised guide to opening a new Pilates studio

Follow these plans and tips on how to open a successful Pilates studio by committing to the core principles of Pilates in every aspect of the studio in 2024!

Picture this: You wake up one morning and BAM! – the idea hits you. "Why not open my own Pilates studio?" Or maybe you're already running one, but let's be real, it could use a bit of that 'oomph' factor.

Either way, you're in for a treat because we're diving into the nitty-gritty of how to make your Pilates studio the talk of the town (or at least the Instagram fitness community 😉).

Why set up a Pilates studio?

Well, if you have to ask, you probably haven't felt that amazing zing in your muscles after a good Pilates sesh. But seriously, Pilates isn't just a workout; it's a lifestyle. It's about finding that sweet balance between mind, body, and spirit – and who wouldn't want to be the guru guiding folks on that journey?

Source: Pexels

The secret ingredients to a successful Pilates studio

Spoiler alert: It's not just about splurging on fancy equipment (though, let's be honest, a shiny new Reformer is pretty cool). It's about creating a vibe. You know, a place where people come for the core strength but stay for the zen.

We're talking Instagram-worthy decor, instructors who actually remember your name, and maybe even a cute little smoothie bar in the corner. 

Ever heard the phrase 'build it, and they will come'? Yeah, not going to work here. You need the 411 on marketing that doesn't just scream 'join my studio' but whispers 'this is where you belong.' Get ready to deep-dive into the world of social media tips, community events, and maybe even some cheeky email marketing.

So, are you ready to roll up your sleeves and create the perfect Pilates studio? Let's do this! 

Designing your Pilates studio

1. Transforming spaces into Pilates places

Let's talk about your studio's look and feel, because, let's face it, first impressions matter. Imagine a space where calm meets energy, where every corner whispers, "Yes, you can!" This is where design waltzes with functionality.

Start with a color palette that soothes the soul – think soft pastels or earthy tones. Lighting plays a lead role too; soft, natural light can be a game-changer, creating an inviting and warm atmosphere.

2. Equipment: The heart of your studio

The Reformer: This is the centerpiece of any Pilates studio. A versatile apparatus with a sliding carriage, adjustable springs, and various bars and straps, the Reformer facilitates an endless variety of exercises.

It's perfect for beginners and advanced users alike, offering resistance that can be tailored to individual needs. Place your Reformers in a row to encourage a sense of unity and focus in your classes.

Source: Pexels

a) The Cadillac

Also known as the Trapeze Table, this equipment is like a playground for adults. With its bars, springs, and straps, it allows for a wide range of exercises, focusing on flexibility and strength. The Cadillac is particularly useful for rehabilitation and for clients needing more support.

b) Wunda Chair

This compact apparatus is deceptively simple but incredibly effective. With a single pedal and springs for resistance, it's used for a variety of exercises that challenge balance, stability, and core strength. The Wunda Chair can be a space-saver in your studio and is great for both individual and group classes.

c) Barrels

The Ladder Barrel, Spine Corrector, and Small Barrel are all excellent for enhancing flexibility, posture, and core strength. They are particularly effective for spine articulation and improving range of motion. These can be placed in a quieter corner of the studio for clients who need focused stretching or rehabilitative exercises.

d) Mats and props

Quality mats are essential for floor exercises. Along with mats, props like magic circles, resistance bands, and foam rollers add variety and challenge to the workouts. These can be stored neatly in a dedicated area for easy access during classes.

3. Creating a flow-friendly rnvironment

Remember, Pilates is all about control, flow, and concentration. Your studio should mirror these principles.


Design your studio with movement in mind. The layout should be spacious enough to allow for free movement while maintaining an intimate setting for personalized attention.

Consider the flow from the entrance to the changing rooms and then to the workout area. Each zone should transition seamlessly into the next.


Good acoustics are vital. Soft, echo-free sound ensures that instructions are heard clearly without raising voices, maintaining the studio's peaceful environment. Consider using acoustic panels if necessary.


Choose flooring that is firm yet forgiving. Hardwood floors with a little give are ideal for Pilates as they provide the necessary support for standing exercises and are gentle on the body for mat work.

Temperature and ventilation

Maintain a comfortable temperature that is neither too hot nor too cold. Adequate ventilation is key for keeping the air fresh and ensuring a comfortable environment, especially in more strenuous sessions.

Natural elements

Incorporate elements like indoor plants or a small water feature. These can enhance the sense of tranquility and connection with nature, vital for a practice that emphasizes mind-body harmony.

4. Little touches, big impact

Details matter. From the texture of your mats to the quality of your sound system for those gentle, motivating tunes, every element adds to the experience. 

Consider amenities like locker rooms that don't just store belongings but make clients feel pampered. A little corner for post-workout relaxation with comfy seating can be a delightful touch, encouraging clients to linger and connect.

5. Safety first

In the midst of designing for aesthetics and experience, never sideline safety. Ensure all equipment is top-notch and well-maintained. Space out your equipment to prevent overcrowding.

Remember, a safe studio is a studio where clients can truly let go and immerse themselves in their Pilates practice.

Hiring and training specialised staff

Starting your own boutique fitness business is an exciting venture that needs careful preparation and a touch of love for what you do.

Let's look closely at the important steps and things you need to think about that will help create a solid foundation for your successful fitness business.

Source: Pexels

1. Hiring the right team for your Pilates studio

The heart and soul of your Pilates studio lie not just in its physical design but in the people who bring it to life.

a) Develop a clear and comprehensive job description

Start by crafting a detailed job description that outlines the essential skills, qualifications, and experience required for the role. Include details about work hours, salary, and any benefits to attract the right candidates.

b) Utilise your network and industry connections

Leverage your personal and professional networks to find potential candidates. This can include reaching out to contacts in the industry, or attending various events. 

c) Conduct thorough and insightful interviews

Go beyond the resume during interviews. Focus on assessing not only their technical skills and experience but also their personality that fit within your studio’s culture. Personality can often be as important as, if not more than, experience and certification.

d) Offer competitive compensation and benefits

Research your country's industry standards to offer competitive salaries and benefits. This can be crucial in attracting and retaining top talent.

e) Create a positive and supportive work environment

Foster a work environment that encourages teamwork, learning, and mutual respect. This can be more motivating for staff than financial incentives alone.

f) Plan ahead and avoid desperation hiring

Anticipate your staffing needs and start the recruitment process early. Hiring in a rush can lead to less-than-ideal matches for your studio.

g) Be systematic in your hiring process 

Design a structured hiring process where each candidate is evaluated on a common set of criteria. This ensures fairness and helps in better decision-making.

h) Align with your studio’s vision and goals

Ensure that the instructors you hire align with the vision and goals of your studio. Their personal and professional aspirations should complement the direction in which your studio is headed.

i) Take your time and be selective

Don’t rush the hiring process. It’s important to find instructors who not only have the right skills but also fit well with your existing clientele and studio culture.

j) Consider both experience and potential 

While experience is important, don’t overlook candidates who show great potential. Sometimes, less experienced instructors can bring fresh perspectives and energy to your studio.

k) Leverage online job platforms

Utilise popular job boards such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn to reach a wide audience. These platforms allow you to post job listings, search for candidates with specific qualifications, and even see recommendations and endorsements for potential hires.

2. Continuing education

Once you have your team, the journey doesn’t end there; it’s just getting started. Continuous education is vital in the ever-evolving world of Pilates.

Encourage (and maybe even sponsor) regular workshops, certifications, and training. This keeps your team on top of their game and shows your clients that you're serious about offering top-notch Pilates goodness. Plus, it keeps things fresh and exciting – nobody wants a stale Pilates session!

But there's more to a successful Pilates studio than just mastering physical techniques. Equipping your team with top-notch sales skills can make a significant difference.

Pallas Wellness offer specialised Sales Training Workshops tailored for fitness professionals. These workshops are designed to empower your staff with the skills needed to effectively communicate the value of Pilates, engage with clients, and boost studio memberships. 

To learn more and enroll your team, visit Pallas Wellness Sales Training Workshops.

3. Safety and adaptability

In the realm of physical fitness, safety is paramount. Your instructors should be well-versed in safety protocols, injury prevention, and adaptive techniques for clients with different needs and abilities. 

This is why it's crucial to hire instructors who have reputable certifications. For more information on some reputable certifications, you can look it up here

A great Pilates instructor knows how to tailor sessions to individual needs, ensuring a safe and effective workout for all. Their expertise, backed by credible certifications, not only bolsters the integrity of your studio but also instils confidence in your clients.

4. The human touch

Finally, remember that the essence of a great Pilates instructor lies in their ability to connect. They should be approachable, empathetic, and excellent communicators.

They’re not just instructors; they're the face of your studio, the personal touch that turns a good Pilates session into a great one.

Source: Pexels

Tailored marketing strategies for Pilates studios

Ready to get the word out about your awesome Pilates studio? Tailored marketing might sound like a big, scary word, but guess what? It's really all about sharing your passion with the right people in the right way.

1. Understanding the Pilates clientele

Identifying your audience

When it comes to understanding your Pilates clientele, it's about diving deeper than just age or fitness levels. It's about grasping their motivations, their lifestyle, and what drives them to roll out their mats. 

Are they seeking relief from a stressful day job? Are they athletes looking to enhance their performance? Or maybe they're new moms trying to regain their core strength. Use surveys, or hey, just chit-chat with your clients to really know who they are and what they needs.

By identifying not just who your clients are but why they choose Pilates, you tailor your studio to be their perfect fit. 

Analysing market trends

The fitness industry, like any other, is constantly evolving. To remain competitive, it's crucial to keep up with the latest trends and modify your studio's offerings to match. 

For example, if there's an increasing interest in Pilates for mindfulness and stress relief, think about integrating meditation elements into your classes.Stay informed about the latest trends by conducting research on social media or through search engines.

Importance of an attractive offer & pricing

Crafting the right offer and pricing strategy is crucial in attracting and retaining clients. Your pricing should reflect the value of your services, yet remain accessible to your target demographic. 

Consider offering tiered pricing or packages to provide flexibility and cater to different needs and budgets. Introductory offers, like a discounted first month or a complimentary trial class, can entice new clients to experience your studio.

Additionally, think about creating special packages or promotions for specific groups, such as students or seniors, to broaden your studio's appeal. Remember, the right offer can turn a curious visitor into a loyal client.

Struggling to create the perfect sales funnel? Visit Pallas Wellness for expert guidance and solutions to enhance your sales strategies. They’re ready to help you turn interested visitors into loyal clients!

2. Digital marketing and online presence

Source: Elegant Dreams Pilates

Developing a user-friendly website

Let's face it, in this digital age, if your Pilates studio isn't online, does it even exist? We know, the whole website thing can sound like a techy headache, but here's some good news. With Rezerv, you can say goodbye to those coding blues. 

Imagine crafting a sleek, custom-branded website that's as easy as pie – actually, even easier! Rezerv offers over 50 user-friendly templates, so you can pick one that really vibes with your studio's personality. No coding, no fuss. Just a beautiful website that tells the world, “Hey, we're here, and we're awesome at Pilates!”

Book a free demo to see how it works

Leveraging social media platforms

Now, let's talk about social media. It's like the bustling marketplace of the digital world, and your studio needs to set up a stall there. Instagram and Facebook? They're your best friends in showcasing the amazing work you do. 

Post those stretchy, smiley Pilates poses, share success stories that warm the heart, and maybe even sneak in some fun behind-the-scenes snaps. The key? Keep it real and relatable.

Engage with your followers like they're right there in the studio with you. Answer their questions, celebrate their achievements, and give them a reason to keep coming back for more.

Email marketing strategies

Think email is old school? Think again. It's like sending a personal invite to your clients and potentials. Share the latest news from your studio, maybe a special offer or two, or some insider Pilates tips. 

Personalization is your secret weapon here. A simple “Hey [Name], here’s something just for you” can make all the difference. Keep it short, keep it sweet, and watch as those emails build a bridge between your studio and your clients’ daily lives.

3. Content marketing for Pilates studios

Content is king, and rightly so! Develop a content marketing plan that offers value to your audience. It's not just about posting a random Pilates pose on Instagram or writing a blog post once in a blue moon. 

It’s about telling stories that connect, inspire, and educate your audience. Think about it – each piece of content is a little window into the soul of your studio. What do you want it to reflect? 

Maybe it’s the transformational power of Pilates or the serene, welcoming vibe of your studio. The key is to create content that’s not just informative but also relatable and engaging.


If you haven't started a blog yet, now’s the time. Share posts about different Pilates techniques, the health benefits of a consistent practice, or tips for beginners. 

But here's the twist – make it personal. Share your journey, the challenges you've overcome, or spotlight a member of your community who's seen incredible results. It's all about making that emotional connection that says, “We get you, and we’re here for you.”

Video content

In the world of Pilates, seeing is believing. So, why not leverage video content? Quick tutorials, client transformation stories, or even a day-in-the-life at your studio can be super engaging. 

Videos are a great way to showcase your expertise, the atmosphere of your classes, and the real people who make up your Pilates family. Plus, they’re perfect for sharing on social media and your website.

Collaborating with fitness bloggers and influencers

Here’s a little secret – you don’t have to do it all alone. Partnering with fitness bloggers and influencers can boost your reach. Choose collaborators who align with your studio’s values and vibe. Collaborations can be anything from guest blog posts to joint Instagram Live sessions. Get creative!

Real-life stories and testimonials

Nothing hits home like a good, relatable success story. Encourage your clients to share their Pilates journeys. It could be a short testimonial, a blog guest post, or a feature in a video.

It’s about showcasing real people with real results. These stories not only add credibility to your studio but also inspire others to start their own Pilates journey.

Source: Pexels

4. Community engagement and local marketing

Stepping out and making connections

Your local community is your goldmine. Engaging with the people around you isn't just nice; it's smart business. Community engagement is all about building relationships and visibility right where you are. 

Think local health fairs, community events, or even Saturday markets. These are perfect spots to set up a friendly booth, maybe do some live demos, or just chat with people about the wonders of Pilates. It's about putting a face to your studio's name and weaving your business into the local fabric.

Read more: 3 exciting group class ideas for your fitness studio

Free demo classes

Who doesn't love free stuff, right? Offering free demo classes at local community centres or parks can be a fantastic way to introduce Pilates to newcomers. It's like saying, “Hey, come check us out, no strings attached.” 

These sessions are great for breaking down misconceptions about Pilates and showcasing the welcoming, inclusive nature of your studio. Plus, they can be a fun community event that gets people talking.

Building a two-way street local partnerships

You know what's better than going solo? Teaming up with other local businesses. Whether it’s a nearby health food café, a wellness centre, or a physiotherapy clinic, partnerships can be mutually beneficial. You could offer exclusive discounts to each other’s clients or co-host events. 

Engaging with local health professionals

Lastly, building connections with local health professionals like physiotherapists or chiropractors can be a game-changer. These professionals can refer clients who may benefit from Pilates, particularly those in rehabilitation or looking to improve their physical health.

5. Loyalty programs and referral incentives

More than just a punch card

Loyalty programs are all about showing your clients some love for, well, their loyalty. But let’s skip the boring punch cards; get creative! 

How about rewards points they can collect and exchange for a free class, workshop, or some snazzy Pilates gear? Or maybe a special members-only event to make them feel like the VIPs they are. The goal is to create a program that's so irresistible your clients can’t help but keep coming back.

Referral incentives

Now, let’s shine the spotlight on referrals because, let’s face it, happy clients are your best marketers. 

A referral program incentivizes your existing clients to bring their friends, family, or that colleague who’s always wanted to try Pilates. Maybe it's a discount for both the referrer and the referee or a special class pass.

The idea is to create a win-win situation where your clients become active participants in growing your Pilates family.

Keeping it simple and appealing

The key to a successful loyalty or referral program? Keep it simple and clear. No one wants to jump through hoops to understand how they can earn rewards. 

Clearly communicate the benefits and make the redemption process as easy as possible. Whether it’s through an app, a card, or a simple sign-up at the reception, ensure your clients know exactly how they can benefit from these programs.

Celebrating milestones

Don’t forget to celebrate milestones! Whether it’s their 50th class or their one-year anniversary at your studio, acknowledging these moments can make clients feel special and valued. A little recognition can go a long way in strengthening their bond with your studio.

Read more: Building and nurturing client loyalty: The key to long-term business success

Implementing a robust CRM System from the get-go

Okay, Pilates studio owners, let’s talk about something that’s going to make your life a zillion times easier. Rezerv is a Pilates management software that's like the Swiss Army knife for managing your Pilates studio. It’s not just a software tho; it's like having a super-efficient assistant. Let's dive into some of its fantastic features:

1. Seamless booking and scheduling

Imagine a world where your clients can book their Pilates sessions as easily as double-tapping an Insta post. That's what Rezerv does for you. Clients can view class schedules and secure their spots with just a few clicks. 

And its QR code check-ins? Pure high-tech wizardry that means faster, smoother class starts. No more clunky sign-in sheets or lost reservation emails!

2. Let your client share their Pilates passion with Shareable Packages

Rezerv’s shareable packages are a community builder's dream. It allows your members to share a package of credits with friends or family, a fantastic way to introduce new faces to your studio and grow your Pilates community organically. 

This approach not only increases bookings but also fosters a sense of camaraderie among your clients. It's like a communist machine for Pilates, turning "my Pilates class" into "our Pilates class." (Sorry I can't help it, I know I can get in a lot of trouble for this 😅).

3. Bringing people together with Group Bookings

Say goodbye to the logistical nightmare of organising group Pilates sessions. With Rezerv’s Group Booking feature, your clients can easily invite friends and book a session for the whole squad. 

No more separate bookings and juggling schedules – one person can handle it all. It’s perfect for friends who want to work out together, team-building sessions, or family classes. This feature makes your studio the go-to spot for group fitness fun.

4. Online payment system: Diverse and localised

Rezerv’s online payment system stands out with its diverse and localised payment options. From bank transfers and credit cards to e-wallets, and even pay-in-minimarket options, Rezerv’s got it covered.

This level of payment flexibility ensures that regardless of where your studio is situated, your members can effortlessly transact with you.

5. Make smarter decisions from analytics

Analytics might sound like geek-speak, but hear us out. With Rezerv you can get insights into what classes are hot, which times are peak, and what your clients are loving (or not).

Tailor your class schedules, marketing strategies, and studio offerings based on real, actionable data. It’s like having a crystal ball, but better because it’s backed by science.

And don't just take our word for it! Hear it straight from Eddy, the proud owner of Elegant Dreams Yoga & Pilates, who has been using Rezerv and loving every bit of it: 

"I have been using Rezerv for my fitness studio for several months now, and I am extremely satisfied with the results. The software is user-friendly and enables my clients to easily book and manage their appointments. The customer support team is also amazing, always available to answer my questions and provide helpful solutions. In summary, Rezerv has revolutionised and streamlined the management of my fitness bookings. I wholeheartedly recommend it to any fitness business owner looking to simplify their booking management."

Bringing Rezerv into your Pilates studio everything gets more efficient, more streamlined, and a whole lot more fun. Your clients enjoy a better experience, and you get to focus on what you do best – teaching awesome Pilates classes. 

Ready to take your studio to the next level with Rezerv? Click here to book a demo, or here for a free trial!


Alright, here’s your final pep talk. Remember, planning ahead is your golden ticket. Sketch out those dreams, line up your strategies, and set your sights on success. A well-planned studio is like a well-executed Pilates sequence – it just works!

And here’s the heart of it all – stay true to the essence of Pilates. Let the principles of control, concentration, and flow be your guide in every decision, from choosing equipment to designing your space. Your studio is more than a fitness spot; it’s a haven for mind-body harmony.

And that's a wrap! Thanks for sticking with us through this ultimate guide. We can’t wait to see your Pilates studio become the talk of the town. Remember, in the world of Pilates, every little detail counts, just like every little movement in a Pilates session!

Friska 🐨

Read next: 5 Pilates marketing ideas to get more clients in 2024

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