It’s a wonderful feeling to update your Pilates studio making it fresh and alive. I recently went through this exercise and have taken a sigh of relief that the end is almost in sight! I say almost because despite having installed my final piece of Pilates equipment, I went that extra mile to expand my space and rearrange equipment to make a more functional space. There are still some decor changes I still want to make but they are just cosmetic and can wait until I can comfortably afford them. I’ve been asked by a few colleagues why and how I went about the changes so I’ve written this little blog for anyone thinking about making changes to their work space. It is TIME TO UPDATE YOUR STUDIO!
Why update my studio?
An update wasn’t crucial to my business but I had been dreaming and manifesting the extension for four years and my mind couldn’t rest until it was done! It was an important step for me as I like to create order and symmetry in my work space to reflect the discipline and focus required when practicing Pilates.
Did I need this?
I didn’t need it, I WANTED it! It just had to happen! Did my clients need this? My clients didn’t “need” it however they do love the changes and enjoy every moment they spend in the studio. ( of course their love of Pilates is not just about the space let me add… but it helps.)
Will it increase my business?
Its early days and time will tell however with studio refurbishment comes a fresh feeling and motivation to work on the marketing side of the business. It comes hand in hand. One action motivates another!
How much will it cost?
Hmmmm… regardless of whether it’s and extension or refresh, add 50% to what you expect to spend that should about cover it!
Did it disrupt the schedule of my studio?
Even with the huge amount of work that was going on regarding the extension, I could not afford to close the studio for three weeks to get the building work done so paid for a temporary wall to be built so work could continue as usual. There was careful planning so that the heavy duty noise was carried out of peak studio times. Not only to appease the clients. The neighbors were a big consideration! Nothing like having a disgruntled neighbor!
If you are thinking of refurbishing, rearranging or just freshening up your studio, then consider the following;
Can I afford it?
Do your budget first and foremost.
A normal rule which applies to every aspect of our lives. Discard old tired pieces straps, old rusty springs, spring clean your equipment, throw out neck pillows, Mats, towels. Choose your colour theme and stick to it. Your towels will be the accent colour.
Clear the floor!
If you cant do custom made, get some Ikea cupboards, shelves, hooks etc…. to get everything OFF THE FLOOR! Create a feature space in your studio or feature wall to make an impact.!
Choose your main colour way! Be careful not to alienate a genre of clientele. Personally, I recommend a neutral colour for your equipment then you can use an accent colour to “POP”. Use accent colours in your towels, one feature wall and a few decorative pieces. This makes life easier and more cost effective to change when you tire of the colour scheme down the track. Re upholstering the bright purple or pink reformers etc… is a costly exercise!
Like vivid colours? Choose no more than three if you must! You don’t want your space to look like play school! (remember, this advise is coming from a boring neutral kinda gal! )
If you just want a refresh then plan to work over the weekend and surprise your clients with a new clean, functional space. Try not to disrupt your schedule unless you have major constructions going on. Even then have a plan and stick to it.
Ok so you’ve cleared your space, cleaned your studio from top to bottom. You’ve created great storage, found a home for wayward pieces of equipment, towels, straps etc. Your studio now has a new coat of paint and you are loving the fresh look!
Your equipment has had some serious maintenance done and all your reformer wheels are now free of hair, dirt and grime! The damaged upholstery has been replaced.
You’ve changed some tired light fixtures to make your space brighter and added some greenery.
Your studio is safe with “stuff” off the floor. It smells good when you enter and your clients love it!
Finished? Not quite!
Now for the hard bit! Train your instructors to keep the studio in order. And I don’t mean by just clearing up at the end of the day. It’s important to tidy up as you go so all clients that come in experience the same order and freshness as your 6am or 7am client/s experience. Your instructors may laugh, grumble and whine from time to time but one day they will open their own space and understand where you’re coming from.
Subconsciously your clients will keep your studio in order. They usually follow suit. If your space its tidy then so are they.
Set to go!
Now you’ve set the scene for a great workout for your clients and an enjoyable space for your instructors to work.
What to do now?
Respect your new space and your clients will respect your effort!
Teach everything you know but ONLY what you know with integrity and passion.
Now get out there and keep up the good work caring for those who love Pilates!
For those in Australia – Authentic Pilates Education recommends:
Equipment upholstery: Top Notch Upholstery Sydney
Equipment maintenance: Pilates Equipment Maintenance Australia
Cabinetry: Creative Cabinetry Leichardt.