5 Things You Need to Make Changes In Your Businesses

Making changes to your business is never easy. How do you know what to do first? You’ve got bigger goals for your business but it can be hard to know what to do when you’re in it. And, scary when you feel like you need to make big changes to get what you want. No matter where you want to go in your business you need to have these 5 things to make your magic happen.

  1. How much do You want to make? Your goals don’t need to be only about money. But, it’s important to make sure your business is paying more than your bills so that you can stay in business. Also, find out what your hourly rate is. This will be key for #4.
  2. Get super clear about who you want to teach, when you want to teach and where.
  3. A website that shares #2 and takes clients on a journey towards choosing you. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website then check out this course. If you do, then take yours to the next level with this course.
  4. Help! You don’t have to hire a full-time assistant straight out of the gate. But, getting clear on your strengths and hiring people to do things that do not bring you joy or money is key to creating more of you and getting more done. You don’t need to be the person to do things like grocery shop, research or make changes to your website. Yes, hiring people costs money but remember the answer from #1. Anyone that you have do work that doesn’t need to be done by you is saving you money.
  5. Support! Whether it be a business partner, family member, coach or accountability partner you can only go so far on your own. Which is why I created my online coaching group. To help teachers and studio owners get advice, ideas, unstuck, feel empowered and more. Who is in your corner?

I’d love to hear which of these things you feel you have in place and which things you need to get in place in the comments below. You don’t need to wait until you’re ready to make your moves. In fact, who knows when you will feel ready. A little secret, I never feel ready for anything I do.

xx~LL

How to Hire a Team

Nowadays it’s easier than ever to get help on the tasks in your business that you don’t like doing, don’t know how to do or don’t have the time to do. Studio owners you not only have to hire teachers but you also have to hire other team members to help you keep your studio clean and running smoothly. All of us, instructors and owners alike, should be considering what we truly need to be spending our time on and what we should be delegating out. So, hiring sooner than you think is key for the growth and health of your business. But, how do you hire a team?

Well, I wish I could give you a  step by step formula that you can copy, rinse and repeat. But, like Pilates, there is the ideal and then there is your clients ideal right? So, here are my tips for hiring. Try any or all of these! If you want more of a deep dive check out my course here or contact me for a coaching call.

  1. Hire fast and fire faster. Yep, I used to say hire slow and fire fast. And, there is an art to hiring slow to make sure you’re not making an emotional hiring decision. But, if you’re clear on the jobs expectations, your needs and have a good filter in your interviewing system you will weed out a lot of people and be less likely to hire the wrong person.l But, let’s say you do. Fire them. I know you want give people the benefit of the doubt but spending more time trying to fix a bad hire will not only cost you money for paying them but your time for retraining etc.
  2. Be very clear what the job is, what your needs are and go over that in an interview. Have questions that there is no bad answer but that if they answer one way it reveals that they are not the right hire for you. For example, I’m a massive ideas person. When looking for my executive assistant I didn’t need another person with forward-thinking ideas. I needed an implementer. So, I asked her if she wants to be in on the brainstorming side of things or organizations and implementation. If she had chosen the first it doesn’t mean she’s a bad person. Just not the assistant I need.
  3. Hire sooner than you think. I find a lot of teachers building their own websites, doing their own bookkeeping, etc. You guys, unless these were jobs you had prior to becoming a teacher I promise you that you can hire someone to do these things for way less per hour than you make teaching! So, instead of “saving money” and doing it yourself hire people to do it. It’s their area of expertise and they will do it better and faster than you! Plus, the mistakes you make or the extra time it takes you will cost you money in the long run.
  4. Hiring someone to do things that do not bring you money or joy and cost you less than your hourly wage are key for creating more time in your day and growing your business.
  5. Know your strengths and hire your weaknesses! Together you will make a great team.

Behind the scenes, at my business, there are currently four other people! Four! Five if you include the bookkeepers and six if you include my CPA. Are many of them doing things I could do? Yep! But, the amount of time it takes them to do their jobs costs me way less than what I make teaching and coaching. And, they love what they are doing! Yep, I hired people who get to use their strengths to do the tasks. Without them, I couldn’t do what we do. They feel inspired at the end of their workday and I feel super good because I’m not constantly doing things that either I don’t like or that take me away from propelling my business forward.

What areas of your business are you going to finally hire out today?

Feeling like you’ve hired the wrong person? Wanting help on doing team reviews and developing your hiring or leadership goals then join me for a coaching call or bounce ideas of other studio owners and teachers in my online coaching group m

xx~LL

How to Manage Teachers in Your Studio and Not Go Crazy

Managing a retail store was never a goal of mind. It kind of just happened to me and I was really good at it. So, when I quit retail, became a Pilates instructor and within six months was managing a studio, hiring teachers and making the studio business grow it was an easy transition. Now, I’m not going to sit here and lie to you and tell you managing teachers was easy. No, it’s not. It’s so freaking hard. And you studio owners have a big glass to fill each day. But, if you’re teachers are driving you crazy I’ve got some tough love in this blog for you. It’s because of you. So, let’s make it not your fault!

  1. Be extremely clear about your studio policies. And hold teachers accountable. Yep, this means writing teachers up, giving warnings and maybe even firing them. I had to fire some epic teachers because they just couldn’t follow the rules. If you don’t have rules then you can’t get mad or frustrated that people don’t take care of your studio. And, if you do have rules but you don’t enforce them then you’re just asking for yourself to go crazy.
  2. Know your goals for your studio and know your teachers’ goals before you hire them. This is HUGE! If your goals are to have a small staff that creates a family/community vibe at your studio and all the teachers support the clients. But you bring in a teacher who only wants to work one day a week, can’t sub and just wants to come and go because their real goal is to be a writer, actor or influencer then you can’t get mad at them for not supporting your goals. People will not do things that they don’t want to do. So, their goals have to intersect with your goals. If you had the same goal above and you met a teacher who is looking for a studio where they can grow their business and only work at one studio that’s a teacher to consider hiring. Their goals align with your goals.
  3. Read the 4 agreements and practice them. I meet studio owners all the time who are upset that their teachers don’t do blah blah blah. They are frustrated that they (the owner) is the only one who can sell Pilates. And, when I ask them if they have asked the teacher why they are not converting new clients? If their staff has questions about how to get a new client to fall in love with Pilates? If they have regular (monthly to at max quarterly) meetings with their team to go over what they are doing well and where they can improve they stop complaining. Because the truth is they may have done a meeting here and there where they told the teacher what to do. But, they are assuming what they are saying makes sense. They are assuming that the teacher doesn’t see that the new clients they are being offered grow on trees and they don’t need to convert them. In the 4 agreements you one of these agreements is to make no assumptions and another is to not take anything personally. The majority of your teachers (if not all) are not trying to hurt your business or take you and your studio for granted.
  4. So meet regularly with your team. I know, you’re busy, but you actually cannot afford not to meet with your teachers on an individual basis. People want to know what they are doing well. They want to know where they can improve. They want to know how they help the studio. And, if you have a monthly 15min-30min meeting there will rarely be a surprise. Because I met with my team every month I knew when their personal goals or lives had changed. I was able to give constructive criticism and also praise. When you don’t meet with your team regularly you often only meet with them when they are in trouble. So, whenever you go to talk to them they will think they are not good. No one will thrive if they don’t feel good where they are. Also, if you are meeting regularly it will never be a shock to them if you do have to part ways. And, often, they’ll make that decision for you. And, you can still be friends.
  5. Stop doing everything for everyone. Period. Hire people to do things that don’t bring you joy and that don’t bring in money.

Ok, I could go on for hours! I could literally do a few webinars on managing your teachers and not going crazy. But, why don’t we start there? Try these ideas out. And, if you need help putting them into practice please don’t wait, let’s do a coaching call. Seriously, we can make your life and studio better even in just one call. You don’t have to do it alone.

xx~LL

Are You Hiring Out of Desperation or Alignment?

Hiring anyone is a gamble. It doesn’t matter if you are an independent instructor or studio owner at some point you will need to hire help or team members. And, the choices you make can help propel your business forward or cost you time and money. And, while the adage saying “hire slow and fire fast” might be in the forefront of your brain that doesn’t quite explain the things to keep in mind when hiring slow or firing fast. And, what do you do when you have to hire fast? How do you know you are hiring out of desperation?

In my years managing retail stores and studios, there were times when I needed to hire someone ‘yesterday!’ The goals and demands required help sooner than I had anticipated. And, then there were the times when someone quit and even with a two-weeks notice I still had yet to find a replacement. I learned the hard way in my retail days the problems that came along with hiring out of desperation and need rather than listening to my gut or taking a hit on the bottom line and waiting for the right person to come along.

When you hire out of desperation you:

  1. Often lie to yourself about the likelihood that this is a good match
  2. You waste time training, onboarding and holding that person accountable to the expectations of the job.
  3. Lose the opportunity to meet and find the right person
  4. Affect the client experience and could potentially lose clients and money as well as time.
  5. Create a potentially toxic environment for your whole team and could end up needing to do more damage control than the hire was worth

When you hire out of alignment you: 

  1. Choose people based on their goals and abilities cohabitating with your goals and needs
  2. Create a team that is stronger and cohesive
  3. Use your time and energy wisely
  4. Empower those around you
  5. Increase client experience and growth of the community

Are you sitting there reading this and feeling like you have a team member, web developer, a social media consultant who may have been hired out of desperation? That’s ok! We have all been there. And, while I would love to sit here and say that if you hire out of alignment it’s all rainbows and dollar signs I can’t. There are no guarantees. However, in my experience, if you take the time to hire based on alignment even if the relationship is short-lived the experience is positive and creates space for growth!

If you are ready for tips on best hiring practices, questions to ask, answers to pay attention to and what to do when you’ve made a mistake then join me on my next webinar all about hiring! It’s not just about hiring staff that work in your studio. It’s also great advice for hiring people who will create your website or consult with you in other ways. Find out the details on how to watch https://webinars.profitablepilates.com/hiring-help-teachers-vas-and-more/here.

Hiring can be stressful and exhausting but it doesn’t have to be! We can get you to a place where you welcome the hiring opportunities.

xx~LL 

 

Hiring Pilates Instructors for Your Studio

So, you need Pilates instructors for your studio? You have clients who need a teacher, classes that need a sub and you need a break! But, how do you hire for your studio? Where do you find the right teachers? Is there a hub where all the instructors are hanging out?

When I was hiring for Pilates studios one thing I learned is that I was always looking for the best teachers to work at my space. Because you never know when you are going to find the right fit! But how do you keep an eye out for the right teachers constantly? Hint: You don’t just post an ad and hope for the best.

  1. Network within the Pilates community in your area: If you are cool with the other studios then if they pass on a teacher they can refer that teacher to you!
  2. Know the teacher training programs in your area: Make friends with the teacher trainers and let them know you are a space that has positions for new teachers if the Pilates shoes fit!
  3. Be Clear on your Goals and Expectations: If you know what the vision is for your studio it makes it easier to know who to hire and who to pass. Setting expectations and sharing them with potential new hires also makes it easier for you to hold employees accountable and allows the instructor to decide if you are the right fit for them as well.
  4. Take classes and sessions around town: No, I do not mean “poach.” But, rather introduce yourself and let the owner and manager know who you are. Then go back to the notes for #1.

Finally, and this I cannot say this enough, hire slow and fire fast! Take your time hiring. I know, you need a teacher, I know you needed the teacher yesterday! But, if you hire the wrong teacher for your space you’ll end up having to do extra work. Instead, hire someone whose goals align with your goals and hold yourself and your team accountable to the expectations and goals of your studio. It’ll pay off in the long run!

xx~LL 

Pilates: How to Hire a Team that Rocks

Recently I added new team members to Profitable Pilates and Lesley Logan Pilates. When I was looking to hire for my Pilates team I had specific goals in mind. And, you should too! When you are looking to hire Pilates instructors for your Pilates business it is integral that you hire smart.

It’s easy to hire any instructor that comes your way! I mean, I hear you, it’s not as if Pilates instructors grow on trees. But, if you hire any instructor who is available then you are not doing your Pilates business any favors. Sure, you could luck out with a rockstar instructor. But, more often than not you could be costing yourself valuable time. And, time in a Pilates business is money.

Here are some tips to consider when hiring:

1) What you are goals and what are their goals?: If the goals don’t intersect it’s not going to work out. I know it’s tough to say “thanks but no thanks” to an amazing instructor. Especially when you are desperate! But, you will get frustrated when they are doing their thing and it’s not in line with what your goals are.

2) Why do they want to work for you?: With all the ways to look up a business and a person these days, they should have done some research. They should know why they want to teach in your space. What is it that draws them to your Pilates haven? How will your space allow them to grow and shine?

3) Do their strengths support your weaknesses?: It’s easy to want to hire people exactly like you! But, you cannot be all things to all people. If you know where your strengths are lacking and can find team members who strengths are your weaknesses your team will grow further. Clients of all types will have the instructor for them!

4) Do your due diligence: Phone interviews to weed out those who are not right for your business. In person interviews where you see them teach and you two can have a conversation. What do they love about teaching? What do they hate? How do they handle difficult conversations? The answers they give are only “wrong” or “right” if you think so. Some teachers struggle to schedule, take payment and sell Pilates. But, if you have a studio manager who handles all of that then it’s totally ok that this is a weakness of theirs.

5) Listen to your gut! Seriously, your mind and pocketbook can easily steer you the wrong way!

Look, I believe in running a Pilates business a little unusual. I don’t think you should hire based on how the studio down the street does or the studio you worked for did. For more tips on running your studio check out this blog. Also, hiring is an art and takes practice. Check out more tips here and take your time. Hiring slow and looking before you need a teacher is key. Otherwise, you’ll need to fire fast!

Lastly, an easier way to attract teachers and a team is to become known! If people find out how amazing you are and your studio is they will be flocking to work for you!

If you have questions about hiring, firing and building a team contact me here. I’ve done a lot of all of it. It’s not easy. But, a good team takes you further than you can ever go on your own!

xx~LL

Pilates Instructor and Studio Owner: How To Take A Vacation!

How easy is it for you to take time off from your Pilates business? If you are a Pilates instructor or studio owner you get paid when you have clients in the door. And, if you’re not there it’s tough to get paid. But, what if you could take a vacation or travel to teach and still keep your Pilates business running?

In the coming months I will be traveling for meetings, my next Pilates retreat to Cambodia and Maui, workshops in the UK, Spain, and Florida (shhh this one is top secret click here to be the first to know the deets). And, while all that travel sounds exciting it also means many weeks away from my clients in Los Angeles.

But, ever since I began managing people (since 2004) I have had the same motto. Put your life in your schedule first, your workouts, your travel, your goals and you can do the things you want. You can take the workshops you want to take, go to the Pilates Method Alliance in Vegas, join me on a retreat or do something totally not Pilates related!

It’s time your clients and studio understood what a Pilates instructor vacation looks like. With the tips below make this coming year the year you can take vacations from teaching and still keep the reformer wheels rolling.

Studio Owners Vacation prep tips
1) Have clients who come more than once a week used to taking Pilates from different teachers so when one goes on vacation; they are used to seeing someone else
2) Prepare studio staff and clients well in advance. By having things on the books early, you can keep other teachers from taking off when you want to be away (if you don’t have vacation policies lets have a call about this). Early announcements also allows clients to book their trips around yours or come extra before and after so no sessions are missed
3) Replace the word “cancel” with “reschedule.” No sessions get canceled they get rescheduled, and they should make up sessions missed for trips, or if they are in town take from another teacher, so they stay on track to hit their goals and bodies needs
4) Hire a team, not individuals. Create a culture in your studio that everyone succeeds together. This way no one person thinks it’s all about them but instead that you and each teacher in your studio deserve a vacation and everyone helps each other out!

Pilates Instructors Vacation prep tips
1) Have teachers that you always use to sub for you when you travel. If you train your clients to take from another teacher when you are away, they won’t get out of the habit of taking Pilates. Then when you get back no time has been lost!
2) Look back at your last 12 months of teaching (if possible) and see when the majority of your clients took off. Can you plan around those times?
3) Let your clients no far in advance so they can plan around your trip or you can teach them extra before you leave and when you get back.
4) Schedule early, and they will be able to schedule their life around Pilates instead of fitting Pilates into their life.

My dear Pilates pro’s I live by these tips and a few others that allow me to not teach at least 12 weeks a year. My schedule to travel and teach workshops to fellow Pilates instructors continues to grow. But, my LA clients deserve a consistent Pilates practice. With careful planning and training them to take from other instructors or do more Pilates before and after my trips my teaching business does not suffer when I go off to teach around the world or take a much-needed vacation.

To dive deeper into this, please check out our past blog “How to have a life and be a Pilates instructor.” We also have my most popular course on scheduling “Never a Dull Moment.” And, because its so important to me that taking time off to do the things you love, teaching around your goals and not fitting your goals into your teaching schedule check out this course “Teaching your Vision.”

xx~LL

PS as always you can comment below or contact me here with your questions or requests for blogs or webinars and courses. We are designing 2018’s calendar and want to give you more of what you want!

The Magical Land of Pilates Consistency and Innovation

Have you ever found yourself defending a rule you may no longer need? As instructors rules are important but what about when you need to break a rule? Can you? I have a Yoga teacher who talks about following the rules as much as you can when you are first starting out. Why? Because as you advance you’ll need to break them. That is why when this week’s guest blogger Holly Furgason approached me with this blog I had to share it with all of you! Do you know when to be consistent and when to be innovative?

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Are You Handling the Challenges in Your Pilates Studio?

When I speak with studio owners and managers, I often ask them what they feel their biggest challenge is. Everyone gives me a different answer – or so they think. I’ve noticed their challenges generally fall into one of two buckets: Spending too much time IN their business or too much time ON their business. (And side note, this probably means they are not giving enough “YOU time” to themselves or their own personal practice either.)

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How to Hire a Guest Pilates Instructor

My dearest friend and brilliant Pilates instructor, Brien Creaill, has been traveling as a guest Pilates instructor to some incredible places around this world. Recently teaching in Hong Kong and gearing up to go back to Dublin and Amsterdam, he has been able to take his love of traveling and mesh it into his teaching at his home base of Barcelona, Spain. There is a chapter in my book Profitable Pilates: Everything but the Exercises called, “Oh The Places You’ll Go!” My hope with this chapter was to inspire new instructors (and those researching) with all the different avenues they could take as an instructor. One that I didn’t explore much in the book was being a guest teacher. Continue reading

Hiring Pilates Instructors for Your Studio

Hiring Pilates instructors to work or rent space at your studio can be exciting and overwhelming all at the same time. Exciting because congratulations are in order—your studio business is doing so well that you need to have more teachers to keep up with demands. Overwhelming because you want to make the right decision. Continue reading