How to Maximize Your Earning Potential as a Pilates Instructor

It's a better time than ever to be honest with your numbers so you can prepare to enjoy doing what you love – and making a living doing it

Feel Like You’re In the Driver’s Seat

When I wrote chapter 7 “The Price is Right” for my book “Profitable Pilates: Everything but the Exercises,” I was hoping to help teachers dial in on how they can make money and feel like they were in the driver’s seat of their earning potential. It’s easy to feel like your income flow is fluctuating when you are a Pilates Instructor. Some clients are in town this week and out the next. People don’t use their packages up as quickly as planned. You may begin to feel the need to offer discount packages, special offers, or add another studio to the mix to get more clients/classes. There are ways to maximize your earnings as an instructor and not drive yourself out of business by offering discounts, teaching for less than your worth, or spending more time in your car to get to the next place.

Business owner write down expenses and using a calculator to monitor earnings
Pay attention to where your money is going, and you can make better decisions on how and why you spend.

3 Ways to Maximize Your Earnings

  1. Consistency is Key: If you let clients tell you when they want to come in, allow them to change their schedule often, or let them miss out on sessions, they will not feel the benefits of Pilates, and you will not be able to count on them when their next package is due. If you have a client who comes twice a week, and they have a package of ten sessions, you should be able to know exactly what week you’ll be getting another payment from them. But, if your client comes once this week, schedules twice for the following, early cancels them, and then comes a couple of times at random, it’s hard to know when exactly they’ll need to purchase. If the going gets tough (monetarily) for them, they’ll think about the results (or lack thereof) they are getting from Pilates. We all know that you need to practice Pilates regularly to get amazing results. My mini-course “Getting Busy with What You Have” will help you keep your clients consistent and train them on how to reschedule a session so that they never miss – and then they will know the results they are getting from taking sessions with you.
  2. We Manage What We Monitor: Do you know your numbers? Do you know how much you make vs how much you need to make? How about what your costs are? It’s easy to bury your head in the sand and not be honest about where you are and what you need. If you pay attention to where your money is going, you can make better decisions on how and why you spend. There are plenty of spending tracker apps out there that make this super easy. Plus, if you’re like me, and you’re pretty consistent with what you are buying, apps like these start to see a trend and track it all for you.
  3. Learn How to Say No: In my course “Never a Dull Moment,” I talk about how to offer the time slots you want to fill to your clients. I know it is hard to say no to a client who wants a time that you don’t normally teach because saying no means your turning down money. But, it’s important for your personal and business health that you only teach during the times you’ve already set aside to teach. Fill that schedule. Andrea Maida attended this course in person last year and recently guest blogged for me. She wrote about how changing the way she offered times to her clients helped cut back on time spent going back and forth scheduling. This is also useful in keeping clients consistent.

Track Your Expenses

Recently I was coaching a teacher who needed to make more money. She said what her dream goal was. I asked her how much she was making now. She gave me a ballpark. She didn’t know exactly how much she made. But it felt like she wasn’t making enough. We crunched her numbers and discovered she was pretty close to her goal income. But, since she wasn’t tracking her spending and her schedule was all over the place, she felt like she was overworking and not making enough. By tightening up her schedule, tracking her spending, and learning how to keep her clients consistent she’s actually surpassing her monetary goal and isn’t overworking!

Fill in the blanks:

  1. _____  Annual Goal Income
  2. _____  Average Session Rate
  3. _____ How Many Hours You Teach Each Week

Taking the above numbers multiply 2  x  3  and you’ll see your weekly income. Then multiply that by the amount of weeks a year you teach to see your annual income.

If you see a gap in how much you make and the goal you’ve set for yourself, you can take your goal income (1) and divide it by your session rate (2) to see how many sessions you need to teach each year. Then divide that by the amount of weeks you teach in a year.

For example, if you want to make $75,000 a year and your average session rate is $80 and you teach 20 hours per week that’s $76,800. Want to enjoy four weeks of a year? You can! Instead of teaching 20 hours a week, teach 22 and block four weeks of vacation into your calendar. The beauty of this is you are in control of your calendar, and you may think taking 4 weeks off means less income. It doesn’t! In this example, the teacher would make $84,480.

If you don’t like that teaching amount or you feel like you can’t bridge that gap then, take my “Never a Dull Moment” course or contact me! As we approach the end of the year, it’s a better time than ever to be honest with your numbers so you can prepare to enjoy doing what you love – and making a living doing it in 2017!

xx~LL

Lesley Logan, Pilates business/studio owner tracking her expenses
You are in control of your finances

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

<a href="https://profitablepilates.com/instructor/lesley-logan-2/" target="_self">Lesley Logan</a>

Lesley Logan

Lesley Logan fell in love with Pilates after her first 100! From side-hustle to full time, she jumped from teacher to manager to running multiple studios. She wrote a book that focused on the business of Pilates, which grew into ProfitablePilates.com and is now a business coaching program called Agency. Take class from LL at OnlinePilatesClasses.com and listen to her podcast at LesleyLogan.co/podcast. When not in Los Angeles she travels, leading workshops and retreats around the world.

4 Comments

  1. Hened

    Thank you Lesley, that’s really helpful!

    Reply
  2. Diane R Westphal

    Super helpful info, Lesley! I own a studio and have been approached by a newly learning teacher who wants to rent space and equipment. Is there a % split or some way to figure out how much she should pay me for the use?

    thanks

    Reply
    • Lesley Logan

      Hi Diane, if you have the space renters can be a great way to make extra money. You’re not teaching every hour of every day so your studio is essentially making money while you are off work. There are some standard splits that are pretty common in all service industries. Most studio’s rent a flat rate (doesn’t matter what the teacher charges). Is there another studio in your area that rent you can compare? In my experience, I’ve seen 20-$30/hr for renting for a private session and it goes up for renting for duets, semis. Hope this helps! Also, before you bring in renters you want to have some systems in place to ensure that you and your studio are protected. If you’re interested in talking about this privately we can do a coaching call! xx~LL

      Reply

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