How to Never say Yes when you mean No in Your Pilates Business

Happy New Year! We are a week deep into 2017 at the time of this post. A week into goals, resolutions and it’s easy to lose sight of you, your Pilates business goals and needs. Clients are returning from their holidays and extended time off. There are new clients contacting your studio looking for the perfect fix. It is easy to get in the habit of saying “yes” to any client coming your way. Existing clients are trying to get in extra sessions or classes to burn off the “holidays.” New clients looking for a quick fix and a special deal may have you tempted to offer something fresh, new or cheaper.

Let’s take a moment to get super clear on the goals and intentions for you and your Pilates business. If you’re not clear on you and your desires for your Pilates business, you’ll be overworked and underpaid.

One of my goals for last year was to go to yoga four days a week with my husband. We have a favorite instructor and the class times we could both attend meant I could not take clients Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. I stopped offering those mornings to clients. I sharpied in my goal and committed to my new schedule. It’s a year later, and I have a very set teaching schedule that allows me to not only go to yoga four days a week with my husband but also allows me to know when I’m free any day of the week. I don’t have to wait until I’ve scheduled everyone.

I was coaching an instructor who wanted to focus on teaching clients with neurological issues. Her website (beautiful as it was) made her sound like she was a Pilates instructor who taught anyone. She got clear on her ideal client; we made tweaks to her website, and now her ideal client is contacting her. Yes, she lost out on many clients who came to her site and didn’t call her based on what she offered, but they found an instructor who was perfect for them and she is fully booked teaching the clients perfect for her.

Another studio was feeling the pressures of keeping up with all the fitness studio’s around them. They began offering unlimited class packages. Within a short time, they saw their studio transform into one they didn’t recognize. It was a busy studio, but the unlimited classes drew a particular crowd, the discounts turned away their ideal clients, and they weren’t making any more money than before. They re-committed to their goals and strengths made a few changes to their offerings and prices and while they are not the hot spot for group classes they are the magical spot for private training and special treatment.

My hope for you Pilates instructors is that you are as you busy as you want to be, teaching the clients you want to teach. Is this something you want for yourself?

Take a moment to answer these questions about you and your Pilates business:

1) Do you know what times you teach? It’s easy to fall into the trap of adding extra time to get all your clients in, to say yes to teaching a client or two on your day off. Saying ‘yes’ now might mean money in the bank but at what cost? You deserve to know when you are working and when you are off. May 2017 be the year of no “Swiss Cheese” schedules. At least that’s one of my goals for the instructors I coach.

2) When are your Pilates sessions? It doesn’t matter to me if you are taking from a teacher at a different studio, trading with one at yours or turning on PilatesAnytime you have to sharpie in your Pilates sessions before clients get into your schedule.

3) Do you know who your client is? I recently did “live” on knowing who your ideal client is. Watch it here and then take some time to get clear on the clients you are going to say Yes to and the ones you are not this year.

4) What do you have to offer? Do you offer great classes or great private options? Just because people in your area are calling for classes or deals doesn’t mean you have to offer them! Be clear are what you have to offer. Practice saying what people can expect when they come to you and your studio. Be confident in what it is you have to offer. Double down on that, and a year from now you’ll be looking at a business that is uniquely yours. Say ‘yes’ to clients and offering that are not in your wheel house will have you feeling drained, overworked and uninspired.

5) Check back, revise and share your goals with others: Once you are clear with who you are, what you offer and whom you are for share this with other teachers, business owners, and friends. They can take this info and pass it along when appropriate. Put a reminder in your phone to check back on your goals and how they are going. If something isn’t working, revise your approach.

For more information on goal setting, you can take my online course here. Also, there are some great tips on “Rethinking Resolutions” in the January issue of Pilates Style Magazine. It’s great for helping you help your clients with their goals which will help you practice rocking your own!

Please share your goals, desires and intentions for the next year with us! Comment below or email us here.


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