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 your 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!
5 Tips to Run a Studio
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.