This post follows on from our previous post based on Ben Dulhunty’s webinar From a PT to a Studio Owner in 5 Easy Steps. 

Today we’re going to look at each of these five steps in more detail.

The 5 Steps to Owning a Studio

1. The Vision

You need to work out you complete business model in detail. In order to do this, you need to conduct research on your location and demographic. There’s no way around it: you’ve got to crunch your numbers if you want to be in the position of owning a studio. You have to develop your Point of Difference (POD) or Unique Selling Position (USP). Ensure that you have enough support to drive this – you don’t need to do this by yourself. Identify your role in your business and how you will benefit from your business.

2. The Model or Blueprint

Identify the type of studio that you want. There are various types of studios that you can start: PT only, yoga/pilates, group training only, membership based, holistic health, or a studio in a box. This is not an exhaustive list, and there’s no reason why you can’t develop your own model in line with your vision of owning a studio.

3. The Belief

If you don’t have self-belief, then you won’t find success in owning a studio. You need to be mentally prepared and committed to your vision. Starting your own studio is not an easy process, and you need to be mentally prepared and committed on a daily basis. Mental preparation is not just about self-belief, but also includes research, building a network, getting the advice you need, and everything else that you need to do to be prepared for this transition. Remember, that you will need to develop the ability to micro-manage and to teach this ability to your staff. Importantly, you need to make sure that you are taking this step for the right reasons. You need to have the ideas and the passion if you want to find success owning a studio.

4. The Resources

Paramount resources that you will need when owning a studio include: finance, materials, location, experience and ‘know how’, and outsourcing.

In terms of finance, look at all your options and find the most economical way of financing your vision of owning a studio.

Regarding materials, you might need all kinds of equipment. Identify what equipment you have and what you need. You also need to look at what you will need to do to transform and renovate the property into the studio you want.

Location is the most important resource: this will make or break you. You need to have a visible location but you also need to consider permits, zoning, parking, and other practical considerations.

Experience or ‘know how’ will develop with time. As you set up your first studio, you will develop the experience that you will need to open more studios. Don’t expect to get everything right the first time – it’s an ongoing process of learning and development.

Outsourcing is important because it enables you to get the advice and expertise you need to make the most of your studio. Outsourcing can help you to get it (owning a studio) right in the beginning. This includes everything from legal advice, graphic design, marketing, studio layout, labour, etc.

5. The Execution

You should have a very clear idea of what you want your studio to be, based on the first four steps. Execution involves putting everything together and getting your studio started. It’s worth developing a plan that focuses on this stage alone, divided into small steps and stages. Remember that this step is an ongoing process that carries on for years. It develops and grows as your studio grows. In other words, it doesn’t have to be perfect. At all times, chart your progress and refer to your Vision and Blueprint. Hire good staff and, above all else, seek professional expert advice.