Episode 11: Common Pitfalls Faced By New Studio Owners with Noël Nocciolo

Noël Nocciolo

When you have opened studios in eight countries around the world, you begin to notice patterns, and in this case, specific pitfalls that new studio owners commonly face and sometimes fail to avoid.

Noël Nocciolo

Fitness Professional

When you have opened studios in eight countries around the world, you begin to notice patterns, and in this case, specific pitfalls that new studio owners commonly face and sometimes fail to avoid. Listen to Noël as she breaks down the what you can easily do to ensure your studio’s success when just starting out. Even if you’re a veteran studio owner, there are some amazing tips in here that may change the way you approach your business now that can drastically affect the experience that your clients have- after all, we are in the business of people! Learn to master running your studio like a 5-star hotel.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  1. “Well,” “fast, “cheap” – pick two.
  2. Amount of time and money that goes into instructor training
  3. Focus on class experience

Here’s the Complete List of Tips:

(15:45) The first big decision when starting your own business:

There are three options, you choose two: well, fast, or cheap. Which two take precedence for you and your vision?

(19:20) Do not forget to allocate money to your teacher training.

This is as important as rent, marketing, build out, etc. This doesn’t just cost money, but it takes time. Be sure to allocate enough time to train your team to be prepared to give the experience you plan to share with your clients. The experience comes down to the quality of the instruction.

(26:44) Is there a combination (cheap/fast/well) that works better than others?

It depends on how the founder is recruiting and attracting talent. With that being said, the combination that is chosen often can change over time…you go over budget, training takes longer than expected, etc. Be flexible with it and honest with those involved so you don’t cancel on people repeatedly.

(29:50) How does this apply to current fitness professionals interested in opening their own studio?

Hire people that know the things that you don’t. If you are a trainer and the creator of the studio methodology, then you need to be looking for investors that can fund your dream. From there, you can focus on training the instructors and creating the classes that your brand will use to represent itself.

(34:50) The internet is a powerful tool, and there is a lot of information there for us that we do not need to pay someone else for. Where do you draw the line when deciding what to research/teach yourself or paying for someone’s expertise on a specific area/topic?

Be honest in what you do well – you will be able to provide and expand on this. Put a price on your time and decide how long something might take you, and from there if it is financially worth it. It’s not? Hire a professional.

(37:07) What is a list of things people need to collect when opening a studio?

This is something people can do on their own, really. You walk into another studio and see, “They have a coat rack.” Okay – now you need one too. It’s as simple as that. But again – you can go to a studio that has all these little details ticked off, but if the class isn’t good it won’t matter!

(40:00) A common question that is asked frequently is, “How much should I pay my instructors?”

If you treat (pay) your instructors well, they will be loyal to your brand and actively work to build your community. Paying them the bare minimum is not going to encourage them to help your company build. They are the ones with direct connection to your customer service and their experience.

(46:30) What are other pitfalls new studio owners can avoid?

You cannot simply be a founder of a studio and not continue to work (or hire a partner to work) at it. Be there as often as possible. It is not the same to sit on the beach and check in on the Twitter feed daily. Leading by example with the little things – cleaning up towels, chatting to clients in the lobby, etc. – goes a long way. You don’t need to micromanage everything, but being present makes a major difference.

Have your evaluation table and shares allocated, accounted for, and written down as any other business would. Legitimize your business.

Other References in This Episode:

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