This is the continuation of our two part series focusing on how to open your own studio. Our guests, Tash Bean and Debbie Davis are here again to share their knowledge and experience in this topic. In our last episode, we talked about how important it is to choose the right location and developing the guiding principles for your class experience before approaching a consultant and working towards the build out of your studio. Before listening to this episode, be sure to listen to Episode 63 first if you have not already! Otherwise, let’s continue…
What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
• Aligning your build out to your studio’s guiding principles
• Hidden costs that sneak up on new studio owners
• Recruiting instructors that fit your vibe
Here’s the Complete List of Tips:
(4:30) Once you’ve developed the guiding principles and intended programming, how much does that play a role in the physical build out of the studio and branding?
The biggest driver for the building design was that Debbie intended to be community minded. This is difficult to do, so they were very deliberate about the amount of space was allotted for this idea to exist. There is a large lounge (a space to wait that isn’t a hallway) with coffee, tables, chairs, etc. This space is not actually monetized, although on paper it sounds like it should be; in real life, this accelerates the experience.
Of course there are certain things every studio will need – toilets, a front desk, bikes, etc. The overall vision, however, decides how all these come together. How do you want your clients to be interacting? How do you want their experience to flow? What type of demographic are you trying to attract?
(16:40) How did you then go about establishing your marketing?
Debbie stresses the important of being relatable. More people engage on content that is authentic, genuine, honest, and not totally “perfected.” Many people advise on using cleaned up, professional, polished images on their social media and other marketing but she has felt it has been beneficial to come across more relatable.
As far as creating a logo along with purchasing a branding package, Debbie found many places asking for several thousands of dollars for this service. She ended up coming across 99Designs, where you’re able to share your design vision and designers send you their samples. You can pick through your top few designs, consult with your final choices to edit, and if you decide to use the design you pay for the service.
(23:20) If I am looking at creating my own studio, what are some costs that I should be keeping in mind that I might not think about when I am just starting out?
In general, when it comes to the design of the space, it is important to narrow ideas down to what is important to you, what you can wait on, and what you might not do at all. Here is a list of things Debbie and Tash mentioned:
-As previously mentioned, sound proofing costs are often forgotten.
-We just mentioned the logo and branding (if it is not approached in a more creative way).
-Many people don’t leave money (and time!) for training and continued education.
-Decide what amenities you plan to have – towels, shampoo, lockers (with pad locks or automatic locks), shoes, etc.
-What type of lights do you want – a switch on the wall, a single disco ball, or a full blown light show?
-Sound system quality
(38:40) Ultimately the experience people pay for and come back for is created by the people filling the space – the instructors and the staff. Where did you begin recruiting them?
The tone is set by the owners. We demonstrated ourselves as an example of what we look for in our team.
Currently, Debbie and her husband run the front desk which they feel is important for them. Sometimes it can be hectic, but there is a team vibe and everyone works together.
They interviewed 50+ people at coffee shops (to set the approachable tone) because it helps you find out if people vibe with you right away or not. Rather than having an open call audition, we talked with people directly. Once again, it goes back to your guiding principles.
Other References in This Episode:
Episode 63: Steps to Opening Your Own Studio with Tash Bean and Debbie Davis (Part 2)