Location, Location, Location!
Although I enjoyed teaching at Fitness Centers, I had a distinct yearning to run my OWN classes. Nothing grandiose – just hire a hall somewhere – one lunchtime a week. Testing the water as it were. Just to see what it was like. Gain an insight into the pitfalls. Who knows, something to do in retirement?
My 9-5 IT job placed me in a prime location – Adelaide’s CBD. I located a gym across the road and hired the group fitness room for two single hour slots.
It was a win-win for both myself and the gym the owner. At no extra cost to the gym (quite the reverse in fact), he could offer a 'Pilates presence' to his clients. As my class numbers increased, it looked really quite good having the place filled to the brim with people!
Initially, I tried two sessions – a lunchtime and an evening one. I was quite surprised how the lunchtime one thrived whereas the evening one did not. Timing-wise, the evening one started at 5.30pm – the slogans calling people to postpone Rush Hour commuting included:
I placed leaflets in the lobby areas of multi-storey Car Parks so they would be read by commuters as they embarked on their Rush Hour journey home!
I thought it was a great concept but maybe the mentality really was to ‘head on home’ irregardless come 5pm. Who knows, a 5.30pm session in your area may work (maybe make it 5.45pm if there are shops nearby that close at 5.30pm).
As far as lunchtime sessions were concerned, I reasoned that most people attending would be office based and probably limited to an hour, give or take. Hence the lunchtime session was set at 45 minutes to allow travel and changing.
I recently split my lunchtime classes between the gym and a Dance Studio. Various reasons including redundancy of venue and the fact the Dance Studio is quieter and the general ambiance lends itself a bit better to Pilates. You might find a Dance Studio available for hire near you - especially in a CBD location at lunch time (given most Dance classes may be in the evenings).
But what if you don’t have access to a CBD location?
How about a Sporting venue where parents drop off their kids and then have to hang around? Obviously, this time slot is going to be evenings and weekends. I know several parents who diligently drop the kids of to soccer training and then get cold/bored waiting on the sidelines for 90 minutes plus. Maybe a leaflet on one of the noticeboards to the effect “Why not do Pilates while waiting for junior?….”. Then hire a room at the venue itself. Just for a month or so as a trial.
Or for a Monday to Friday slot, maybe hire a room or hall near a school and place a notice on the school notice boards – “Pilates next door once you’ve dropped the kids off.”
In Adelaide, a lot of organisations who have halls available for hire, list the details with the Adelaide City Council and this information is freely available on the Council’s website – I’m guessing this practice would be commonplace elsewhere.
Stop Press: Aug 2016 - see here - Adelaide Pilates Venues/Rooms For Hire
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