There is this phenomenon that happens in every city or town, aerial studios, pole studios, yoga studios and fitness studios are racing each other for the lowest price, matching competitors and giving services away for low prices or even free. As a studio owner I understand how hard pricing can be, you need to be competitive and make a profit. As humans we get very caught up in what the other studios are doing and how they are pricing. We end up battling them to the bottom. This is so bad for our industry; it actually drives everyone’s prices down. You have probably seen it where a yoga studio charges $10 for a class, then the new one down the street goes to $9 to attract clients. Seriously do you want the $9 client? It is a cycle, if we keep lowering prices consumers will just keep looking for the next bargain and then no one can make ends meet. If you are good at what you do that $9 client will likely pay more for your services and if not, you will attract the clients who will pay the correct price.
When you price for your classes or studio amenities, think about these things.
Think about all the training and workshops you have attended.
You are educated in your profession. Yoga Alliance instructors have to get continuing education, as do certified fitness professionals. The best aerialists and pole instructors are constantly attending workshops and trainings as well. What did it cost you to get continuing education just in this year, including travel? Continuing education is so important; it makes you a better instructor or owner. It refreshes you and get you excited about teaching or running a fitness business. It also can bring the latest advances in your field to your clients. That is worth something. You are worth something.
Stop pricing based on what every one else is pricing.
This happens all the time, particularly with yoga and studio gyms. You have a right to sell your services at the correct price not the slashed price. I took a business seminar on this and the speaker, Laura Cornell, explained it very well, she said to think of what price you want to sell a private lesson at, ok, now double it, that is likely the price you really should be selling it at. Imagine what it would be like if you did sell at that price. It is not bad to be aware of what competing studios are doing in your area, but do not perpetuate the cycle and keep pricing lower to attract clients. From my experience, you will end up attracting the bargain hunters. If your competitors are priced really low, not only are they driving the prices down for everyone, but also they have some sort of money block. If you price like them, you are then taking on their money block as your own.
Stop giving it away for free
In all of the marketing conferences and seminars I have attended, the one thing that has been repeated over and over to me is “never give services away for free.” Why should you offer a free class on a client’s first attendance? You still had to pay your utilities and rent, your instructor, your insurance, buy your equipment, and get the training. If that client is interested in your services, wouldn’t they have come in the door anyway? In my experience, the client that comes only to the free class has a higher chance of not becoming a returning client or only lasts a short time. Now I know there are exceptions and some people swear they have worked out a formula for this. But I still don’t believe in giving away free classes, I don’t think it’s good for our industry to devalue our services to free. Now I will offer small discounts to new clients in alignment with an event or expo. And I do donate services to certain charity events, like the museum ball and silent auction. I have found this works well in my area and I get long-term clients from these methods.