Innovative technology, a robust franchise package and high consumer demand make Studio Pilates the market leading Pilates brand
Studio Pilates International (SPI) is Australia’s premium Pilates brand having started franchising in 2014 by ex- Olympic Swim team member Jade Winter and his wife Tanya Winter, who is a qualified physiotherapist.
Studio Pilates International has grown since its first studio in Brisbane, Australia to a network of over 60 locations, primarily in Australia, but also in New Zealand and the USA, with a pilot operation in China.
At Studio Pilates, the team has redefined what a Pilates reformer class can be and set a new standard in the wellness industry. The signature Studio Pilates reformer workout is incredibly intense, yet completely safe for all levels of fitness from beginners to the advanced.
Technology is infused into the workout experience. Instructors lead the 40-minute classes with the assistance of each move being projected onto television screens around the studio. This is combined with high-energy music and a fully integrated pre-recorded voiceover that explains each move. This is a truly streamlined and ‘one-size-fits-all’ workout that is perfect for today’s modern age and appeals to all fitness levels and a broad demographic.
Almost 50 per cent of Studio Pilates franchisees now own more than one studio. There have been no failures, bankruptcies or closures in the network and when the brand’s franchisees start a Studio Pilates, they rarely sell them, instead of holding onto them due to the amazing cash flow.
In the USA, two people who separately contacted SPI were invited to Australia to attend the company’s 2019 National Franchise Conference, to meet the franchisees as well as spend time in franchised studios. During their visit, the budding business owners were very impressed by what they found. As a result, Kathy and Marisa both opened studios – one in Louisville, Kentucky and the other in Brooklyn, New York – in early 2021.
Despite enormous challenges faced due to the pandemic, SPI was able to provide ‘studios in a box’, delivering all the equipment, fittings and fixtures each studio needed to construct their studio direct to the USA. The brand now deploys the same setup to anywhere in the world.
Travel restrictions were in place in Australia, so SPI delivered live instructor training and business training using Zoom to prepare Kathy and Marisa for their launch. Now, in 2022, both Kathy and Marisa have opened their second studios. This is a testament to the systems and procedures that Studio Pilates has developed to get its franchise owners into business.
A unique model
The Studio Pilates model is unique and the tech system that operates each studio class makes for a highly consistent customer experience. It enables franchisees to provide their clients with a high-quality workout (40 minutes) that changes daily and runs at the same time in every studio nationally. Over 80 separate workouts are broadcast in a revolving schedule and customers in each of the studios across the world are guaranteed to receive a world-class workout simultaneously across each time zone.
When a new client walks into a Studio Pilates venue, there’s always a gasp; their jaw always drops. Clients can’t fail to be impressed by the exclusive atmosphere in each studio with hardwood floors, beautifully crafted furniture, uniquely designed and manufactured Pilates reformers, all topped off with the distinctive Studio Pilates chandeliers and state of the art audio visual system supporting the instructors and clients, teaching them how to improve their core strength and enjoy each session to the full.
Each studio has up to 20 machines which can be managed by a single qualified instructor, still allowing time to observe and encourage clients as they undergo the Pilates class. With a 40-minute workout and a five-minute class change over time, a new class can commence every 45 minutes of the morning, day or night. This delivers maximum convenience to the customer and maximum profitability for the business as there is no time wasted.
SPI franchise owners benefit from an ‘end to end’ service from the SPI global support office commencing with initial interviews and the provision of a business planner, as well as the support in the finding, approving, negotiating and fitting out of each studio. The franchise is designed to minimise franchisee involvement in the complex process of site negotiation, organising the design specification and the build-out of each studio, so franchisees can focus instead on getting their staffing and business prepared for launch. Franchisees can be assured of support and guidance at every step of their journey.
Furthermore, each franchisee receives two distinct streams of training. Extensive training is provided on the operation and management of the business. All franchises receive this training that focuses on managing the franchise and using the range of technology, systems and support that Studio Pilates provides throughout the franchise.
For those franchisees who wish to be an instructor in their franchise, there is an additional stream of training to enable them to become qualified instructors. The SPI instructor training team trains up to six instructors as part of the franchise package.
World-class support and training
Studio Pilates provides its franchise owners with a comprehensive range of backup support and administrative technology. This includes but is not limited to monthly management accounts (P&Ls and balance sheets) bank reconciliations, payroll calculations, weekly and monthly KPI reporting, a full local area marketing toolbox, benchmarking reports to help franchisees identify areas of improvement and opportunity and 24/7 access to the brand’s knowledge base and online learning platform.
The cost of an SPI franchise will vary according to the size and conditions of the chosen premises. This ranges in the UK from £150,000 to £200,000 and typically franchisees need approximately 50 per cent of this cost in liquid capital.
There are lots of benefits to this franchise concept:
• Can be operated under management
• Cash business - no credit
• Clients pay for their classes upfront
• Excellent cash flow
• No significant stock to carry
• A state of the art environment
• Unique SPTV technology for running classes
• Stunning fit-out standards
• Comprehensive and world-class instructor training
• Low staffing costs (especially with franchisees instructing in the business)
• Rewarding business
• Clients become ‘addicted’ to the classes and can feel and see the benefits in weeks
• Easily managed
• Excellent support office backup
• Management accounts, KPI reporting, payroll, bank reconciliations and more part of the package
• Visit Australia and economy flights will be refunded if you proceed with a franchise
Studio Pilates International is now launching in the UK and has appointed a team to help the market entry. Additionally, franchise director John L Scott has decades of UK franchising experience including most recently with Specsavers Optical Group, where he was for over 15 years. He will be visiting the UK from 14th March to mid-April to meet with interested parties.
What Studio Pilates International franchisees say
“I have been a franchisee for over two years and am about to open my second studio in Brisbane, Australia. I cannot praise Studio Pilates highly enough for their professionalism, not only in their business and instructor training programs but in the way they provide everything needed to get my studio open and launched into my local community.”
– Kimberley Dullahide, franchisee, Coorparoo, Brisbane, Australia
“In 2018 I took the plunge and as a happy client decided to open a studio in Adelaide. I was and still am very impressed by the people in Studio Pilates and how they handle any issues I may have – as well as assisting my team in developing their skills both professionally and in client contacts. I am looking forward to many enjoyable years ahead in the Studio Pilates network.”
– Cata Nadile, franchisee, North Adelaide & Glenelg, Adelaide, Australia
“I never expected that the journey from my first discussions with Studio Pilates to the day I opened would be so smooth. I am from an accounting background and was pleased to see that they even provided me with a business planner with a video guide designed specifically for SPI studio operation which enabled me to keep a close eye on my investment and the progress since we opened. I was also impressed that their real estate team was able to negotiate an excellent contribution from the landlord toward my build-out costs. I also love the marketing support which helps me to develop my franchise in the local market. I’m opening my second studio in Neutral Bay soon!”
– Lynn Krause, franchisee, Crows Nest, Sydney, Australia
At a glance
Started franchising in 2014
Number of franchised outlets:
Location of units:
USA 4; China 2; New Zealand 5; Australia 49
Minimum required capital:
50 per cent of setting up costs i.e. £65,000 to £87,500
John L. Scott, director of franchising, at email@example.com