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Understanding Studio Finances: A Path to Fair Compensation for Yoga and Pilates Teachers

As a yoga or Pilates teacher, feeling undervalued and underpaid can be disheartening. Many teachers believe their compensation does not reflect their hard work and dedication. However, the financial landscape of yoga and Pilates studios reveals a more complex picture. Studios often pay teachers more than they can afford, leading to financial instability. To address this issue, it's essential to understand the economics of running a studio and explore fair compensation models.

How Much Do Studios Earn Per Class?

To understand studio earnings, let's break down the revenue sources:

1. Drop-In Students: These attendees pay per class, typically around $35 per visit

2. 10-Pack Holders: These members buy class packages, often at a discounted rate @$25 to $30 per visit

3. Unlimited Members: They pay a weekly or monthly fee for unlimited classes. $10 to $15 per visit

4. Intro Pass Holders: Newcomers often get discounted trial memberships.

5. Discounted Memberships and Long-Term Members: These members enjoy lower rates due to longer commitments or special deals.

6. Class Pass - 1st visit at your studio is free for Class pass members. You do not get paid for them. I have heard of studios that are getting upto 6 class pass people in a class that are first timers at the studio and the studio receiving no income from them. Bank on $10 per visit. Every class has a random assortment of class types that generate various levels of income per class. Typically a studio owner would average these out to find things such as revenue per attendee or revenue per class. The averages do not tell the real picture. Lets go a little further.

Calculating Earnings Per Class

Let's examine how revenue is generated on a per-class basis. Consider a member paying $40 per week for unlimited yoga classes. If they attend three classes a week, each class effectively costs them $13.33. If they attend seven classes, the cost per class drops to $5.71.

A more accurate approach is to calculate the average revenue per visit:

1. Total Weekly Revenue: $15,000

2. Total Weekly Visits: 833

3. Revenue Per Visit: $15,000 / 833 = $18 (before taxes)

After accounting for taxes (e.g., GST), if the revenue drops to $13,636, the per-visit revenue becomes $16.37.

  Studio Expenses Breakdown

Understanding studio expenses is crucial for determining fair teacher pay. Here's a typical breakdown based on weekly revenue of $10,000:

1. Number of Classes Per Week: 34

2. Revenue Per Class: $10,000 / 34 = $294

Allocating this revenue as an example of popular urbane location.

1. Rent (20%): $58

2. Teacher Pay (30%): $88

3. Other Expenses (30%): $88

4. Owner's Profit (20%): $58

Note any variation to these comes directly out of owners profit. For Example if you pay 25% for rent Owners profit reduces to 15% Its important to note here that we are aiming for a win : win : win. Owner : Teacher : Student. Overall the Community Wins. I have not met one yoga studio owner that has set out to screw over teachers, we are all in this to make a difference in the world. Studios owners take on the risk of leases, rent, business and provide a place where the teachers can grow build and flourish. Teachers provide the depth and connection that compel students to take the next step on their journey with that studio. They care and nurture the students , welcoming them to the space, signing them into class and then - and when they are ready - leave and do there own thing. Thats the nature of it. Be kind and gentle with your dealings with each other. We need each other to create the change the world so desperately needs. The Break-Even Point


For this studio, the break-even point (rent + teacher pay + other expenses) is $235 per class. With an average visit rate of $16.37, the studio needs about 14 students per class to break even.

Yield Management: Optimising Class Schedules


Revenue per class fluctuates due to peak and off-peak times. Yield management, a strategy used by airlines and hotels, can optimise class schedules and maximise profitability. By analysing attendance patterns and adjusting class times, styles, and teachers, studios can enhance both financial health and teacher compensation.

 Real-Time Data: The Key to Success

Accurate, real-time information is vital for making informed decisions. Platforms like Kula Pay provide insights into class performance, helping studios optimise schedules and teacher assignments. This approach benefits the entire community—teachers, students, and studio owners.

  Practical Solutions

1. Adjust Teacher Pay Based on Class Performance: If a class consistently attracts fewer attendees, consider adjusting the teacher's pay or assigning a new teacher to the timeslot.

2. Promote Underperforming Classes: Increase marketing efforts or offer promotions to boost attendance.

3. Flexible Membership Models: Consider shifting to a pay-per-visit structure to align revenue with attendance.

Conclusion

Balancing fair compensation for teachers with studio sustainability requires a deep understanding of studio finances and smart management strategies. By leveraging real-time data, adopting yield management principles and working with teachers for mutual success, studios can create a thriving environment for both teachers and students. Embracing these strategies ensures the long-term success of yoga and Pilates communities, fostering a supportive and financially stable ecosystem for everyone involved. If you have thoughts or questions please leave them in the comments below! I look forward to reading about your experiences.


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