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If You’re Thinking About Becoming A Full-Time Pilates Teacher, Follow These 6 Steps…

Step 1
Type Of Business

You’ll need to choose if you want to set up as a sole trader, Limited Company or go into partnership. 99% of pilates teachers will set up as “sole traders”.  Though, if you’re setting up a Pilates Studio, you may want to set up as a “limited company” or “partnership”.    

Three Business Types

Sole Trader 
This means running your own business as an individual which will make you self-employed. You can take on staff, you do not have to work alone but you are responsible for your business. Your accounts are simple and you can do them yourself if you want, to minimise costs.

You need to register with Her Majesty’s revenue and customs (HMRC) and will need your National Insurance number to do so at www.gov.uk. This will mean you will receive an annual Self-Assessment form for you to fill in for tax purposes. This can also be done by an accountant or book keeper.

Limited Company
This is when you want to limit your liability. You will need to appoint directors and register with Companies house. With the help of a good accountant, this is easy to do and may save you money. However usually you will need a bit more help from your accountant, so make sure the savings don’t just get past on to your accountant.

You can set up a partnership with other people. You will run the business as a self-employed individual but you all share responsibility for the business. You can also set it up as a Limited Company Partnership.

Step 2
Pilates Business Plan 

If you want to increase your odds of running a successful and profitable pilates business, write a short business plan. It’s a must have resource for any business that is serious about succeeded.

If, however, you plan on running your pilates business as a hobby, then you won’t need a business plan.  But if you want to become a full time pilates teacher, a business plan is crucial.   When writing your plan remember we try to work to live not live to work. This is sometimes hard when we have such a brilliant job.

If the thought of writing a business plan from scratch fills you with dread, use the Pilates Business Plan within the Pilates Instructor Marketing Kit.

Here are some pilates marketing tips you can add to your business plan…

Pilates Website
This does not have to be expensive or complicated.

It is something you can do yourself from a template that you buy on the Internet or get quotes from as many different companies as possible. You can pay someone to do it for you, but make sure that you are able to make changes to it (e.g. add text and images), otherwise you can insure extra cost every time you want to change something.  We recommend checking out The Bare Foot Web Designer.

Local Newspaper
Send an information article with your photo to your local newspaper with something readers will want to read.

Offer Free Trials

Offer Free Private Sessions
Offer other Professionals free one to one’s with no strings. They see how wonderful you are you have started a network of other professionals you can also refer to.

Specialist Classes
Set up specialist classes such as: over 50’s, under 40’s, back classes, balance classes, ski classes.

Encourage your existing group clients to have a one to one, twice a year.  Give them their own program especially geared to their problems.

Step 3
Pilates Insurance

By law you only need “employers insurance” if you employ someone.

If you’re a sole trader, you won’t need employers insurance.  You will, however, need “professional Indemnity insurance” in case someone gets hurt in your classes or during a one to one session.   If you don’t have “professional Indemnity insurance” and one of your student’s trips over a step on the way into your class and breaks a bone, you would be liable for medical expenses and may even get sued.

The Pilates Foundation uses Balens for insurance but all good insurance companies can help you.

Step 4
Business Bank Account 

Getting a business bank account isn’t required by law, but it’s a very good idea to get a business bank account to help keep everything separate from your personal accounts.  Most banks will give you 18 months free banking, then you will have to pay a small fee.  Shop around and find the best deal.

Step 5
Pilates Bookkeeping System

Lets face it, bookkeeping is not something the average pilates teacher relishes.

And for good reason!

It’s boring.  It’s dull.  It’s a royal pain in the backside.  But it has to be done.

Fortunately bookkeeping is simple if you have a good system.  All you have to do on a weekly basis is file receipts for things you have bought that are business expenses and then write down all monies that you have received.  And if you don’t like the thought of using a computerised bookkeeping system, you may like the easy to use Pilates Bookkeeping Document included within the Pilates Instructor Marketing Kit.

Step 6
Self Assessment Form

Every year the HMRC will send you a form to fill in by 31 January.  It is simple and comes with a booklet which will explain what to do.

Here are the basics:

Gross Profit
Write in the amount you have made in your business (gross profit)

Add up the amount of allowable expenses and costs that you have needed to pay to run the business.

Net Profit
Take the expenses off the gross profit which will gives you your net profit. This is the taxable amount. You do, however, have a tax allowance which will need to come off, giving you the final amount of tax to be paid.

This article was written by The Pilates Foundation.  We hope you found it useful.

* Our membership is endorsed by The Pilates Foundation.

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George Watts

Pilates Teacher
This post was lovingly brought to you by George. If you have a couple of minutes spare, you might like my Online Pilates Lesson Planner