April 22, 2015

Amy Mewborn is the Founder of Women Success Society. She helps women entrepreneurs launch and scale six and seven figure businesses, without the hustle; with her signature programs - Business Success Simplified and Elevate Mastermind and Accelerator.

Questions before building out your location

When opening a barre studio, whether  you do it on your own, or you choose a large barre franchise – you need to ask yourself some very serious questions.  Your lease and your space will be your single largest expense of the life of your business.  It is also one of the hardest expenses to change once you make a decision.  So, before you agree to a space and sign a lease make sure that you have thought over the most important concerns.

What type of space and atmosphere is my target demographic expecting?

One of the first questions  you want to ask when considering opening your barre studio, is who is your target demographic, what type of classes will you be offering, and what is that target demographic expecting when they walk into your studio?  What is the look?  What about parking?  Are you going to offer showers, locker rooms, child care?  Will you have one studio or two studio rooms?  Before you ever really start looking seriously at space, you need to know what type of space you are looking for and what it will accomplish!

What type of space and how much square footage do I need?

So often, someone gets their heart set on a specific shopping center or space and really doesn’t think about the needs of the space.  Should you go with retail space?  Should it be office space or industrial space?  And how much square footage should I commit to when opening my barre studio?  These are serious questions to be asked!  The average rental rate for most studios (depending on location around the country) could be anywhere between $1,000 per month and $16,000 per month.  If you are going to commit to a 3 to 5 year lease, you want to make sure that you are making a good decision and that the space meets your needs.

How many people can attend each class with that square footage?

One of the questions I get in my work with potential studio owners is how much space they need.  This isn’t an all encompassing answer.  The space that is needed is most dependent on the shape of the space.  I have seen spaces that are over 1500 square feet in studio space, but because of the shape, door/window placement, and angles of the walls – they have been able to fit less than 18 people in class.  This is a POOR use of space and a complete waste of money.  I’ve also seen very well laid out spaces that are only 800 square feet that can easily accommodate 20+ people.  When determining the proper space, you must consider how many people you want to be able to put into a class and go from there.

What are the monthly/annual costs and maintenance for my desired location?

So often, a barre studio owner or even a barre franchise owner has never really understood the entire set of terms of their contract. Once you get into the contract, you realize that the landlord is charging you for the bathroom that they are remodeling in the center, or the advertising that they are doing.  Before you sign a lease, make sure that you understand ALL the fine print in your contract.  I’ll cover this one in depth in Barre In a Box TM.  This particular point can be a VERY costly mistake, but worse than just being costly – it is the unanticipated bills and expenses that you may not have budgeted for.

What is the expense of the build out for my desired location?

One of your largest UP FRONT costs will be your build out.  I have built out an entire barre studio with less than $10,000.  And I have built out a barre studio with $75,000.  The question is this – how much will need to be done to the space to get it ready for classes.  In Barre In a Box TM, we cover the anticipated expenses, where to get props, how to build the studio out, how to hire your contractor, and what to look for in your space to keep build out costs down.  But as you can see, this expense can vary widely!  There are a few things to look for in your desired space which will give you some pretty decent clues about potential build out expenses.  Also, you want to make sure that you choose the right contractor and have the right guarantees and warranties.  There is little worse than being a month into business and having your barres pull out of your walls and you have to go hire a NEW contractor and shut down the studio for a couple of days to get them fixed.  (I have seen this happen at LEAST five times!)

When potential studio owners call me, they have often already spoken to a barre franchise, and they just aren’t certain which direction to go.  I can tell you this – you can very easily make some VERY costly mistakes in opening your own barre studio.  I point to my first location decision literally costing me about $200,000 over the course of five years.  And it seems that it may cost me a WHOLE LOT more than that by the time it is done!  If you are serious about opening a barre studio, ask yourself.  Is a barre franchise right for you?  Do you think you can go it alone?  Or would you like the systems and tools for success WITHOUT the barre franchise?

If you want to talk to me about opening your own barre studio, and want success systems without the rules and fees of a barre franchise contact me below!   I look forward to speaking with you!