How Much Does It Cost to Open a Pilates Studio (2024)


Thinking of opening your own pilates studio? Are you wondering if having your personal brand is more profitable? Or maybe an initial franchise fee would be less costly? What about buying all the  necessary pilates equipment?

What other costs are there? What to start with? Here’s the detailed budget.

How Much Does a New Pilates Studio Cost?

Opening your own pilates studio may cost from $50,000 to much much more. Depending on how big you want to go, of course.

A cartoon wallet representing the cost of opening a pilates studio

If you have a ‘go big or go home’ idea, you probably want to have:

  • a space in excess of 1700 square feet, 
  • dozens of high quality wooden or metal pilates reformers
  • additional pilates machinery
  • the premises stylishly decorated 
  • an exceptional member experience in your offer

If so, be prepared for the costs in the $500,000 range.

Main costs when opening a pilates studio

Experienced pilates studio owners list these items as the most important ones you need to consider. Factor them into your budget when planning pilates studio startup costs:

  • Construction or renovation costs
  • Building official documentation and local government acceptance costs
  • Cost of lease
  • Rental costs
  • Utilities: bonds and connecting
  • Photography, banners, neons, etc.
  • Pilates equipment
  • Computers, reception equipment, office supplies
  • Pilates Studio Software
  • Legal, accounting costs
  • Property insurance, liability insurance
  • Marketing costs: branding and graphic design, printing promotional materials
  • Website development
  • Staff recruitment, training & wages
  • Uniforms (if planned)
  • Pre-launch marketing campaigns and staff costs

1. Choosing a pilates brand

Decide whether you want to operate under your own brand or open a franchise. Having your own business with a pilates studio name that you came up with is very rewarding. However, remember that it takes about 2 years for your brand to be able to suppose a long term success.

Visual identification created from the beginning is another additional cost. If you are starting to implement a completely new idea, it will also cost you to create a good financial plan (as a part of a fitness studio business plan).

Initial franchise fee

Consider opening a franchise branch if it is important for you to have ready-made and proven solutions. The initial investment typically ranges here from $223,250 to $454,500.

A description “Supreme” as a vision of your own pilates studio brand image.

2. Choosing the right location

Locating a pilates studio in a densely populated area with a target demographic can increase visibility and potential client base, but on the other hand it results in higher rental expenses. 

Hands holding a map, searching for a location to establish a pilates studio.

Access to public transportation can enhance accessibility for clients and instructors, potentially mitigating the need for extensive parking facilities.

Cost:
Premium locations in high-traffic areas may command rents as high as $15,000 to $20,000 per month, significantly impacting operating expenses. (Source: NAPPI)

3. Building/ Renovation /Adapting

The biggest cost would be to build the entire studio from scratch as a new building. Most often, however, it is possible to find large rooms or an entire floor suitable for pilates classes. 

These rooms can be purchased or rented long-term. Your initial cost will then be the renovation and the first installment of rent or mortgage payments. 

Try to minimize renovation costs by:

  • working with the team along, 
  • buying materials of good quality but not the most expensive ones, etc.

Renovation and build-out expenses for a Pilates studio space can range from $5,000 to $20,000 or more, depending on the condition of the space and desired design. (Source: Pilates Anytime, “Studio Design Ideas”)

4. Pilates Equipment

As you know, there are two main kinds of pilates classes: reformer or mat. 

In reformer classes, your participants use a big machine with a sliding platform. They can do different exercises by using a bar for their feet, handles, and straps together. 

In mat classes, you mainly show exercises using the students’ body weight, but sometimes you use small pilates tools too.

Purchasing equipment

Equipment costs for Pilates studios can range from $10,000 to $30,000, including reformers, chairs, barrels, and other specialized apparatus. (Source: Balanced Body, “Pilates Equipment Packages”)

A lot of students carry their own mats, but you should have in your studio different types of mats for people who do not have their own equipment. Cost of a mat varies. It depends on its type, quality and brand.

The best are non-slip mats. One can cost from $7 to more than $200

A great idea for branding would be investing in mats with your pilates studio’s logo. Costs will be between $50 and $100, on average.

Differently from a mat, students usually do not bring their own blocks to the pilates classes. 

You can find blocks ranging from $7 to $30 per pair on platforms like Amazon. 

Straps are quite cheap. It is important to equip your studio with some of them in different types and include in start up costs. 

Price range: From $8 to $20
Bulk Purchase Price: If you’re looking for good quality straps and considering buying in bulk, you can expect to pay around $10 per strap.

Remember about other small accessories, like exercise balls and other equipment typical for fitness studios.

Pilates reformers

Why are Pilates reformers so expensive?

Reformers are special gear that sets pilates apart from other workouts. Cheaper ones can cost around a couple thousand dollars. But pilates studios choose higher-quality ones to avoid breakdowns and costly repairs.

5. Pilates Studio Furniture

Pilates studio reception desk

Here is a breakdown of furniture approximate costs:


Reception desk and chairs: $ 1,000

Stereo system: $ 1,000

Mirrors: $ 2,500 – 7,000

Flooring: $ 2,000 – 8,000

6. Pilates Instructors and Other Important People

For your pilates studio you need to hire not only instructors, but also front desk staff, and cleaning service. 

Staffing costs, including salaries for instructors and administrative staff, can vary widely but typically comprise a significant portion of operating expenses. (Source: Pilates Business Pros, “Staffing Your Pilates Studio”)

  • The hiring process: Job vacancy advertisement can cost $0.10 to $5 per click.
  • Pilates instructors can earn different amounts of money, widely based on experience, expertise, and location, varying from $20 to $100 or more per class session.
  • Cleaners earn on average $15.76 per hour.
  • Front desk staff: $23.15 per hour.
  • Additionally you can hire an assistant, cleaning company, bookkeeper, social media manager etc. 
  • If you want to cut down on staff costs, implement Pilates Studio Software, which saves time and money. Approximately 30 minutes per gym member per month!
Pilates teacher correcting his student’s position

7. Pilates Studio Software

Take your load off with intuitive, efficient, and affordable pilates studio management software. All-in-one pilates studio software consist of many useful features, helping conduct fitness studios like:

  • task automation
  • dedicated mobile app
  • website integration
  • CRM
  • and others

WodGuru is the most frequently recommended software for pilates studios and pilates instructors.

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8. Taxes

To your start up costs you have to add taxes. 

  • Business taxes: Structured differently than personal taxes, based on your location. 
  • Employee withholding: You are responsible for your employees’ paychecks.
  • Sales tax: If you sell merchandise, you will have to pay from 2.9% to 7.5% depending on the state and laws. 

Most cities and states will require you to pay registration fees when you start a pilates studio. For example, in New York City, the registration fees for a Pilates studio cost between $250-$500, and you’ll also need to get a Department of Consumer Affairs Registering Business Certificate for 50 $.

9. Insurance, Accounting

The cost of accounting and insurance for a Pilates studio in the USA can vary widely depending on several factors:

  • location of the studio, 
  • its size, 
  • the specific services offered, 
  • the number of employees, 
  • the level of coverage desired. 

For accounting services, you might expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per year, depending on whether you hire a bookkeeper, accountant, or CPA, and the complexity of your financial situation.

Pilates studio’s accounting.

As for insurance, Pilates studios typically need a combination of liability insurance, property insurance, and possibly other types of coverage such as workers’ compensation insurance. The cost of insurance can vary significantly based on factors such as the size of the studio, the number of clients served, the types of equipment used, and the coverage limits desired. 

On average, you might expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per year for insurance coverage for a Pilates studio in the USA. It’s best to consult with insurance providers and accountants who specialize in serving businesses in the fitness industry to get accurate quotes based on your specific needs and circumstances.

Insurance premiums for liability coverage typically range from $1,000 to $3,000 annually, depending on the studio’s size and location. (Source: Next Insurance, “Pilates Studio Insurance”)

10. Maintenance

  • Cleaning Services: Hiring professionals can cost $25-$75/hour, essential for meeting health standards​.
  • Cleaning Supplies: Annual costs range from $500-$1,000 for essential supplies like disinfectants and mops​.
  • Repairs and Upkeep: Budget for routine maintenance of studio infrastructure to avoid larger future expenses; costs vary based on usage​.
  • Plan Updates: Regularly update class schedules and membership options to stay competitive and profitable.

Additional miscellaneous expenses, such as utilities, maintenance, and unforeseen costs, should be factored in, typically representing 10-20% of total startup costs. (Source: The Balance Small Business, “The Costs of Opening a Pilates Studio”)

11. Clean and Safe Pilates Studio 

Your priority should be the safety and well-being of the students and those who teach. You have to keep each square foot of your pilates studio clean and safe.

Cleaning spray for pilates studio hygiene.

Examples of items you will need to buy:

  • Cleaning supplies: $50 to $200 per month.
  • Air purifiers: $100 to $800 each.
  • Mat cleaning: Manual sprays and wipes may cost $30 to $100 monthly, automated mat washer systems can range from $500 to $2000.
  • Fire extinguisher: $20 to $100 each.
  • First aid kits: $30 to $100.
  • Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors: $10 to $50 for smoke alarms; $20 to $50 for carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Emergency lighting and exit signs: $20 to $200 per fixture.

12. Marketing Initial Costs of Printed

When opening a Pilates studio, marketing costs can vary depending on the scale of your promotional efforts. For local advertising and traditional marketing materials like leaflets, banners, and neon signs, expenses typically include design, printing, and installation costs. 

  • Leaflets: The cost of designing and printing leaflets can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the quality, quantity, and complexity of the design.
  • Banners: Large banners for outdoor or indoor advertising may cost anywhere from a hundred to a few hundred dollars each, depending on size and material.
  • Neon signs: Neon signs can be more expensive, ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on size, complexity, and whether they are custom-made.

Overall, budgeting a few thousand dollars for traditional marketing materials like leaflets, banners, and neon signs is common when opening a pilates studio. Keep in mind that costs may vary based on factors such as design complexity, material quality, and the number of marketing channels utilized.

Leaflets must be taken into the marketing budget.

Marketing and advertising expenditures for a new Pilates studio may range from $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the chosen strategies and target audience. (Source: Pilates Business Pros, “Marketing Your Pilates Studio”)

13. Other Initial Marketing Costs

When launching a pilates studio, other expenses can contribute to various strategies generating buzz and attracting clients.

  • Buzz Marketing: This involves creating excitement and anticipation through word-of-mouth, community involvement, and influencer partnerships. Costs may include hosting free introductory sessions, community events, collaborating with local businesses for cross-promotion, and organizing special events to generate buzz.
  • Social Media: Utilizing social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can be cost-effective for reaching potential clients. Expenses might include content creation, advertising, and influencer collaborations to increase visibility and engagement.
  • First-Week Promotions: Offering special promotions during the first week can incentivize people to try out your studio. Costs may include discounted class packages, referral incentives, and promotional materials to spread the word about the offer.
  • Grand Opening Event: Hosting a grand opening event can attract attention and create a sense of excitement in the community. Expenses might include venue rental, catering, entertainment, and promotional materials like banners, flyers, and signage.

Overall, marketing costs for opening a pilates studio can vary depending on the scale and scope of your promotional efforts. Budgeting for these strategies can help ensure a successful launch and attract clients to your new business.

A pilates studio owner celebrating the grand opening

14. Create a Legal Entity and Check for Certificates

Paperwork may not be the most thrilling action… Yet, it’s a necessary step before diving into the more stimulating aspects of launching a pilates studio. 

Depending on your location, acquiring the appropriate permits to operate the studio may be required. Ensure compliance by consulting resources like the Small Business Administration (SBA) website for detailed guidelines tailored to your state.

Pilates certification proves the pilates studio’s viability.

The process of officially establishing your business entity differs based on your studio location. That’s why it’s so important to research the specific regulations applicable in your area. 

Generally, there are various legal structures available, each with its advantages and considerations. Choose the one that aligns best with your objectives and resources. For example if you are a small pilates studio, give private classes, multiple classes, etc.

Permits and licenses required to operate a Pilates studio can cost approximately $500 to $2,000, varying based on location and regulatory requirements. (Source: American Council on Exercise, “Starting a Fitness Business”)

Unlike yoga, where classes can often be conducted remotely, pilates typically requires students to attend sessions in person due to the necessity of specialized equipment. Therefore, it’s prudent to establish a legal entity to shield yourself from potential legal liabilities and lawsuits.

Overall costs of establishing a pilates studio

The average cost to open a Pilates studio ranges from $50,000 to $100,000, depending on factors such as location, size, and amenities. (Source: NAPPI)

Download a table in which you enter your real costs for each category. You can use the table when writing your BP. You can also check the profitability of your idea of ​​starting a fitness business for yourself. 

You can be sure that you won’t miss any important purchases. Why? Thanks to the detailed design of the table by our marketing specialists from WodGuru.

Pilates studio initial costs summary.
Your pilates studio initial costs summary.

Downloadable sheet here

Create a business plan

Don’t get surprised by the costs! Create a business plan and be prepared for both good and bad scenarios.

Glasses, notebook, pen, pencil and keyboard - all you need to write a pilates studio BP.

The cost of preparing a business plan for a pilates studio in the USA can vary depending on several factors such as:

  • the complexity of the plan, 
  • whether you hire a professional BP writer or consultant, 
  • the extent of research,
  • market analysis required. 

On average, you might expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars for a comprehensive business plan tailored to a fitness studio. This cost may include research, market analysis, financial plan and projections, and writing services.

However, it’s also possible to create a basic BP on your own using free or low-cost resources available online. Templates and guides provided by organizations like the Small Business Administration (SBA) or SCORE can help you outline your business strategy without incurring significant expenses.

Remember!
Although it’s possible, do not outsource writing a business plan to external companies. This will be your business, your life and your work! It is better to ask an experienced pilates instructor or an external company but only as a consultant for the ideas.

An experienced pilates instructor as a consultant for a beginner’s ideas.

How Much Does a Pilates Studio Owner Make?

The earnings of pilates studio owners can vary widely, reflecting the diverse landscape within the industry. On average, an owner might earn around $45,000 per year. 

However, the sector embraces a spectrum of businesses, ranging from small independent studios to larger establishments. 

Owners of larger studios, including franchises, have the potential to achieve six-figure incomes annually, with some even reaching the million-dollar mark in earnings.

Pilates classes

Final Thoughts:

1. Cost Considerations: Opening a pilates studio can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $500,000 or more, depending on factors like location, size, and amenities.

2. Main Costs: Main expenses include construction or renovation, equipment purchases, legal and accounting costs, insurance, marketing expenses, and staffing.

3. Franchise vs. Independent: Choose between operating under your own brand or buying into a franchise, each with its own set of costs and benefits.

4. Location Costs: Premium locations with high foot traffic can command rents as high as $15,000 to $20,000 per month, significantly impacting operating expenses.

5. Equipment Costs: Pilates equipment ranges from reformers to mats and accessories, with costs varying from $10,000 to $30,000 or more.

6. Staffing Expenses: Hiring pilates instructors, administrative staff, and cleaners can comprise a significant portion of operating costs, with salaries ranging widely based on experience and location.

7. Legal and Insurance: Costs for permits, licenses, accounting, and insurance can vary widely depending on location and specific business needs.

8. Marketing Expenses: Marketing costs can range from traditional methods like leaflets and banners to modern strategies like social media advertising, with budgets ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 or more.

FAQs

How much money do I need to open a pilates studio?

It all depends on various considerations such as the brand of equipment you intend to purchase, the location you’re targeting, and whether you plan to handle all teaching responsibilities or hire instructors. Conducting thorough research is essential; this includes assessing rental prices, determining equipment and insurance costs. If you’re embarking on starting your own business, it’s crucial to undertake this groundwork and develop a comprehensive business plan.

Is owning a pilates studio profitable?

This kind of business has high-profit margins. Even a small pilates studio can reach an 8% profit margin, and some get to even 30%. A studio that is effectively managed has the potential to generate annual profits in the six-figure range for its owner.

How much capital to start a pilates studio?

The average cost to open a pilates studio ranges from $50,000 to $100,000, depending on factors such as location, size, and amenities. (Source: NAPPI, “How Much Does It Cost to Open a Pilates Studio?”)

How much to buy a pilates franchise?

To buy a pilates franchise:

1. Research different franchises.
2. Contact franchisors for info.
3. Review the Franchise Disclosure Document.
4. Secure financing.
5. Visit existing locations.
6. Sign the franchise agreement.
7. Receive training and set up.
8. Launch your studio.

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