The Business Basics You Need to Confidently Run Your Studio or Practice

blog business finance masterclass operations process profit Feb 22, 2021

As a physical therapist, I wanted to make people feel better. When I got certified in Pilates, I knew that the two of those services went well together… and I began dreaming about what it would mean to start my own Pilates and physical therapy studio.


That was in 2007, and since then, I have built a multi-million dollar Pilates studio business with multiple locations. But it wasn’t like I went from “I want to start my own studio!” to “a million dollars in revenue” overnight. It also wasn’t an easy road, trying to figure out everything that went into growing a successful business.


Starting a business to help people didn’t prepare me for all the terms and systems I needed to understand. There was the whole pricing problem, figuring out my income and expenses, understanding lease agreements, hiring instructors… it felt like a lot. And it was a lot! But I didn’t let that stop me, and I don’t want it to stop you.


That’s why I’m sharing the two basic areas you need to focus on for your business growth: your operations and your finances.


Business operations basics every new business owner should know

I’m betting you realized running a business is more work than serving the people who come to your business. You have to think about client or patient intake forms, scheduling, marketing… the whole shebang.


If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the things you have to do to operate a successful business, let’s focus on just four areas:

  • Metrics and analytics.
      • How many new client inquiries do you get each month?
      • How many return clients/customers do you get?
      • How many visitors do you get to your website or offer pages?
      • What other important metrics help you see how your business is growing?


  • Process documentation. 
      • When you do something for your business, do you document it?
      • Could someone help you complete tasks, or is the process in your head?
      • Do you have standard processes, or do you “wing it” every time you do something (i.e. invoicing, following up with potential clients, etc.)


  • Inputs, outputs, and bottlenecks.
      • What are you doing inside your business to help it grow?
      • What resources are you investing in those projects? Time, money, energy, etc.
      • Are you getting any returns on your efforts? I.e. new clients, happier current clients, a streamlined team, etc.
      • Is there something you’re doing inside your business that constantly hits a roadblock? Are there people or steps in the process that prevent you from getting returns on all that hard work?


  • Software and platforms.
    • Do you use the right tools (scheduling software, website themes, etc.) that help you do your job easier?
    • Are you using software or platforms that don’t do what you need?
    • Do you struggle to commit to tools, and try new ones all the time?


Hopefully these questions will help you see what foundational improvements you can make to your business operations — without getting too complicated. You can fix most of these things for free or very low cost!


Business finance basics to help you feel more confident

I know many studio owners and cash-based practitioners are still in the “growth” phase of their business — which means they’re not even paying themselves much, if at all. They also feel like they’re constantly making mistakes about their finances, and don’t understand the complicated terms accountants and financial pros may throw around.


Let’s simplify that, OK? Here are some basic financial terms and needs that can help you feel better about your business.

    • Understanding your P&L. Your P&L is your profit and loss statement, which is a fancy way of saying “How much money do you have coming in and how much do you have going out?” If you have more expenses than you have income, you’ll show a “loss.” If you have more income than expenses, you’ll show “profit.”


  • Financial projections. Are you tired of wondering how much money you’ll have coming in next month? A financial projection can help. Using your current client bookings or average gym attendance, you can project how much money you’ll make in the next month or quarter. You may also see this called forecasting.
  • Budgeting. You have probably had a personal budget for you and your family. This will help you make sure you don’t overspend and push yourself into the “loss” zone, and also make you feel more in control of your business finances! The categories you need depend on the business, but you may create a budget for team or contractor expenses, leases, software, and taxes.


Want to dig deeper into profits and processes?

Hopefully these basics help you feel a bit more focused and in control. I know that they’re not the only questions you have about finances and operations. If you want to dig deeper into everything I covered above  — or you have specific questions about your business finances and operations — check out my FREE masterclass training.



You can access this training any time and watch it anywhere — totally free! We’ll help you understand the basic metrics, operations, and finances you need to confidently grow and run your business. Don’t worry — we’ll cover only what you need to know, and explain it in ways that actually make sense (no accountant talk).


Plus, you will get a chance to  learn from me and my Head of Operations and Finance, Steve Moore. Access this free Profits & Process Masterclass here.