Whose Under the Umbrella?

By: Carla Ricalis

(business success in a Pilates studio)

We’ve been in business for over 12 years and some of our instructors have been teaching Pilates and Yoga for a lot longer. I’m often asked what’s the one thing that makes us successful and able to thrive. Without hesitation, I can say it is every person who works under the umbrella of Studio3.

I’ve learned that to run a small business that emphasizes quality and customer service there are 3 things needed from everyone involved – from the cleaners to the the web designers and administrators, right up to the most senior of instructors.

  1. Interest
  2. Independence
  3. Initiative

When meeting with people who might join our team, I’m always looking for those subtle hints to see that they’re not only interested in what they do but that they also have a genuine curiosity about it.

Being interested generally inspires the desire to learn more and be better at what we’re doing. And when people have that genuine commitment to develop their skills, their ability to work with helpful suggestions and feedback is taken as an opportunity to learn instead of a criticism.

As someone whose tendency is to try to do everything I’ve learned that to manage my time optimally as a team leader, we need to have people under our studio umbrella who can work independently.

This means they can manage their time smartly, complete their tasks with pride and effort and communicate clearly and regularly to one another about what they’re doing. And the results are a better respect of the time, energy and workloads of others within our studio.

While doing their job well is paramount, being aware of how their actions impact everyone else is key. If one of us can’t do our job without a constant reminder from someone on the team, it pulls the focus and energy of others away from their own tasks and responsibilities.

And finally, initiative. There are so many ways to teach a client, design an email blast, clean and organize a space. But if team members feel that their initiatives aren’t supported, they’ll eventually lose interest.

In any small business setting, but especially one where a high level of customer service is crucial to success, it’s important that initiation is supported and cultivated. If it is, then working independently within a team oriented setting will support interests and the desire to learn. End result? A studio environment that flourishes and thrives.

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