Tash (for Natasha) and I first connected a while ago via FB, Instagram or Twitter. You quickly pick up on Tash’s passion and enthusiasm for group fitness and specifically indoor cycling in her frequent and random posts, pictures and tweets. Somehow along the way I learned that June is our birth month, and we make a point of celebrating all month long. It was last January that I asked Tash if she’d consider contributing a June guest post in honor of her birthday and her awesome contribution to so many cycling instructors and studios here in the US and in her home of Canada (Calgary, Alberta). Please be sure to see my end notes following this message from Tash Marshall Bean about chance encounters, passion and success…
My first move into becoming an Indoor Cycling Trainer and Fitness Studio Freelancer happened partially by chance. I was teaching and mentoring the Les Mills Instructors at GoodLife Fitness for almost 10 years in Canada. I taught Body Pump, RPM, Body Step, and Body Flow. Although I loved all the LMI programs, RPM always came out on top because I love the low impact, and high intensity workout on the bike.
Through teaching I had met so many amazing members, and a few of them who worked at Lululemon, referred a couple to me that were looking to start a full body indoor cycle studio in Calgary. (That was my chance…thanks Lulu!). That couple flew me to LA a few times to check out the boutique fitness scene, and from there I built an indoor cycling program and trained the team. Our initial training experience before the studio opened was in my single car garage. Yep, 15 bikes, tunes pounding, naming our moves, cueing around them, working and sweating together! It was an amazing experience and this is what launched me into my business of today, Authentic Instructor Training for Spin Studios.
I spent almost three years fully dedicated to that studio, training the team and teaching classes but as time passed I became more and more interested in the idea of working with multiple studios and assisting people in launching their dreams. Fast forward 3 years later and I have now participated in over 25 start-ups and refreshes.
It can be very complex.
At the core of every new studio is the spin experience itself, however I am also often involved in the entire new studio process. This includes budgeting, planning, architectural design, ordering and buying equipment, of course training the trainer, and let’s not forget developing a customer service strategy.
Some studios want a spa-like experience with glitz and glam, others are highly budget conscious and focus only on the spin program itself. So almost every time I am doing something different, which makes my job so great!
A common theme amongst all of the studio owners I work with is an inherent desire to provide excellence. This almost always manifests itself as passion, drive and a desire to succeed. Many of the owners I work with have started and grown outstanding boutiques and many have won or been nominated for awards of excellence as a result, which also makes me so proud of them!
My belief in having a highly successful studio is built on four pillars.
First, I believe at the core of the studio is an outstanding cycle program. Indoor cycling is not just about having an instructor show up and play music. It requires a highly energized, informed and educated instructor that understands how to push people, but not push them into injury or create a situation where the client does not want to return. A great program will match music, the beat, light choreography (obviously optional depending on your studio) and class energy to cause people to smile and lose themselves while they are exercising!
Second, an exceptional customer service experience is imperative.
From the moment the client enters the space (which can mean the parking lot or website in some cases) the customer needs to be treated with singular attention, regard and respect. Welcoming, engaging and inviting back makes customers want to stay with us!
Third, a strong connection between instructors and clients is necessary.
Think Disneyland. At all times the client connection needs to be maintained and, at all times the instructor has to represent the studio with excellence. This includes arriving early to get the music going, mingling with clients prior to and after class and something I like to call “making the client feel like part of the play”.
And finally…Fourth, teamwork is essential.
Supporting each other, including subbing classes, promoting other instructors, shout outs in class to our instructors/front end/karma, talking up the studio, and promoting classes on social media!
Typically my training program for start-ups runs over three weekends, with semiannual or annual “amp-ups”. In cases where I am involved in planning and design, it is always best to reach out to me as early as possible. I never charge for initial consultations and also use a network of specialists to provide advice on financial matters, planning and resourcing equipment, and also can provide a detailed planning guide if it is needed.
Follow your passion and if there is a will, there is a way. Every studio owner I have worked with has been happy that they did it. You can too!
Tash shared a sample of tunes you might hear in one of her classes…check it out on Spotify (and be sure to set the cross fade somewhere between 6-9 seconds for best results with the two sets of repeated tracks).
As I mentioned, Tash is easily found through the common social networks, but most importantly can be found here at her own webpage: www.tashmarshallbean.com
also found on LinkedIn and Facebook.
Thanks for the great message Tash…Happy Birthday too!