📝How to Start a Pole Dance & Fitness Studio? (Checklist + Marketing Guide)

Starting a pole dance and fitness studio is a big deal. Although there are plenty of promising prospects, there are equally matching considerations to make.

As a service-based business, you’ll need to consider your knowledge about pole dancing, whether or not you’re fit to be an instructor, how many students you can manage, and, ultimately, your financial power to establish this outfit.

I’ve broken the process I took to establish my pole studio and the challenges I faced. I’ve also added a few marketing tips to help you get on your feet faster.

Pro Tip: Be prepared to re-evaluate your budget! So let’s get started.

Checklist for Opening a Pole Dance & Fitness Studio

I’ve compiled a checklist to start your journey to becoming a pole dance studio owner.

  1. Have you researched the financial commitment required to open a pole studio?
  2. Do you have a significant budget or financial support to open a pole studio?
  3. What is the current market for pole dancing in your location/proposed location?
  4. Have you decided on the demography to target?
  5. Do you have pole dancing or stripping experience?
  6. Do you wish to be a pole dance instructor or hire instructors?
  7. Do you need a business license to become a pole studio owner or teacher?
  8. What are your long-term goals for the pole studio?
  9. Do you have a considerable social media presence? How do you intend to market your new business?
  10. How much do pole classes cost in your city/state?

The questions above are designed to help you understand your preparedness to become a pole studio owner. It’s okay if you don’t tick every number on the checklist, however, it’s important that you have a solid budget to get the project underway!

Step-by-Step Guide on Opening a Pole Dance & Fitness Studio

Starting a pole dance and fitness studio is as overwhelming as any other start-up. I’ve broken down the steps to help you understand the requirements.

Feasibility Studies

Before starting my pole dance and fitness studio, I spent a few months researching my community and the demographic. I paid more attention to the gyms, yoga studios, and dance classes around me and how frequently they signed new customers. (You’ll be amazed at how happy and open staff and business owners are about their new signings once they warm up to you.)

It wasn’t just about new customers, I also considered the gym membership prices and the disposable income available to community members.

It helped that I lived in a city with plenty of students. So, I knew a pole studio would be an instant hit if I did things right.

I also considered the presence of any new business in my vertical. This meant researching yoga studios and classes and pole dance classes (thankfully, there were just two to compete with).

Once I had all the information, I knew I could target a specific age range initially and expand over time. I also knew how much businesses around me charged and how much disposable income my community could afford. Those are key factors to drive sales.

Make a Business Plan & Budget

With preliminary investigations done, I knew I had a real chance at establishing something great. So, I went for it.

Many people tell you to start with a business plan, but it’ll have been a waste of time, energy, and resources if the business had no real chance of growing.

With the feasibility study done, I drafted a business plan that included all the information I needed for a successful business.

The key areas I struggled with were;

  1. Business name
  2. Perfect location and estimated lease cost
  3. Equipment and equipment costs
  4. Staff and staff costs
  5. Marketing and marketing plan 
  6. Expected revenue based on floor space.

It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers at first. You’ll likely struggle with putting a number to staff and staff costs, equipment and equipment costs, and projected revenue. Allow yourself a realistic guestimate, and you’ll be okay.

With your plan shaping up, you’ll need to consider the most important aspect of this project – MONEY!!!

Think of where the money will come from, what you have saved up, friends and family that may be willing to chip in, and more. No amount is too small – you want to get all the support you need right off the bat.

While you think about money and its various sources – start laying the foundation by validating your plans.

Validate Your Entity Plans 

This little step isn’t talked about enough. 

Start by checking if you need to register your business in your city and how to go about it. Also, check if your proposed business name is available online and offline – if not, make iterations until you find the perfect one – remember to keep it short, punchy, and catchy.

Consider abbreviations of your name; for example, Monica could be Mo’s, Jennifer could be Jen’s or Jenny’s, etc. 

For online availability, check for:

  1. Domain name availability using Namecheap, GoDaddy, or other domain name registrars.
  2. Social media handle availability on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.

If available, lock the name in by creating an account and move on to the next step.

Decide Services to Offer

You can offer tons of services to your community as a pole dance and fitness studio. Some ideas to keep in mind include:

  • Physical pole dance classes for different levels (beginners, intermediates, pros)
  • Structured pole dancing courses with class schedules, training curriculum, etc.
  • Online pole dancing classes and lessons
  • Pole dance classes for baby strippers 
  • Paid video tutorials or monetized video content
  • Corporate pole and fitness classes 
  • Private pole dance and fitness lessons
  • Other fitness classes like Yoga and Pilates.

Decide On Location

Your business’ location can affect your earnings, accessibility, and visibility.

Scout your area for the best spots, as this can passively/indirectly market your business and reduce your marketing cost.

You want a location with less competition, plenty of engagement from your target audience, and access to amenities. 

You can use Google Maps or ride around your town/city to pinpoint suitable areas.

PRO TIP: Look for areas close to established fast food and beverage chains like Starbucks, Burger Kings, Wendy’s, KFC, Chick-fil-A, etc. You can also scout for areas around large shopping centers, indoor swimming areas, and more.

Generally, you want a place with heavy foot traffic and possible parking space around – yet affordable!

I’ll keep this short – I expect you already understand what I mean.

Obtain Licenses

Most states and cities require you to register your business and obtain a license to operate. You should also consider getting a music license.

I advise you to speak to a professional regarding this, as it’s always better to do the right thing from the start.

You’ll need to obtain an EIN (Employer Identification Number) via the Online IRS EIN Assistant if you’re in the US or register online using the UK’s online tool for UK residents.

You’ll also need to obtain a music license for your business, especially if you intend to play some music in your studio. A music license costs between $200 and $2,000 annually, depending on your location and business size.

Some major music rights organizations for music licensing include:

  • American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).
  • Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI).
  • European Music Rights Organization (SESAC) for the UK.  

Money Saving Tip: List some favorite songs and artists you’ll likely play at your studio and research their  licensing body. Buy licensure from whichever body has the most number of artists/music you intend to use.

Purchase Appropriate Insurance

Just like your car, you don’t want to run into any issues as a business owner without insurance coverage.

Getting insurance is pretty much open and shut – and you can use an existing insurance provider if you’re okay with their services. Just ask if they offer dance studio policies and if the policy covers a pole studio.

Please note that insurance companies are always trying to sell you some bullshit add-ons you may never need. That’s the fastest way to rake huge money in monthly insurance payments. Carefully consider what you need and choose the coverage only!

I recommend calling your preferred insurance provider and discussing with them weeks before your business opens. You’ll likely meet unfavorable rates when insurance companies sense you’re desperate or on a deadline. Take the urgency out of it and save yourself some good money. 

Scout Location and Sign Lease

Okay! Remember that Starbucks and Fast food chain idea I pitched earlier? Now is the time to act on it.

Take time to pick out your desired locations and start calling up agents in charge of free spaces. It’s important to approach this calmly because realtors can smell your desperation and will pounce on you like piranhas.

Consider if you prefer working directly with a landlord or a property manager. Ask questions about the space, including any extra monthly payments that still need to be covered.

Once you’re happy with the lease amount and additional costs, finalize your lease, and congratulations!

You’re now a studio owner – but then, it’s just the end of the first half – now comes the second half of the hurdle.

Purchase Pole Studio Equipment 

With the new space mapped out, you can start planning what works best and how.

Measure the space and consider how many dance poles can fit comfortably in it. Consider partitioning if you wish to include a fitness or yoga area. 

Decide how many dance poles will go into your space, the type of dance poles, and the brand you’re buying.

Read our X Pole vs. Lupit Pole comparison here for more information.

You may also want to include some flying poles for aerial dance, depending on your space, the planning, and the layout. 

Important purchases you’ll need include;

  • Dance Poles ($300 – $750 each)
  • Dance Floors ($200 – $500)
  • Activity Mirrors ($300 – $500)
  • Crash Mats ($300 – $500)
  • Dance Lights and Accessories ($250 – $350)

Studio Setup & Installations

Setup and installations can take two weeks to a month, depending on how you plan the contractors and their jobs.

Ensure all pressure washing, flooring, painting, and more are done with before your poles arrive. Pay attention to the ceiling type and whether or not they require reinforcement

Once installations are completed, place a tape around your ceiling dome to mark the installation spot. Check the tape periodically to keep tabs on pole shifts.

Digitize Payment & Income

Now that your studio is ready to operate, take time to digitize payment and income to ensure easy calculation and for tax purposes.

You can start with your website (incorporating a secure payment option). Consider getting a Point of Sale (POS) service that allows you to:

  • Easily create and publish class schedules, opening and closing times, etc.
  • Easily onboard new students and manage existing students.
  • Take student attendance.
  • Supports online payment and provides analytical reports.
  • Offers notification automation to engage new prospects and re-engage non-renewing students.

Ongoing Marketing

Marketing your business is an important step, especially as a new pole studio. You’ll need good photography and videography skills, or hire a professional. You’ll also need signage and great interior planning to keep curious minds hooked!

Email me if you need me to connect you with a few marketing professionals to handle your organic search needs. 

Important areas to pay attention to are:

  • Your website to ensure it is SEO compliant to improve organic search.
  • Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Instagram Ads to get your business up and running.
  • Register your business on Maps via Google Business Listing. Ensure that your listing is properly set up.
  • Create your social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Threads, and Pinterest.
  • Submit your business name and address to directories like Yelp, BBB, Angie’s List, TrustPilot, etc.
  • Encourage students to leave reviews on your Google Business Listing.

You can launch your pole studio by throwing a promotional offer, allowing interested people to sign up for a free, no-commitment 30-minute session with the pole. 

This is a great way to collect emails for marketing purposes, break in your pole, and also get feedback from possible interested people.

Send me an email using the contact us form if you ever have questions about setting up your pole studio. I’ll be happy to help. 

Similar Posts