A Step towards Accessibility: Why I've changed to a Pay What you Can Sliding Scale for Group Classes
This is a letter I sent out to clients. I'm sharing it in a blog as a jump-off point to consider our accessibility, in whatever service we provide. If we have the intention of making ourselves and what we offer more available and inclusive, money is a big part of that. I want to name that it's scary to make this change. If you've been wanting to take this leap, I thought sharing my process might help a bit.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about accessibility and inclusivity in action vs intention.
While my group classes are layered to include exercise and movement options for most bodies (and I’m constantly evolving to include possibilities for EVERY body) if what I offer isn’t affordable to most, then it’s not inclusive and accessible in action.
When I started a graduate program in Social Work, way back when, I didn’t know what my career path would look like, but I knew, in a very broad sense, that I wanted to “help people”.
Today, I’m clear that my approach of Judgement Free Pilates, with curiosity and compassion, is exactly what I am supposed to be doing. I found a way to “help” and my clients reflect that back to me every day!!!
Because of financial barriers, there are so many folks that would benefit from my classes, that haven’t had access because of my price point.
This has never been ok with me.
When I started Requisite Pilates, in the midst of the pandemic I took ALL of the market-y, launch-y, business coach-y type classes. They all offered some version of “Other people’s wallet is none of your business. Charge what you’re worth, if they can’t afford you that’s not your problem.”
None of that sat well with me, but I’d never run a business so what did I know? Plus, Requisite Pilates HAD to succeed because I have a mortgage to pay and children to feed and failure was too terrifying to talk about.
I tried what the business coaches offered, but honestly, I proceeded out of fear. My gut told me that in order to walk my talk, break the hierachy that exists in the Pilates Industry, and truly be inclusive and accessible, I needed to find another way.
I KNOW my services are worth a lot. Instead of taking that knowledge and gatekeeping it, and becoming more exclusive, I want to make my classes available to as many people as possible.
I’m writing a longer email (instead of a flashy announcement) because I want to be real and transparent. My classes and private sessions aren’t just about exercise, they’re about open communication and building relationships.
Traditional marketing can be icky and manipulative and I’ve learned that just isn’t my jam.
I want to sell my Pilates classes because they have value and have literally changed people’s quality of life, in a profound way. I want you to experience that value with less worry about the financial part.
So I’m making some changes.
The Core membership Subscription (which includes unlimited group classes, and access to over 100 previously recorded classes) will now be offered on a “pay what you can afford” sliding scale as will individual group class passes.
A “pay what you can afford” framework can only be successful when both of us are clear. I trust you to choose a price point that works for you, no questions asked. I also request, that IF you can afford to pay on the higher end, you will. This will allow more people access to my classes, and will help support my business (and also feed my kids 😊).
Full disclosure, I’m still plenty frightened of making this shift because class subscriptions are a big part of my income that I can’t afford to lose, but I’m also clear that it’s the right decision.
As always and forever, I thank those of you who have been with me as I’ve navigated my way through running a business.
If you’ve cancelled a class subscription because of finances, I’d love to have you back. If you’ve thought about joining me, but felt you couldn’t because it was too expensive, I’d love to have you.
Whether you’re ready to sign up for classes or not, please consider sharing this email and help me spread the word to anyone in your life who you think would benefit.
See you in class-